Author Archives: Ms. McClellan

Field Trip Postponement

Because of the forecasted rain for Tuesday, we will be postponing the field trip until Thursday November 15. All other details remain the same. I apologise for the inconvenience.


Marie McClellan

Week 11 Update

An exciting and delicious week was had here in Ottawa class. As we continue to explore our senses in our IPC topic “Sensations” we explored our sense of taste. We began by sampling some salt, sugar, a lemon, cilantro, and an orange. There was also a Korean chili pepper on offer but no one took me up on trying that. Everything, including the lemon, was deemed delicious except the cilantro. They didn’t like that one bit. I was very surprised at the children’s love of lemon especially when they all asked for a second piece.

They thought that’s all we were going to do for “taste” so they were in for a wonderful surprise when I brought in my portable oven and all the supplies to make an apple crumble (or apple crunch as it seems to have been named in our class).

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The whole class had a wonderful experience smelling and touching all the ingredients and were very pleased with themselves when they tried the final product. Some of them liked the crumble topping, others liked the apples flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I took a lot of photos and they are viewable on my Google Photo Album which you can access at this link. (The album is not publicly viewable, only those with the link can see it.)

Our Math Buddies are working on comparing numbers 1-10. This week we spent a lot of time on more/less/same. More and same are concepts that all the children understand well, while less is a concept that will need some reinforcement as the rest of this unit goes on. As you have noticed, the Math Buddies aren’t bringing any worksheets home this week. I am finding it more accurate for assessment to have them work through the independent work in class.

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In our Writer’s Workshop we have completed our first unit, “Illustrators? Yes!” and celebrated our learning by illustrating our own story books. In our next 20-day unit we will begin trying to write simple sentences to accompany our illustrations.


This week saw a new friend join us in FS1. Aras has been welcomed into the class and the children are very happy to have a new friend.


Developmental play saw a new roleplay emerge this week. “Watching a movie” involves setting up a pretend computer, lining up chairs, and bringing stuffed animals and toy snacks to all sit together and then discuss what movie is playing.


Some of the students prefer to spend their developmental play time drawing or creating. The students really enjoyed using the leftovers from our sound exploration last week so this week Ms. Jiyu and I have been bringing in paper recyclables to create with.


Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week where we’ll be off to our first field trip!


Marie McClellan


Class Trip Information

On Tuesday November 13th the class will take a trip to the new Daewangam Children’s Park. This ties into our IPC unit on Sensations.

This trip will be longer than a half day but not as long as a full day. We will be returning to school by 1:25 and any half-day students who wish to attend can pick up their child at 1:30 at HFS. All students must pack a lunch.

There are a lot sensory activities at the park that we will be taking part in. There is a clay activity, a sand activity, a ball pit, a life-size lego room, and an outdoor play area that involves trampolines. The students are sure to have a great time exploring their senses.

In the post below this there is a permission form. Please sign and return the permission form by Friday. 

Thanks so much,

Marie McClellan

Week 10 Update

Well we’ve passed the 40 day mark in school today. Everyone is always excited as we add 1 more day onto our number strip to get to 100.

In Math Buddies we reviewed the numbers 6-10. I opted to only spend 5 days on this unit as we have been working with 1-10 since the beginning of the  year in Calendar Time. Next week we will be comparing numbers 1-10 and will spend the full 10 days on the unit.

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In Writer’s Workshop we are still working on our Illustrators unit but we have begun to focus greatly on making sure there is a lot of detail in our visual stories and also that there are labels on our illustrations. The labels are coming along with some students having more and less success than others but everyone is trying and that’s fantastic.


We’ve begun our new unit of phonics and I did jump ahead of myself in explaining what we’ll be working on in this unit. We are focussing primarily on a more in-depth study of letter sounds focussing on the initial sounds of words. We’ve got Letter Journals that we work on every day and handwriting is becoming more of a priority.

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Our 5 senses IPC exploration focussed mainly on sound this week with the highlights being taking a walk around the Hanmaeum Center and listening to different sounds as well as creating our own sounds from all those found objects that were kindly sent in.

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There is still lots of time for developmental play. Children choose to split their time by role-playing familiar scenarios such as going to the grocery store or restaurant, building with blocks, or playing with cars. Others have chosen to focus on making art and crafts as the creations coming home in their backpacks this week may have indicated.


We look forward to another fun week of learning next week!


Marie McClellan

Homework Week 10

Thanks to everyone who has been doing the Math Buddies homework.

This week’s homework has a Math Buddies sheet and also I sent home some post-it notes. I have explained to the children what to do with them but I will offer further explanation here in case I was not clear.

In Writer’s Workshop we have been working on labelling our drawings. To make this concrete, we began by labelling certain items around the classroom.


We then moved on to doing the best we could to label our drawings.

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For Homework, I would like the students to label various items around the house. Because the students have just learned their letter sounds I don’t expect them to be able to fully label these items, just putting the first letter of the word is sufficient. If your child can sound out more of the word, that’s great, but not expected.

If you would like to take photos of these labelled items and email them to me, I’d love to see them. But that is not necessary.

Math Buddies Homework

The Math Buddies (FS2 and Year 1) asked me yesterday if they could please have more homework because they liked it very much.

Along with each day’s lesson there is a quick reinforcement worksheet that we don’t often get the chance to do in class. From now on I will be sending this home with them.

Please don’t feel stressed or obliged to complete these worksheets. They are not marked or graded in any way and are just meant to reinforce the skill we are working on in class.

As this week’s Math Buddies is a 10-day unit being condensed to 5 days we are covering 2 numbers a day and there may be more than 1 worksheet sent home. That is for this week only.

Week 9 Update

Oof, what a week! We hit some major milestones.

On Monday in Writer’s Workshop, we graduated to writing our stories in our writing journals instead of on loose leaf paper.


We introduced the concept of “stamina” at the end of last week and have been continuing to work on it this week. We’ve also been applying it to other aspects of our day besides literacy. In writing we also learned about adding detail and began to introduce the concept of stories having a setting.

What the children are probably most proud of this week: we finished the alphabet. We have learned all our letter sounds from A-Z as individual letters. Beginning next week we’ll start to combine letters into blends, digraphs, dipthongs, and begin to associate more words with letters. This next unit will take approximately 60 days. One of the ways we celebrated being finished the alphabet was to have a dance party stopping and freezing into the shape of a letter.

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In Math we’ve finished our unit on sorting and patterning. I am pleased to report that all our Math Buddies are able to create and predict simple patterns. Some of them find the more complex patterns a little tricky but that’s OK. Working with patterns is part of our daily routine in Calendar Time and the patterns will become more complex with lots of repetition throughout the month we are working with that pattern.

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We’ve had quite the time in IPC exploring our senses. This week we worked with a combination of sight and touch. It was actually the students who pointed out to me that we worked with touch in our first exploration. We began by looking at some art that was optical illusions and then using sponges and watercolour paint to try to make our own op art. When I spoke to them the next day to activate their prior learning, I asked “what sense did we use to create our paintings yesterday?” and unflinchingly they replied “touch”. They were certainly correct. It was a very hands-on project (that is to say: messy) they were grabbing bits of sponge, squishing it in the paint, and pressing it onto their paper where the liquid oozed out over their hands some more.

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As the week progressed we continued to work with touch and sight and created feelings-based self-portraits.  One thing I love about IPC is that it is a very holistic curriculum. 5 senses is a very science-based theme but still we spoke about emotions and recognising feelings. On the first day of the project I took photos of the children showing different emotions on their faces. This was quite funny because these kiddos are so happy that even when they were trying to show me a sad or an angry face they were all smiles. Then they chose which of their photos they wanted to create in clay and used playdough to represent their likenesses. The next day we used scrapbooking texture scissors to trim our portraits and mount them onto cardboard. Then we used Ms. M’s big box of stuff and an abundance of white glue to create a frame for their art. Finally, they observed their pieces, named their emotion, and wrote it on a sticky label using those phonics we’ve been working on.

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I wonder if the kids are as ready for the weekend after all this excitement as I am? Have a great one and we’ll see you on Monday.


Marie McClella


Household Objects for IPC Sound Exploration

As we explore the 5 senses, we will be doing some work on sound. I would like to create homemade instruments for us to play with. For this, I will need the children to bring in some items from home. All these items would be trash/recyclables so please make sure they’re clean

These items could include:

  • Yogurt Containers
  • Shoe Boxes
  • Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Rolls
  • Empty Kleenex Boxes
  • Pie Plates
  • Pop Can

That is just a list of examples. We can happily work with many different kinds of recyclables to make our instruments. Think silly, fun, and creative. If you’re not sure if your item will work either go ahead and send it and I’ll make the call when our project time comes, or feel free to email me and ask.

Please do your best to have these items to me by the end of the week (Friday) and also feel free to send more than one item. We could make an orchestra!

Thanks for your kind cooperation,

Marie McClellan


Week 8 Wrap Up

It seems another week just flew right past!

In calendar time yesterday we celebrated 30 days of school so far (31 today). We learned that 30 is 3 groups of 10 and added onto that today showing that 31 is 3 groups of 10 plus 1 more.


Math Buddies continues to be a success. We are learning about same and different and different ways of sorting and patterning. Because we’re working with a spiral curriculum we are continuing to review the numbers 1-5 that we worked with last week while adding on our sorting and patterning lessons.

Some Math reinforcement homework went home with the FS2 and Y1 students. Please don’t hesitate to give me feedback about the homework. This should all be work that the students should be able to do independently (although they will need to have the instructions read to them). If this is proving not to be the case, I really would like to know.

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And, as mentioned, we have begun our Writers’ Workshop. This initial 20 day unit is called “Illustrators? Yes!”. The students are learning that they can tell stories through pictures. This week we worked on writing stamina: that is to say, we keep writing even when it gets hard. We’ve established all the parts of our writers’ workshop: the mini lesson (when the teacher gives direct instruction), the independent write (when the students write their stories), and today we introduced sharing time where students can practice sharing their stories with the class.


In IPC we continued to explore our 5 senses.

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Our wonderful Ms. Jiyu discovered for us this week that we have access to the playground equipment during our PE time. So, we took full advantage of that this week during the wonderful fall weather. Next week we will switch between structured PE classes and unstructured playground time.

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Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday.


Marie McClellan