Author Archives: Ms. McClellan

Week 11 Update

Wow! Another week is here and gone. We’re nearly at the end of the term. Our learning isn’t slowing down, however.

We’re continuing to alternate phonics and centres. Today was an exciting day: we began guided reading. On Wednesday, I measured all the children’s heights so they could be issued their Guided Reading License (check your child’s backpack, it should have gone home today).


During guided reading, the children stay with their Just Right Groups and come sit with me for small-group, targeted reading lessons. Some groups worked on letter sound and recognition, others worked on identifying rhyme, many learned how to point at each word when they’re reading to learn 1:1 word and print recognition.

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During our Writer’s Workshop, we continued on our Storytellers unit and began looking at some of the mechanics of writing. For example, we practiced when to use capital letters when writing.


There was a lot of learning packed into our Math Buddies this week. We learned to skip count by 5’s to 20. We practiced tallying. We counted out 100 objects in groups of 10 to practice counting by 10’s to 100. Finally, we started working on place value. We learned that numbers 21-29 are two tens and some ones. We will continue working on groups of “ten and then some” as we continue with numbers higher than 29 next week. And, of course, we continued to review our teen numbers.

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In IPC we continued to explore “What’s it Made Of” and examined what happens to different materials when we apply different forces to them. We organised our findings into a report poster.

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Building with Lego has become a favourite passtime during developmental play. It helps students with creative thinking, problem solving, and manual dexterity.


As our term comes to a close, so does our Kindness Morning Meetings. The lessons we’ve learned these last 7 weeks have really impacted the class. They are becoming a more empathetic group of children and it’s wonderful to see. This week, we began by visualising how our kind words and actions ripple out into the world. Next week we will review the lessons learned and that will close off the unit. That doesn’t mean we’ll stop learning about kindness or stop having morning meetings however! You can view the teaching plan for next week here: Week 8 kindness project review

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As always, have a great weekend and we’ll see you refreshed and ready to learn on Monday!


100 Objects for Math

In Math Buddies we are working in depth with the numbers to 100. To this end, each student will be counting 100 objects on Thursday.

Please send your child to school with 100 small objects on Thursday March 21st.

These objects can be:

  • paper clips
  • bottle caps
  • stones
  • pompoms
  • beans

Those are just some suggestions. Any small object will do.

Unless you indicate you do not want the items returned, they will be returned when our unit is complete.

Week 10 Update

Whew, another week is complete. It was great to finish the week off with our Pajamma Day. Congratulations to Olivia who won the school “craziest pajammas” award. We had a full day of learning while feeling comfortable.

We’re continuing to alternate days of phonics and centres. The students still needed some practice working on their centres independently so we will try guided reading again next week. During writer’s workshop, we continued trying to write stories. I’m very impressed by the work the children are doing.

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In Math Buddies, we’ve moved onto our unit of numbers to 100. We started skip-counting by twos to twenty. Also because our math is a spiral curriculum we also spent time reviewing shapes from last week and teen numbers from our previous unit.


In IPC we continued looking at What’s It Made Of and made a craftivity exploring our favourite object and its materials.


In our Kindness Morning Meetings we finished off the week signing a Friendship Promise which now hangs proudly on our door. Our kindness curriculum is nearing an end with only two weeks to go. Next week we’ll learn about random acts of kindness. You can find the curriculum here: Week 7 random acts of kindness


Have a great weekend and we’ll see everyone back on Monday.


Week 9 Update

Wow we’re back with a bang after the long weekend. What an action-packed week it’s been.

We’re back on track with our Kindness Morning Meetings learning about how to be a good friend. We finished up this week by writing a recipe for making a good friend. Next week we continue looking at how to be a good friend. Here is the curriculum plans: Week 6 to be a good friend


The students were very excited we started our new unit in Writer’s Workshop this week. We are all now officially Storytellers. They were also extremely excited to get lined notebooks in which to do their writing. We’ll be continuing this unit until the end of the term.

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In Math Buddies we finished up our unit on shapes. The students explored triangles, rectangles, squares, circles, and hexagons. To consolidate our knowledge, today we took a walk around the school and found examples of different shapes in the real world.

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We’re continue to alternate phonics days and centres days where the students have activities tailored to their literacy level. Next week we’ll be encorportating guided reading into one of the centres days. Students will be with their Just Right Groups and sit with me to do reading activities that focus on their reading needs.

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Speaking of reading, International Book Day was a blast! The students loved dressing up as their favourite book character for the day.


In PE we practiced basketball and hockey for coordination and also worked on balance. We tried a new activity where the students had to walk a path while balancing a beanbag.


We continued learning What’s it Made Of in IPC. Students learned about different materials and classified objects in the classroom that were made of those materials.


We’re looking forward to another great week of learning next week so have a restful weekend!


Week 8 Update

Well it was a short week and we’re having a much-needed midterm break. Because of the short week and listening to the students needs, we will be re-visiting Week 5 of the Kindness Morning Meetings next week so we can have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a good friend.

We worked hard this week on our International Projects and I’m very proud of all the students in our class for presenting at our assembly. Thank you to all the parents who brought in food for the food share. That was amazing. All the students enjoyed trying food from around the world.

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We introduced our new IPC topic “What’s it Made Of” by learning about where yarn comes from. The students got to see a video of sheep being sheared and got to try out my spinning wheel. They also got to feel some unspun fleece.

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In literacy we added a new element. We started doing centres. The students are divided into their “Just Right Groups” to work together at phonics and reading activities at their level. We had a stamping station, a tablet station, and a magnet matching station. As the term (and year) goes on, we will also incorporate guided reading where students will practice reading skills in small groups with the teacher according to their individual literacy levels.

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During developmental play we saw lots of team work building block structures, making puzzles, and having imaginative play.

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I hope everyone has a great long weekend and comes back to school next week refreshed and ready to learn.

Week 7 Update

We made it! Tuesday was our hundredth day here at HFS!


Counting to the hundredth day of school is a great way for students to learn their numbers in the early years. It was extra special this year – marking 100 days at our new campus. Our class had a great Hundred Day party. We dressed like we were 100 years old. We made crowns. We put 100 stamps into a booklet. We made necklaces with 100 Froot Rings. The whole day was a celebration of the number 100. I took a lot of photos so the entire Google Album can be seen here.

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This celebration of 100 has even shown itself later this week during developmental play time where some students are starting to take our daily math routines and practice them on our own. Ezra was very proud to show me he did a tally chart to count 100.


There’s been lots of development in our developmental play time. The students are beginning to act out family scenes with different friends taking on the role of Mommy, Daddy, Sister, and Brother. Other students are starting to show an interest in cutting and pasting and colouring. There’s been some really creative things made such as Aras’s dragon and dinosaur.


A lot of development is being seen in our Writer’s Workshop with students really trying their best to write words, sentences, and stories to accompany their illustrations. It’s been fantastic to see a connection between our phonics work and our writing work.


Part of what we do in phonics is break apart words to hear their individual sounds. Today we represented sounds in words with snap cubes and looked for the middle sound of the word. The students had a try at it themselves.


Math Buddies is moving away from learning new numbers (although we still spend time reviewing) to studying shapes. We began with 3D shapes. We’re learning about cubes, cylinders, spheres, and cones. This is tricky new vocabulary for second language learners so please try to reinforce this at home. We worked with some real-life objects such as a party hat, a box, a can of stewed tomatoes, and a ball to show that these words can describe the shape of real-life objects so the students are familiar with that concept.

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When the Year 2-9s were away on their trip on Thursday, we used the playground equipment during our snack and lunch breaks. The students had great fun playing on the structure.

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Our Kindness Morning Meetings are continuing. Sometimes I wonder if the students are understanding the concepts we discuss because it’s not immediately apparent in the meetings but during the day I see them using language and concepts we’re learned. Next week’s curriculum can be found here: Week 5 to be a good friend

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!


Week 6

It was our first full week back to school since the Seollal break and it was a cold and wet one. The children didn’t get a lot of outside play time this week because of the weather so they were little bundles of energy in class. The weather forecast for the weekend looks good so if you have the opportunity to go outside and play, please take advantage of it.

This coming Monday the 18th, Ottawa Class will be in charge of the Monday assembly for the first time this year. Our topic is “A Day in the Life of FS1/2/Y1”. If you can, please come watch our assembly Monday at 1:30.

Tuesday, February 19th is our 100th day of school. The students have been anticipating this for quite some time (they really started to see how close we were around Day 80). I’ve promised them a 100 Day party. To help celebrate our 100 Days I would like to ask students to come dressed up as what they think they’ll look like when they’re 100 years old. There are no wrong answers, so have fun!

We had an exciting time this week with lots of great learning. The students finished their IPC unit trying to do small puppet shows with the theatre we made and generally having fun with their sock puppets.

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In Math we’ve almost finished off teen numbers. We’ll be finishing 19 on Monday afternoon then moving on to 2D and 3D shapes. To help conceptualise that teen numbers are “ten plus some more” we used a kind of abacus called a rekenrek. It really helped some of the students who were struggling and solidified knowledge for those who understood the concepts.

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Much to the children’s enjoyment, we’ve started back with our Writer’s Workshop. This week we focused on where and when to use capital letters. I’m very excited to see the FS1 students start to label their illustrations consistently with the first letter of things in their drawings. I’m also excited to see the FS2 and Year 1 students write words and sentences consistently.

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Ottawa class was a little blue to see I had brought baking supplies in for the student council and not for them. Due to a little cookie cooking disaster that night, we were in need of many more cookies for our Valentines Day bake sale. So, I brought in supplies and my oven and the children had fun making chocolate chunk cookies. They weren’t all that impressed that they had to wait till the following day to eat the fruits of their labour but they did enjoy all the treats at the bake sale. Thank you so much to all the parents who sent money with their children. The school raised 164,000won for the WeHope Charity.

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Have a great weekend and we’ll see you back for some excellent learning next week!



Week 5

I hope everyone had a relaxing Seollal break. We’ve done a lot in our short time back.

Much to the students’ delight, we painted our puppet theatre. We’ll be beginning to try to perform our own shows next week.

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In PE we played Walking on Clouds again. The students’ balance is getting better. Then we played a game which doesn’t have a catchy name. The students were divided into two teams. One member from each team started at opposite ends of the hall, jumping into hula hoops. When the opposing team members met they did Rock Paper Scissors. The winner continued advancing to the opposite end of the hall while the student who wasn’t successful when back to the end of their own line and the next person on their team began jumping towards their opponent. We finished up the day by playing a boys against girls game of Mountains and Volcanoes. Each team was either a Mountain or a Volcano and they had to flip small cones to make either a mountain or a volcano. Since we play for the fun of it, there were no winners and losers, just lots of children having fun and developing their motor skills.

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We studied the letter U in phonics this week.


And in math we continued working on teen numbers. We used our life-size tens frame to help us visualise that teen numbers are a group of 10 plus extras. Since we have less than 10 students in the class we had some of our stuffed friends help us. For our guided and independent practice some students worked on teen numbers while others solidified their knowledge of 1-10.

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Next week during our Morning Meetings we will be continuing our Kindness Curriculum. Here is the PDF for next week’s lessons. Week 3 words have power

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you on Monday, ready to learn!

Washable Paint

As mentioned in last week’s update, we painted our puppet theatre today. Desipite wearing smocks to protect their clothes from the paint, some students got paint on their clothes. The paint used is water-based and should come off after being soaked in cold water and put through the washing machine on the cold cycle.