Week 4 Wrap Up

“20 Days!” I said to the students as we added a blue post-it with the number 20 on it to our number strip this morning. “Can you believe we’ve been in school for 20 whole days?!” Every morning we have a calendar routine that involves counting the number of days we’ve been in school – all the way till we reach 100. Today marked a big milestone: 20 days!

Every day it’s a delight to watch the students learn and grow. In our math this week we’ve been comparing numbers to see which one is less or more. The words “less”, “more”, and “same” are some good math words you can review at home to help cement the knowledge we’ve acquired this week.

In Phonics we covered the letters J-M. That was another milestone we hit this week: we’re half way through the alphabet! We’ll continue on basic letter sound phonics for the next 13 days after we return and then we move on to Unit 2. See which of your sounds your child can remember by prompting them with “A – ahhh” while putting your hands to your face as if you’re screaming; “B – b, b, b” while waving your hands like a orchestra conductor with their baton; and “C – c, c, c” while shivering and pretending you’re cold. Can they remember all our actions and sounds all the way to M?


In developmental play, the students were really interested in building with stickle bricks and legos this week. There are 3 different sized stickle bricks and they don’t all fit together so the students had to use some problem solving skills to make their creations. They also continued exploring familiar scenarios with home and hospital toys. A new variant of our kitchen play has emerged: the jungle picnic. The students bring food in shopping carts from the kitchen play area to another part of the room and gather together with the stuffed animals they discovered this week.

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Thank you all so much for sending in photos of your family for our IPC project. The students were so excited to see themselves and their family in the photos when I printed them and even more excited to make their “Who Am I?” autobiographies. Some of them even continued to add to their books during their play time.


And wow! What an amazing Chuseok celebration we had today. We began in class watching a short video about Chuseok, talked about our family’s plans, coloured a picture of women making seongpyeon, and read a traditional Korean folk tale. Then we went to the gymnasium with the whole school to play traditional Korean games. It was a first for me to play those games so it was really fun experiencing it with the children. After lunch we had a great assembly (who can forget Mr. Kearney wrestling with Mr. Choi!), a wonderful dance, and my favourite: eating songpyeong.


I hope you and your family have a great holiday. Don’t forget to keep reading together over the holiday. We’ll see you in October!


Marie McClellan

Week 3 Wrap Up

Another successful week here in Ottawa Class.

We had a quiet day on Monday while all the other students in the school were off on their first field trip. The children can’t wait to be old enough to join them. But don’t worry, we will have age-appropriate field trips throughout the year. They had a great time in the library, however, and were excited to take out their first books from the library. Please remember to return the books on Monday. Then can then take out new books.


The school turtles arrived in our class on Monday as well and the students have been taking turns feeding them all week.


I am pleased to see how motivated to learn and write the alphabet the students have become. Over the weekend I enlisted the help of my 6’5″ (196cm) husband to put up some of the high displays that were lacking in the class and the class was greeted with a colourful alphabet above the whiteboard. They noticed immediately and began to sing the alphabet song! In phonics this week we introduced the letters E-I but that didn’t stop the children from wanting to write all the letters in the alphabet on their white boards. With the use of our alphabet mat that we can bring down to the table, or just looking up at the display, many students practiced writing.

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The students have also begun to notice some of the alphabet educational toys available for them to play with and are choosing those over the usually-favoured kitchen.

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With a wide variety of learning activities the students have a rich play life where they act out scenes from life and learn social rules, new vocabulary, motor skills, and how the world works.

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We introduced some new games into PE. The students still love playing Red Light/Green Light but this week we added a balloon bouncing game called HAPPY (a variation on the ball game HORSE) and Through The Tunnel where students take turns crawling through the legs of their classmates all the way from one side of the hall to the other.

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In IPC we continued on our theme of Who Am I? Exploring a sense of ourselves. If you haven’t yet, please email me some photos of your child as a baby and the rest of your family so we can continue making our Who Am I? autobiographical books. Details can be found in the post I wrote earlier this week (link).

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Have a great weekend. More learning awaits next week!


Marie McClellan

Photos from home for IPC project

I have asked the full-day children today to bring some photos from home for our “About Me” IPC project. I am happy to receive physical or digital submissions. If you send a physical submission, please know it will be incorporated into a piece of work and while that work will eventually go home with your child, the photos may not be in their original form. Digital photos will be printed by me for use in the project.

Please send:

  • photos of your child as a baby or younger child
  • photos of your child’s siblings at their current age or a younger age or both
  • photos of your child’s parents at their current age of younger age
  • photos of anyone else in your child’s family at any age (this can include grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, or family friends who are close and you consider “family”)

Feel free to send lots of photos. The more we have to work with, the more robust this project will be.

Please send digital submissions to my email at: mariemcclellan@hyundaiforeignschool.com

I would appreciate having all submissions by Thursday.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Marie McClellan

Library Books

As you may have noticed today, your child came home with a library book in a special book bag (I know some of them don’t fit). How exciting!

Clearly, the children in Ottawa class do not yet read. So, I would like to ask you to read this book to them. Instilling a love of reading is important from a young age and the first step to that is being read to. The research shows that being read to is almost as important to a child’s reading development as reading independently is. As a matter of fact, don’t feel restricted to only reading this library book. If you have books at home I encourage you to read with your child for at least 10-20 minutes a day. Also, don’t feel compelled to only read in English. Strong literacy skills in a child’s first language translate to stronger skills in their second language. Lastly, it’s not only the parent who needs to read to the child. If your child has an older sibling who can read, they can spend time together reading. This will improve both children’s literacy skills.

The children have Library Class every Monday. Please make sure the book is returned in the book bag each Monday. During Library Class the children will have the opportunity to choose a new book for that week.

If your child wants to bring their book to school to read during the week, that’s OK. The books can come back and forth with them to school in the book bag. It will be sent home every night. However, it must be returned on Monday for Library Time.

If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Marie McClellan

Week 2 Wrap Up

Here we are at the end of Week 2! Everyone seems to be in to the swing of things. We were joined by Gabriel this week and the class welcomed him with open arms.

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We began our phonics program this week. It’s called KinderPhonics. It’s a 3-unit program that goes from letters to words. Our first 26-day unit is simply the letters of the alphabet. It’s 26 days because we will be doing one letter per day. This week we covered A to D.


We also spend time reading together and the children also get the opportunity to explore books alone. Sometimes they share books together in our reading corned.

We continued our numeracy program. We’ve counted up to 10 so far this year – one day for every day of school. We will continue counting the days of school until we hit 100 days (and then we celebrate!). Our number focus this week was comparing numbers 0-5. We used number cards and manipulatives to see whether numbers were more than or less than each other.


We had a great time in PE with a combination of structured games (more Red Light/Green Light, of course) and some free time to run around, and throw and kick balls.


Now that the whole class is here, we began our IPC unit: Who Am I? The students started exploring who they are; what makes them the same and different; and the different range of emotions that they have. We’ll be working on this unit until the Chuseok break.

Have a great weekend and I can’t wait to see everyone on Monday!


Marie McClellan

Homework – Week 2

Some homework was sent home with all the students today. Please check your child’s backpack. It’s actually for the parents/caregivers to help me get to know your child. If you can fill it out and have it back to me next week, that would be fantastic.

For Year 1 there is a separate sheet for the students to fill out to tell me about themselves.

Going forward, homework will only be for Year 1 students. It will be given on Friday and I would like to have it returned by Wednesday. There will not be weekly homework notices on this webpage. Please check your child’s backpack on Fridays.

Thanks very much,

Marie McClellan