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


Kidzania trip permission and agreement form

Dear Parents,

Kidzania city

As part of our IPC learning unit on “A Day in the life” we will be looking at different jobs and occupations. Kidzania theme park in Busan offers a unique learning opportunity for children to experience what it is like to work in different jobs. HFS would like to organize a trip to Kidzania for the year 1/2/3 children on Tuesday 6th November.

You can view the Kidzania website by clicking here.

The price of admission is 23 000 Won. HFS will cover most of the cost but parents will have to contribute 10 000 Won towards the entrance fee. Note: This reduced entrance fee only applies to a group of 15 students or more so all parents must agree in order to make the trip viable.

Parents are asked to complete the online permission form by clicking here by no later than Monday 22nd October.

Best regards,

Mr. Kearney

Week 7 Wrap Up

Another successful week here in Ottawa class. The students are readjusting after being away for the holiday and then having another day off this week.

The launch of our math program has been a success. In the morning after we have our Hello Song, Morning Meeting, and then Calendar Time, we move on to Math Buddies. Math Buddies is what we call our friends who participate in the academic math learning that we do. FS1 is invited to participate and they do from time to time, but primarily my Math Buddies are FS2 and Year 1. This week we focused on the numbers 1-5. As previously mentioned, we’ve been working on number sense since the beginning of the year incorporated into our Calendar Time so this was largely a review and a way to ease the students into a new routine. Next week we will start a 10-day unit on Sorting and Classifying. All Math Buddies participants were given homework this week (including the FS2s). The students have all shown great competency in counting, identifying numbers, displaying them with manipulatives, and using dots or lines to indicate a quantity. However, they all struggled with forming the numerals 1-5. As writing numbers is a foundational skill in Math, I have decided to send home some tracing sheets for independent practice in forming numerals.

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This week we also began our IPC unit called Sensation which is an exploration of the 5 senses. The children’s interest was hooked when we popped some popcorn in the class and talked about how we experienced it: what it smelled like, how it tasted, how it felt, how it looked.

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I’m also excited to announce we will be beginning an extension on our literacy program next week. Writers’ Workshop is a 9-unit genre-based writing program that aligns with the Cambridge curriculum. The students are showing great literacy readiness and it’s time to start to push them. Again the FS1 students will be welcome to join in the writers’ workshops and there will be plenty of age-appropriate activities for them. We will kick off the Writers’ Workshop with a 20-day unit called “Illustrators! Yes?” where students will be primarily using illustrations to convey a story.

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Our days may be getting busier but we still have plenty of time for developmental play. There was a great interest in exploring puzzles this week. There was also lots of block building and teamwork being shown.

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That’s all for this week. I hope you have a great weekend and we’ll see you on Monday!


Marie McClellan


Week 6 Welcome Back!

Honestly it was so great coming back to work this week. I missed the students and I could tell from their interactions, they had really missed each other. Thursday saw a beautiful sunny day to welcome us back. The fall temperatures were perfect for playing outside. The rain today didn’t dull our energy too much.

This short week back also brought us a new student to FS1: Olivia. The whole class was happy to have a new friend come join us.


We only learned one new letter sound this week: the letter N. Our first day back was spent reviewing the 13 letters we already knew.


We’ve started a new month on our calendar and thanks to David we’re learning a new Months of the Year song. Our math program will be expanding starting next week and we’ll be focussing on the numbers 1 – 5. Instead of doing a usual 10 day unit, we will be covering these numbers in 5 days as we have focussed on them a lot during our calendar time so this will largely be a review. Also, this marks the beginning of a transition away from as much developmental play and into more guided academics. This will be a gentle transition and our day will still have a lot of play.

This week also saw us wrapping up our IPC “Who Am I?” Unit. To cap off the unit we made a time capsule that we will look at again just before we break for the summer holidays. The students decorated our time capsule with coloured paper, sequins, stickers, pompoms, pasta, googly eyes, and more! Then they all drew and decorated a special picture of something they wanted to remember our class by and we sealed it up in the capsule.

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Next week we begin our new IPC unit called Sensations, where we will be exploring our 5 senses. Our intro to the topic will be a 5 senses based exploration of popcorn. As one of the senses is taste, we will be eating the popcorn. If there are any allergy or dietary concerns that I do not know about that would impact your child and this lesson, please let me know ASAP so I can plan an alternate lesson. I will be making the popcorn in an air popper so there is no oil involved. Also I will not be dressing the popcorn (no butter, no salt). The only thing we will be eating is popped corn. This lesson is planned for Tuesday. (Please don’t mention this to your child as I want it to be a surprise to “hook” them into the topic).

The rainy weather didn’t keep our energy too low for PE class. We learned great new games and had a very active time.

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But we were pretty tuckered out afterwards.


Have a great weekend, stay dry, and I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday!


Marie McClellan