Week 14 Wrap-up

In the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, there is a philosophy which is almost a mantra. This is: “meet them where they are.” This is essential to student-lead learning. If students are not producing the kind of work one as a teacher expects, one has to think about where the barriers to learning are for those students and “meet them where they are” and remove those barriers. That mantra was put into practice in our classroom this week.

In English we moved away from Writer’s Workshop for the week and just focused on some word work. There was no pressure to write in their Author’s Journals. We did whole-group work making words with magnetic letters and students took clipboards and paper and found words around the room that they wanted to try writing. Copying writing is a great way to learn. We started more intense sight word work and those who felt comfortable tried writing a sentence with the sight words we had worked on.

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We moved away from the fast-paced nature of Math Buddies to get practice with the fundamentals of forming numerals.


Our IPC has always been exploratory so nothing has changed there. At the end of last week we took a pattern walk around the Hanmaeum Centre looking for patterns in the real world. This week we used the photos we took to create a pattern book. The students were very excited to show it to the school. We also looked at exotic pattern on animals and explored that further by creating our own exotically patterned animals.

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We allowed some time for some really rich developmental play. The students have begun role-playing real life situations such as taking care of a sleeping baby and fighting fires with fire engines and hoses (and costumes!). Also the block and train constructions the students make are beginning to become very elaborate.

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This week has also seen some of our youngest friends developing great independence in things like putting on their own jackets, fixing their own shoes, or completing puzzles with almost no help at all.


As this term begins to wrap up, I will continue to “meet them where they are” and make sure all students are successful in the classroom.


Marie McClellan

Week 13 Wrap-up

A quick note about homework before we begin: FS2 and Year 1 brought home literacy homework which involves sight words. Sight words are words that don’t necessarily follow a 1:1 phonics pattern (although lots of them do) but students should be able recognise on sight, not by sounding them out. We are very early into the reading process and students have just been introduced to these words. If your child struggles with this homework, do not worry about it as we will be working with these words more and more in class. Homework is meant to keep learning fresh in their minds, not teach them completely new concepts. However, please communicate with me if you have concerns regarding the difficulty level of the homework.

Speaking of literacy, our phonics program continues as we worked on the letters T and P this week. As always, we focused on these being the initial sound of words. We also worked on blending phonemes which is the academic way to say “stretching out words so we could hear all their sounds individually then putting those words back together.” This activity in phonics is tying in well with Writer’s Workshop where we began our Writing With Sentences unit this week. During our Illustrators unit we had the goals of “I can add details” and “I can label” where students made sure their illustrations were rich with setting and characters and that individual parts of our illustrations had a label, which was usually the first letter of the word. This week we added the goal of “I can use words” and students are beginning to work towards this goal.


Students are also taking a more active interest in the books in our classroom library and are beginning to roleplay reading to each other. There is one very popular alphabet book that all the students love to read.

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In IPC we began our unit on patterns. We experimented with fabric to create patterns (which was also great scissor skills work) and today we took a chilly walk around the school grounds looking for patterns we saw out and about. I took photos of the patterns we saw and we will work with those photos to create a project.

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During our developmental play time, the students have really been enjoying dressing up from our costume bin and going about the rest of their business. This week there has been witches cooking meals, vampires flying on airplanes, and pirates going shopping. Developmental play time is also seeing some communication and conflict resolution skills being developed.

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In PE we’ve been trying some yoga for kids from the Cosmic Kids yoga series. Today we did a yoga workout based on the story of Moana.

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I am happy to see all the children dressing for the weather. We still have outdoor play during recess and lunch so this is very important as the temperatures continue to drop.

Have a great weekend. Stay warm, and we’ll see you on Monday!


Marie McClellan

Dress Down Day for IPC

Our next IPC unit will focus on patterns. On Wednesday, uniforms are not required. In fact, please have the students dress in their favourite outfits. If these outfits have stripes, dots, or patterns of any kind that’s even better but certainly not required. Although we will be exploring patterns in IPC, all students are welcome to dress down that day – not just the full-day students. We do have PE that morning so please make sure students are wearing appropriate footwear for sports and games.

Week 12 Wrap-up

Between illesses, abscenses, book home day, and our excellent field trip, our learning didn’t follow a traditional academic path this week.

In Math we concentrated on reviewing patterns, number sense, making combinations to 10, and “how many more” than 5 our number of the day was. We’ll be back to daily Math Buddies continuing on comparing numbers 1-10 using less/more/same next week.

In Phonics we focussed on the letter H. Next Week we’ll have 2 new letters to study in depth. We’ll also begin our Writer’s Workshop which is all about writing with sentences. The students didn’t know it, but they got a taste of that in our field trip consolidation piece and unit wrap-up in IPC where we wrote a book about our day at the park. Feel free to stop by and read it as it hangs on our display. When the display comes down, it will join our class library as a piece of work the children can read.

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Speaking of the field trip, it was amazing. The students had so much fun. We began the day enjoying the Dragon Playground.

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Then we enjoyed our snack and walked carefully over to the new Children’s Park. Upon arrival, we played in the ball pit which had a VR dinosaur game where children had to throw the balls at dinosaurs to blow them up and reach the next level.

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Then we got to experience the Sand Art. It was an interactive learning experience where the children manipulated the sand to make different things happen in the various games and experiences. They dug up dinosaurs, they created paths of land and water to guide animals to a habitat they could live in, they created volcanoes, and so much more.

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Next, we moved onto the giant lego room where the students had a great time creating imaginative structures. They built quite a large castle.

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We had a picnic lunch outside and then played on the trampolines, explored the sand pit, climbed the rope structures, and walked through tunnels.

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Between Ms. Esther who joined us on the trip and myself, we took over 200 photos. I have collected them all in another Google Photo Album which is linked here for you to see. There are a few short video clips in that collection of photos. You should be able to download photos from the Google Album. If you wish to and are not successful, please email me and I’ll do my best to explain to you how to do it.

I hope you have a good week and I look forward to a week of routine next week as we enter the homeward stretch of this term.


Marie 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 and science experiment on Tuesday 13 November

Dear Parents and Children,

Since the year 1/2/3 students have been working so hard at rehearsing their assembly for Monday we will not have spelling words for this week. The students had an awesome time at Kidzania and showed of what they learned at the Job-based theme park by creating wonderful explanation texts of the jobs that they learned about.  In English this week we looked at the features of non-fiction, explanation texts and it was good to interlink the English with our IPC learning unit on “a day in the life”. We had discussions about what equality means and talked about whether or not boys and girls can do the same jobs.

We will be concluding this unit by looking at a “day in the life” of a scientist and are fortunate to have Mrs. Lickert conducting an experiment in class on Tuesday 13 November. Students are encouraged to bring small amounts of clear liquids to rest in our experiment.  Household items such as vinegar, lime-juice, oil or similar clear liquids will be ideal.

In Math this week the students showed wonderful creativity as they progressed from recognizing and making symmetrical reflective shapes to designing amazingly colorful reflective patterns. We also started looking at fractions in shapes.

The students have worked hard preparing scripts, organizing games and rehearsing a play for their assembly on Monday. Do try and join us for an entertaining presentation of their learning on Monday at 1;30 pm.

That is all for this week. Enjoy these pictures of our trip to Kidzania.


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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

Kidzania Information and Schedule for Thursday November 8th

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Dear Parents and Children,

The wait is almost over and the day for the Year 1/2/3 trip to Kidzania Busan is almost here.

Since this is a full-day trip students must not bring school bags to school on the day. Only bring Snacks lunch and water bottles. Students must wear long pants and sneakers and a thin jacket. Students are welcome to bring any “Kidzbucks” they may have from previous trips to Kidzania. The trip will be from 09:00 am until 4:30 pm and as a result Drama club will be cancelled for the day.

The schedule and program for the day will be as follows:

09:00 am – School bus arrives at HFS as normal. Y1/2/3  have registration, get tags and go to restroom. No bags only snack, lunch, water bottle.
09:10 am – Bus departs for Busan. Mrs Florovskiy to accompany the group.
10:40 am – Arrive at Centum City Busan. All to disembark bus and proceed to 4th floor. (Jackets can remain on bus).
10:45 am – Snacks to be eaten in waiting area outside Kidzania.
11:00 am – Enter Kidzania and get wristbands. Students put in groups as follows:
Group 1 Mr Kearney
Group 2 Miss Yujin
Group 3 Mrs Florovskiy
Groups enter 5th floor and proceed to center circle where lunch and snack boxes will be left in Lunch area upstairs.
Group 1 will follow the route –  Police (19) – Florist (43) – CSI (21) *Vet (45) is optional extra.
Group 2 will follow the route  – Florist (43) – CSI (21) – Police (19) *Vet (45) is optional extra.
Group 3 will follow the route –  CSI (21)-Police (19) – Florist (43) *Vet (45) is optional extra.
 After that the groups will roam freely around the 5th floor with their supervising adult until meeting back at 12:40 for lunch.
12:40 pm – Meet at the central circle and go for lunch in the lunch area upstairs.
1:00 pm – Groups will explore the 6th floor.
Group 1 will follow the route – Pilot training (50) – Robotics (52) – 3D hologram studio (67).
Group 2 will follow the route –  3D hologram studio (67) –  Pilot training (50) – Robotics (52).
Group 3 will follow the route –  Robotics (52)  -3D hologram studio (67) –  Pilot training (50).
After completing these sections Groups can roam freely around the 6th floor until 2:30.
2:30 pm – Groups Meet at 5th floor Chocolatier (7) to complete chocolate making activity.
3:00 pm – All groups ready to depart Kidzania – Headcount to be done. lunch and snack boxes to be collected.
3:05 pm Depart Kidzania and head to HFS.
4:30 pm Arrive at HFS and disembark bus. Students to hand in tags and meet parents in Multimedia room.
I hope you are as excited for the trip as I am.