What a Year!

The year sure seems to have flown by! We have accomplished so much. Thank you for following our blog and tracking our Grade One learning journey with us! This is the final blog post of the year. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

June Learning

We learned about money – what it is used for, why it is important, what the coins looks like (Canadian symbolism) and the amount each is worth. We practiced counting coins using our skip counting and addition skills. We also learned about the difference between buying and trading and bartering. We discussed aboriginal connections. We worked creatively with others to create unique and handmade products to trade. 

We learned about the sources and properties of light and sound.

Learning about light and sound. We brainstormed natural and artificial sources of light and sound and did some experiments.

Sports Day Fun!

We wore our team colours and showed great sportsmanship. Next year, we will be separated into team colours at the beginning of the year and play on multi-age teams for Sports Day!

Our Field Trip to Edmonds Spray Park and the School Picnic

A Note From The Teachers

It has been wonderful working with your children this year. We have enjoyed watching them learn, play, and grow this year. Every child has worked hard on something that was challenging for them; they have all had a year full of determination and growth. They have built bonds with each other and memories that will last a lifetime! We both have fond memories that we have held onto from our days in Grade One (many years ago!) and we hope your children will look back on these sweet childhood days and remember feelings of happiness. Each child holds a special place in our hearts. We want to thank you for supporting your child this year… and for supporting us! We couldn’t have had a successful year without your continual efforts and attention. 

We hope you all have a lovely summer building memories with you families! All the best to you next year… and remember to stop by and say hi ๐Ÿ™‚

Ms. Romano and Mrs. Perello

Blog Survey for Parents


As the year is coming to an end, we would like to know if you have found the blog to be helpful in following your child’s learning journey at school. If you could take the time (approximately 1 minute!) to complete this short survey, we would be very grateful! 

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LXQLSSF

You should have also received an email with this same link ๐Ÿ™‚ You don’t have to do it twice!

Thank you!

Ms. Romano and Mrs. Perello  

Beautiful Hands

We have been learning many things about our bodies over the past couple of weeks. We have learned about different kinds of touch – helpful, caring, healthy, clean, and fun. 

We decided to have some fun with our beautiful hands! Finger painting time!

Beautiful Hands – a lovely book full of inspiration for our own artwork

It was great to see some children collaborate to create their art. 

Painting with our beautiful hands – a unicorn and butterfly and a caterpillar

Painting with our beautiful hands – a rollercoaster, a garden, a rainbow

What else do we use our beautiful hands for? 

My Community

For the past couple of weeks, we have been discussing families and communities. 

What is a community

A community is a place where we live, play, work, grow, and learn. Communities need certain things to meet the needs of their citizens (people who live in the community). We have talked a lot about what our basic needs are – something we learned about way back in Term 1. Our basic needs include clean air, water, sunlight, clothing, shelter, and food. We also need to feel cared for and loved in order to grow at our best.

A family is the smallest community group that we are part of, and we are also part of a bigger community including our neighbours, school, and community shops/workers. 

We looked at our community on Google Maps. We found our school, Metrotown, Bonsor Community Centre, and other shops, buildings, and parks that we recognized. We talked about what makes our community great.

We asked the questions: What do we need in our community to meet our basic needs? What do we need in our community to help us live, work, grow, and play? 

We read a story and talked about what our community would have looked like before a lot of people started to live here. What has changed in our community? What changes do you notice when you drive or walk in your community? 

Finally, we built our own town our of lego! We worked in partners to build specific buildings that we decided needed to go into a town to meet the needs of the people living there. We were SO engaged in this activity and did such a good job collaborating and working creatively with our classmates. 

Ask your child – What is special about our community? What does our community have it in to meet our needs? What is your favourite thing about our community?

The Best Part of Me

We hope all the mommies enjoyed their mother’s day gifts! We worked very hard on our writing. Ms. Romano and Mrs. Perello were interested to find out which part of ourselves we liked the best, and why. We were very proud of our work. Some of us will be reading our writing at the Celebration of Learning assembly at the end of May. Parents are welcome to come and watch us. 

We created “found object” self-portraits. Our inspiration came from this book, titled “My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks”. In the book, the narrator goes through each member of her family, including herself, and describes them using similes. In her portraits, she creates the faces of her family members using objects that would represent them and that are included in her similes used to describe them. 

We also drew a totem pole to represent ourselves. Did you know the aboriginal peoples of Canada use totem poles carved of cedar to tell stories? Each animal included on a totem pole represents a certain trait, personality, or characteristic. 

Totem Animals and Their Meanings

Bear – brave

Deer – loving

Beaver – determined

Butterfly – vulnerable

Moose – strong

Owl – wise

Rabbit – creative

Turtle – patient

Wolf – loyal

Porcupine – curious

Raven – truthful 

Fox – Clever 

Our Totem Pole Stories

It was so awesome to see which animals the children chose to represent themselves with!

Ask your child – Which animals did you include on your totem pole? Why?

Be Who You Are!

During the month of May, we will be focusing on the ideas of self, family and community. Our big idea for this month is:

Healthy communities recognize and respect the diversity of individuals and care for the local environment

To begin thinking about who we know ourselves to be, we read some books and put our ideas into creative writing pieces. The poems that we have been writing tell the story of who we are… our looks, our feelings, our personalities. 

Quick as a Cricket – an introduction to similes (comparisons using the words “like” or “as”). We brainstormed a lot of these with our classmates!

We wrote “Simile Self-Portraits”. A simile is a comparison made between two things using the words “like” or “as”. For example: I am as loud as a lion! I am as quiet as a bunny. I am beautiful like a butterfly. I am sweet like candy. 

My hair is fluffy like a sheep. My eyes are purple as a grape. My nose is round like a circle. My mouth is wide like a river. My face is round as a pizza. My body is big like book shelves. My hands are wiggly like a starfish.

Part of who we are is also our sense of place – where we live and what we are surrounded by every day. We read a book called “Last Stop on Market Street” that got us thinking about our everyday experiences in our neighbourhood. 

“Last Stop on Market Street” tells the story of a little boy’s ride on the bus and all the things he sees in his community.

We wrote a journal entry focused on the idea of “exploding a moment” – describing many details about what we hear, see, smell, and do during a particular moment from our day. 

(RIGHT) I am excited because me and my mom are going to a library yesterday. Me and my mom went on the bus. I saw my friend Melissa. We had a fun time on the bus. Then I got off the bus. I saw a butterfly flying past me. It was shiny white. Then I got to the library. I got a lot of books.
(TOP RIGHT) On Spring Break I flew to China. THe plane’s name was Air Canada. It took 11 hours. I heard the engine rumbling and seatbelts clicking.
(BOTTOM RIGHT) My mom and my dad gave me a slurpee yesterday. It tasted like blueberry and strawberry. The colours were blue. It was so yummy.

We are focusing on content and quality of our writing. Spelling and proper punctuation are important as well. However, being able to showcase our thoughts and feelings through writing as a form of self-expression and story is a way of sharing part of ourselves with the world, which is more important than spelling every word correct or putting every period in it’s proper place! These skills will come with more and more practice, which we will definitely be getting in Grade 2 and onward!

“Be Who You Are” by Todd Parr – inspiration for our “I Am” poetry

Our “I am” poems are absolutely lovely! Please take a look and read some samples of this touching poetry below:

A stunning book we read featuring children’s photographs and writing about themselves… We are doing a special project… COMING SOON!

Ask your child – what is your favourite thing about yourself?

Young Actors Project

We participated in Young Actors Project, a drama program that helps us explore the art of using our bodies and voices to express ourselves creatively! 

Here are a couple of snapshots of us in our drama masks. We had to use our actions to perform a scene (for example, “a surprise birthday party”). Our audience had to guess what the scene was. It was important for us to use our whole body in high, mid, and low space. We had to decide on our roles within our group and we had to practice. The groups who did the best jobs were the ones who listened to each other’s ideas, practiced many times, and stayed on task the whole time. We are all working on becoming more confident when performing and working cooperatively within groups!

Top – a security guard talking to a noisy person at a movie theatre.
Bottom – a group surprising their friend for her birthday!

Here are a couple of our reflections about our drama experience: 

This experience allowed us to become more aware of how our bodies can be used to show our emotions. It challenged us to try something new, be creative, and communicate our ideas to our audience. We learned a lot!

Ask your child – What was your favourite part about Young Actors Project?

Picture the Sky

Since we have returned from Spring Break, we have been learning about the sky. We started by reading this lovely book by Barbara Reid titled, “Picture the Sky”. 

Picture the Sky by Barbara Reid

As we read the book, we began to think of all the ways we could picture the sky. What was in the sky? We brainstormed as a class. Then, we classified our ideas into living and non-living things, and natural and man-made things. 

The first sky feature that we began to inquire about was the sun. We read a non-fiction text about the sun and we watched a few videos. We wrote down some of most interesting facts that we learned. 

Does the Sun Sleep? The non-fiction, scientific text we have been reading to research elements of the sky

Some interesting facts about the sun. Did you know… (Top Left) The sun is very big. The sun is more than 1 million earth’s can fit in the sun. If the sun was on the scale with the little earth’s… let’s see which one wins!
(Top Right) Then sun is the heaviest start.
(Bottom Left) The sun is a star. The sun is made up of gas. The sun gives heat and light.
(Bottom Right) The sun is a start. The sun looks bigger to us because we are closer to it. The sun is very big. More than 1 million earth’s can fit in the sun.

We read an aboriginal legend called “Raven: A Trickster Tale of the Pacific Northwest”. This legend was about how Raven stole the sun and shared it with the world. We spent a lot of time retelling the legend. We got into partners and we drew a picture to represent each part of the story. It was a great collaborative project!

We also talked a lot about how the oral tradition is very important to the aboriginal culture. Stories were able to live on for hundreds of years without being written down. It was a way to keep families close and keep memories alive. 

With a partner, we came up with our own legends about how the sun came to be in the sky. We had to make sure our stories had a beginning, middle, and end. We sketched them out and then told them to the teacher. She typed them out for us and helped us make sure that they made sense. Then, we made a sculpture of out plasticine to represent our story. We can show our parents our legends and our sculptures at Student Led Conferences coming up next week.  


We also learned about the moon. Where did the moon come from? We explored this question from a scientific and an aboriginal perspective. We watched two short videos about how the moon came to be. 

Then, we recorded what we knew about both perspectives. 

We talked about why the moon seems to change shape. Sometimes the moon looks like a crescent, sometimes it looks like half a pizza, and sometimes it looks like a circle. Sometimes we don’t even see the moon at all! Why is this? We watched a couple of videos and read a non-fiction text to help us understand. Then, we drew a diagram of the phases of the moon. 

We also explored the moon further through an aboriginal perspective by reading “Taan’s Moons”. This is an incredibly artistic representation of the stages of the moon seen through the eyes of a bear, or “taan”. The artwork in the book was created by Kindergarten and Grade 1 students in Haida Gwaii. Check out this beautiful book at your local library!

We look forward to hearing everyone’s research project presentations next week! 

Ask your child – Tell me a legend about the moon or the sun!

Spring has Sprung!

The sun is finally out, the snow is melting away… We can’t wait for Spring because we can go outside and play!

This week we have been reading some non-fiction texts about spring. What are some changes that happen in the spring?

  • Animals come out of their homes after hibernating, or build new homes
  • Birds return from the south (warmer places)
  • Insects can be seen crawling around outside 
  • Everything becomes green once again!
  • A mixture of rain and sun is perfect for plants – and we may even see a rainbow once in a while!

We wrote some lovely “Hello Spring, Goodbye Winter” poems this week. 

We watched a short video clip about baby animals that are born in the springtime. Take a look: 

We took a vote to see who liked which baby animals the best. We graphed it together. Baby chicks and baby rabbits got the most votes – 9 each. Beavers got 4 votes and ducklings got 2 votes. 

We then wrote why we liked the baby animal we chose. We are going to be doing a lot of practice with developing ideas through short paragraph writing in Term 3, along with some more juicy writing – so this is a good start!

We wrote some lovely acrostic poems about spring. Just close your eyes and imagine all these spring things we wrote about. What wonderful, descriptive writing! Take a minute to read each of the poems in the picture below.

School’s closed, spring comes
Pretty rainbows pop out
Rain rain, wet wet rain, please come out another day!
I scream, I scream, I scream for ice cream!
Nature knows nice animals
Great green ground grows grass

To get our minds and bodies ready for spring, we did some relaxing (well, actually pretty exciting!) yoga.

Yoga poses!

If you’d like to keep your child busy on a rainy, spring day, why not have them try some yoga from Cosmic Yoga Kids on YouTube? Check it out!

Have a wonderful spring break everyone! We hope you find some time to enjoy the sunshine with your families! See you back at school in April!

“Going Public” about our Polar Bear Problem

This week we have been “going public” about our polar bear problem. We have learned so much about polar bears and their melting arctic habitat. We have learned that WE are part of the problem! Now it is time to take charge and make change happen. 

Take a peek at these amazing writing samples! We had 20 minutes to write all that we could about polar bears and climate change. 

I know polar bears have webbed paws to swim. I know that greenhouse gases melt ice. I know that the earth is getting hotter because global warming. I know that polar bears have guard fur and under fur. I know that polar bears have black skin and blubber. I know that they eat ringed seal and killer whale.

I know that polar bears have webbed paws, no eyelashes, small ears, small eyes. Polar bears use webbed paws to swim long distances to find food because they need food for their family or they must eat garbage and it is not healthy for the polar bear and they will die and maybe the cubs too. Other animals will eat the cubs and the cubs will die. There will be no more polar bears in the world because all the polar bears are all gone because the other animals already ate them. Polar bears are patient hunters. Polar bears most favourite foods are ringed seal. Polar bears wait from a fishing hole and the ringed seal pops out and the polar bear swats with their powerful webbed paws. Polar bears live in a den. People use machines to break their dens.

We have gone from being able to write a few words to writing pages! Ms. Romano and Mrs. Perello are very proud of us. 

Some of us volunteered to read our writing out to the class. What a great way to practice our public speaking skills and share what we know!

We made commitments to Nanuk. Here are some ideas we have about how we can help the polar bears…

(TOP LEFT) One student built a greenhouse with his family over the weekend. He can help the environment by planting seeds. Plants help keep the earth’s air clean. Very cool!!
(TOP RIGHT) To help the polar bear, I will carpool. To help the polar bear, I will ride a bike instead.
(BOTTOM LEFT, RIGHT) To help the polar bear I will walk to school. To help the polar bear I will turn off the lights. / To help the polar bear I will turn off the lights. To help the polar bear I will stop polluting.

We starting taking action by cleaning up garbage left on the ground around our school. Can you believe we picked up 5 bags full of garbage just from the gravel field and the side playground?! 

Collecting garbage outside

We need to take more responsibility as a school and keep our environment clean. There is a lot of wildlife in the area who could be hurt by garbage left behind by us.

With generous donations from our families, we were able to raise $25 to symbolically adopt a polar bear from Polar Bears International, a non-profit organization dedicated to polar bear research and conservation (in other words, saving polar bears!). Thank you to everyone who donated! 

Polar Bears International certifies that Division 21 has symbolically adopted a polar bear.

This act of generosity will keep polar bears in the Arctic always.

  PBIโ€™s mission is to conserve polar bears and the sea ice they depend on. Through media, science, and advocacy, we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats to its future, and the connection between this remote region and our global climate.

We came together as a class and created an arctic mural. We each helped by making animals, drawing landscape, or labelling for the mural with our teams. It is beautiful. We may not be able to take a trip to the real arctic, but we created a pretty view of one for our classroom!

Working with our teams to create the mural

The Arctic by Division 21

We wrote letters back to Nanuk and her cubs. Read some of the heartwarming and thoughtful messages…

Finally, we created posters to put around the school about how we can stop polluting to help keep the earth healthy. 

What a learning journey we have been on! With our new knowledge we hope to be empowered to change the world our world – and the world of Nanuk, the majestic polar bear – for the better! 

Can you support your child in his/her promises to stop polluting or “going green”? 

At home, try…

  • turning off the lights and TV when you’re not using them
  • use “energy saver” options on all large appliances
  • wear a sweater or use a thicker blanket rather than turning up the heat
  • take a walk to school in the rain or sunshine instead of driving – it can be energizing to breath in fresh air!
  • when you do drive, try to carpool 
  •  when you see garbage in your neighbourhood, lead by example and pick it up and put it where it belongs – in the trash can!
  • this Spring, plant something green! all those leaves put oxygen into our world to help keep the air clean!