Weekly update

Parents, if you would like to see the video of your child’s final drama performance, please send me an e-mail and I will forward you a link. 

Have a wonderful summer break 🙂


June 11-15

What a wonderfully busy week! To start things off, Ms. Ma’s class has named their baby chicks! The chicks are growing so quickly they are about the size of an adult’s hand now!

Student-led drama performance preparation is complete and performances are on their way! We had to postpone our Thursday performance due to a large number of absentees.

Ms. Roz had invited our students into her class to read to her students and the results were amazing! Some toddlers went straight to who they would like to read with, while others stayed put and had our students welcome them to read together. As Ms. Roz reflected, in the end, she said, “Strongstart has never been this quiet for 20 minutes straight! They were all listening and engaged with the readers.” This has been a valuable experience for her toddlers as well as Div. 11 students.

Div. 7, 9, and 11 went on a two-part field trip to New Westminster this week. The Fraser River Discovery Centre was wonderful in covering most of grade 1-3’s Social Studies, Aboriginal fishery, and Science curriculum. The New Media presentation at the Anvil Convention Centre as well as a small museum showcasing the history of New Westminster covered grade 1-3’s Arts and Technology curriculum as well! What a great way to introduce the students and some families to the New West Quay side area.

 

It is almost Father’s Day so the students got to work and thought deeply about their dad. Then the students choose a unique pattern to create a tie with hidden messages.

Next Monday, June 18th, is Dragon Boat Festival. The students were told of the story about Qu Yuan and how his death led to the creation of Zongzi, triangular sticky rice dumpling, and dragon boats. We will learn more about this holiday on Monday once we have most of the students returning to school. Hopefully, they will feel well enough to give these rice dumplings a try.

We also had our Sports Day this week! The Green House won! Horray 🙂


June 4 -8

Now that the grade 1s have learned all the grade 1 math curriculum, they are going back to the basics and working on unit reviews, but with a twist. The students are working on solving problems using math skills they’ve learned before but are more complicated now that they can read some word problems. We will be doing these type of activities until mid to end of June to ensure the grade 1s retain what they have learned since September.

Most of the students really enjoy learning how to print Mandarin characters, for the students that have no Mandarin background or any exposure to Mandarin at home, learning how to print the characters is sort of like learning to draw using various strokes. Through time, most students have learned the basics of the strokes and ways to print Mandarin characters, and their printing has improved greatly and is printed with great focus to detail.

It is getting closer to the end of the school year, and many many exciting school events have prevented the students from being able to complete their preparation for their drama performance. They are finally nearing the end of preparation! Just give them one more week to prepare and they should be able to perform!

After learning about the colour wheel, the contrasting colours, and warm and cool colours. Some students have picked up an interest in playing around with watercolour. Below shows some students creating beautiful pieces out of their own imagination during extra free time 🙂

Ms. Ma’s baby chicks have hatched! Early in the week, the eggs cracked a little bit and the next morning we found two baby chicks waiting in the incubators for the students to arrive! They are then transferred into their warm cozy enclosure for water, food, and more leg room.


May 28 – June 1

Our grade 1’s final math measurement project requires the students to use non-standard units to navigate through the given map to solve various word problems. This project took 2-3 days to complete, but the students really enjoyed this challenge!

All of our butterflies have emerged! Our division, along with Ms. Mackie’s class and Ms. Tang’s class, went to the school garden to release the butterflies. Unfortunately, it was a cool cloudy day, so most of the butterflies weren’t ready to leave the net. We were able to see about 5 butterflies take off into the garden, so we ended up leaving the nets outside for the remainder of the day for the butterflies to fly away naturally.

Most of the grade 1s and 2s have presented their passion project on an animal of their choice. The students were able to go in front of the class and to talk about the animal’s habitat, behaviour, diet, etc. The substitute teacher for that day was able to jot down some notes about their presentation. Most of the notes taken down were really positive! For the students there weren’t ready they will be presenting next week.

We had our Walk-A-Thon this week, and our class theme was ‘Under The Sea’. Every student showed up dressed in creative ways. We have some mermaids, jellyfish, shark, seaweed, and others dressed in colours of the ocean.

As for Ms. Ma’s classroom chick eggs, they are growing so fast that we could barely see it now. On Monday, we could still see some veins and some eyes and a beak tip moving around. On Friday, all we could see is a giant dark shadow, which would be the body and some feathers! We are counting down the days till they hatch, which would be very soon!


May 21 – 25

Ms. Ma’s chicken eggs have arrived! The eggs are approximately 14 days old. The students will get to observe the chicks’ growth inside the eggs for the next 14 days until they are ready to crack their shells. A special microscope that emits narrow bright light will allow the students to see through the eggshell to observe the blood vessels and the eyes in the early stages. Next week, we should be able to see more detail of the baby chicks.

 
 

Grade 1s are finishing up their measurement unit. Next week, they will need to use all the knowledge they’ve learned to figure out an elaborate puzzle that will require them to use various measuring strategies.

 

Our student-led drama groups have completed their scripts! Now they’ve moved onto designing their stage and background. We will soon be deciding on a performance date.

We’re wrapping up our coding experience and have only minimal computer lab access until the last day of school. By now, every student should be comfortable knowing how to use a computer as well as to operate simple commands in certain modules.

Most of the students are almost done with their contrasting and warm and cool colour art. The artworks are displayed in the hallway. Also, it is one of our student’s last day of grade 1 on Friday, which happened to be our school-wide PJ movie day. So, we had a small potluck with Ms. Ma’s class and we got to celebrate this day together.

 

At the end of Friday, three of our butterflies emerged just in time to see the kids off for the weekend! Things left in the net for the weekend included some fresh water, orange and watermelon slices, and two small containers of Gatorade in case the fruits dry up. The butterflies have a plentiful source of food and liquid.

In the photo above, you could see a butterfly drinking watermelon juice. 🙂


May 14-18

Our caterpillars started out in small containers for each student to observe, draw, and write about their growth in their data collection book. As the caterpillars grow bigger, we all went out for a short nature walk to collect sticks, grass, and fallen leaves and flowers to create a soft bedding for the caterpillars’ new home. After couple days of spending time together in their new enclosure, the caterpillars started to climb up to the top forming “J” shape. This is an indication that they’re reading to form into a chrysalis. Once they’re in their chrysalis, that’s when metamorphosis occurs over the next 5-7 days! How exciting!

   

Div. 11 is on school beautification duty this week and everyone took turns going around the school or heading up to the upper field to collect garbage during recess. The amount of garbage they collected in less than 20 minutes is baffling! It really shows how much litter we create each day and how careless people can be with their snack wrappers and other miscellaneous stuff. Also, it is imperative to have all students wash their hands thoroughly after garbage duty!

For the past two weeks, the students learned all about perspective and understanding the importance to see things and think deeply from different angles. Since this is a difficult concept for the grades 1s to fully understand, we used the comparison of the point of view from a worm to the students’ point of view. It is interesting to see how some students have sudden realization that different people, animal, or insect see things differently from them 🙂 As for the grade 2s, we were able to have discussions on how being able to see things from different perspectives may help us prevent or resolve a conflict. Below is an example of a grade 1 students forming the perspective of a worm and how a worm’s day might look like.

 

Div.11 planted some bok choy couple weeks ago during their Sprouting Chef program, and this week is harvesting time! Ms. Barb went into detail about various edible plants that are planted in the school garden and most students were eager to line up to try the plants. They tasted fresh bok choy, kale, spinach, and many many more! They even got to observe honey bee and bumble bee collecting nectar in the garden 🙂

As a continuation of last week’s art on contrasting colours, the students are in the process of creating an amazing illusion-like artwork using both warm and cool contrasting colours.

And finally, we went on a long nature walk with Ms. Tang’s kindergarten class. At each stopping point, we were able to play team building games and some mini-games altogether. What a wonderful way to end the week!

 

Have a wonderful Victoria long weekend!


May 7-11

WOW, is this week the busiest week or what?! So much has happened since Monday 🙂 The grade 1s and 2s use many different programs to enhance their language building. Aside from their usual spelling words and building grammar foundation, the students also use Words Their Way. Below shows how fluent the students are at executing this program without being reminded of what to do – from knowing what to do with their old sorting to arranging and reading out loud their new sorting of the week.

Our classroom extra activity bucket is a big hit! Students begin bringing in all sorts of puzzles and their own rubric cube from home to share with each other. This bucket acts as a break for students to access in between work, it also helps the students de-stress when they feel overwhelmed in class.

The student-led drama script writing is coming to an end. Soon, the students will start rehearsing and preparing for the props needed for their final performance. Stay tuned while we decide when the performance date will be. See below for the five upcoming performances, and a glimpse of their writing sample. The groups consist of both grade 1 and 2 students, and one group consists of only grade 1s!

We wrapped up our animal report this week! Feel free to ask your child about the animal of his or her choice. Your child should be able to answer all your questions since they were able to do their research and filled out a report on the animal. 🙂

The grade 1s are learning all about weight, estimation, and comparison. They’re learning to observe two objects, some of their own choice, to estimate which one is heavier, lighter, or about the same. Then, they are to find the answer by weighing using their own hands. It’s all about using their hands to feel around the object and to compare their answer to their original estimation.

For art, we learned about complementary colours and the students made sunset art with silhouettes. The beautiful artworks are all displayed in the hallway!

For applied science and skills building, the students learned the basics of coding and how to make characters in a game, or their own creation, come to life! Some students created their own characters and then gave them commands to move forward, jump, eat, and do various simple tasks. Others choose to use the characters provided by the game and giving it certain commands to move around to complete each level. The concepts of coding may be hard to understand for some students, but for most students, they are able to grasp the understanding of coding based on tv, movie, and mini-games they have been exposed to already.

Last but not least, our caterpillars have arrived! Each student is assigned to their own caterpillar. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings are when students are responsible to collect data on their caterpillar’s growth in their data collection book. Needless to say, all the students were eager to say hi to their caterpillar each morning, and are looking forward to seeing their transformation!


April 30 – May 4

Our student-led drama production is making great progress. Some groups have so much detail for their drama script that they’re turning their script into a short novel!

We’ve wrapped up our weaving unit and you can see all the great products showcased in the hallway.

Our principals for the day came into our class to read to our students. Everyone listened attentively and were giving positive feedbacks to our principals.

The grade 1s and 2s are learning how to do research as part of building their learning skills, for their report on an animal of their choice. Many students learned to use readily available resources in our classroom, our non-fiction books, while some used their library time to look for books on their animal. Currently, the students are in the process of finding information and filling out the report.

 


April 23-27

Last Friday, the students made a poster, for Earth Day, on how they could take part in cleaning and maintaining a cleaner environment. Yesterday, we were all happy to hear from one student who took his family around the school, during after-school hours, to help pick up some garbage. We talked about how wonderful that made us feel, but the most important thing was that the student did it with his family. We also emphasized the importance of picking up litters with adult presence and doing so properly, for example, never pick up a glass with bare hands.

Grade 1 students drew a blueprint of their structure last week, and they also estimated the number of toothpicks and marshmallows they would need to build their structure. This week, the students followed their original design to build their structure and many learned that they needed to tweak their design using either more or fewer materials. I think they turned out great! The grade 2 students also build their structure as part of their geometry class in Ms. Ma’s class using spaghetti noodles instead of toothpicks.

For the past couple weeks, the students learned about the First Peoples’ method of weaving, so this week they’re learning how to weave using only cardboard, yarns, and two branches that they picked from the schoolyard. All the completed work are displayed in the hallway. All the students really enjoy this quiet and peaceful activity, and some even say they’ll go home and teach their family how to weave 🙂

We had our student-led conference this week! The students worked really hard for this special day. They looked through their past works and could only carefully select couple pages to share with their family. Then they rehearsed over and over of the route they’ll take to showcase their classroom and their work, trying their best to explain what they have learned since September and what they are most proud of.

The students did a wonderful job and I am truly proud of all my grade 1s and 2s  =)


April 16-20

Busy busy math week for the grade 1 students! The grade 1s learned about geometry – shapes, 2D and 3D, faces and vertices, and then moving into learning about fraction. Simple fraction such as cutting a circle or square into a half, a third, or a quarter. Then, they turn themselves into little architects and have developed a blueprint for their house, mansion, or skyscraper! Next week, the grade 1s will be building their design using toothpicks and marshmallows.

 

Div. 11 finished up their quilt session by creating a mosaic art using small pieces of fabric.

   

Our theatre production is in the process of scriptwriting at the moment. The students are to compose everything from the beginning to the end all by themselves, through communication and working together. They are expected to work collaboratively and to communicate their own ideas and learn to accept or modify other people’s input.

The students are learning to reflect about themselves and their learning since September Through learning about the core competencies, the students get a chance to think about what they have learned, how they are doing, and what they need to work on as well.

Last but not least, after learning about the Aboriginal people’s weaving and its significances, how and what they used to weave with, and how it was once nearly a lost skill. The students are learning how to weave using only cardboard and yarns. It will take a while to complete, but at least everyone’s really enjoying this hands-on learning.

Please let me know if you would like a copy of the video of the Wisdom’s assembly drama performance.


April 9-13

Our Wisdom assembly has been moved to April 27th, which allows us more time to rehearse and make adjustments to our performance :).  Students from grades 4 and 5 were able to take over the leading roles and help the younger grades with their lines and their placement on stage. Stay tuned for our video during the Wisdom and Humility assembly.

 

Div. 11 is registered in the Sprouting Chef program with Ms. Barb. For their first session, the students learned about seeds, soil, plant cycle, and worms. In May, once the plants have grown, the students would be able to harvest their own plants and make them into a tasty soup.



April 2 -6

Division 11, along with two other divisions, will be teaching the school about Wisdom, one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings, during next Friday’s assembly. Here is a glimpse of behind the scene for one of the group’s activity.

For our computer lab this week, the students are expected to be fully independent when logging onto their computer and navigating their curser. The students are introduced to using the internet explorer and knowing how to type in a website. From there, students moved from intro to typing to exploring mathematical games.


March 12 – 16

For a week and half the student have been learning about the First People’s 7 sacred learning, basic introduction to the Canadian history, art styles, and animal symbols. To show their understanding, the students have carefully put together their artwork with respect to the Coast Salish art. Their artwork is being displayed in the hallway.

When the grade 2s were performing at Armstrong Elementary School, the grade 1s were busing learning about the importance of safety when using a knife and how to properly use it. Together, the grade 1s were able to cut up various fruits to make a fruit salad and everyone got to enjoy their own creation.

 

This art-filled week comprised of the making of Coast Salish art, the making of Easter bunnies, dyeing Easter eggs with Ms. Tang’s class, building on their imagination and their fine motor skill by painting, cutting, and glueing to decorate their egg cartons, and last but not least wrapping up the week with quilt art led by Jeannie.

     

We ended our last day together by working together to build a fort by the school playground and having Rambo coming in for a visit.

Have a wonderful spring break 🙂


March 5 – 9

The grade 1s are wrapping up their math unit on tally marks and reading/creating graphs. Below are their learning process to reading graphs, which then moves into having the students surveying their classmates and creating their own graphs.

The students are learning about the Core Competencies right now and the first one that they are working on is the Communication piece. Through the development of their drama storyboard, the groups are to communicate about how to develop their stories, what their character should look like, and what to put into their storyboard. Their storyboard should have similar content to reflect the communication between group members.

Ms. Ma’s class has been learning about the water cycle, matter, and states of matter (liquid, solid, gas), which we had already learned in term one. There were two parent volunteers that offered to carry out experiments and we were very fortunate to be invited to join, and to also see how much information we remember from term one. Below are students reviewing their understanding of matter and how apart or tightly squeezed the particles are in each state.

   

 Sprite and raisins to show how air bubbles and raisin density influence each other.

Last but not least, we are touching on the basics of the Canadian history and the First Peoples’ seven sacred teachings as well as their culture and art. This unit will carry over into term three since there are so much to cover and it is such an important unit. The students are all eager to jump right in to learn how to create a spiritual animal silhouette using Coast Salish Peoples’ symbols and designs, such as ovids, trigons, crescent, etc., after learning about what each animal symbolizes.


Feb 26 – March 2

We are adding more information to our introduction and conversation about what we like and don’t like. Aside from practising our conversation with partners, we are also learning to recognize the characters and how to write them.

The grade 1s are learning to collect data and recording their results using tally marks. They are using their interviewing skills to go around to survey everyone in the class. Then they need to count up the tally marks and put them in ordinal numbers to show the top three picks from their survey. Later, once they learn to read graphs, they will be putting their results on their own graph.

 

Drama groups came together to brainstorm ideas, settings, and what their characters will look like, and soon they will be writing scripts together.

We had buddies in Ms. West’s class this time to take a look at what their classroom looks like. Ms. West prepared an art craft for us to make to welcome spring. We are learning how to make 2D and 3D tulips.


Feb 19-23

As we approach our Lunar New Year Assembly performance, all the students buckled down and really dedicate much of their time to decorating the hallway and the gym to establish a more festive atmosphere!

The students were able to learn about the traditional lanterns, firecrackers, and fans that are still commonly used during Chinese New Year today. They were also introduced to a traditional style of art where they focused on painting landscapes or printing Mandarin characters on their artwork. Again, the Mandarin characters are 新年快乐 which means Happy New Year.

We ended our Lunar New Year celebration by feasting on some Mandarin oranges and spring rolls, which both represent the abundance of good fortune (small Mandarin oranges look like ingots and spring rolls look like gold bars). Spring rolls are also significant in the changing of the season. When we eat spring rolls it means that we are ready to welcome spring and therefore welcoming a more fortunate new year. Thanks to one of our parent volunteer for bringing in her healthier fryer to help us prepare our vegetarian spring rolls 🙂

As for our drama production, the students have moved on to their new project. They formed their own groups and came up with a name of their group. Then they proceed to discuss and came up with the theme of their story, setting, and characters. Below are pictures of us brainstorming together as a class first then moving onto creating a storyboard.

 

Stay tuned for their next performance 🙂


Feb 12 – 16

In this short week, we had Jump Rope For Hearts with our big buddies. Many of us were able to teach our big buddies how to skip rope and that was interesting to see.

J offered to teach his friends how to fold heart shaped origami on Valentine’s Day.

The students have worked really hard for many weeks to rehearse for their drama performance. They even completed painting their own background! Many of them were camera shy and were unable to carry out the body movements they originally rehearsed. Next time, when the students write their own script, hopefully, they will be able to remember the lines better and able to act more comfortably!

If you would like to see the video of your child’s performance please let me know and I will forward it to you.

Lunar New Year is just around the corner, so all the students came together to make lanterns with the words 新年快樂 around it, which means Happy New Year. They also tried their best to make 100 Chinese firecrackers to decorate the hallway because Thursday happened to be our 100th day of school as well! We got to celebrate this joyful day with Ms. West (our buddy class) and Ms. Ma’s class and we watched the movie Mulan together.

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂


Feb 5 – 9

Deanna was here to lead Yoga again, and I am very happy to see the students getting into the routine and are becoming stronger both physically and mentally.

As for Mandarin, I prepared some vegetables and fruits on a stick and we are learning their names through games.

For drama, the performers have completed the background for their setting! Stay tuned for the videos to their performance. 🙂

Ms. West brought her students into our class and she read a book about families to us. Then, we proceed to make an art piece of our family.

Everyone pitched in to help decorate our class for Valentine’s Day. Please take a look at our window if you have a chance!

Our student brought in her dog, Miso, to introduce to everyone! Miso is an older dog and so the students naturally have more questions about Miso. For example, why does Miso have bumps and spots in different areas? Answer: it is natural for older animals to grow age spots.

Have a wonderful long weekend!


Jan 29 – Feb 2

We had another super busy week! We started the week by helping to decorate the showcase for Jumprope for Hearts by writing or drawing some healthy choices onto heart templates. Some students focused on clean hygiene, some focused on healthy eating, and some focused on building friendships.


   

This month’s quilting session offered the students an opportunity to select fabric patterns to sew together, using a sewing machine, and ironing them flat with a help of a parent volunteer.

 

After many art and science classes on texture and landforms, the students have finally completed their art and are now on display!

The students have such deep passion towards drama that most of the students have already memorized their lines! They are now moving into working together to design a large background for their show.

 We had our very first buddy reading this year! We are very fortunate to be able to buddy up with Ms. West’s grade 3/4 class and will continue to have buddy reading, arts and craft, and playtime with her students.

In the midst of our busy week, we had one parent bringing in healthy snacks and fun lunch to share with everyone. That was a big surprise for everyone and a very generous gesture 🙂

Our friend from Ms. Ma’s class brought in Chinese chess and started to teach our students how to play. It is a complex yet intriguing game to those that want to learn.

Last but not least, student A brought in her dog on Friday afternoon to introduce to the class. She introduced the breed of her dog and all the tricks that he can do.

               

What a busy week! 🙂


Jan 22-26

We are very lucky to have Deanna coming in to teach us Yoga again. If time permits, we will have 3 more sessions with her up to Spring break 🙂 Students are learning how to stretch, how to control their breathing, strengthening their core, and working on fine motor skills through various activities. Most importantly, students are learning to embrace some downtime focusing just on their own breathing.

    

We had our second computer lab this week – yay more typing practice! Some students are feeling more confident in locating the letters on their keyboard that they have moved onto typing practice instead of tux typing game 🙂

What better way to learn greater, equal, and less than symbols than through games? Students picked up fairly quickly how to write the greater/less than, and equal symbols when they are required to roll 3-4 dice to complete their task. From this activity, they are learning to work together to complete their worksheet, learning to count using mental math, and deciding which numbers are greater, less than, or equal to another.

 

It is such a difficult week for everyone when we have multiple days of inside day due to the stormy weather we’ve been having. Thanks to K.K.’s idea of using her pet bunny, Radar, as a form of incentive to motivate students to listen in class and to try their best to complete their work. We were able to earn all the points needed to have Radar coming in on Friday afternoon! Everyone listened so well to instructions and were on their best behaviour not to startle Radar 🙂


Jan 15-19

Our second time at the ice rink was an exciting time for some of the new skaters to try and skate without the cones! These students were able to step out of their comfort zone and went straight to trying to skate with their friends!

Having learned so much about the fundamentals and elements of a story, we decided to prepare a show! For our very first show, we will be reading the scripts from the Readers Theatre. If this show is a success, we will be writing our very own script in the foreseeable future 🙂

The students were having so much fun learning how to read, with the help of the grade 2s, learning where to position themselves on stage, how to move their bodies, etc. Next week we will need to rehearse a bit more to try and remember our lines, and we will need to start making our own props soon.

Grade 1s are able to get through their math games much faster now through daily math reviews and learning through hands-on activities. They are much more comfortable adding up, doing take away, sorting even and odd numbers, etc., with their friends now.


Jan 8-12

Happy new years everyone! It is our very first week back from the winter break and it has been a busy busy week already, but the students are eager and ready to jump right into learning from the very first day! I compiled some math centres for the grade ones to rotate around to review math through hands-on play. These centres are a great way to help the students review what they have learned since September. As for the students that wish to be challenged, they are either learning or competing in checkers and chess while I compile more advanced math centres.

We are starting a new science unit on bodies of water and land formations. Through this unit, the students are also learning about different textures that are around us. They are in the process of creating/drawing landscape and having to use different materials to show the texture of trees, buildings, etc.

     

     

We worked out a schedule with another class and are able to squeeze in a computer lab session for division 11, yay! It is the grade 1s’ very first time attending computer lab and they are learning how to log in, how to navigate using a mouse, and learning where the keys are on the keyboard. As for the grade 2s, they are learning how to properly place their hands on the keyboard and learning where the keys are as well.

We will try to have computer lab sessions every other Thursday if possible =)


Dec 18-22

There have been many requests for me to bring chess to the class to be played as a math centre or for early finishers. Once I brought in chess, it has been one of the most popular games amongst the grade 1s and 2s. A small group’s passion for chess has started to spread and influence other students to want to learn how to play this game. Below is a picture of the three initial students to now expanding to roughly about eight students, both boys and girls, playing against each other with support from one another. Now, there is a new request for me to locate Chinese chess. This will be interesting 🙂

This is our last week of school before the winter break, and it has been one festive week! We learned how to make reindeer ornament as well as making Christmas card using nothing but colourful stripes.

We are so happy to have so many parents coming in to help us build our gingerbread houses! Without their help, it would take us much longer to complete the building.

Our gingerbread men came alive once we all worked together to create them! We measured and mixed all the ingredients and plopped them into the oven before we head out for recess. Once we’re back from playing in the snow … our gingerbread men are gone! Good thing they left us many clues to locate them!

In the end, we found them napping in the library hiding under a giant globe :p

We got to go on one last field trip to Burnaby Lake Arena to ice skate. It was so much fun!

On our very last day of school, we had pancake breakfast with all the other divisions. As we wait for our division to be called, we got to read to our stuffies and build forts.

We end the day with a movie party with Ms. Ma’s class as well as some friends from Ms. Li’s class.

It may seem like a lot of snacks, but we have a big audience to feed! What a way to end our last day. Have a wonderful holiday and a happy new year!  🙂


Dec 11-15

What a busy week! We wrapped up our science unit on force and motion with one final experiment. Each student got to make a salt and marble mini jar to take home. The salt and marble jar is to show how friction prevents the marble from reaching the top unless the jar is shaken in a very specific way. When the jar is shaken up and top, gently, all the particles will move up at the same time. The marble is much heavier than the salt particles, so the marble moves upward much faster. This is the same method to take out any cereal prizes without having to dig through the box.

This week we had special guest speakers coming in to explain to the Mandarin program all about Chinese opera. The students and their family members learned about the various coloured masks the opera performers use to express certain emotions, and also all about the traditional outfits.

As a quick review before we move on to learning new vocabulary, we often play a game of adding characters, say the word, and explain the word. Below are most of the words we have learned so far, and we will be building more in the many months to come. Our morning game to remember body movements in Mandarin are coming along nicely! I would say most of the students are now able to remember all the moves 🙂

This week we learned about creating art using different textures. Our snowmen are made using pastel, pencil crayon, and coloured paper to create a more vibrant picture. All done just in time for our Christmas concert!

 

Below are some of our students waiting patiently for their turn to perform. They are warming up by following Moana’s Yoga.

We went to the Burnaby Heritage Museum where the students got a chance to see what life was like in Burnaby in the 1920s. The tram was a replica of the original tram that ran through Granville street, and the carousel horses were all hand-carved in the 1920s!

   


Dec 4-8

We wrapped up our tennis this week after learning all about how to properly hold a tennis racket, how to control the ball, gentle swings, and rallying with a partner.

Our Christmas art is now being displayed in front of the school office! Some will be displayed in the gym for our Christmas concert.

For this week’s social study, we covered some professions in our community and we realized that there are many parents and grandparents in our classroom that are or were nurses! So, we are lucky to have many little experts to tell us what their mom, grandma and great grandpa do at work and how they contribute to our community.

Last but not least, we wrapped up our force and motion unit with a BANG! We designed and made Marshmallow Poppers, or air cannons, where we can see how air pushes the marshmallows into the air.


Nov 27 – Dec 1

Our class and division 9 have signed up to decorate the school display in front of the office for this month. This week we learned what a silhouette is and we decided to create a silhouette of a Christmas tree under the starry night. Stay tuned to see the end result!

We are continuing our science unit on friction, gravity, and force and motion. Our focus for this week is force and motion and we got to design how we would carry out a balloon race. We were able to put our scientist goggles on and think like a scientist by asking questions, making predictions (related to our questions), writing down our materials, and carrying out our experiment! We also learned what observation means, but we ran out of time and will have to collect our observation and data next week.

We had our second session of Quilt Art with Jennie and this week we learned about the printmaking process. Here we are using stamps, stencils, and our own painting techniques to create artworks on the fabric that will be sewn together later.

As for Mandarin, we learned all about various body movements – please take a look at the Mandarin page.

That’s it for this week, have a wonderful weekend =)


Nov 20 – 24

This week is all about exploring our 5 senses in nature. We went outdoors to stand still for couple minutes trying to see what is around us. We all closed our eyes and tried to listen to some sounds that we might have not noticed, we sniffed to see if we could catch any natural scent or man-made smell, and we looked afar over rooftops and as far as we could. Lastly, we picked up some small natural elements to feel and to study its texture. This is the first time we’re writing freely based on what we sensed.

This week we also learned about gravity, friction, force, and motion. We also went to Science World to further our learning there. Below are some pictures from our field trip.

Coming up, we might be conducting some experiments ourselves =)


Nov 13 – 17

We wrapped up our unit on different types of clouds by making 2-dimensional  cloud layers to easily understand what type of cloud belongs where in the sky. We also made 3-dimensional clouds, our pet cloud, and placed them in accordance with where they are in the sky: higher above, mid-sky, or low blanket-like cloud. Your child also named his or her pet cloud and wrote a detailed description of what their cloud is like in terms of appearance and placement.

This week the students were introduced to math games on the iPad and computer. The games are available for students to work together or to be solved alone. This is a great opportunity for students to practice typing on the keyboard and recognizing number placement. In some cases, the grade 2 students were able to help the grade 1 students with their puzzles and adding/subtracting games. The grade 2s were also able to help each other reach the next level.

We are very grateful that Deanna offered to teach the class Yoga and we had our very first session this week! Everyone had so much fun being active and participating in various movements and breathing activities. The students were not afraid to try new moves! They were able to build a three people downward dog just by working together! WOW!

We will be having our second Yoga class in December and many more next year =)


Nov 6 – 10

The great thing about having natural elements in the classroom is so that the students can explore what they can do with it, and how they can use the elements as part of their learning. The picture above showed a product of which the students realized that I have changed the whiteboard message and decided to create something together.

With Remembrance Day coming up, as a class, we had extended conversations about World War I and World War II. With the help of picture books, in which some containing black and white photographs of soldiers during the war, we discussed the importance of Remembrance Day as well as what the red Poppy flowers symbolize. Once the students have some understanding of our history, we also talked about how lucky we are to be able to live a rather peaceful life here in Canada. From there, the students were to discuss and brainstorm together what peace looks and feels like to them. Students also learned of what doves symbolize, and that is where they put their peaceful message.

Our classroom routine for early finishers during spelling and writing would be that the students have the option to do extra work, to do a word search, or they could read. Knowing that I have been asking students to read to me on daily bases, most of the students now have been choosing to practice reading to self when they finish their work early!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss


Oct 30 – Nov 3

In midst of our busy week, I found two students sharing a wonderful learning experience together! Below is a grade 1 reading to a grade 2 student, and the grade 2 student was able to help the grade 1 student sound out some of the words when she needed help.

Everyone worked really hard to get our classroom ready for Halloween. Your child has been busy making bats to hang from our ceiling. All the students were also kind enough to welcome the grade 6/7 students to join our afternoon movie party – Hotel Transylvania.

           

           

This week, we learned about the salmon’s life cycle prior to our short trip to Stoney Creek. Below are some photographs of our class trip to see the Salmon return. Unfortunately, we were a bit late so there weren’t many salmons around. Luckily, it wasn’t raining or snowing and we did get a glimpse of two large salmons swimming upstream, and everyone had a lovely time strolling through the park.

        

We returned with some time left over so some of the students gathered around the computer to sing along to some Mandarin songs.

We had our very first spelling test which included some Mandarin characters this week, and I have to say everyone did really well and really tried their best! So, keep up the good work and we will continue our Friday spelling test in this format.


Oct 23-27

I would like to point out how hard the grade 1s have been working to learn to read. They have been trying their hardest to read a book all by themselves and taking turns reading to each other. Not only are they trying to sound out the beginning, middle, and ending sound of each word, they are also using the pictures and their own background knowledge to piece together enough information to read the book! 🙂

The grade 1s and 2s have been working really hard to develop a creative story on how they would save a turkey from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Having only been through a short story workshop, they were able to write such an interesting and comical storyline.

Below are some pictures of our grade 1s and 2s hard at work during Language Arts. The grades 1s are working through their phonic booklet as well as short vowels worksheet. As for the grade 2s, they learned a new term this week: compound words. The grade 2s  have been occupied with finding compound words to piece together or take apart!

One interesting thing I noticed with the new implementation of technology in the classroom is that everyone seems more interested in listening and watching Mandarin nursery and storytelling compared to English videos. Soon, we will start taking turns using the computer and iPad to gain access to math activities and Mandarin videos. The grade 2s will soon be using computer and iPad to do research for social studies.

Last but not least, everyone got their hands dirty by working together to carve our pumpkins! Thanks to our parent volunteer, we are able to group the students into three groups and have the students sort out what to do from beginning to end!

 

Our parent volunteer was able to help us bake the pumpkin seeds and they are delicious! All the pumpkin seeds swooped up within the hour!

A healthy snack before Monster Mash 🙂


 

Oct 16-20th

We are very fortunate to have Jennie Johnston here to teach us all about quilt art! Look at how all the students listen intently to Jennie as she explains how art and craft go hand in hand.

Jennie also went into detail on how to create quilt art and the many layers she used to create this delicate artwork.

After the students familiarize themselves with the process, they could not wait to jump into creating a pattern themselves.

As we near the end of our Art Card creation, we got to experiment with various colouring techniques. Some students experimented with watercolour while others combined markers and pencil crayons to create a different effect.

Apparently, your child thinks that my Halloween decoration is not scary enough. So, they took the matter into their own hands as they creatively drawn, cut, and put together various monsters to make our classroom scarier!

Oh, I sincerely hope it’s not too scary now! 


Oct 9-13th

Every morning during calendar we work on our grammar – punctuation, capitalization, and periods. With the grade 2 modeling what to do, now the grade 1 students are all eager to participate and make corrections with confidence!

I asked for volunteers to read out their Chinese sentence to be posted online. Believe it or not, almost everyone wants to be recorded. I ended up having to pick two names from our name jar.

Here is a grade 1 student reading out 这是我的弟弟 (this is my younger brother):

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Here is a grade 2 student reading out 这是我的妈妈 (this is my mother):

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Our class is taking part in creating holiday cards for school fundraising. Below are our students hard at work. Stay tuned to see the final presentation 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oct 2-6th

Your child has been a busy bee this entire week! They’ve accomplished many tasks and many projects.

First and foremost, our wonder table has been a popular area for your child! This table is either being used as individual quiet working area or most commonly being used as group working area. Your child has been voluntarily bringing in unique and beautiful natural elements for others to touch and observe. I would like to remind everyone to please only bring in elements that are found on the ground and to avoid picking fresh flowers or leaves.

For two weeks we worked on our understanding of school ground rules and boundaries, rules for inside the classroom and on the playground. We also worked on our social responsibilities and how to help ourselves and others. Your child should now be fully aware of what to do when he/she gets hurt or if they encounter inappropriate activities.

After reading How Full Is Your Bucket by Maurie Manning, we decided to brainstorm together to figure out how we could fill our own buckets, and what could we do to help other people fill their buckets. You are more than welcome to stop by to read what they have to say!

 

 

 

 

 

 

To wrap up our water cycle unit, your child showed their understanding of how the water cycle works by creating their own water cycle poster. These are posted in the hallway right across from my classroom.

There is a new term that your child should be familiar with now and that is – Acrostic Poem!

Your child created an acrostic poem using their name and relating it to things or animals that they love very much. They also cut out the poem and glued it onto a red or orange background to create a nice autumn atmosphere for the classroom.

Last but not least, we spent couple days talking about what we are thankful for. Your child is able to think about the joy of spending time with their family, having warm meals on their table, and a comfy bed to sleep in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like I said, your child has been a super busy bee this week!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving =)


Sept 25-29th

Last week we learned all about the importance of water, and how the water cycle works. The students were excited to create their own miniature water cycle.

In order to fully understand how precipitation works, we did an experiment using shaving cream and food colouring!   The shaving cream acts as the clouds in the sky, and the food colouring acts as the evaporated water being collected. The cloud gets heavier and down comes the rain!