We are scientists. – Ms. Chan's Class Blog
 

Category: We are scientists.

Fantastic February!

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Dear families,

So excited for ice skating tomorrow! Please come to school on time. We aim to leave as soon as the bell goes.

To bring:

  • Booster seat – CLICK HERE for ICBC child car seat requirements.
  • Gloves or mittens to protect their hands (mandatory)
  • Wear long socks (Highly recommend! Sometimes the top of the skates dig in to their legs but the longer socks protect them.)
  • Ski or snowboard helmet but the rink will have them to borrow.
  • Waterproof pants are recommended but this is not necessary so you do not need to go out to buy.
  • Dress in layers. While it is cold at the rink, once they start moving around, they get quite warm.

For parent volunteer drivers. We have just enough so if you can’t make it, please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you!

  • We have such appreciation for your help to drive us to the rink. We will be leaving right after attendance is taken. When we arrive at Bill Copeland, the rink and skate shop is on the lower floor. There are a set of stairs from the outside that will lead you there.
  • BEFORE: Please help children line up to get their skate rentals. The helmets will be in a bin off to the side. For better selection, get the helmets BEFORE they put on skates. Please help children tie skates.
  • DURING: Some students may want a break and come off the ice. Please encourage them to take a short break and then ask them to go back onto the ice to maximize their skating time.
  • DURING: If you will be on the ice, please support help us support our beginning skaters as much as possible. This is a very large group so everyone’s support during this time will be greatly appreciated.
  • AFTER: Help remove skates and wipe down the blade. There should be a towel close to where they return the skates. If you return to school before I do, please bring them to class so they can eat their snacks. Thank you!

Deep Kindness

We talked about the difference between kindness and deep kindness. Showing kindness can be things like holding the door for others and helping others like getting ice or a bandage for a friend. Some of these actions may feel easy to do. When we feel empathy, it can move us to show compassion. We dove a little further into the difference between these two words too. Compassion is empathy with action.

To demonstrate kindness and compassion, we watched a short video about a girl who needed help. In the first scene, the other person chose not to help because she was too into her iPad game. They re-do the scene with the girl deciding that even though she was focused on her game, she paused it to go help. Showing deeper kindness can be doing things when you don’t feel like it.

This was followed up by reading a story called Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. It’s about a young girl who is new at the school. She tries to make friends with the others but they ignore her and make fun of her. She learns that there are opportunities to show kindness. If you don’t take those opportunities, sometimes you don’t have a chance later.

Parents, I enjoyed reading Deep Kindness by Houston Kraft. He talks about a gap between our beliefs about kindness and the need for intentional actions to show deep kindness. If you like, watch the author as he shares about and encourages us to practice deep kindness in this YouTube video (7:36). Every day, I see many of your children demonstrate this level of deep kindness towards their classmates and it is truly heartwarming.

We are mathematicians.

We continued to solidify our understanding of 2-D and 3-D shapes. Students have learned the difference and can use the vocabulary of faces, edges, and vertices to describe shape attributes. We had fun showing what we know in the form of an active game I made up: Geometry Dash!

First I asked each table group to sort the shapes for part one. Then for part two, they had to retrieve the shape based on the description. For example:

  • Which shape has 6 faces and 8 edges?
  • Which shape has only 2 faces?
  • Which shape has 5 vertices?

They had to use their critical thinking brains to figure out which shape to bring back to the basket.

Your child should be able to identify the 3-D shapes too: sphere, cube, cylinder, cone, rectangular prism, pyramid, triangular prism.

Art with Ms. Kapusta

This week, students learned a new skill in art: weaving! We first began the day by reading a story by the Cree/Lakota author Monique Gray Smith and Cree/Métis illustrator Julie Flett called “My Heart Fills With Happiness.” We then we each shared what filled out hearts during our community circle. Because weaving has long been practiced by Indigenous people, we then had a discussion about Coast Salish groups in BC (including the lands of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh on which we live, learn, and play), the importance of the cedar tree, and how cedar bark is stripped and used by Coast Salish people to make different kinds of weavings, including baskets and mats. 

Before we began weaving, I reminded students of the First Peoples Principle of Learning: “Learning takes patience and time.” We had a brainstorm about what this meant and other things that we have learned that took patience and time. Every student shared a connection, and I knew they were ready to start weaving! Students were then led step-by-step in learning how to weave using paper strips on a paper loom. Every student finished their heart weaving–I was so proud! Weaving is a fantastic activity to practice fine motor skills and a growth-mindset.>

We are scientists.

The salmon eggs hatched so they are now alevin. We couldn’t see them because they are hiding but this is to keep them safe in this stage.

“Learning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, etc.)” – First Peoples Principles of Learning

It’s hard to believe we have three weeks before spring break. Time flies when we are having fun! We continue to work hard at all aspects of our holistic learning. Honestly, last week, one of the things that brought me great joy was watching some of them interact with people they don’t usually talk to during Heart Time. I told them how heartwarming it was to witness their effort and joy in building new friendships. (Notice. Name. Nurture.) Then before recess, one child said, “I’m so excited to be playing with two new classmates at recess because I’ve never played with them before!”

The connections we make in school are such an important piece to it being a happier place to be. When students contribute in showing deeper kindness and demonstrate all the qualities of what it means to be Kitchener HAWKS, (helpful, accepting, welcoming, kind, safe), they are happier, feel more connected, and learn better together. Strong relationships built on love, kindness, and compassion are the foundation to how well our class functions as a community because we are interconnected. This is why we intentionally start our day with Heart Time, Community Connection Circle time, and celebrate our small wins together.

I feel so blessed to spend every day with your beautiful children and to work alongside you. Thank you for sharing them with us and for your continued support at home! As always, please let us know how we can support your child better. ❤️

With a heart full of gratitude, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

What an exciting week because we have not one but TWO new families joining our class! We welcome Jason and Senara and their families! Please help us show them what Kitchener families are like by being warm, welcoming, kind, and supportive.

My heart felt extra joyful and grateful this past week and so much of that was because of your children and you! It brings me such joy to see you in the mornings and after school and to spend my week with your beautiful and kind-hearted children. The warmth, kindness, friendliness, and compassion they showed to not just Jason and Senara, but each other, demonstrated the core values you instilled in them. Every day, I feel so blessed and grateful to be their teacher! I feel so fortunate to be at Kitchener so thank you for your part in making this school feel joyful. I love you all!

We are responsible digital citizens.

On Monday, Femi from Telus joined us for an in-class field trip to teach us about digital footprint. He reminded us about the importance of being kind, how what we post is permanent, and raised awareness about how to keep ourselves safe (like keeping personal information private).

Please have a follow-up conversation with your child especially if they are on platforms like Roblox or they have a phone where they have opportunities to chat with others worldwide. If your child has an account with Roblox, here is one article that helped me understand. I recommend you do your own research and help your child better understand how to keep themselves safe online too. Having regular conversations about this is very important so they understand their responsibility to be good digital citizens.

I remember one time when I was reminding my teenage son about being safe and respectful online, he said, “Don’t worry, Mama. I’m a good digital citizen.” My hope is that your children can assuredly say this to you as they grow up too.

How to support at home: Common Sense Media is a trusted resource and I highly recommend you check it out. Watch this short video together with your child about digital footprint from Common Sense Media.

For more resources, CLICK HERE to go to Telus Wise. You can also find resources for yourself too on this page. Click on Audience for the drop down menu and choose Adults and Parents.

We are mathematicians.

We continued to learn about subtraction with regrouping. Please ask your child to teach you how. If they can explain it simply, then they fully understand the concept.

Ways to support at home: I noticed that students can use some extra practice at home with their subtraction facts and of course, continue to learn their addition facts. The goal is to be able to quickly recall their basic facts to 20 with speed and accuracy. The curriculum says that most students are to be fluent by the end of grade 3. Grade 2s can get a leg up if they memorize them before then! Check out the curriculum that will be covered this term on our Mathematicians page.

We are scientists.

Currently in our Library, we have salmon eggs so we studied them last Wednesday and again this Wednesday. As scientists, we used our observation skills to see if we noticed anything different. We wonder what changes we will notice this Wednesday!

How you can support at home: Take a look at the image to sneak a peek at our salmon eggs. What do you notice? I invite you to have a conversation with your child about what we saw and the questions we collectively came up with. Our goal is to become experts on the salmon life cycle. If you would like to take a look with your child, please let me know and you are welcome to come with me after school to take a look for yourself!

How else to support at home: CLICK HERE to check out our Science curriculum for this term. Talk about the differences between metamorphic and non-metamorphic life cycles. Choose a life cycle to learn together. Demonstrate your curiosity and critical thinking skills by asking questions and evolve to deeper thinking questions.

We love Passion Projects!

We are busily working on our research for Passion Projects. I appreciate how collaborative and cooperative each partner group is working! Each pair used their curiosity to come up with questions that will drive their research.

On Friday, we started setting up our PowerPoint presentations. They got a refresher on how to create a new document, name it, add a title slide image, and choose a design. Their new learning was how to share the document in O365 with me and their partner so that they can both work on the live document at the same time. I demonstrated what an effective and engaging presentation would look like (clear slides with a title on each with some information and an appropriate image) and talked about presentation skills using body language and voice.

How you can support at home: Ask your child what they are researching and what are the questions that are driving their interest. Help them find YouTube videos or visit the Burnaby Public Library to take out books on their topic. Find websites to learn more together. Review how to use PowerPoint at home so they can become more proficient at finding, inserting, and resizing images. They can use some extra practice with adding text boxes and playing around with fonts and sizes too.

We are authors and storytellers.

Story writing appears to be a crowd favourite. They are enjoying using their creativity to tell their story. Some students started working on publishing their stories. For choice, students were excited for the opportunity to use comic strip templates to further explore their creativity through storytelling.

How you can support at home: Encourage and model creativity through oral storytelling. Create or write a story together!

Friendship Fruit Salad on Valentine’s Day

We will be making and sharing friendship fruit salad on Wednesday, February 14 in the afternoon. I will be sending home a paper copy on Monday but I wanted to share the class list for anyone who wants a head start on making Valentine’s Day cards. For a sneak peek at the notice, CLICK HERE.

Ice Skating Field Trip

Wow! We have an incredible number of volunteer drivers for our field trip to Bill Copeland. THANK YOU! As such, if you would like to change your mind about driving (especially for our first session on February 12), please let me know via email or write a note in the planner.

If you will be driving, we will need parent supervisors on the ice or on the bench. They have new rules this year for supervision: Children 7 years of age and younger must skate with an accompanying person 16 years or older. Ratio of child to accompanying person is 3:1. Thank you for driving and supervising! Please dress warmly. Thank you for your support!

Can’t wait to go! I LOVE skating!

As always, if you have any questions or need any support, please reach out. I am here for you and we are all here to support each other. Through our vulnerability and with courage, we can open ourselves to share especially if we are struggling or facing challenges. Grant us the opportunity to show we care.

Thank you for your continued partnership in your child’s education. I am so grateful for you and your child in my life. ❤️

With love and sincerity, Ms. Chan

Dear families,

What a fun-filled week of learning about different literacies!

On Monday, we celebrated reading, writing, and listening literacy. Our whole school listened over the P.A. to the story “I Hope” by Monique Gray Smith, an Indigenous author. Every class projected it for all to follow along. Then we talked about our own hopes and recorded one of our own. Every class was asked to place their response sheets on our classroom doors. It’s been great to walk around to see everyone’s hopes displayed. Click on the image for a closer look!

Also on Monday, we worked on our math literacy by completing our understanding of addition with regrouping. Their assessments went home today. For grade 2s, their goal is to be able to add 2-digit plus 2-digit number with a sum to 100. For grade 3s, they aim to have a proficient understanding of adding 3-digit plus 3-digit numbers with a sum to 1000. Student need to understand the idea of regrouping (or some may say carry over). How to support at home? Continue to practice their addition and subtraction math facts for fluency and accuracy. Using a random numbers chart or a deck of cards to review is fun and a great way to practice together!

On Tuesday, the focus was on social emotional literacy. Over the past number of years, learning about our emotions has become more important. This includes expanding our vocabulary for different emotions. On this day, my uncle also came to read “The Name Jar” to us and shared some stories about names and how our culture values names. They also had an opportunity to develop their artistic literacy by following a directed drawing of a dragon. Can’t wait for you to see it when it’s finished!

On Wednesday, we learned more about physical literacy. Stick to School came for a visit to teach us about the importance of education and lacrosse. During Wondering Wednesday, we walked around the school and then went for a story walk to read “The Snowy Day” which is posted along the fence by the flagpole. This day, we also tried some interesting yoga poses! Ask your child to show you “pretzel” and then give it a try with your child. Mr. Klarich walked in just at that moment so we got him to try it too. Fun times! 🙂 I always love it when kids say, “This is the best day ever!” and I heard a couple of kids express that.

Also on Wednesday, we learned about subtraction with regrouping. Please feel free to review at home to develop their proficiency level. A grade 2 example (2 digits only): 52 – 38 = ___.  You need to regroup the 2 in the ones place. For grade 3s, they will have questions with 3 digit numbers like 521 – 439 = ___.

On Thursday, we welcomed families into our school for a reading time for cultural literacy. It was so heartwarming to see many of you join us and to see different books brought from home. For those who were not available, we will set up another day because they enjoyed it so much!

Also on Thursday, we had an in-class field trip hosted by Science World. We learned about our changing climate and what we can do about it.

We started talking about Passion Projects. Please have a conversation with your child about what it is they are so passionate learning more about. Their first passion project will be working with a partner so they can continue to develop their core competencies of communication, collaboration, and social competencies. Last year, all but one at the end of the year said that their favourite thing in school was working on Passion Projects! I am excited to see their excitement once they get going. One of the trickiest parts is discovering what they are passionate about learning and then coming up with questions that will drive their research. My hope is that they will learn how to learn, learn that developing passions can be a source of joy, and that they can eventually reflect on all of the core competencies and curricular competencies they are learning as a result!

On Friday, we celebrated all literacies. We met up with our big buddies to work on our Minecraft designs (digital literacy). Each group was given an opportunity to go in front of the class to present their creations. I was impressed with how they used their core competencies of communication, collaboration, and creativity!

Field trip: Ice Skating at Bill Copeland

I created a new Field Trip page. Here you can see information so it is easier to find, rather than hunting through emails or blog posts. Feel free to save the date for our field trip to the Aquarium. We will be travelling by school bus and will need some parent volunteers.

We apologize for the small error on the field trip form. Since our skating time is at 9:30am, parent volunteer drivers, please arrive at 8:55am with your children. School Cash Online is now open for payment. Thank you to parents who have already indicated you would like to be a volunteer driver. We are not able to have these field trips without your support, which we greatly appreciate!

In-class field trip: Telus Wise will be coming on Monday, January 29 at 1:00pm to teach us about digital footprint.

Family Movie Night

Kitchener School and the PAC will be hosting a family movie night on Friday, February 2 at 6:30pm. For more information, click here to check out the post on the school website. There is no registration necessary.

Thank you for your continued support. It is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through the school year already! Time sure flies when you are having fun! Have a wonderful weekend!

With much appreciation, Ms. Chan

January Fun!

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Dear families,

It’s been a great two weeks minus a couple of fun snow days! Welcome back to school and Happy New Year! Thank you for your understanding about no blog post last weekend as my two ringette teams competed in a tournament.

Outdoor Education

Kate from Sierra Club visited on Monday for our in-school field trip. After teaching us about the importance of land stewardship and how the Indigenous People taught us how to respect our land and the animals, we walked to Willingdon Park to learn more about the trees there. Students also had an opportunity to build homes for the bugs.

On Friday, we followed up by studying spruce pine cones. We examined the patterns of the cone and talked about the seeds. We had samples of some that were closed, some that were open, and some that were just started to open. Then we submersed one in water and as scientists, noticed a number of things that started to happen. I loved the curiosity that was brought out. We will find out what happens when we return to school in the morning! After school, ask your child what we discovered!

We are artists.

This is from Ms. Kapusta the first week back:

This week we began an art project tied to New Year’s Resolutions. We began the lesson by talking about what a resolution is and sharing our different goals for the year with the class. Some students chose phrases like “learn to ice skate,” “read more books,” and “become a better story writer” while others chose words like “leader,” “flexible,” and “inventive.” To make the art, we combined two really fun techniques – tape resistance and splatter paint!  I loved watching the students experiment with abstract versus straight lines for the taping, mixing colours to create beautiful new shades, and purposefully playing around with the splattering technique. The next step was removing the tape carefully. Next week, we will be adding our New Year’s Resolutions into the white spaces using Sharpie. Creating a unique and expressive piece of artwork and connecting it to affirmative statements is a powerful way for students to recognize their strengths while reflecting on how they can still grow further.

This is from Ms. Kapusta for last week:

This week we switched things up and connected art to literacy and SEL. We read “Lost and Found” by Oliver Jeffers, a thoughtful story about a boy who finds a penguin who appears to be lost. The boy works very hard to find the penguin’s home, and in the process becomes close to the penguin. In the end, it turns out the penguin wasn’t so much lost but alone and it’s a gentle tale about friendship and connection. We talked about putting ourselves in both the boy and penguin’s shoes (perspective taking). Then, students responded to a creative writing prompt titled “If I Had a Penguin,” as well as made their own penguin companions to attach to their writing. We talked about expanding on our writing by answering questions like who, what, where, when. We also talked about the importance of editing our work and doing our best jobs. I was really proud of how hard everyone worked! 

ADST

The previous week, we got together with our big buddies and worked collaboratively on creating in Minecraft. We will continue this activity this Friday!

On Friday, students were introduced to PowerPoint. I am building up their skills so that when we start our Passion Projects next week, the tools they will use will be secondary learning. It has been a while since we logged in to laptops so please help your child review their login and password. You can have them log into Office 365 at home to practice using PowerPoint too! Students love becoming proficient and they enjoy being mentor leaders in the classroom.

We are mathematicians.

Students have become more proficient with using the compensation strategy in addition. Please check your child’s understanding by asking them to do a few addition questions at home. What is compensating?

33 + 59 =

Look at the number that is closest to the nearest 10. Here, it would be 59 because it is 1 away from 60.

If you +1 to 59, it equals 60. We call these numbers a “friendly number”. Basically, these are multiples of 10 like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc.

So if you add one to 59, then you need to -1 from 33 so this is the new equation: 32 + 60 = ___

Simply add the tens together and then add the ones: 30 + 60 = 90. Then add 2 = 92.

An alternate way is to compensate after you add the friendly number. Here’s what it looks like: Add one to 59 to make 60. New equation: 33 + 60 =  92. Since you had to add 1, you now subtract 1 so 93-1 = 92. I know it may be harder to understand but here’s a short video that may explain it better.

Literacy Week

We are excited that it is Literacy Week this upcoming week! We will be learning that there are multiple types of literacies.

Take a look at the quick overview of what the week looks like:

Monday – We have a whole school read over the PA. The book will be displayed on the projector for all to see. Then we will have a follow-up activity to share what they hope for. If you would like to read the book with your child after school on Monday, click here to view it on YouTube.

Tuesday – All children will be encouraged to wear any outfit that makes them feel happy! Some suggestions might be pajamas, a sports jersey, a costume, a favourite colour, etc. Be creative!

Wednesday – Throughout the day, we will be doing physical activities. We are invited to read the story “The Snowy Day” outside along the fence. After school, please feel free to walk and read the story with your child(ren) too!

Thursday – In the past, people talked about IQ (intelligence quotient or a person’s ability to reason). Then people started talking about EQ (emotional quotient or the ability to understand and manage emotions in positive ways including communicating effectively). A couple months ago when I was doing some research for my presentation, I learned about CQ (cultural quotient or the ability to adapt to new cultural settings). Understanding our personal and cultural identity is one of our core competencies. Anyway, on Thursday, we invite you and your families to join us for family reading in our classroom! Please feel free to bring other family members and books to share. If you have any books from your culture, that would be wonderful too!

Friday – We will have a celebration of learning at 1:00pm.

One of my favourite times of the day is when I pick the kids up from the undercover area. They make me feel so loved by the way they greet me. I also really love seeing parents as you drop off. It brings me joy to see you too! 🙂

I am very grateful for your continued support at home. I wanted to mention again that if you have not seen your child’s report card yet, no worries at all. Please send me an email to let me know and I will send you a PDF copy. Thank you.

The ice skating notice will go home this week. School Cash online may not be set up yet but I can send you an email to let you know when it is open. We will need parent volunteer drivers and supervisors. If you are a confident skater, please feel free to help out on the ice. If not, we will need parent supervisors at the rink too. This is a new requirement this year at City of Burnaby rinks.

Your children bring me so much joy each day! Looking forward to another full week with them!

Gratefully, Ms. Chan

 

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