Sunday, May 6

Dear Parents,

I hope this finds everyone well and relaxing on this beautiful Sunday!
A few reminders:

Tuesday and Wednesday are swimming days for 1D.

Thursday is normally our day at the library, but I’ve moved it to Friday due to Student-Led Conferences. One thing I forgot to mention in my previous email about Student Led Conferences, is that it is perfectly fine for you and your child to share and talk about his/her learning in your home language.

This is such a nice time of year. The strategies in all of the subject areas are coming together and the children are growing and learning so beautifully. Here are a few of the learning points this week:

How to become a better writer by studying and mimicking a famous author. We’ll be writing our own, Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day books this week as we learn about realistic fiction from Judith Viorst.
How to listen carefully to a read aloud and create mental images or movies in your head to better understand the book as we begin, The Cricket In Times Square by George Selden.
We have an ongoing study of plants and right now we’re trying to find out if we can get a seed to grow without one of the major needs: soil.
In math, we are expanding our knowledge of how 3D shapes are made with matching faces, lengths, and widths.
This week, after all of our field trips, we’ll build our own little community with 3D buildings we’ve constructed, place them on a grid, and explore maps and navigation with maps along with this project.

Again, a HUGE thank you to all of the support with the field trips! You all have been a wonderfully supportive group of parents this year.

Kind regards,

Sunday, March 4

Dear Parents,

Hello and Happy Weekend to you.
Teaching first grade it really pretty great! I was going over the lessons for this past week and was thrilled by the students observations and comments as they explored making shadows with flashlights and pipe cleaners. As they moved the flashlight around they were commenting on the change in the shadow and it was just perfect. In our spiraling curriculum at SIS, this activity and the understandings that go along with it will lead beautifully into their later lessons in upper elementary school when they study Earth’s relationship with the sun, rotations, phases of the moon, etc. Anyway, here’s what’s happening this week in 1D:

Monday: Writing Celebration 8:15-8:45
Monday: Library
Tuesday: Ricky’s Birthday!

A few key words to mention when asking about their day:
reflection, mirrors, data, survey questions, presentations, and word “crashing.” They will be taking a writing assessment on Tuesday and Wednesday, so Thursday and Friday will both be “Free Write” days. They can choose to work on bucket letters, non fiction, personal narrative, etc. Then on Monday, we’ll begin our unit on opinion writing.

Hope to see you tomorrow. Please remember we have a “no phones/cameras” policy when children perform in 1D. They need to be able to see your eyes, smiles, and reassuring body posture when they read to you rather than screens pointed at them. All of the kids are welcome to take their reports home tomorrow night if you want to record them there. 🙂
Thanks for your cooperation with this. Please do look for the flyer about Book Week that will be in the homework folder tomorrow.

Warm regards,

2018 Book Week at SIS – March 12 – 16-2ll9niy

Sunday, February 2

Dear Parents,

Happy Sunday to you all! As I prepare for the next 1 1/2 weeks of school, the days look to be filled with fun, new learning, lots of exploration, and a chance tell our friends how much they mean to us.

Hopefully, you all have your 100th Day poster activity instructions now. Because Chinese New Year, 100th Day of school, and Valentine’s Day are all happening so close together, we will start the Valentine’s Project in class this week. I have a little Valentine’s Day “Kit” for each child and we’ll work on cards each morning this week. Whatever we don’t finish, I’ll send home this Friday for your child to complete and bring back to school on Wednesday, February 14…Valentine’s Day. As a part of this project, could you please send in one empty shoebox with your child’s name written on the inside of the box. Please send the box to school by Friday. Thank you!

You can find the learning objectives we’re studying on the sidebar of the February calendar. I’ll also attach it to our blog.
Thanks for your kind attention!

Warm regards on this chilly day,



1D February-1lz3ihf

Sunday, January 21

Dear Parents,

A happy Sunday to you all. As I plan for the week, it looks pretty great! We have been reading websites, watching videos, and reading books to learn about an animal we did not know a lot about. As we have read/heard/seen new facts, we have written them down on a planner, and we are almost ready to start writing our own expert books on our chosen animals. It has been a neat process to work with them on, and I hope that you have seen some of the work we have accomplished as the kids have posted photos to their SeeSaw accounts.

In math, we are moving up into dealing with larger numbers and gaining a better understanding of how the 100s chart is organized and how it can be a very useful math tool. I’m looking forward to sharing with you how we explore and gain math concepts this coming Thursday at Learning Comes Alive at 11:00 in 1D.

Our science unit on sound has us asking lots of questions and then exploring with objects and trying to find answers to those questions. That sound is caused by vibration may seem like a complex concept for a six-year-old, but students did gain an appropriate level of understanding as they watched different materials vibrate and noted what happened when the vibrations began/stopped. When they felt their own throats, it was like an “aha” moment for many to realize that their voices were caused by something vibrating and they could feel the “buzzing” with their own hands as they spoke out loud. This week, we will move onto how sounds can be different as we explore volume and pitch.

Also, Monday launches our Grade One AMPed sessions. Your child will learn after lunch which of his/her top 3 choices was selected and will attend the first session tomorrow. These AMPed sessions will run every Day 3 @ 1:00 for the next 8 cycles.

I hope these weekly “glances” into some of our learning each Sunday are helpful. As always, I am open to comments, questions, and/or suggestions. Kind regards,

A sweet moment :)

Gotta love this bunch! Everyone had a number on a post-it note and I asked how we could arrange them on the chart in order to get some useful information. One of the answers, “How about we arrange them in the shape of a heart, because we’re a really nice class?” Okay, 1D, we can do it that way first!

Then, onto the math…

Sunday, January 14

Dear Parents,

Except for a couple of children getting sick, we had a wonderful first week back at school. Everyone remembered the routines really well and we jumped right into solving some complicated story problems as well as using features of non fiction text to get smarter and smarter.

We have two new boys in 1D, John and Erick, and both were very confident and ready to make new friends. I hope that those of you who have been here all year might consider making a playdate with one or both of these new students. 🙂

This week, the children are working hard to get ready for their music concert which is coming up this Friday @2:15 in the Gecko Theatre. Mrs. Shepherd has planned a couple of extra rehearsals this week in order to prepare the kids more. So, on Monday and Wednesday, if you bring your child to school by bike, walk, or car…please have them here no later than 7:50 (normal time) outside the SPAH and lined up. Mrs. Kang will be walking them directly to rehearsal down at Parkside which starts at 8:00. If you are late bringing you child to school, please take them directly to Parkside theatre and check-in with Mrs. Kang.

With all of this going on, we will wrap up up unit on subtraction, begin playing with larger numbers, start a new science unit on Sound Waves, and continue our work in literacy with nonfiction. Sound busy? It is…but our aim is to keep it stimulating and fun, too!

Your child should be bringing home a leveled book to read each night (Mon-Thurs). Please remember that the research shows that when children read with their parents, taking turns on pages…engagement grows, fluency grows, and comprehension grows!

Kind regards,



Sunday, November 26

Dear Parents,

I’m pretty thankful for these turkeys!!

We have an exciting week planned starting tomorrow. Please refer to our November calendar for our academic topics being explored this month. On Monday, we celebrate Harshil’s birthday and all week long, we celebrate International Week. Already this year, we’ve learned about Diwali from Harshil’s mom, and last week, we learned about the special birthdays celebrated in Japan from Yuna’s mom. This week, we’ll explore the Philippines, Israel, and the Netherlands through activities, stories and crafts led by Callista’s mom, Ella’s mom, and Floris’ mom. It is truly one of my favorite things about international teaching…that we get to learn about our world and different cultures…not just through books, but through our students and their families! Warm regards,


PS Library tomorrow!

Sunday, November 19

Dear Parents,

It’s finally starting to feel like Fall! Just a quick note to say that we will be painting tomorrow in 1D, so please don’t send your kids in their “best” clothes. This week will find us engaged in activities around “thankfulness” for things we have and for ways in which others help us. In the literacy, we will launch nonfiction in reading this week and then in writing next week. Math has us wrapping up 2D shapes with a quilt project and then we’re back to number sense where we’ll review addition strategies and then begin looking closely at “separating” story problems and subtraction. In social studies we will be comparing and contrasting different holiday traditions.

An invitation: If you would like to come into 1D to share a winter tradition from your home country between now and the winter break, please email me to set up a date. Sharing might look like a favorite story, making a craft, playing a game, or a special snack.

Important dates this week:
Thursday: Grade One Thanksgiving Feast
Friday: 11:30 dismissal for students

Sunday, November 12

Dear Parents,

Well, not the best air quality this weekend, but I hope you still enjoyed some quality family time. Look what happened in 1D this weekend! All of the carpets have been deep cleaned and they look and smell…amazing! Here are the reminders and some teaching points for this week:

PE: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday/Library and Music:Wednesday/Art:Thursday/No Chinese and German:Thursday

In Literacy this week, we are wrapping up our word solving unit. Almost everyone is attempting more than one strategy when presented with an unknown word. We’re really pushing the,”Does It Make Sense and Does It Match The First Letter” strategy now that they are up into the Level D or above books. In writing, we’re wrapping up a mini-unit called “How-Tos” which gave us a chance to really zoom on on using capitals and periods. Everyone still needs reminders, but they are getting better at it. In math, we will finish the geometry unit by heading outside with our iPads and finding 2D shapes in our world. We’ll revisit geometry later in the year and take what we learned about 2D shapes and apply it as we learn about 3D shapes. In handwriting, we’ll be looking at the lowercase letters, a, d, and g this week. It your child will be staying in an English speaking school and learning cursive in a few years, all three of these letters start by making the lowercase “c.” This is necessary for the letters to connect properly when they learn cursive. Next units for 1D are: Reading About Our World, Writing Expert Books, and Solving Story Problems with Addition and Subtraction. Also, if you have a winter tradition that you’d like to share with 1D with a story, snack, craft, etc from your home country, please email me so we can set up a time for you to come in before the winter break. We’re learning about Thanksgiving right now, as a harvest holiday, but we have lots of other options to learn from our families from The Netherlands, Israel, India, Philippines, US, Korea, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, China…did I miss anyone? Anyway, the kids were so interested, engaged, and appreciative of the learning when we explored Rosh Hashanah and Diwali, and I know they would love to learn more! Kind regards, Lisa