Sunday, January 13

Dear Parents,

It was wonderful to be back with the children of 1D after such a long, long break. First of all, we wish Selina and Ace, “Happy Birthdays” as they turned seven while we were away. We also welcomed new student, Rohnav, into our community of learners.

Last week found the children continuing the units we started in December, but on a deeper and more independent level. With just a “mini-mini” reminder lesson each day, students are researching, taking notes, changing jot notes into sentences, and authoring their second animal expert books, all while taking it to a new level by improving their craft, producing more in a shorter time, and generally adding more information. We look forward to celebrating these books with you at our Writing Celebration this Friday at 9:30 in 1D.

In Math, we generally have two groups going at the same time, which really allows  more students to share their thinking/strategies with peers. This week, we will begin to extend the numbers we count and organize. It seems like a very long time ago, in August, when counting and organizing 20 objects was a tough task! One skill that we’ll highlight is estimating with a “reasonable” guess. Kids at this age love to be silly, for sure, but we do want to get in the habit of making thoughtful and educated estimations.

As we continue our inquiry into the structure and function of plants, I’d like to ask if you have any small, potted plants that you could share with 1D for a few weeks to help with our observations. If you do send in a plant, please label it and include instructions for watering and sunlight. I plan to take a short video with each new step along the journey of our lima bean seeds. A goal is that you will hear increased vocabulary usage at each stage. It’s really hard for me to keep my lips together and not give them the words…let’s see what happens!

I found an amazing and very affordable set of National Geographic readers last week. The children have been fully engaged with them and are learning lots of new information about their world. Please do share the homework reading time. Help them notice text features and they will teach you how to “own” the important words. Photographs are also VERY important. We can learn so much by studying and talking about pictures too!

Lastly, a huge shout out to Mrs. Sheppard and Ms. Iris. All 86 grade ones were so well prepared and focused at the concert Friday morning. Their learning about rhythm was clear as they danced, clapped, and sang. We are fortunate to have such a gifted and specifically trained elementary music teacher working with our students!

Long email…I know! But, I hope you enjoy knowing what your children are learning each week. Kind regards, Lisa

Sunday, November 11

Sunday, November 11

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful, blue sky day! Just a word about reading and a few notes for the week. Starting tomorrow, your child will be bringing home a leveled non-fiction book to practice for homework. They will be selecting from baskets that contain a band of levels. For instance, if your child is reading at Level 12, then she will pick from a basket of books leveled 10 – 15. Please do continue to share the reading with your child each night. Our goal this week is to carefully read the pictures and words on facing pages and be able to name three facts before moving onto the next two pages. By the end of the week, we’ll be encouraging students to read the two pages, turn the book over, and name three facts. This exercise introduces them to restating facts in their “own words.”  Please encourage them to say their facts in complete sentences as this an important skill in preparation for research writing.

Tomorrow we’re off on our first field trip. Because this is a one-to-one experience with 7th graders, no additional parent volunteers are needed. But, don’t you worry! Our spring is filled with field trips and I’ll be needing lots of help!! 🙂  

No ASAs this week and Library is Friday.

Kind regards,


Sunday, October 21

Dear Parents,

This week we are launching two new units. They are “Word Detectives,” and writing “How-To” books. The first focuses on stopping while reading when a word is unknown…pronunciation or meaning, and doing some work. The second unit gives children fun opportunities to write short sentences in sequence as they teach their friends how to draw a rocket, make a simple craft, turn a somersault…and one year…give a hamster a bath! We’ll continue on in geometry with 2D shapes, but begin focusing on the attributes of shapes. This week in our UOI, we’ll take what we learned about the pattern of the sun and investigate the patterns of our moon.

Pretty calm week…we’ll be sticking to our regular routines with the exception of no school on Friday for students and…Tanya turns seven on Thursday! Last week’s seesaw session went well. I think most of the kids were able to post a video. This week, we’ll try posting a picture and adding to it with a drawing tool and voice over.

Kind regards,


Young Architects

The science lesson today: Now that we know that the sun rises in our sky everyday in the east and sets in the west, design a house that will be warmed by the sun and filled with light all day long.

Sunday, October 14

Hi Parents,

There seems to be a lot going on, so I’ll do this with headings and you can read what seems most important to you. 🙂

Need to know:

This Thursday: NO UNIFORM. Old clothes/shoes for Art class.

Also this Thursday: Writing Celebration @ 8:15 – 9:00 in 1D. If able, please come to hear our authors share their published stories.

Proud Teacher:

Thanks so much for your support on the writing assessment. The kids came in with an idea and were able to “point and tell” right away. They all (100%) worked diligently on their stories for the allotted time and demonstrated their new learning clearly.

Assessments: I will be sending home  writing and math assessments to you this week in a special folder. Please have a look at them, sign the rubrics, and return them in the same folder. These are not to be corrected. But, hopefully, you will recognize your child’s learning and also see where you can support that learning at home.

Science: We will begin a Unit of Inquiry that explores what we see in the sky. If you have east or west facing windows or can go outside,  please help them notice that the sun is coming up from the same place (east) every morning and going down in the same place (west) every evening. The learning in this unit is based from their point of view as they look up at the sky. 

Ms. Kay!!! We accidentally left her birthday off the October calendar, but her birthday was Saturday. We will be making cards for her tomorrow, as she will be away, and we’ll celebrate her birthday on Tuesday. However, I also would like to invite you to write her a short note or card to add to our celebration. Her presence contributes greatly to our positive learning environment!

Assemblies: Grade One students will be acting as the emcees at every lower primary assembly. You are always welcome to come, but please know that I will send you an email letting you know when your child will be one of the leaders.

SeeSaw: We got off to a bit of a rough start as many wanted to make videos and they were way too long to load. So, Mr. Sheppard will come in and do a lesson with them on Thursday and hopefully posts will start coming to you soon. 🙂

Pictures: I’ll load some on the blog tonight if you’d like a few snapshots into our learning from last week.

Thank you,


Monday, September 24

Hi Parents,

I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the long weekend with their families. Just a few notes about this week:

*PE clothes on Wednesday.

*Library is back to Friday this week.

Reading Workshop: Several of the mini-lessons this week are about fluency and phrasing. To help motivate the children to re-read in order to increase fluency, we’ll be doing some short Reader’s Theatre pieces. If your child happens to bring his/her script home for homework, that’s fine, but please help them to put in back in their folder for school the next day.

Writing Workshop: Most of the children are working on their third or fourth story and really showing progress with their writing craft. We’ll leave a couple of days after break to write one more true, small moment, big feeling story…as I imagine lots will have new ideas when they come back. Then we’ll do a bit of revising before inviting you in for a celebration as we wrap up this first unit.

Math: Our mini lessons will focus on finding different combinations for a sum, but we’ll also launch a fact fluency program this week. The program will hopefully increase everyone’s strength and speed with the basic addition facts. Your child will work at his/her own level. It’s a fun incentive program that aims to celebrate each new level achieved. While these facts are basic addend + addend = sum, we’ll also be addressing subtraction later, as well as altering the equation in order to introduce how the “equals mark” can be moved around and represents a balance on either side of it.

UOI: This week, Puppy and Snail will be teaching us how to look at a person’s face and body posture to determine their emotions and how that influences our interaction with them. Also, we’ll hear stories from Ms. Kay about Mid-Autumn Festival when she was a little girl, make a lantern using the art of paper-folding, and learn a bit more about this holiday tradition of our host country.

Kind regards,


Monday, September 17

Dear Parents,

We had something really wonderful happen on Friday. At the close of the workshop on Thursday, I asked if anyone wanted to share their story. Typically, three or four hands will go up. Twelve went up!!! Slightly shocked, we problem solved and decided to make Friday, “Popcorn Share Day.” The kids sat on the carpet with their cups of popcorn and were treated to the really wonderful stories written by their peers. I was so proud of the writing and the way it held the attention of such a young audience. They were quite captivated. After each story, we talked about what we, as writers, could learn from that author. We paid special attention to pages where action, detailed descriptions, dialogue, and feeling words helped make the story come alive for us. I missed getting a picture of one of the presenters, but we’ll invite you all in for a writing celebration after the Mid Autumn Break. 🙂