Happy New Year!


Here we are in 2017! Want the rundown on what we are learning about this month?

Math – addition and subtraction. Lots of new games have been added to the games page! Check them out! You can also sign up to do some practice on Mathletics. There’s lots to do there, too!

Social – Communities. We will learn about how communities are set up, how they make rules, how they meet our needs, and what important jobs there are. We will be talking to our mayor and exploring Englefeld, too!

Reading – Questioning as a comprehension strategy. We are learning about question marks – how they change how we read sentences, how asking questions as we read can help us to track our learning, and how wondering about our world can help spur new brain growth!

Let’s have a fantastic month and grow TONS of dendrites!  🙂



November Came Fast!


Welcome to our November learning plan! Here is what we are up to for the next month:


In Grade 1, we are working on developing a good understanding of numbers up to 20. We are counting forwards and backwards from random numbers in that range, and are practicing quickly recognizing arrangements of dots in quantities up to 10. Also, it is important to be able to name a number 1 or 2 more, or 1 or 2 less than a given number. You can help by doing 5 minute practice sessions at home! The children have a daily ‘Math Job’ binder with erasable pages. Each day we do different things with the number of the day – we draw tally marks, match numeral to quantity, count back and forward, and divide counters into 2 groups to show that numbers are ‘composites’ (7 is made up of 3 and 4, for example). This is a key pre-adding concept to lay down a framework for good understanding of addition and subtraction in the future.

In Grade 2, we have been working at developing our skills and training our eyes to do a better job of estimating. There are times when we don’t have time or it isn’t practical to either count or measure exactly, so learning how to estimate accurately is important. We have found out that organizing objects into groups of ten helps a LOT in getting a fast and accurate estimates. We also have a daily ‘Math Job’ binder. Some of us are learning how to cut a number in half, and how to double it! These daily practice activities are so helpful in helping us to develop ‘number sense’ – a good solid understanding of numbers.


Guided reading groups are going well! I can do more in smaller groups than I can in the larger group. I can custom-design the lessons to address your child’s specific learning needs. We have added several little furry friends to our strategy tool-kit: we now know about ‘Chunky Monkey’ (looking for chunks of smaller words in larger ones), ‘Skippy Frog’ (Skip a word you don’t know, read to the end, and try to put a word in that blank that makes sense). This week we added ‘Flippy Dolphin’ (if some letters can make more than one sound, you have to ‘flip’ the sound and find the one that fits that word.) Wow. So many strategies can help us to read well!


Our Superhero friends are helping us to learn Superhero friendship skills! So far, we have practiced our ‘Joining In Justin’ skills: these are ways in which we can join others properly, using manners, friendly words, eye contact, and compliments. We need to learn how to wait patiently for a good time to join in, and need to be close enough to the person we are speaking to so that we are not yelling across others to get someone’s attention. Whew! Lots to learn! Soon ‘Listening Louis’ will help us to be an active listener in a conversation.



Back to School!

golden ninebark

Welcome back!

We had a terrific first day of school today. We unpacked supplies, learned our classroom rules, and even had time to play and have a cold treat to beat the heat!

Here are our rules:

  1. Raise your hand when you want to talk. That way, when we talk, others will listen!
  2. Hands and feet to yourself. Hands are for helping and feet are for moving. They work better when they stay in our own space!
  3. Be a good friend. This is a big one. We will learn all year what a good friend does, says, and is!
  4. Clean up your own mess. Mess happens. Just don’t leave it messy!
  5. Do your best work. Take your time and whatever you put your name on, you can be proud of!

Remember that School Pictures will be taken on Tuesday, September 6th!!

Our first Math unit for this month is ‘Patterns’. We will be learning to extend them (make them longer), copy them, translate them (change the basic pattern into another form), build patterns with more than one attribute (Gr. 2), and fix pattern mistakes. Patterning is crucial to mathematical understanding – and to reading development, too. Recognizing letter patterns help us to read new words!

We will also be learning about classroom rules and about how to keep our attention at its best learning potential. This is called ‘Self-Regulation’. There are links to some articles about self-regulation on the parent page.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

March Update

ghostly icicles

It’s Puddle time!

March is dripping its way into our world, and with it will come lots of sloshy days and wet snow. Please pop an extra pair of socks into your child’s backpack so that we can deal with those little cold, wet feet!

Here is what’s up for our month of learning:

Math: We are working hard at adding and subtracting numbers to 12. We have given your child some strategies, such as counting on or back, using doubles, and drawing pictures. If there are any simple real life situations where you could point out some adding or subtracting in a natural way, do it! Add or subtract plates on the table at supper time, make up stories about how many boots are leaving to go to the hockey game as you leave, add the wheels sitting in the garage or birds at the feeder. This will help your little ones connect their learning to the real world and reinforce what we are learning at school.

Science: Watch for a note outlining what your child can study for – there will be a test scheduled for the week before Easter. Until then we will finish up our course material and do some studying of our own at school to teach the kids some great study skills.

ELA: We are now learning how to INFER as we read! Iggy the Inferring Iguana has joined our crew of reading strategy pets, and he helps us to ‘read between the lines’ to get at the author’s meaning, even if the words don’t spell everything out for us. So far we have been inferring how people feel from photos, inferring words from our friend’s clues, and inferring added meaning from some great stories.

We are also working very hard on reading and writing complete sentences (Gr. 1) and putting sentences into paragraphs (Gr. 2). Every day we write a sentence using our word of the day in our agendas.

Many of the Grade One students are still having trouble forming their letters properly. In the next few weeks some additional printing practice sheets may show up in your child’s backpack. Please help your child to form letters top to bottom, on the correct space on the lines. Being able to form letters properly, neatly, and in the right space will help ease the stress on their hands, arms and shoulders as they write more and more in the coming grades.



Welcome, February!

cotton candy.jpg

Happy February!

We have tons of exciting activities planned for the month of February!

100 Days of Learning

February 8th is our 100th day of school! To celebrate our amazing learning in the past 100 school days, we will take the entire day to explore counting, numbers, patterns, and friends! Remember to work on your home projects and set aside 100 special somethings to bring for our special class snack!

Reading Strategies Update

I am working on a handout for parents which will include all of the reading strategies we have been learning in our reading lessons. We now have a great ‘toolbox’ which includes Accuracy, Comprehension, and Fluency strategies. New Fluency Friends are:

  1. Practising Polar Bear reminds us that reading takes practise. To make our reading smooth, we can back up and read the sentence over again after all of the words have been figured out. We can also read and re-read the same books to work on reading smoothly, with expression.
  2. Voracious Reading Rabbit helps us to remember to read, read, and read some more! Rodents must keep chewing constantly to keep their teeth in tip-top shape. Kids need to ‘chew’ on books by reading constantly so that our brains stay in tip-top shape! The more we read, the better we get; the better we get, the more we read!

Addition Strategies

Grade 1 is learning how to add, and Grade 2 is developing more strategies to add and subtract more efficiently. If you want any addition flashcards sent home for additional practice, let me know. We are learning strategies that will help us to find the answer to an adding question in our brains faster. We know that the ‘1 Rule’ says that anything +1 is just the next number in the counting sequence. We will be adding several new strategies this month, and then moving on to subtraction. You can help at home by giving your child practice counting forward and backward starting at random points. Children who can easily count on or back from random starting points find addition and subtraction much easier to grasp.

Check back every month for fresh updates on what we are learning about in our classroom!

Happy New Year!

Check out our class update on the Grade One and Two page to find out what we are learning in January.

Looking ahead: We will be celebrating our 100th Day of School on Monday, February 8th. Each student must bring 2 things that day:

  1. A 100 Day Collection. Get creative! Each student will need to bring 100 of something – 100 stickers on a poster, 100 beads on a necklace, 100 marshmallows, a building made out of 100 pieces of Lego – anything you can think of that can be counted and brought in some form to school. These projects will be displayed in the hallway for a week so feel free to pop in and see what the kids have put together! The whole point is to get your kids counting. You can help of course but they really should be doing the bulk of the counting themselves – it’s great practice! Use the links provided to get some ideas about what kind of projects you could think about doing. All you need to do is search for ‘100 Day projects’ and you will get more ideas than you know what to do with!

100 Day Project Ideas

100 Day Kids Projects

Pinterest 100 Day Projects

2. A 100 Day snack. Please send 100 pieces of a dry snack. Again, the point is to get your child counting! Skittles, chocolate chips, cheerios,smarties, raisins, life savers, pretzels, nuts, small candies – anything that isn’t wet or too sticky. We will all add our snack pieces to a big bowl and have a special 100 Day snack mix!

Some of these projects take a few days to prepare, so I am letting you know ahead of time so that you have lots of time to plan.