May Update

tarda tulips

We are all set to start our new Science Unit! Our discovery will focus on animals and their amazing life cycles. We have had a peek at some frog eggs and tiny tadpoles – our first close-up view of life cycles in action!

We will also be exploring Fairy Tales. We are looking for differences in all the versions of the tales we read, and we have started writing our own versions of Goldilocks!

In Math we have been strengthening our adding and subtracting skills. I’ll be sending home some flashcards to help speed up basic facts.

Enjoy the warm weather!




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!  🙂


December Dreamin’

cotton candy

December is here, and we’re all ready for some great learning!


Wow! We sure know a lot of strategies for reading words accurately! We have been practicing Eagle Eyes, Stretchy Snake, Chunky Monkey, Skippy Frog, Flippy Dolphin, Lips the Fish, and Tryin’ Lion! (Refer to the strategies page for more details about the way these strategies work). Now we know that if we have tried every strategy we know and we still can’t figure out a word, we can ask for help (Helpful Kangaroo!)

In addition to Accuracy Strategies, we are really good at making connections using Spinny Spider. She reminds us that we can create our own webs in our brains to connect ideas so that we understand what we are reading much better. We are adding a new Comprehension Strategy to our toolbox this week – ‘Questioning Owl’. We will be learning about how to ask the right kinds of questions as we read to track our understanding. You can help at home by sorting out what is a question and what is a statement – we will be learning the difference between asking and telling.


Grade One: We have another week or so left in our exploration of numbers to 20. Watch for a note signalling when we are ready for our test. Our new Math unit will have us adding and subtracting! Keep up the great counting practice at home! The children need to be able to count forwards and backwards easily starting at random numbers. we do practice this skill at home, but some extra home practice sure wouldn’t hurt until this skill becomes automatic.

Grade 2: Our test date is Dec. 6th. Your child will be bringing a note home outlining what he/she needs to know how to do to be successful. Please let me know if you have any questions before that date to clear anything up!


‘Emotions Emma’ is our newest Superhero social skills helper! She helps us to figure out what our emotional triggers are, how to recognize when we are losing control of our feelings, and how to properly address and then let go of our strong feelings. Great practice!! We will spend considerable time on this topic – it takes a while to process all of this information and apply it to real life. In addition, our Lego town is taking shape as we all build a business to add to it. We will be learning about some important jobs in communities and how each business helps to meet our needs. The kids are super pumped about their little Lego characters!

December really flies by – enjoy the preparations and activity of this Christmas season – and have a wonderful and blessed time with family and friends when we get to the holidays!

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!