Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Advent: Joyful Waiting!

This past Sunday marked the first Sunday of Advent. 

We have been learning about the liturgical calendar. Can your child point out Advent?

Advent is a time of hope and anticipation. We are waiting for the birth of Christ! 

We changed our prayer table cloth from green, when it was Ordinary Time, to purple for Advent. Can you see our wreath? We light one candle for each of the four Sundays in Advent. This week we lit the first candle. As we light more candles each week, our world becomes brighter, symbolizing our growing anticipation of Jesus, who is the light of our world. 

At mass, the priest now wears purple vestments, the altar has a purple table cloth, and the advent wreath is displayed. 

Each morning, we will have a little Advent celebration during our daily Connection Time. 

Throughout Advent we reflect on the birth of Christ by adding to our Advent lapbook! These will come home prior to Christmas break. 

As we journey towards Christmas, may we prepare our hearts with kindness as we joyfully wait for the coming of Jesus!

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Subitizing: Seeing Spots and Polka Dots!

We have completed our math unit exploring numbers to 20! A major concept we have practiced is subitizing. Subitizing is being able to look at a group and know how many there are, without having to count each individual item. In short, subitizing is "instantly seeing how many". 

We subitize when we roll a die. You didn't have to count the dots to know you rolled a five, right?

What better way to practice this new skill of subitizing then to play games?

Here is our class playing an "I have ... Who has..." subitizing game together:

We also have many small group and partner subitizing games, too!

This group took on the challenge of playing a subitizing BINGO game:

These students play Snakes and Ladders, but rather than roll a die, they use subitizing cards:

Our memories are tested with this subitizing memory game:

Find It is a game we also enjoy!

Ready to subitize? Below is a link to a subitizing YouTube clip. Numbers appear on a 10-frame, a handy way we sometimes count in class. We know that a full frame is 10, and just one full row is 5. Sometimes seeing the empty spaces is more helpful than looking at the full spaces, too. Careful, it's really fast!

The skill of subitizing is key in developing our number sense, and will be integral in our exploration of addition and subtraction. 

Dressed in dots!

Friday, 23 November 2018

Kids Who Wiggle!

We wiggle. We shimmy. We squirm, we twist, we bounce! It is highly possible there are ants. In. Our. Pants. Lots of 'em! 6 year-olds just aren't built to sit still, so we change activities about every 5 to 15 minutes. The boys and girls are certainly not expected to sit still all day!

When we are in need of a wiggle break, and there is no Phys Ed or recess on the horizon, we visit GoNoodle! It is an online hub for goofy, sing along movement breaks! We stretch, we dance, we sing along, we shake it during Zumba, and we always laugh! Each time our class does a movement break, our "champ" grows! It is so motivating!

Here are the boys and girls in action:

Here is one of our favourite movement breaks from GoNoodle ... Milkshake!

Given that we are the wiggle experts of Jean Vanier, it only made sense that we read the book Lines that WiggleSilly monsters showed us so many different types of lines. 

So we got to work practicing our lines:

Then we drew 5 or 6 across a white page, added a small black frame and got to work colouring each "piece" inside the frame!

Look at this careful, creative work!

Enjoy are our fantastic, colourful, wiggly, squiggly masterpieces!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Sentence Exploration

When we started Grade 1 together, we knew the sounds the letters make and a few words, too (thank you Mrs. Sombyk & Mrs. Nestorowich!). You'll never believe it, but we are now working on writing FULL SENTENCES! 

We really began examining what a sentence was this past Monday. 

We learned three things every sentence has:

Then Mrs. Beliveau revealed her hidden talent ... rapping!

We sorted letters, words and sentences as a class ...

... and then continued our sorting independently!

During our writing blocks, we are practicing writing our own complete sentences.

Writing strong sentences is a skill we will work on frequently throughout the year. Support your child by finding sentences in the books you read, by identifying components of a sentence in our daily agenda message, and by writing sentences together ... the sillier the better!

"Is It a Sentence" poster was from here
Pete the Cat Letter, Word and Sentence sort was from here

Friday, 9 November 2018

Peaceful Hands & Hearts

Remembrance Day can be a challenging concept for our littlest, so this week we took it down to their level; kindness, peacefulness, and gentleness became our focus. How have others made our world peaceful? How can we thank them?  How can we be the hands of Jesus? Our focus this week was peace 

As we often do, literacy introduced these topics:

Together we read the book I Call My Hand Gentle.

Then we traced and decorated our hands, reflecting on when our hands are gentle. 

Please enjoy this little slide show of how gentle our hands can be!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

We also took time to read The Peace Book by Todd Parr.  He is an author we all enjoy!

As a class, we made a book together about when we feel peace, inspired by Mr. Parr's book!

Peace is ... playing my iPad, when I pet my dog, playing the guitar, and reading in bed.

We spent some quiet time creating some beautiful "stained glass windows" that can be hung at home during the fall break as a reminder to pray for all peacemakers. 

Today, we gathered as a school community to pray, remember, and express gratitude for all those who have worked and are currently working for peace.

What a meaningful week. Hopefully the boys and girls are able to look at the poppies on their collars with a little more understanding and a lot more gratitude. 

May we all use our hands for gentleness and peace, as we are Christ's hands here on earth. 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

You Can't Frighten Us!

We loved reading the pattern story It Didn't Frighten Me! The boys and girls were very excited to get to work creating their very own spooky stories! 

Here is the criteria they followed:

The students worked over several days to complete their stories.

The were sure to check our colouring criteria to ensure their illustrations were amazing!

Here are a few pages from these amazing books!

Students in Pre-K enjoyed hearing our stories, too! We were so excited to share our writing with them!

These spooky pattern books will be coming home with an assessment page tucked in the back. Happy reading!

Monday, 29 October 2018

Scuba Senses!

It seems like every day there is something fantastic and exciting happening in Grade One!

Last Wednesday we kicked off our newest Science Unit, Senses! To get the kids thinking, students were challenged to use their senses to make observations together!

Senses with Scuba Charlotte

On Friday, we added to our Senses knowledge as we went on an underwater senses journey with "Scuba Charlotte"!


We used our sense of hearing and had to identify sounds from several sea animals, including dolphins and whales. The next challenge was to wear blackout goggles and follow a specific sound (e.g. bells, castanets) as we crab-walked around the room, following our sound! Then we took a minute and reflected on what could hurt/help our senses: 


Our eyes played tricks on us! On one side of a stick we glued a fish, and on the other a tank. When we spun the stick back a forth, it looked like the fish was in the tank! We also really enjoyed a What is it? game and a few other optical illusions. 

Taste and Smell

We learned that our sense of taste and smell work together, and we use our noses help us taste! We ate a cracker with our noses plugged, and then tried again without our noses unplugged. What a difference! 

We also challenged our sense of smell with little scented vials. Black licorice was a toughie!

Animals taste and smell a little differently than we do. Did you know that a catfish has taste buds all over its body? Or that a shark has an excellent sense of smell and can smell blood from miles away? 

Mystery Tastes

We tried a few different mystery tastes, but were encouraged to smell the samples first. We tried salt water, lemon juice, and sugar water. Scuba Charlotte thankfully didn't ask us to taste spinach or coffee, which are both bitter tastes! (Mrs. Beliveau would have gladly had any coffee samples)


We were able to touch many textures from the ocean, including real coral that was once alive! We identified bumpy, sharp, squishy, smooth and rough textures. 

We had so much fun wearing black out shades and exploring sand and water pails, identifying different items!

Sea Lions and Their Senses

No trip with Scuba Charlotte is complete without meeting a few sea lions! 

We learned that when a baby is born, the mama and baby sea lions bark back and forth for about 20 minutes to learn to identify each other's bark! If a mama is ever confused about who her baby is, she uses her sense of smell to identify it. 

Sea lions have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to find their baby, locate a mate, or identify a dangerous human. But sea lions do not have a very developed sense of taste! 

Sea lions rely on their whiskers as their sense of touch! Their whiskers tell them how the water is moving and can signal to them if food swims by. 

We learned loads about our senses with Scuba Charlotte today! Hopefully you were able to review your child's booklet and learn something new yourself! Thank you to the parent volunteers who were so patient, energetic and willing to participate!

Senses presentation was made through Teacher's Pet