Thursday, 20 September 2018

Patterns & Pigeons!

Our first Math unit focuses on patterning. We have worked hard to find a pattern, describe a pattern, continue a given pattern, and create our own pattern. Now the students are exploring how patterns can be related!

Yesterday we examined the patterns below. We practiced describing these patterns using words (e.g. scissors, glue, glue), letters (e.g. A, B, B...), and numbers (e.g. 1, 2, 2...).

Ask your child to describe the patterns below.
How are they similar? Different?

It is so important for the children to verbalize and justify their thinking. This helps deepen understanding not only in Math, but in any subject or situation. Don't be surprised if your child struggles with this skill at first. With daily practice together, we will only get better at explaining and justifying our thinking.


The boys and girls in our class are incredibly kind-hearted, responsible kids who work really hard to make smart choices each day. They're a fantastic bunch! 

But, rules are meant to be broken. At least, that's what our new friend, the pigeon, keeps telling us! This past week we have really enjoyed a series of books by author Mo Willems that feature a persuasive, sassy pigeon who is always pushing the limits!

Inspired by the picture books, the students set out to create their own set of rules for the pigeon, just in case he ever swings by Jean Vanier! Would he know how to behave in school?

We followed the directed drawing instructions by Mo Willems himself to draw our own unique pigeons. Then we wrote our own speech bubbles and did lots of careful cutting and gluing. 

Ta da! Our very own set of pigeon rules!

This project was excellent for reviewing our classroom and school expectations, and the students were so engaged. Who knew drawing a pigeon was so easy? There are now little pigeon doodles everywhere! To see all of our pigeon projects, please check our hall bulletin board!

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Power of Connection

Before we can learn and grow, we need to understand and trust one another. This is why, each morning, we begin our day with "Connection Time"! This invaluable time helps us ease into a busy day and prepare us for our best learning!

When we gather, we sit in a circle on the rug so we can see eachother. Even Mrs. Beliveau skips her cozy chair for a place in the circle!

Have a peek at some highlights from our morning Connection Time meetings:

1. Prayer

God is at the center of all we do and all we are, and we always begin in prayer. 
"Father in Heaven, I give You today, all that I think, and do, and say. Amen". 

2. Say Hello!

We have learned the importance of eye contact when greeting our classmates. While we have practiced our eye contact while giving a firm handshake, we also say hello in silly ways, too, like the dancing greeting below!

"1, 2, 3, 4, Come on (student) hit the floor! We're so glad you came today, hooray, hooray, hooray!"

3. News

This time allows the students an opportunity to share what's on their minds, thereby helping us focus on learning later in the day. So far we have heard about lost teeth, tap and hip hop lessons, a birthday dinner at Pasta Pantry, a sleep over, and so much more! 

4. Social Scenario Problem Solving

To help the children develop age-appropriate critical thinking skills, they are presented with a social problem to solve. In partners, they brainstorm possible ways to solve the problem and then we come together as a large group to share and discuss. 

Some of the problems we have tackled include:
  • not being able to find your indoor shoe after recess
  • a classmate pushes ahead of you in line
  • you notice a friend crying at their desk but don't know why
  • someone wants to be your partner but you don't want to work with them
It is important for the students to see that there is no one way to solve a problem and that they do not always need an adult's help. 

5. Story
We close Connection Time with a story. Each book is carefully chosen and has an important lesson. 

Here are a few we have enjoyed already:

While Connection Time seems packed, it rolls along rather quickly and sets a positive tone for our day! This is time very well-spent and enjoyed. Connection time truly is about building relationships and seeing the masterpiece in all of us. 

Special thanks to my colleague and friend, Miss Yasmine Akhtar, for planting this seed and inspiring me. The structure for our morning Connection Time is inspired by the structure outlined in the Morning Meetings by Kriete and Davis

Social Scenario Problem Solving Task Cards from Pathways 2 Success

Friday, 7 September 2018

A "Purrr-fect" First Week!

Our first week together has been "purrr-fect"! We've been blessed with an energetic, warm-hearted group of students, and they've been an easy bunch of kids to fall in love with!

But we've had one extra "student" join us this week ... Pete the Cat! This feisty feline has a way of overcoming a challenge by always finding the positive! What an important message for the children to hear as they begin a new school year!

Our first day together was so exciting! As we were reading through Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses, we discovered Pete's glasses were locked in the box! Yikes!

Using teamwork, patience, and our amazing enthusiasm, we collaborated by solving clues to open a letter lock, directional lock, and number lock! We retrieved the sunglasses from inside the box!
We were also surprised with strawberries & blueberries 
when we opened the box!
Ask your child why we got berries!

After reading Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, we couldn't resist making our own version! We brainstormed what Pete might step in, and then each student set to work completing their own page for our class book!

The children really enjoy flipping through our class-made book. They are so proud to see their work!

To finish off our week, we read Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus. Then we practiced singing the song using our names! We focused on using the first sound in our names to make our own verses. 

This student's name begins with an L, so his bus says "lumpity lump"!

We set to work making our own buses.

Then we added the first letter of our name and personalized our poems!

These projects gave Mrs. Beliveau an opportunity to get to know the boys and girls better. She got an extra peek at the children's abilities to follow directions, cut, print and glue, as well as several other work habits, such as perseverance, problem-solving and time management. 

Pop by to see our hard work and flip through our class book ... but watch out, this tune has a way of getting stuck in your head!

Pete the Cat Breakout Box activities adapted from here. 

Pete the Cat First Day certificates adapted from Inspired By Kindergarten.

Pete the Cat Roll and Cover dice game from Little Miss Hypothesis.

Our Pete the Cat: Rockin in our School Shoes class-made book was inspired by the class book at Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes book is inspired by A Classroom on Cloud Nine. 

The Wheels on the Bus names activity is inspired by Deanna Jump's Names Unit: Literacy and Math Fun With Names.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

A Warm Welcome to Grade 1!

Hello, boys and girls!

My name is Mrs. Beliveau and I am THRILLED to be your Grade One teacher this year! It is going to be a spectacular year full of lots of learning and new adventures!

I cannot wait to learn all about you, but until we see each other on the first day of school, I'll tell you a few things about me. 

Did you learn a little about me? I can hardly wait to see you on the first day so I can find out what makes YOU so special!

On the first day of school, I'll help you find your own hallway hooks for your backpack. Our first activity is top secret, but I'll give you a hint ... we get to use play-dough! Together, we'll learn a hilarious silly song and will read my absolute favourite book, which always makes me laugh!

Have a safe summer and I'll see your smiles very soon!

Mrs. Beliveau

Friday, 29 June 2018

Farewell Message

Dear boys and girls, 

Our classroom is quiet. Our classroom is empty. But today, my heart is full. Full of joy, full of laughter, and packed full of memories from our time learning and growing together this year. 

The most important lesson I hope you've learned is that you are loved.  I love you. Your families love you. And most importantly, God loves you. He loves you infinitely, and always will, no matter what. 

Boys and girls, share your love. Be kind. Be a friend. Be Jesus' hands whenever you can ... and you always can! 

With my warmest love,

Mrs. Beliveau

Be the Nice Kid quote from Alison Thompson on TPT

Friday, 22 June 2018

Building With Fairy Tales

We had a blast this week! Inspired by fairy tales, we tackled several building challenges in Science!

We are exploring the following learning outcomes:

  • I can choose appropriate building materials
  • I can describe the job of each part of an object I made
  • When I look at 2 things, I can describe what is the same and what is different

3 Little Pigs: House

First up, the 3 Little Pigs! We read the fairy tale and then reviewed the parts of a story. 

Then, just like the pigs, we built with "straw" (paper shreds), ...

"sticks" (wood blocks), ...

... and "bricks" (Lego)!

We learned so much about choosing the best materials for the job!

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears: Chair

Next up, we enjoyed Goldilocks and the 3 Bears!

Our challenge was to create a chair for baby bear! The criteria? The chair must have 4 legs and a bear figurine must fit in it. 


3 Billy Goats Gruff: Bridge

We enjoyed the story of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff, especially that nasty troll!

Then came our building challenge: build a bridge that can hold a billy goat! As I pulled out plasticine and popsicle sticks, one student raised his hand and asked, "Mrs. Beliveau, do you think we could build our bridges out of Lego instead, because Lego is sturdier!". Great reasoning! So ... change of plans! 

In partners, we built Lego bridges that could hold a goat!

Then we used our mini-puppets to retell the story!

Next week we will be building a boat for Captain Hook and a toy with moving parts, like Pinocchio!

Fairy Tale STEM Activities for Primary Grades from Dancing Into First

Monday, 11 June 2018

We Are Readers!

Bus shenanigans
The boys and girls were so excited to jump on a bus and head to the Strathcona County Library for a very special tour, and we learned a lot! 

When we arrived, Pascale showed us many of the items that can be borrowed from the library. We can borrow read-along kits (book/CD), CDs, DVDs, beginning readers, picture books, really fun PlayAway kits (an MP3 player with stories to listen to), and so much more

We took a tour to see what we can do in the library! We went through the children's section, the Discovery section, the computer area, past the Information Desk, and back to the program room! 

Back in our program room, we got a super secret sneak peek at the Summer Reading Game "Welcome to Meliora" and that the library offers! You can play every day once school finishes. Can your child tell you how to earn a free, brand new book? 

Have a peek in the Grade 1 reading kit your child received today. It is specifically tailored for our readers entering Grade 2 in the fall! Can your child tell you how we can get our names on the rocket ship board?

Ask your child how to get our names
posted on the board!

Be sure to check the Summer Program Guide for many FREE programs offered this summer for kids and families, including the Lego Night that got us all excited!

The library makes reading and learning so much fun, and is an excellent way to spend your summer! Please encourage your child to continue reading daily throughout the summer, as this will make the transition to Grade 2 tremendously smoother. 

It was an awesome trip and we are so excited that we have become readers!