The end is near…

Hello families,

It is hard to believe there are only three days left of grade one.  It is such a bittersweet time for all of us as we are excited for the summer break but sad to leave our classroom community behind.  However, the last few weeks are always a time for fun!!

Last week in literacy we read three stories about Alexander and then we wrote stories in the style of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and it was so much fun and they were HILARIOUS to read!  The stories are coming home tomorrow so you can enjoy your child’s creativity and imagination 🙂

We also started our “Maker’s Space” activity where students in our class and Ms. Perkins’ class were broken up into small groups and given the task of building one of three types of structures: a tower, a bridge, or a container.  We put out many different kinds of craft materials and students had to first design their structure and choose materials to use to create the structure.  Then, they made their structures and some groups quickly realized their plans may not have been feasible with the materials provided, or they realized they could make a better structure in different ways or with different materials.  It was fascinating to see the process each group took and to finally see their final products! The students had fun and learned a lot about collaboration and perseverance.

In dance we learned the Red River Jig, the Macarena, and the Chicken Dance!  We practiced these dances along with the Hopscotch Polka and the Cupid Shuffle from the week before, and today we had a Dance-a-Thon!  Ms. Perkins’ class and our class went into the big gym and performed all of our new dances as well as had some “free-style” dance opportunities.  The students were so engaged and had a great time.

Last week we collected toys and books to donate to the children’s ward at the RGH and the generosity was overwhelming. The students were so happy to write cards and make pictures to accompany the toys to bring joy to children in the hospital.  On Friday after school, a few of us went to drop off the donations and it was amazing to see the toy room for the children.  The students who came got to play in the room and witness some of the children staying on the ward enjoying the space.  We know the books and toys will be very much appreciated!  The giving nature of my students was wonderful to experience and I am going to hold these memories in my heart forever.  Thank you all for pitching in and being a part of this invaluable experience.

Today we had a special guest visit our classroom: Norman! The students were over the moon to finally meet him after asking ALL year 🙂  They thoroughly enjoyed watching him run around and were excited to pet him and learn more about guinea pigs.  Norman, however, was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of attention and so his visit was brief!  🙂

Our last few days will be busy.  We will be starting to bring home our extra classroom materials and our school work.  I will send home a bit every day with your child so that they aren’t carrying too much on the last day.  We will also visit with our grade 7 buddies and pass on some words of advice for next year’s grade ones!

Enjoy this last week of school!

Ms. Holmes

Happy Father’s Day!

Hello families,

Happy Father’s Day! What a beautiful day.  I hope all of you have been able to spend time together and really appreciate family-time during this busy season!

Last week was a very busy but fun-filled week!  We began the week with a trip to the Science Center!  The highlights included seeing the live Great Horned Owl, the science show on space and gravity, the “grain elevator” climbing apparatus, and the house where students got to “shingle” and “lay bricks.”  The Science Center is always a favourite place for field trips and I just love seeing the kids interact with the exhibits, ask questions, and make connections between material learned in school and their personal experiences.  We then had a wonderful picnic lunch at Candy Cane Park and luckily the weather was just perfect!  The kids were happy and exhausted when we arrived back at the school!  Thank you SO much to the parent volunteers! Your help was much appreciated.

In health we have continued to work in small groups and act out scenarios that demonstrate stopping, thinking about all possible choices one can make in that scenario, and then choosing and acting on the BEST choice for that scenario.  It has been fun yet very educational as we have had many good discussions for different situations students might face, such as witnessing bullying, playing too many video games, or running out onto the street to catch a ball.

In social studies we have wrapped up our treaty education unit with the importance and significance of the circle.  We have learned so much about our First Peoples and have gained a real respect for their traditions and way of life, as well as our shared history.  We are ALL Treaty People!

In literacy we had our “contraction surgery” activity! It was SO much fun.  Students worked in pairs and were given two cards with two words on them.  They had to decide how to cut the words so that, when put together, they could make the appropriate contraction.  Bandaids were used in place of apostrophes and our surgeons did very well.  The kids really enjoyed this hands-on activity!  We also read three books by Judith Viorst: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” “Alexander, Who Is Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move” and “Alexander, Who’s Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever” with Ms. Perkins’ class.  We learned about character traits and brainstormed some together.  In the beginning we found Alexander to be whiney, stubborn, and makes poor choices.  As we read more books and learned more about Alexander we found him to be hard-working and capable of making good choices!  We also had deep discussions about how Alexander was always in trouble and often became frustrated and upset when he thought all these bad things happening to him were due to the actions of others.  We realized that each of us has choices to make all the time and it is HOW we react and what CHOICES we make when faced with difficult situations that can truly have an affect on our day and on our emotions!

We used our new knowledge of character traits when creating our Father’s Day shirt-and-tie craft!  The children had so much fun writing, drawing, and brainstorming personality traits for their dads.  I hope you all enjoyed them as much as we did making them!

In arts ed. we learned two new dances as part of our dance unit: the “Hopscotch Polka” and the “Cupid Shuffle!”  This week we will be learning a few more and during the last week we will have our final “Dance-a-thon” where we will show off all the new dances and skills we have learned. It should be a great time!

Finally, on Friday we welcomed special guest Mr. Henry to our class to kick-off our objects and materials unit.  He described to us what it is like to be an engineer and how engineers work with many different types of materials all of the time (natural and man-made).  We went on a scavenger hunt around the school and looked for the many different types of materials our school is made out of such as glass, brick, metal, wood, and concrete.  It was a great time and we learned so much.  We will be exploring these materials further this week.

This coming week there may be a furry, little guest making a visit to our classroom.  I will be sending out an email about this with some more details!

Have a great rest of the day and have a wonderful week!

Ms. Holmes

June is Here!

Hello families!

June is here already and there are only 14 more days of school left! It is so hard to believe…

Over the past few weeks we have begun to wrap up some of our units.  In arts ed. we completed our beautiful paintings in the style of artist Norval Morrisseau.  The students chose one living organism to paint and then used Morrisseau’s “x-ray” technique to illustrate the inside “soul” of that organism.  The artwork created was amazing, and they are on display in the trophy case outside our classroom.  We will be finishing the school year with our dance unit! Students will be learning several different kinds of dances.

In numeracy we have been engaged in review activities, focusing especially on number sense and adding and subtracting to 20.  It is wonderful to see the growth the students have made this year!

We wrapped up our “Stories Around the World” unit in literacy with the story, “Maui and the Sun” from New Zealand.  Students have really learned to analyze and categorize fairytales and folktales and learned much about different parts of the world!  They have been working on their own fairytales and narrative pieces.  We have also been learning about contractions.  We will be conducting some “Contractions Surgery” very soon! It is a seriously fun exercise!!!

In social studies we read indigenous stories about the origins of Turtle Island as well as the significance and importance of the “circle” and the number 4 in indigenous cultures.  We learned that indigenous peoples believed that life was like a circle with no beginning and no end, that everything on our planet is connected, and that many naturally-occurring things in nature happen in “4s” (the seasons, the four directions, the four elements, etc.)  Most importantly students learned that humans need to take care of the plants, animals, and environment BECAUSE we are all connected.  We also had a parent come in and tell us about Eid and Ramadan (which is currently taking place all over the world).  Many students had excellent questions and were intrigued to learn more about these holidays!

In inquiry students had a great time exploring maps, atlases, and globes. They located and labeled the continents and completed a “Write the Map” sheet.  Students found places on the map starting with all the letters in the alphabet!  Next, we will be starting our new unit on natural and man-made materials.  We will be having a special guest stop by for a fun activity!

Play Day was a great success and we all had a great time!! It was great to see their excitement 🙂

Monday is our field trip to the Science Center!  Please make sure your child has sunscreen, a hat, and a bagged lunch for our picnic lunch at Candy Cane Park.  Thank you to parents who have signed up to volunteer!

Have a great rest of your weekend,

Ms. Holmes