The sun is shining

At the start of this week in Writers’ the class finished their first series! We edited our work by fixing any spelling and revised our stories by adding more and making any final changes. We shared our favorite book from our series with the class. We looked at what realistic fiction writers do that makes their stories feel real. We learned that they often call on their own experiences to write stories that seem real. We recalled the steps fiction writers follow and started writing a new series with a new character.


In Readers’ we practiced rereading to smooth out any bumpy parts and to show the big feelings in each part. We learned that rereading helps us to perform our books.

We also learned that stories are like fortune cookies – when you open up a story you may find there’s a little life lesson inside it. With a partner, we talked about the lessons that characters learned and what the character or characters realize when the problem is fixed.



In Maths we completed Unit 6 and started Unit 7 which focuses on number patterns and number sequences. We played ‘What Comes Next?’ determining what comes next in a repeating pattern. We made our own patterns with connecting cubes and described what it is that makes our cube train a pattern. The class was introduced to body movement patterns. We worked to represent cube train patterns with movement sequences and vice versa.



On Thursday we had a fun field trip to the JAL Factory!


In Art, we started a 4-week project in which every week we transfer a new technique/artist style onto a large self-portrait. This week we were introduced to pointillism and an artist called George Seurat. We used markers to fill out the first quarter of our sketch using tiny dots (pointillism).

Hello April

This week the class continued working hard practicing for their assembly. Well-done 1G! You did an AMAZING job on Friday! As Ms. Kitani said…you rocked it!


In Writers’ the class continued writing their series and were reminded to stretch out their sentences adding lots of details. We learned that one way writers add ‘sparkle’ to their fictions books is to see what kinds of things their favorite authors do. We revisited a mentor text and found something we like that we can add to our own stories.


In Readers’ we learned to expect a character’s feelings to change across a story and when feelings change, readers take action by changing their reading voice to show the new feelings.

With a partner, we practiced changing our reading voice, and also tried to use our whole body to show feelings.

On Wednesday we read outside in the beautiful Spring weather!


The class created a chart called ‘Clues that Help Readers Know HOW to Read’ investigating what clues authors leave, that readers can use, to bring characters to life.

We chose a book we want to bring to life and started reading and rereading it to make our voices really shine. We then took turns rehearsing a part using our best reading voices. We acted as directors watching, listening closely and giving each other tips using ‘Cut!’ and ‘Action!’ cards.


In Maths the class continued solving several addition and subtraction story problems.

As a class, we recorded down strategies for subtracting and listed strategies for solving addition problems.


In IPC we enjoyed Ryo’s dad coming in to tell us all about his job. Thank you!

Happy Easter!

In Writers’ on Monday the class worked in small groups revising dialogue we wrote in our book series. We helped each other imagine what our characters might have said and what characters might say back to each other. We then added any revisions to our writing.

We also picked a favorite story so far and rehearsed it together, with a partner, taking on voices for dialogue and using our bodies to act out the different parts.

The class used this rest of the week’s Writers’ and Readers’ lessons to start preparing for 1G’s assembly which will take place on Friday 6th April.


In the library on Tuesday we got to look at some POP-UP books!


In Math we played a new variation of the game Five-in-a-Row in which we used three cards and could cover the sum of any two.

The class also revisited subtraction variations of Roll and Record and Five-in-a-Row.

Additionally, we solved several addition and subtraction story problems.



In IPC the class shared their mini-presentation of what they would like to be when they grow up together with 1P.


In Art on Thursday the students made an Easter basket craft and Easter cards. The class got to go on a scavenger hunt around the classroom for treats to put inside their baskets!


Friday was Japanese Culture Day. In the morning, the class learned about haiku poems and wrote their own Haiku’s on a topic of their choice. The ES sang some Japanese songs and enjoyed watching a Kyogen performance.

Thank you, all parents who contributed to the potluck lunch and who helped with activities in the afternoon. We had a blast!

Happy Holidays!


Spring is here!

In Writers’ we learned that fiction writers write series. We started Book One of our series, introducing a character, a setting, the trouble the character gets into and how they get out of trouble. We learned that series writers often tell a lot of important details about their character in Book One of their series. With a partner, we practiced introducing our character, thinking about what details we wanted to add to our writing.

The class were reminded of ways to bring stories to life and continued working on their series making sure to fill up pages with lots of action and dialogue.



In Readers’ we learned that we want to get to know the characters as well as we can, paying attention to details to learn all about them. With a partner, we introduced our character to each other. We also learned that readers get to know the other characters as well as the main character.

On Wednesday, we read with 3B.

When we reread we don’t just see new things in the story, we also notice new things about the characters. We were reminded to reread to learn more about our characters.

We also practiced changing our voice to show what the character is feeling and bringing the character to life. We considered how a character is feeling in a particular scene, using illustrations as well as details from the text.



In Maths the class was introduced to Crayon Puzzles, a variation of How Many of Each? problems and discussed various strategies and solutions. During the week, we solved many puzzle problems.

We played new variations of Dot Addition and recorded each combination down with addition notation on different game board worksheets.

Finally we solved a How Many of Each? problem trying to find all the combinations of 10 red and blue crayons.



In IPC Ms. Kitani came in to share with us the important role and responsibilities she has within her job title.

Grade 1 walked around the neighborhood and stopped by local places to find out the number of people working there and the types of jobs carried out.

We talked about what we would like to be when we are older and started to prepare a mini presentation answering questions about our responsibilities and how our job affects people in the community.


Never stop learning, Never give up

This week in Writers’ we worked on writing a satisfying ending for our readers by including how our character gets out of trouble. We continued working on adding action, dialogue and feelings for our characters in our fiction writing. The class worked on adding fancy words to bring ‘sparkle’ to our stories and use all we know about spelling strategies to help write these words.

Lastly, we evaluated our writing to help set goals. We looked at the narrative writing checklist and found evidence of our strengths in all of our fiction books so far and also identified goals that we are will be working on.


In Readers’ we learned the best way to remember a book is to tell someone else about it. We used post-its to mark important parts of a story and then used these to help retell the book with a partner.

We also used a new tool, a tiny booklet, to help scaffold sequential retellings by touching and telling what happened part by part.

We learned that readers read and reread books, each time noticing more and understanding the story a bit better. We reread parts of our books, pausing to notice more details and understand the same story in new ways. The class thought about the things they want to keep in their reading ‘suitcase’ to use whenever we start a new book and go on a new reading adventure. We celebrated our goals and shared our ‘travel’ plans with the class.


In Maths the class played Quick Images to show dots arranged in ten-frames. We also played Counters in a Cup and How Many am I Hiding?, two games that involve finding a missing part. We shared strategies for playing the new variations of these games.

We learned to play a new game called Tens Go Fish which involves making combinations of 10 with two addends.

Finally, we revisited How Many of Each? problems, trying to find all the possible combinations of 12 red and blue crayons.



In IPC we investigated ‘what if..’ questions in groups reflecting on what to do in a specific situation and who in our community we could call for help. We thought more about the jobs people have at our school, what that job entails and how that job is helpful to us. We planned questions to ask our school community regarding their job and their responsibilities.

Then in groups we went to interview these members of staff. It was a lot of fun!


In Art we completed ‘imagination’ portraits. Using a range of different media, we completed a self-portrait of what we would like to be when we are older.


On Tuesday Grade 1 visited the Ikebana exhibition in the Ehrismann Residence which included the work of parents from the school’s Adult Enrichment Program. The arrangements of flowers was beautiful!

Hello March

In Writers’ this week the class started a new unit on realistic fiction. In our writing, we made up a character and sent them on a real-life adventure. We were reminded to focus on a small moment adventure for our character.

We learned about the importance of the setting in a story and learned to use the details of a familiar place. We also are learning how to stretch out our stories by adding action – telling what the character did, dialogue – telling what the character said, and feelings – telling how the character felt.


In Readers’ we learned that when you open a book, most often, you will meet a character who is going places and doing things and you will get to go on the adventure too! We were reminded to take a sneak peek to find out where they’ll go and what they’ll do.

With a reading partner, we also were reminded to keep track of when and where the story is happening and to expect that these will change.

We learned that when we read stories we should also look ahead and imagine what is next. We think about what is already happening and predict what might happen next. We had a chance to read to make predictions in our own books.

On Thursday 1G and 1P decided to spend Readers’ outside in the sunshine on the rooftop of the elementary building. It was so lovely!


On Wednesday we wore pink in support of anti-bullying.

We also read with 3B!



The class started a new unit in Maths by completing the pre-assessment for Unit 6. We recorded down different ways to make ten and shared the different combinations.  We played Three Towers of Ten with a partner as well as a new game called Math 10 where we had to find two cards that combine to make 10 and then record the combinations of 10 using addition notation.

During the week, we also worked on solving story problems and shared strategies that helped us to solve it.


In IPC we started a new unit on ‘The Things People Do’ and completed a mind map what jobs people have. We came up with so many ideas!

We discussed how different people help us within their jobs. In groups, we completed a role and responsibly match-up.

Happy Mid-Winter break!

In Writers’ this week the class revised their sentences checking for punctuation as well as adding in linking words to connect ideas to make their writing just right. We also were reminded to not just fix up sentences but also fix up words using a range of spelling strategies. The class reviewed all their book reviews, giving them checkups referring to the opinion writing checklist, to make sure their writing is as strong as it can be before choosing a final published piece. The class celebrated the end of the unit by reading aloud their chosen piece of writing. Well-done!


In Readers’ we listened to an audiobook and noted down what makes reading sound great. We gathered the strategies used and added them to a new chart called ‘Ways to Sound like a Reading STAR!’. We then picked a page to share and show off our star reading with the class.

We learned that to make our reading sound its very best, it sometimes helps to have an audience. To celebrate the end of our ‘Be a Reading Boss!’ unit we made an audiobook recording to the book Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend. Montessori came in to listen to our audio recording of the book!

On Wednesday we read with 1P, not only taking it in turns to read aloud, listen carefully and give feedback, but also to provide tips to help one another smooth out any ‘bumpy’ parts or add more expression.


In Maths the class continued to measure lengths with different units. We measured how far different animals, including a first grader, can jump.

We also solved combining and comparing word problems. We completed an activity that assesses our understanding that, when measuring a given object, different sized units yield different counts. Finally, we completed the post-assessment for Unit 5. Great work!


We completed our first IPC unit on the brain! This week we watched several fun videos and completed the ‘What I learned’ section of our KWHL grid.

We survived 100 days of school!

On Tuesday the class celebrated their 100th day of school!

This is what we might look like in 100 years!


We had a fun ‘love bug’ dress up day on Valentines Day!


In Writers’ this week we were reminded of all we know about how to write convincing reviews and planned a book review using a book we like and are familiar with. We thought of what reasons we will give, which details we will share and which comparison we can use to help persuade readers to read the book being reviewed.

We learned that writers of book reviews give a sneak peek summary without giving everything away. We wrote our sneak peek introductions and were careful to share only the most important things readers will need to know about the book and also a few things that will make them curious but not the ending!


In Readers’ we learned that to really understand a book, it’s important not just to pay close attention to the actions, but also pay attention to the dialogue. With a reading partner, we practiced keeping track of whose talking as we read. We also thought about not only who is talking, but how they are saying it (e.g. whispered, shouted, mumbled, etc.)

We had a small Reader’s Theatre to perform a few scenes from a familiar book; keeping track of who is speaking as well as considering how the characters sound.

We learned that when you figure out how to read a word, but you don’t know what it means, you should stop and think about it. it is important to stop and solve new words in both fiction and nonfiction books. Partners can also teach one another what new words mean as a way to build vocabulary.

Finally, we learned that to be really in charge of our reading we need to use everything we know quickly – to use all the tools to get the job done fast and keep going!



In Maths we were shown eight different tapes placed on the floor that were of different distances. We predicted the lengths and used ‘kid steps’, using our feet, to measure and record the length of two tapes confirming which one is longer.

The class also investigated if the size of a person’s foot might lead to different measurements. We used different units (steps of a baby, basketball player and craft sticks) to measure three different tapes and compared the measurements.


In IPC the class looked at how the baby brain is compared to the adult brain and drew a timeline of brain development. We also compared particular animal brains and had to guess which animals match with which brain. Finally, we talked about ways to protect and look after our brain.