Busy bees

Thank you to all parents who came in to see us working hard on Monday during Open House.


In Maths this week we looked at more story word problems and talked about different strategies we can use to combine two or more numbers, every time explaining and recording how we figured out the total. The class was introduced to seven peas and carrots where we had to find and share all the possible combinations of 7.

We played two new games; Three Towers of 10; a game where we worked with different combinations of one number as we built cube towers using two colors, and Heads and Tails; another game focusing on number combinations.



In Writers’ Workshop we learned that in order to make stories come to life we have to ‘unfreeze’ people and make them move and talk.

We spoke about the purpose of speech marks to mark what people in our stories are saying. Check out some of our writing using speech marks!

We learned that good stories are a lot like a spider; writers tell their stories in small steps, bit by bit. We thought about Itsy-Bitsy.



In Readers’ Workshop we started a new chart for solving hard words and practiced checking the picture and looking for all parts of the word to help us if we are stuck.

We continued practicing to read with smooth voices, remembering not to karate-chop words. When it comes to tricky words we learned not to rely on just one strategy. We know we can check the picture and look at all parts of the word to help us. Here we are using strategies to help us figure out words our reading partners covered up with a sticky note. It was fun!


We had Art on Wednesday. Firstly, we read a book called Mix it Up. We followed the artist’s simple instructions, and suddenly saw how colors appeared, mixed, splattered and vanished by our imagination.

After we were introduced to the color wheel and painted our very own color wheel using water colors!

We turned this into a really cool eye picture! Check out those colorful eyes and funky eyelashes!


Enjoy your long weekend!

Happy Hardworking 1G

Congratulations to our Student Council class representative this year Olivia!


In Readers’ workshop this week we read more and more! We learned about rereading to smooth out our voices and reading in big scoops. We learned that another good habit is to reread, to look for the ‘hidden story’ – the story we didn’t notice the first time. We pretended to be reporters and talked about all the good habits we have developed so far. The class also talked about when readers pick up a good habit they sometimes pick up bad habits by mistake. In order to get stronger as a reader we need to know our bad habits and ‘drop them’.  We are setting reading goals every day!

We especially love reading with our reading partners.


This week in Writers’ workshop we focused on writing teeny tiny (seed) stories instead of big (watermelon) topics. We worked with a writing partner and learned that writers add to their writing by imagining the questions their partners might ask.

The class set up a museum of writing to celebrate and admire our work so far.

We had a look at the Grade 1 narrative writing checklist to understand what we need to work on. We looked through all our writing so far and revised our work; making sure we have included the criteria from the checklist.



In Maths Investigation we learned to play double compare dots, double compare and five-in-a-row. In these games, we always had to figure out how many numbers there are altogether. We also played a new game called roll and record where we had to add two dice together and it’s a race with numbers to see which number gets to the top first. We had a lot of fun!

The class started looking at story word problems and recorded down our way of solving the problem. We came up with many different strategies and approaches.



We were introduced to Real Script and practiced our pen hold and posture. We had fun using our fountain pens!



In the library Ms. Gerken showed Ms. Schumacher how we take a sneak peek at the beginning of a book before we start reading.

We look forward to welcoming you into our classroom on Monday for Open House day.

Come and join the fun!

We love 1G!

In Writers’ Workshop this week the class focused on writing a small moment story. We all learned how to write a story by first thinking of an idea, planning through touching and telling and sketching across the pages and finally writing. We also worked on revising our stories asking the 5 W’s; Who? What? When? Where? and Why? We talked about and used different strategies to help us spell tricky words, for example ‘say it, slide it, hear it, write it’.


In Readers’ Workshop we talked about what habits are and that readers have good habits they do without reminders every time they read. We all know to take a sneak peek at the beginning, check our sneak peek and to do something at the end like rereading our favorite part.

We also used reading mats to keep track and help us set goals when reading.


In Maths Investigations we have been focusing on counting and ordering quantities and comparing numbers. We learned to play some games like collect 20, start with/get with, compare dots and compare. We used connecting cubes to build staircases and had a lesson with mystery bags where we had to count the contents and make a representation that shows what and how many are in the bag. This was very fun and exciting! We discussed strategies of putting numbers in order and learned about greater than, less than and equal to. We know that mathematicians use symbols to show these.


We started Word Work lessons, together with 1P, where we are focusing on getting those key word patterns and skills to help us with our reading and writing. Here some of us are working with sand, magnetic letters, whiteboards and ipads to practice our word list.


In Art we learned about an artist called Amadeo Modigliani and made our own portraits in his style (head and shoulders, oval-shaped face, long neck, almond-shaped eyes, long, sometimes twisted nose, pursed lips) using oil pastels.


The class got to take a second book from the library and listened to a fun story called Androcles and the Lion.


We also all signed onto a computer in the PC Lab and played games on Starfall.


On Friday we welcomed two new classmates to 1G!


I hope you all have a fabulous weekend filled with lots of reading! See you all on Monday!

Tips for reading at home

For the first few weeks of school our goal is to help the students gain a love for reading. We will be learning how to pick a “just right book” throughout the year, although sometimes they may still come home with books that are too hard for them (especially towards the beginning when any book is ok at the moment).

How can you assist your child with reading at home

Always try to fit in reading!

Once is not enough

Encourage your child to re-read favorite books and poems. Re-reading helps kids read more quickly and accurately.

Dig deeper into the story

Ask your child questions about the story you’ve just read. Say something like, “Why do you think Clifford did that?”

Connect prior knowledge – Ask them what they already know about the subject before they open the book.

Make a prediction – Ask them what they think will happen next.

Connections – Ask them questions such as do you have any connections (Have you been to a park like that?)

Retelling – Have them retell important parts of the story

Characters – Have them describe or tell about the traits of characters in the story.

Be patient

When your child is trying to sound out an unfamiliar word, give him or her time to do so. Remind them to look closely at the first letter or letters of the word.

If they don’t know most the words

Read the pictures – have them describe in detail what is happening in the pictures and see if you can see any words that match (if there is a pizza in the picture look for that word)

Have them pick out words they do know such as simple sight words: a, the, at, home, etc.

Feel free to read the book along with them pointing to the words and maybe helping them sound out easy to read words.

If they know some words

Have the read the words they can and use strategies such as sounding it out, looking for word patterns, using the picture, etc. Whatever tools they are most comfortable with when coming upon a hard to read word. We will be going over new strategies throughout the year that will help them with this as well.

If they know all the words 

Encourage them to read the book once, and again to see if they notice anything different.

Pick books that are at the right level

Help your child pick books that are not too difficult. The aim is to give your child lots of successful reading experiences.

Play word games

Have your child sound out the word as you change it from mat to fat to sat; from sat to sag to sap; and from sap to sip.

I read to you, you read to me

Take turns reading aloud. Kids enjoy this special time with their parents.

First week of school!

We loved our first week of 1st Grade!!!

Here we are on the first day of school #bestfirstdayoffirstgradeever

This week we learned all about our classmates, who we are, where we come from and what we like.

Below is our birthday wall!

We discussed what it means to be a unique individual, one of our SMEOs (Saint Maur Essential Outcome), and completed a self-portrait explaining why each of us is unique.

We wrote a story…

…read books and did some Maths review. Here some of us are exploring cubes, pattern blocks and Geoblocks.

We had fun playing games at recess time.

We went to the library and the MacLab and had Japanese, Religion, Music and PE class for the first time!

Keep up the hard work busy bees!

Unit 1


How to help your child with math homework

We do not send home many math worksheets but ask parents to read the above documents which will help you find ways to integrate math authentically into your daily routine.

Ask questions to extend your child’s thinking. Here are some questions you might try. Notice that they require more of a response than just “yes” or “no.”

◆What do you need to find out?
◆ What are you going to do first?
◆ How you are solving this problem?
◆ How did you get this answer?
◆ Why does your answer make sense?
◆ Can you explain that in a different way?
  • Establish a quiet place to work (whether at home, in an afterschool program, or some other place) and a system for bringing homework back and forth to school.
  • Certain materials, such as Primary Number Cards and game directions, will be used again and again throughout the year. Because they will be sent home only once, please help your child find a safe place to store their math materials—maybe in a math folder, an envelope, or a shoe box—so that he or she can easily locate and use them when needed. If your child regularly does homework in more than one place, we can talk about how to obtain the necessary materials for each place.
  • Children often use real objects to solve math problems. Please provide a collection (20–30) of small objects such as beans, buttons, or pennies for students to use at home. These can be stored in plastic bags or small containers and kept with other math materials.

Welcome to Grade 1! 2018-2019

Enjoy the welcome video from Mr. Palagi and myself


All about myself:






All About Grade 1:



Beginning of the year questionnaire to help me get to know your child:


Thank yous and Goodbyes!


As the school year has come to a close I want to take a moment to thank you all!

Thank you for supporting all of my efforts this school year. I have really enjoyed teaching your child and all the hugs, smiles and kind words your child has shared with me.

Thank you for making sure your child made it to school on time, for taking the time to read and sign all the notes and forms that have come home, and for reading with your child and helping them learn.

Thank you for making my first year at Saint Maur so memorable and wonderful!

Wishing you all an enjoyable and restful summer holiday!

Remember, my door is always open! And to those leaving our school, please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. All the best!

I hope you enjoy the following video which captures a second a day leading up to the day of our final ES assembly on April 24th. Due to technical phone problems the rest of the seconds sadly never saved.

Last Week of School!

During the last week of school the class spent time tidying up their belongings and things around the classroom. We have many things to take home from our amazing year in Grade 1!


In Real Scrip we practiced writing both x height and rising ligatures to s.


In Maths the class finished our final Unit! With our partner, we wrote a few sentences about our building and planned where our building will go on the class town.

We constructed our 3D buildings on the large street grid.

We gave directions from one place to another in the classroom and on a map of the class town we made. As a class we developed a code for giving directions and used this code to record trips through the class town. We also completed the end of unit assessment where we were given 2D representations of four different buildings and we had to look at four Geoblock buildings and decide which plan represents which building.

Finally, the class completed our post-assessment for Unit 9. We did it!



In IPC, we presented our insect research projects. We learned a lot of interesting facts about many different insects!



We did some fun reflection activities about what we loved this year and what we look forward to doing during the Summer vacation.


We look forward to our end of year picnic at Yamashita park tomorrow!


The end is almost here!

On Monday and Friday morning, the class got to work with Mr. Levy for Maker Space! It was so much fun!


We continued working on Real Script and practiced letter formation within structural families, in particular emblem u letters, emblem n letters, and vertical and diagonal downstroke letters.


On Friday we read with 3B for the LAST time!


In Maths, we completed the post assessment for Unit 8 and the pre-assessment for our last Unit in Maths for the year! The class was introduced to the new unit on geometry and matched 3D Geoblocks to 2D outlines (‘footprints’) of Geoblock faces. In our books, we had to determine the identity of a mystery object, given its 2D outline and worked to match 2D pictures of Geoblocks to actual blocks. We discussed strategies for matching 2D representations to 3D objects.

The class also played ‘Blocks in a Sock’ using tactile information to try to identify a 3D shape.

As a class, we looked at some Mystery Boxes and talked about what kind of box we think it could be and why. We discussed characteristics of boxes, like the number of faces. It was fun revealing the mystery boxes.

We had to draw a picture of a given Geoblock building as accurately as possible. We also constructed a Geoblock building and then tried to represent the geometric characteristics of it on paper. We had fun building with the Geoblocks!

The class discussed buildings they have seen in their community and buildings they want their class Geoblock town to have. In pairs, we chose a building to design, build, and draw for the class town.


In Art, we got to use the Art room in the Fine Arts building and created a mosaic with many small colored pieces of cutout shapes to fill an insect outline.


In IPC, we continued working on our insect research project finding information from a range of different resources.

We started preparing our posters which we will use to present our information to the class next week.