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## Ongoing Learning

Welcome back from spring break!

We have been working to to set up an online learning platform set up for all students. Last week Ms. Allison shared that we will be using Google Classroom and Google Meet as our online teaching and learning tools. I am excited to continue our learning journey in a new way!

I am so excited to continue to learn with everyone and look forward to connecting with all of you.

Love, Ms. Kelly

## Learning Suggestions for Families

Focus: sight words and blending letter sounds together to read words

We have been working really hard on using our letter sounds to read words. Students are becoming experts at saying each sound in a word and blending them together to read the word. For example, c-a-t to read the word ‘cat’.

Here are pictures of sight words we have been working on:

Here is a picture of a new set of sight words for you to work on:

Activities for you to try:

Math Groups

Focus: adding and subtracting within 20

We have been working on adding and subtracting within 20 and your children are becoming experts at this!

Activities for you to try:

• Roll 2 or 3 dice and see who can say how many there are all together first!
• Write facts on a piece of paper for your child to solve. For example, 3 + 4 =, 7 + 6 =, 10 – 4 =, 20 – 12 =
• Explore Math Playground Website – www.mathplayground.com

## February

We are experts at reading 3 letter words and now we can blend letter sounds together to read words with more than 4 letters! This month we read the books "Are We There Yeti?" by Ashlyn Anstee, "Explorers of the Wild" by Cale Atkinson, "Bear Feels Scared" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman and "The Cool Bean", by Jory John. We have loved sharing these stories together, learning from each other and re-telling these books through song!

Math Groups

We have been working on sorting addition and subtraction equations to improve our accuracy and to determine if two equations are equal or un-equal. During our math talks and activities we have been examining equations and sets of objects to determine which one doesn't belong.  The students have gained confidence in identifying which one doesn't belong and in explaining their reasoning!

## January

Transitions

As our grade 2 students enter the final months of the school year, we are beginning to plan for their transition from Niitsitapi to the next phase in their learning journey. We will work closely with parents and guardians to ensure that both students and families feel ready and supported during this time. Please do not hesitate to call or contact us if you have any questions about this transition.

We are becoming better readers every day and we are proud of it! Our independence in reading sight words, books and blending letter sounds together continues to grow! This month we read the books "The Bad Seed" by Jory John and "Max the Brave" by Ed Vere. We learned a lot from reading these stories together, including what words like scoot, skitter and dash mean.

Math Groups

We are becoming experts at adding and subtracting to 20. We have learned a lot of strategies to use like counting on, counting back, drawing pictures, using blocks, using a number line and using a beaded number line. We are becoming more confident in sharing how we got an answer with our friends and proving that we know we are right. We have also been exploring patterns and are starting to see that 2 sets of objects can have the same pattern and not be the same colours!

## November

In November, we worked hard on increasing our letter sound knowledge and becoming more independent at segmenting letter sounds and blending them together. We are proud of how many sight words we know! We love playing games that help us become better readers. This month, one of the books that we explored together was called "The Giving Tree" by Leah Dorian. We worked on re-telling this story using the words First, Next, Then and Last and we learned about the importance of reciprocity.

In December, we will focus on the letter sounds f, b and j, work with all of the letter sounds we have learned to help us become better readers, learn new sight words and enjoy some Christmas reading fun!

Math Groups

In November we explored the meaning of the words more and less, continued to look at patterns with numbers and increased our independence at choosing a strategy to add numbers together.

In December we will continue to focus on understanding the relationship between addition and subtraction and increase our confidence in sharing our understanding and adding and subtracting independently.

## October

During Parent-Teacher-Conferences in October, we had the pleasure of meeting with many parents/guardians to discuss their child's strengths and needs in the learning environment. If you were unable to attend or have additional concerns or questions, please feel free to contact myself or your child's homeroom teacher. When we work together,  we can best support your child and help them to progress in their learning!

This month, we continued to learn new letter sounds and are working towards becoming experts at blending letter sounds together to read 3 letter words. We are starting to recognize more and more familiar sight words in text and in our environment. Every week we have a "Book of the Week" that we enjoy together every day. Reading the same book several times is a powerful reading strategy that has many benefits, including helping children to increase their vocabulary and expressive and receptive language skills. Children love reading familiar books and feel successful when they know what word comes next or what is going to happen next. I highly recommend trying this at home!

Our goal for the next month is to become experts at blending 3 letter sounds together and use this skill when reading books or other text. We will continue to practice our sight words every day and read familiar text so that we can improve our independent reading skills!

Math Groups

We have continued to explore numbers to 100. We have been looking for patterns in numbers, making numbers with ten frames and building numbers with base ten blocks. We also explored patterns with shapes and colours and enjoyed sharing our patterns with each other. Students are learning to sort objects based on similar attributes and explain how or why they created their groupings to others.

Over the next month, I am excited to continue to look for patterns in the world around us and use measurement to make comparisons. We will continue to explore numbers with a greater focus on addition and subtraction.

## September

All of our grade 1 and 2 students have started reading and math groups. These groups occur Monday - Thursday and enable us to target students learning needs in smaller groups. If you have any questions about these groups, please feel free to contact myself or your child's homeroom teacher.

The students who join me for reading groups have been working on letter identification, letter sound identification, using letter sounds to begin to read 2 and 3 letter words and mastering some sight words. We enjoy learning through songs, and centers and we always end our time together by enjoying a book and chatting about it.

We will continue to increase our letter sound knowledge, work on blending letter sounds together to read words by ourselves and increase our sight word recognition so we can continue to become better readers and writers!

Math Groups

The students who join me for math groups have been working on counting to 100 and identifying and representing numbers to 100. We have loved exploring numbers together and chatting about what we notice. The students made beautiful beaded number lines that we use as a tool for counting, adding and subtracting.

We will continue to explore numbers and use our math skills to become experts at adding and subtracting!

## Introduction 2019-2020

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

My name is Kelly Post. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and have worked in Indigenous education for 10 years. I am thrilled to be back at Niitsitapi Learning Centre for another school year!

My role at the school is to support students, staff and families in having a successful, fun and engaging year. We want to ensure that all of our students are receiving the supports and services necessary to meet their learning needs and that their families feel supported as well. In order to be responsive to student learning needs, all of our grade 1 and 2 students will receive targeted instruction for literacy and mathematics.

I look forward to a wonderful year!

Love, Ms.Kelly

## May 2019

Math Groups

This month we focused on collecting and analyzing data and creating and solving word problems. We had a lot of fun creating our own questions and collecting data from our peers. We grew tomato plants and recorded the number of seeds that germinated - most of them did! We have become experts at creating stories to match addition and subtraction equations and use the words "all together" or "left" in our stories.

Literacy Groups

We have been increasing our reading fluency by practicing reading with expression. Students have been looking closely at punctuation when reading and adding expression to better understand what they are reading and to make it more enjoyable for their audience. We have also been focusing on reading and following directions. It has been a lot of fun to challenge the students and see just how good they truly are at following instructions!

We loved reading "Diary of  Worm", "Diary of  Spider" and "Diary of a Fly" by Doreen Cronin together. Students choose their own bug to learn about and created a diary from the perspective of their bug. We also learned the Blackfoot and Cree names for our bugs and included them in our diaries.

## April 2019

Math Groups

This month we have been using measurement and shapes to guide our math talks and exploration. The students loved measuring each other, our classroom pets and objects in and around our school and making observations and comparisons. We have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes, searching for them in our surroundings, building them, sorting them into groups and describing what attributes a shape must have to be in these groups. Students have enjoyed examining groups of shapes and explaining why a shape does or doesn't belong. We used our photography skills to photograph beautiful shapes from Na'a (Mother Earth).

Literacy Groups

We continue to work on increasing our sight word recognition and word de-coding skills. We have been discussing and practicing reading with fluency by listening to ourselves and others read, pausing at punctuation and re-reading text and stories. The students have been enjoying challenging each other to beat their fastest time at reading their sight word lists.

We have been using our five senses to explore and write about the beauty and gifts that Na'a (Mother Earth) gives to us and the places that our imaginations take us to!

## March 2019

Literacy Groups

Math Groups

We have been exploring the value of coins and using our number sense and addition and subtraction skills to count money, add values together and determine how much change we would get if we purchased something. We continue to talk about math every day and the students are becoming experts at being active listeners, sharing their ideas and learning new insights and strategies from their peers.

## February 2019

Literacy Groups

We are learning about vowel teams and other letter teams to help us read words like team, train, float, cloud and flower. The students are becoming experts at recognizing and identifying these teams when reading!

We have been exploring writing letters and using letters to spread kindness and communicate with others. The students received a letter from our classroom unicorn requesting that they give her a name. They all wrote her a letter to tell her what they thought her name should be and why.  Thanks to the students, she finally has a name - Rainbow Flower!

Math Groups

We continue to practice adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers by exploring new strategies and increasing our understanding. We have been working on finding the missing number in addition and subtraction sentences and are becoming experts at creating fact families. We talk about numbers and math everyday and continue to practice sharing our understanding and explaining our thinking.

100th Day of School

We celebrated our 100th day of school! The students have been working so hard all year and are very proud that they are now 100 days smarter!

Speech and Language

## January 2019

Literacy Groups

Students are learning about word endings and are mastering reading words that end with -s, -ed, -ing, -er and -est. We practice reading skills as a group and through center based activities. We are using our knowledge of story elements to write our own stories. We have been gathering ideas for stories by reading books, exploring wordless picture books, playing with loose parts and sharing our ideas with each other. Students are learning about and experimenting with the process of writing a story - gathering ideas, creating a plan, using a plan to write a story, editing our writing and sharing our stories with others.

Math Groups

Students have been working on adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers. In order to do this, we are using our understanding of place value, the concepts of more and less and the addition and subtraction skills that we already have. We have been exploring different strategies, including adding and subtracting ones and tens, re-grouping, borrowing, using base ten blocks and using hundreds charts. We are always working towards increasing our mental math skills and ability to use mental math.

Book Club!

Book Club is every Tuesday during recess time for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students. We read together, chat about the books we read and sometimes we enjoy quiet activities (like coloring) while we listen to stories. We LOVE reading and are so grateful to get to enjoy the amazing books that we have at Niitsitapi Learning Centre!

Soccer!

Kindergarten to Grade 3 students have the opportunity to learn soccer skills on Wednesdays during recess time with Andrew from Boost Athletic. The students are loving learning new skills and tricks! Thank you to Boost Athletic Multi Sport for providing our students with this opportunity!

## November 2018

Literacy Groups

Students have been working towards mastering reading words with digraphs 'ch', 'sh', 'th' and 'wh'. We have been exploring story elements and practicing re-telling stories by describing the characters, setting, and the story plot (beginning, middle and end).

Math Groups

We have been working on using visual representations and mental math strategies to quickly identify the number that is 1 more, 1 less, 10 more or 10 less than a given number. The students continue to practice adding and subtracting numbers to 20 using mental math. One strategy that we are becoming experts at is making groups of 10 when we are adding multiple numbers.  We have been counting down the days until Christmas and representing this number daily with tens and ones and the expanded form of the number.

Lit Bits November...

 The link between reading and children’s mental health It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian children may develop a mental health disorder. Studies show that the prevalence of mental health disorders in children and youth has remained the same since 2007. Over the last decade, emergency department visits for mental illness jumped by two-thirds and hospitalizations by more than 50% for Canadian youth aged five to 24. New research shows that children who are most engaged with reading and writing in their free time are three times as likely to have positive mental wellbeing as their peers who don’t make time for reading. According to one children’s mental health expert, “Escaping in a good story is not only a great way to cope when you’re feeling stressed or worried, but can also be a fantastic opportunity for children to explore difficult feelings, understand them, and feel less alone.” Reading and listening to stories is a great way to build social and emotional competencies in children, providing them with life skills to help them cope with any stressors or pressure that may come their way in life. Featured Reads:  Raising Canadareport(Children First)
 Growing up in a home packed with books has a large effect on literacy in later life – but a home library needs to contain at least 80 books to be effective, according to new research. 2.    Again... and again! Kids want (and learn) from repetition (The Conversation) Is it beneficial for your child if you read the same book again and again, night after night? Yes! 3.    Jólabókaflóð is Iceland’s “Holiday Book Flood!” Does this sound like a good way to spend the holidays? In Iceland, after receiving a new book from your family, you wrap yourself up in a blanket with a mug of hot cocoa and spend the rest of the evening reading.

Literacy Groups

The students have been working hard to learn new sight words, master vowel sounds, blend sounds together to read words and to read those sneaky "bossy e" words!

During the month of October, we explored settings. We read stories, looked at pictures of settings and wrote words and sentences to describe the pictures. We also explored spooky settings in stories and created and wrote about our own spooky setting! We are learning to add more detail to our writing.

Math Groups

We have been learning to use mental math strategies to quickly add and subtract numbers to 18. The students are really proud of their mathematical skills and are excited to share their understanding and ideas with each other.

Speech and Language

Here are some tips from Alberta Health Services for how to help your child become a strong communicator.

## September 2018

Literacy Groups

We use center based activities to increase our reading skills. The students are learning to work with one another and support each other in reaching our goals!

We all love our friend Iinii who greets us at the front doors when we walk into the school every day. He is made of granite and our love for him has sparked a desire to learn more about rocks!

We started by looking closely at rocks and enjoying some beautiful books, including "A Stone for Sascha", by Aaron Becker and "Heart Stones", by Josie Iselin. The students shared what they already know about rocks and what they wonder. One of the questions students wondered was "What are rocks made of?" We explored this question through experiments, videos and books. Students thought it was pretty cool that some rocks are made from lava that has cooled!

Stay tuned to find out where our wonderings and learning will take us next!

Math Groups

We have been exploring numbers to 100 and learning to represent these numbers in various ways. We are discovering that when we talk about our ideas with others, we can learn so much more!

## 2018 - 2019 School Start Up!

We have had a wonderful start to the third year of the Niitsitapi Learning Centre. I am filled with gratitude for the students, parents, staff, friends and partnerships that make this beautiful place truly feel like home.

Literacy and Numeracy Groups

All students from Grade 1 to Grade 3 at Niitsitapi Learning Centre will begin to work in literacy and numeracy groups in September. The purpose of these groups is to meet students at their independent level of learning and to be able to provide the best possible instruction, environment and opportunities to move student learning forward. Students will be working on targeted reading, writing and mathematical skills and strategies. These groups are flexible and students may move to new groups as they learn new skills or their needs change over the course of the year.

Physical Education

We have a beautiful gymnasium and outdoor space as well as wonderful equipment geared towards our young learners. In order to promote engagement in physical activities for life, it is essential for our students to move their bodies every day and to learn and become confident with fundamental movement skills. We work hard to provide a physical education program that helps to develop and nurture these skills and that instils a positive attitude towards physical activity. For the months of August and September we will be focusing on body and movement awareness skills and co-operative games.

We are very lucky to be able to access various supports and services at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, including support from an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist and a Speech and Language Pathologist. Strategies provided by these amazing professionals are embedded into all of our classrooms and benefit all students.

We have a school nurse through Alberta Health Services who does not work in our building, but provides a link between school, home and the community. She can support staff and families with health related questions or inquiries. With parent consent, grade 1- 3 students will have the opportunity to receive any needed vaccinations throughout the school year.

Through a partnership with Mount Royal University, student nurses join our school community in 3 week rotations throughout the year. They spend time in the classrooms, supporting students as they learn and offering health teachings and promotions.

I look forward to the school year that lies ahead and to sharing the learning journey with you all!

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## May 2018

Learning From Na'a

Now that spring is here, we have been loving spending time outside and learning from Mother Earth - Na'a. We have been using our senses to really notice the gifts that Na'a provides as well as other noises, sights or smells that we often miss when we don't take the time to really stop and notice. The students have been discussing what they feel like when we are outdoors. Some of the words they have shared are "calm", "happy" and "peaceful".

Creating and Sharing Stories

In our literacy group, we have been creating and sharing stories. First we explored different ways to share a story - oral storytelling and by using, symbols, pictures and words. Next, we learned about the parts of a story. We also learned that the author is the person who writes the words and the illustrator is the person who creates the pictures. Then, we made a plan for our own stories. After our plans were ready, we turned our plans into a story that we could share with others. Finally, we shared our stories with others.

## April 2018

Signs of Spring

The winter-like start to our spring created a fun opportunity for the students to search for signs of spring. We were amazed at what we found when there was still snow on the ground!

The Calgary Zoo

The Grade 1 and 2 students visited the Calgary Zoo on April 11th. The students loved exploring the Canadian Wilds and observing animals that call our beautiful country home. Watching the otters swim right in front of us was a highlight for many of the students. We participated in a program about penguins and learned so many things. Did you know that penguins not only live in Antarctica, but also in places like Australia and Africa?

## March 2018

Telus Spark!

The Grade 1 and 2 students visited Telus Spark on March 14th. The students loved exploring the Creative Kids Museum the outdoor Brainasium and a few exhibits. We participated in 2 workshops: Making Mixtures and Floating and Boating. During the Floating and Boating program, students were able to extend their classroom learning about Boats and Buoyancy. Students worked together to create a boat and then tested their boats in the water area of the Creative Kids Museum. What a fun and exciting day! If only we had a little more time!

Swimming

The Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2 students participated in swimming lessons at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre March 5th - 8th. It was wonderful to see the students gain skills and confidence in the water over the course of the lessons! The smiles on the children's faces and excitement in their voices when they would say "watch me!" was heartwarming.

Friendship, Love and Kindness

The collaborative project to symbolize our unity and support for positive relationships, friendship, love and kindness is on display on the digital screen by the greeting wall. Be sure to check it out! Below are some examples of our learning and positive relationships.

Home reading folders were sent home last week for grade 1 and 2 students. The students were excited to receive their folders and share them with their families! These folders include a book and games for families to play with their child. Please send the folder back to school when your child is ready to trade their book for a new one and at the end of every month so we can send home the monthly bingo. We hope that you have fun playing with your child and watching their reading skills grow!!

## February 2018 | Special Days This Month

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

We have a loving community here at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, but we all know that bullying can be a problem in schools, homes, work places and online. During the month of February our classes will be exploring the topic of bullying – what it means, and the impact it can have. We will be focusing on building positive relationships and fostering healthy self-esteem. Classes will be using literature to guide these discussions and explorations. One story that will be shared is “Enemy Pie”, by Derek Munson. In this story, a young boy learns about the difficulties and rewards of making new friends as he navigate his feelings when a new boy moves into the neighborhood and brings change to his life. This book can be used as a way to explore the definition of bullying, different perspectives and building positive relationships.

February 28th is National Pink Shirt Day. On this day we encourage students, staff and families to wear pink to symbolize that we do not tolerate bullying. Students and staff will be making their “mark” on a collaborative project to symbolize our unity and support for positive relationships.

Did you know Wednesday, February 7th is the 100th day of school? All classes will participate in 100th day activities.

On February 14th, class will be talking about the teaching “Love and Kindness” and celebrating Valentine’s Day. Class lists will be sent home.

Have a wonderful February and share the love!

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## December 2017 | Targeted Support for Grades 1 & 2

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

December and all of the joy that it brings is here! There is always so much to be grateful for, but this time of year makes me appreciate this precious life and all of the wonderful blessings that we have even more. Having the opportunity to support and nurture our students every day is one of those blessings that I truly am thankful for. We strive to do whatever we can and whatever is needed to best support our students and their families.

In order to better support our students, we have started targeted, small groups for all of our grade 1 and 2 students for reading, writing and mathematics. These groups occur daily Monday to Thursday. In doing this, we are able to personalize learning for our students and provide targeted support to increase student learning and success. These groupings are fluid and students can move from one group to another as their learning needs change.

We would love to chat with you more about these groups and your child’s learning during conferences on December 7th and 8th. If you are unable to attend conferences, please feel free to call us to chat on the phone or book another time to meet.

I hope everyone has a wonderful December and a joyful winter break!

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## November 2017 | Practicing & Improving Literacy

As a school we are working together to continuously improve our student’s achievement in literacy. This includes skills in speaking, listening, understanding, reading and writing. Before students learn to read and write there are many skills they need to have, including: alphabet knowledge, letter sound identification, rhyming and identifying familiar pictures and objects by name. Mastery of these skills is crucial for later literacy achievements. It is never too early to start practicing these skills with children!

Some ideas for practicing literacy skills at home with your children are:

• Search for letters in the environment – “my cheerio is shaped like the letter o”
• See how many words you can find that rhyme – cat, bat, hat, mat, etc.
• Create letters out of random materials – straws, blocks, play dough
• Use a paintbrush and water to paint letters on pavement
• Practice writing or making your child’s name with whatever materials you have at home – pencils, play dough, letters from a flyer
• Go for a walk and talk about what you see – “I see a tree, what do you see?”
• Sing together!
• List as many words as you can that start with a certain letter sound – snake, soap, sat, etc.

We would love to hear about the literacy games or activities that you are doing with your children at home! You can email me at krpost@cbe.ab.ca, send in a photo or story or chat with me when you see me! I would love to feature some of your ideas and literacy experiences with your children in our next newsletter!

We are all in this together and we all have so much to learn from each other.

Have a wonderful November!
Love,

Ms. Kelly

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

Fall is here! I am excited to explore this new season and all of the things we are grateful for with the students!

Improving our student’s literacy skills and ability to read the world around them is a key part of our programming at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre. Literacy learning is embedded in our classrooms through play, conversations, explorations, activities, reading and visuals.

This month, our grade 1 and 2 students will begin daily reading groups. In these groups, students will have the opportunity to work on targeted reading strategies, specific to their needs, in a small group setting. If you have any questions about these groups, or would like to know what skill or strategy your child is currently working on, please contact your child’s teacher or myself.

Reading with your child at home will have a positive impact on their reading skills and enjoyment. Reading takes many forms, including reading our environment through words, symbols and pictures. Here are some ways you can incorporate reading into your daily routines:

• Read together for 15 minutes before bed time
• Have your child help to create a grocery list – they can draw pictures for items or cut them out of newspapers or magazines
• While driving or walking, challenge your child to find specific letters or signs, ie. How many stop signs can you find?
• Play ‘Eye Spy’ in the car, at home or while you are out and about

Wishing everyone a wonderful October.

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## September 2017 | Supports and Services Available at NLC

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

As we begin the second year of the Niisitapi Learning Centre, I am filled with gratitude, hope and excitement. It has been so wonderful to see so many familiar, beautiful faces return to our school and to meet many new students and their families. Our family is growing every day, bringing us new opportunities, friendships, partnerships and possibilities.

We are very lucky to be able to access various supports and services at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, including support from an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist and a Speech and Language Pathologist. Strategies provided by these amazing professionals are embedded into all of our classrooms and benefit all students.

As we head into September and students are becoming more comfortable and familiar with school routines and expectations, we want to ensure that all students and families feel supported in their child’s learning journey. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s learning or development or the supports and services that we can provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Here is to a wonderful and exciting school year!

Love,
Ms. Kelly

# Ms. Kelly

## Ongoing Learning

Welcome back from spring break!

We have been working to to set up an online learning platform set up for all students. Last week Ms. Allison shared that we will be using Google Classroom and Google Meet as our online teaching and learning tools. I am excited to continue our learning journey in a new way!

I am so excited to continue to learn with everyone and look forward to connecting with all of you.

Love, Ms. Kelly

## Learning Suggestions for Families

Focus: sight words and blending letter sounds together to read words

We have been working really hard on using our letter sounds to read words. Students are becoming experts at saying each sound in a word and blending them together to read the word. For example, c-a-t to read the word ‘cat’.

Here are pictures of sight words we have been working on:

Here is a picture of a new set of sight words for you to work on:

Activities for you to try:

Math Groups

Focus: adding and subtracting within 20

We have been working on adding and subtracting within 20 and your children are becoming experts at this!

Activities for you to try:

• Roll 2 or 3 dice and see who can say how many there are all together first!
• Write facts on a piece of paper for your child to solve. For example, 3 + 4 =, 7 + 6 =, 10 – 4 =, 20 – 12 =
• Explore Math Playground Website – www.mathplayground.com

## February

We are experts at reading 3 letter words and now we can blend letter sounds together to read words with more than 4 letters! This month we read the books "Are We There Yeti?" by Ashlyn Anstee, "Explorers of the Wild" by Cale Atkinson, "Bear Feels Scared" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman and "The Cool Bean", by Jory John. We have loved sharing these stories together, learning from each other and re-telling these books through song!

Math Groups

We have been working on sorting addition and subtraction equations to improve our accuracy and to determine if two equations are equal or un-equal. During our math talks and activities we have been examining equations and sets of objects to determine which one doesn't belong.  The students have gained confidence in identifying which one doesn't belong and in explaining their reasoning!

## January

Transitions

As our grade 2 students enter the final months of the school year, we are beginning to plan for their transition from Niitsitapi to the next phase in their learning journey. We will work closely with parents and guardians to ensure that both students and families feel ready and supported during this time. Please do not hesitate to call or contact us if you have any questions about this transition.

We are becoming better readers every day and we are proud of it! Our independence in reading sight words, books and blending letter sounds together continues to grow! This month we read the books "The Bad Seed" by Jory John and "Max the Brave" by Ed Vere. We learned a lot from reading these stories together, including what words like scoot, skitter and dash mean.

Math Groups

We are becoming experts at adding and subtracting to 20. We have learned a lot of strategies to use like counting on, counting back, drawing pictures, using blocks, using a number line and using a beaded number line. We are becoming more confident in sharing how we got an answer with our friends and proving that we know we are right. We have also been exploring patterns and are starting to see that 2 sets of objects can have the same pattern and not be the same colours!

## November

In November, we worked hard on increasing our letter sound knowledge and becoming more independent at segmenting letter sounds and blending them together. We are proud of how many sight words we know! We love playing games that help us become better readers. This month, one of the books that we explored together was called "The Giving Tree" by Leah Dorian. We worked on re-telling this story using the words First, Next, Then and Last and we learned about the importance of reciprocity.

In December, we will focus on the letter sounds f, b and j, work with all of the letter sounds we have learned to help us become better readers, learn new sight words and enjoy some Christmas reading fun!

Math Groups

In November we explored the meaning of the words more and less, continued to look at patterns with numbers and increased our independence at choosing a strategy to add numbers together.

In December we will continue to focus on understanding the relationship between addition and subtraction and increase our confidence in sharing our understanding and adding and subtracting independently.

## October

During Parent-Teacher-Conferences in October, we had the pleasure of meeting with many parents/guardians to discuss their child's strengths and needs in the learning environment. If you were unable to attend or have additional concerns or questions, please feel free to contact myself or your child's homeroom teacher. When we work together,  we can best support your child and help them to progress in their learning!

This month, we continued to learn new letter sounds and are working towards becoming experts at blending letter sounds together to read 3 letter words. We are starting to recognize more and more familiar sight words in text and in our environment. Every week we have a "Book of the Week" that we enjoy together every day. Reading the same book several times is a powerful reading strategy that has many benefits, including helping children to increase their vocabulary and expressive and receptive language skills. Children love reading familiar books and feel successful when they know what word comes next or what is going to happen next. I highly recommend trying this at home!

Our goal for the next month is to become experts at blending 3 letter sounds together and use this skill when reading books or other text. We will continue to practice our sight words every day and read familiar text so that we can improve our independent reading skills!

Math Groups

We have continued to explore numbers to 100. We have been looking for patterns in numbers, making numbers with ten frames and building numbers with base ten blocks. We also explored patterns with shapes and colours and enjoyed sharing our patterns with each other. Students are learning to sort objects based on similar attributes and explain how or why they created their groupings to others.

Over the next month, I am excited to continue to look for patterns in the world around us and use measurement to make comparisons. We will continue to explore numbers with a greater focus on addition and subtraction.

## September

All of our grade 1 and 2 students have started reading and math groups. These groups occur Monday - Thursday and enable us to target students learning needs in smaller groups. If you have any questions about these groups, please feel free to contact myself or your child's homeroom teacher.

The students who join me for reading groups have been working on letter identification, letter sound identification, using letter sounds to begin to read 2 and 3 letter words and mastering some sight words. We enjoy learning through songs, and centers and we always end our time together by enjoying a book and chatting about it.

We will continue to increase our letter sound knowledge, work on blending letter sounds together to read words by ourselves and increase our sight word recognition so we can continue to become better readers and writers!

Math Groups

The students who join me for math groups have been working on counting to 100 and identifying and representing numbers to 100. We have loved exploring numbers together and chatting about what we notice. The students made beautiful beaded number lines that we use as a tool for counting, adding and subtracting.

We will continue to explore numbers and use our math skills to become experts at adding and subtracting!

## Introduction 2019-2020

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

My name is Kelly Post. I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and have worked in Indigenous education for 10 years. I am thrilled to be back at Niitsitapi Learning Centre for another school year!

My role at the school is to support students, staff and families in having a successful, fun and engaging year. We want to ensure that all of our students are receiving the supports and services necessary to meet their learning needs and that their families feel supported as well. In order to be responsive to student learning needs, all of our grade 1 and 2 students will receive targeted instruction for literacy and mathematics.

I look forward to a wonderful year!

Love, Ms.Kelly

## May 2019

Math Groups

This month we focused on collecting and analyzing data and creating and solving word problems. We had a lot of fun creating our own questions and collecting data from our peers. We grew tomato plants and recorded the number of seeds that germinated - most of them did! We have become experts at creating stories to match addition and subtraction equations and use the words "all together" or "left" in our stories.

Literacy Groups

We have been increasing our reading fluency by practicing reading with expression. Students have been looking closely at punctuation when reading and adding expression to better understand what they are reading and to make it more enjoyable for their audience. We have also been focusing on reading and following directions. It has been a lot of fun to challenge the students and see just how good they truly are at following instructions!

We loved reading "Diary of  Worm", "Diary of  Spider" and "Diary of a Fly" by Doreen Cronin together. Students choose their own bug to learn about and created a diary from the perspective of their bug. We also learned the Blackfoot and Cree names for our bugs and included them in our diaries.

## April 2019

Math Groups

This month we have been using measurement and shapes to guide our math talks and exploration. The students loved measuring each other, our classroom pets and objects in and around our school and making observations and comparisons. We have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes, searching for them in our surroundings, building them, sorting them into groups and describing what attributes a shape must have to be in these groups. Students have enjoyed examining groups of shapes and explaining why a shape does or doesn't belong. We used our photography skills to photograph beautiful shapes from Na'a (Mother Earth).

Literacy Groups

We continue to work on increasing our sight word recognition and word de-coding skills. We have been discussing and practicing reading with fluency by listening to ourselves and others read, pausing at punctuation and re-reading text and stories. The students have been enjoying challenging each other to beat their fastest time at reading their sight word lists.

We have been using our five senses to explore and write about the beauty and gifts that Na'a (Mother Earth) gives to us and the places that our imaginations take us to!

## March 2019

Literacy Groups

Math Groups

We have been exploring the value of coins and using our number sense and addition and subtraction skills to count money, add values together and determine how much change we would get if we purchased something. We continue to talk about math every day and the students are becoming experts at being active listeners, sharing their ideas and learning new insights and strategies from their peers.

## February 2019

Literacy Groups

We are learning about vowel teams and other letter teams to help us read words like team, train, float, cloud and flower. The students are becoming experts at recognizing and identifying these teams when reading!

We have been exploring writing letters and using letters to spread kindness and communicate with others. The students received a letter from our classroom unicorn requesting that they give her a name. They all wrote her a letter to tell her what they thought her name should be and why.  Thanks to the students, she finally has a name - Rainbow Flower!

Math Groups

We continue to practice adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers by exploring new strategies and increasing our understanding. We have been working on finding the missing number in addition and subtraction sentences and are becoming experts at creating fact families. We talk about numbers and math everyday and continue to practice sharing our understanding and explaining our thinking.

100th Day of School

We celebrated our 100th day of school! The students have been working so hard all year and are very proud that they are now 100 days smarter!

Speech and Language

## January 2019

Literacy Groups

Students are learning about word endings and are mastering reading words that end with -s, -ed, -ing, -er and -est. We practice reading skills as a group and through center based activities. We are using our knowledge of story elements to write our own stories. We have been gathering ideas for stories by reading books, exploring wordless picture books, playing with loose parts and sharing our ideas with each other. Students are learning about and experimenting with the process of writing a story - gathering ideas, creating a plan, using a plan to write a story, editing our writing and sharing our stories with others.

Math Groups

Students have been working on adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers. In order to do this, we are using our understanding of place value, the concepts of more and less and the addition and subtraction skills that we already have. We have been exploring different strategies, including adding and subtracting ones and tens, re-grouping, borrowing, using base ten blocks and using hundreds charts. We are always working towards increasing our mental math skills and ability to use mental math.

Book Club!

Book Club is every Tuesday during recess time for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students. We read together, chat about the books we read and sometimes we enjoy quiet activities (like coloring) while we listen to stories. We LOVE reading and are so grateful to get to enjoy the amazing books that we have at Niitsitapi Learning Centre!

Soccer!

Kindergarten to Grade 3 students have the opportunity to learn soccer skills on Wednesdays during recess time with Andrew from Boost Athletic. The students are loving learning new skills and tricks! Thank you to Boost Athletic Multi Sport for providing our students with this opportunity!

## November 2018

Literacy Groups

Students have been working towards mastering reading words with digraphs 'ch', 'sh', 'th' and 'wh'. We have been exploring story elements and practicing re-telling stories by describing the characters, setting, and the story plot (beginning, middle and end).

Math Groups

We have been working on using visual representations and mental math strategies to quickly identify the number that is 1 more, 1 less, 10 more or 10 less than a given number. The students continue to practice adding and subtracting numbers to 20 using mental math. One strategy that we are becoming experts at is making groups of 10 when we are adding multiple numbers.  We have been counting down the days until Christmas and representing this number daily with tens and ones and the expanded form of the number.

Lit Bits November...

 The link between reading and children’s mental health It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian children may develop a mental health disorder. Studies show that the prevalence of mental health disorders in children and youth has remained the same since 2007. Over the last decade, emergency department visits for mental illness jumped by two-thirds and hospitalizations by more than 50% for Canadian youth aged five to 24. New research shows that children who are most engaged with reading and writing in their free time are three times as likely to have positive mental wellbeing as their peers who don’t make time for reading. According to one children’s mental health expert, “Escaping in a good story is not only a great way to cope when you’re feeling stressed or worried, but can also be a fantastic opportunity for children to explore difficult feelings, understand them, and feel less alone.” Reading and listening to stories is a great way to build social and emotional competencies in children, providing them with life skills to help them cope with any stressors or pressure that may come their way in life. Featured Reads:  Raising Canadareport(Children First)
 Growing up in a home packed with books has a large effect on literacy in later life – but a home library needs to contain at least 80 books to be effective, according to new research. 2.    Again... and again! Kids want (and learn) from repetition (The Conversation) Is it beneficial for your child if you read the same book again and again, night after night? Yes! 3.    Jólabókaflóð is Iceland’s “Holiday Book Flood!” Does this sound like a good way to spend the holidays? In Iceland, after receiving a new book from your family, you wrap yourself up in a blanket with a mug of hot cocoa and spend the rest of the evening reading.

Literacy Groups

The students have been working hard to learn new sight words, master vowel sounds, blend sounds together to read words and to read those sneaky "bossy e" words!

During the month of October, we explored settings. We read stories, looked at pictures of settings and wrote words and sentences to describe the pictures. We also explored spooky settings in stories and created and wrote about our own spooky setting! We are learning to add more detail to our writing.

Math Groups

We have been learning to use mental math strategies to quickly add and subtract numbers to 18. The students are really proud of their mathematical skills and are excited to share their understanding and ideas with each other.

Speech and Language

Here are some tips from Alberta Health Services for how to help your child become a strong communicator.

## September 2018

Literacy Groups

We use center based activities to increase our reading skills. The students are learning to work with one another and support each other in reaching our goals!

We all love our friend Iinii who greets us at the front doors when we walk into the school every day. He is made of granite and our love for him has sparked a desire to learn more about rocks!

We started by looking closely at rocks and enjoying some beautiful books, including "A Stone for Sascha", by Aaron Becker and "Heart Stones", by Josie Iselin. The students shared what they already know about rocks and what they wonder. One of the questions students wondered was "What are rocks made of?" We explored this question through experiments, videos and books. Students thought it was pretty cool that some rocks are made from lava that has cooled!

Stay tuned to find out where our wonderings and learning will take us next!

Math Groups

We have been exploring numbers to 100 and learning to represent these numbers in various ways. We are discovering that when we talk about our ideas with others, we can learn so much more!

## 2018 - 2019 School Start Up!

We have had a wonderful start to the third year of the Niitsitapi Learning Centre. I am filled with gratitude for the students, parents, staff, friends and partnerships that make this beautiful place truly feel like home.

Literacy and Numeracy Groups

All students from Grade 1 to Grade 3 at Niitsitapi Learning Centre will begin to work in literacy and numeracy groups in September. The purpose of these groups is to meet students at their independent level of learning and to be able to provide the best possible instruction, environment and opportunities to move student learning forward. Students will be working on targeted reading, writing and mathematical skills and strategies. These groups are flexible and students may move to new groups as they learn new skills or their needs change over the course of the year.

Physical Education

We have a beautiful gymnasium and outdoor space as well as wonderful equipment geared towards our young learners. In order to promote engagement in physical activities for life, it is essential for our students to move their bodies every day and to learn and become confident with fundamental movement skills. We work hard to provide a physical education program that helps to develop and nurture these skills and that instils a positive attitude towards physical activity. For the months of August and September we will be focusing on body and movement awareness skills and co-operative games.

We are very lucky to be able to access various supports and services at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, including support from an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist and a Speech and Language Pathologist. Strategies provided by these amazing professionals are embedded into all of our classrooms and benefit all students.

We have a school nurse through Alberta Health Services who does not work in our building, but provides a link between school, home and the community. She can support staff and families with health related questions or inquiries. With parent consent, grade 1- 3 students will have the opportunity to receive any needed vaccinations throughout the school year.

Through a partnership with Mount Royal University, student nurses join our school community in 3 week rotations throughout the year. They spend time in the classrooms, supporting students as they learn and offering health teachings and promotions.

I look forward to the school year that lies ahead and to sharing the learning journey with you all!

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## May 2018

Learning From Na'a

Now that spring is here, we have been loving spending time outside and learning from Mother Earth - Na'a. We have been using our senses to really notice the gifts that Na'a provides as well as other noises, sights or smells that we often miss when we don't take the time to really stop and notice. The students have been discussing what they feel like when we are outdoors. Some of the words they have shared are "calm", "happy" and "peaceful".

Creating and Sharing Stories

In our literacy group, we have been creating and sharing stories. First we explored different ways to share a story - oral storytelling and by using, symbols, pictures and words. Next, we learned about the parts of a story. We also learned that the author is the person who writes the words and the illustrator is the person who creates the pictures. Then, we made a plan for our own stories. After our plans were ready, we turned our plans into a story that we could share with others. Finally, we shared our stories with others.

## April 2018

Signs of Spring

The winter-like start to our spring created a fun opportunity for the students to search for signs of spring. We were amazed at what we found when there was still snow on the ground!

The Calgary Zoo

The Grade 1 and 2 students visited the Calgary Zoo on April 11th. The students loved exploring the Canadian Wilds and observing animals that call our beautiful country home. Watching the otters swim right in front of us was a highlight for many of the students. We participated in a program about penguins and learned so many things. Did you know that penguins not only live in Antarctica, but also in places like Australia and Africa?

## March 2018

Telus Spark!

The Grade 1 and 2 students visited Telus Spark on March 14th. The students loved exploring the Creative Kids Museum the outdoor Brainasium and a few exhibits. We participated in 2 workshops: Making Mixtures and Floating and Boating. During the Floating and Boating program, students were able to extend their classroom learning about Boats and Buoyancy. Students worked together to create a boat and then tested their boats in the water area of the Creative Kids Museum. What a fun and exciting day! If only we had a little more time!

Swimming

The Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2 students participated in swimming lessons at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre March 5th - 8th. It was wonderful to see the students gain skills and confidence in the water over the course of the lessons! The smiles on the children's faces and excitement in their voices when they would say "watch me!" was heartwarming.

Friendship, Love and Kindness

The collaborative project to symbolize our unity and support for positive relationships, friendship, love and kindness is on display on the digital screen by the greeting wall. Be sure to check it out! Below are some examples of our learning and positive relationships.

Home reading folders were sent home last week for grade 1 and 2 students. The students were excited to receive their folders and share them with their families! These folders include a book and games for families to play with their child. Please send the folder back to school when your child is ready to trade their book for a new one and at the end of every month so we can send home the monthly bingo. We hope that you have fun playing with your child and watching their reading skills grow!!

## February 2018 | Special Days This Month

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

We have a loving community here at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, but we all know that bullying can be a problem in schools, homes, work places and online. During the month of February our classes will be exploring the topic of bullying – what it means, and the impact it can have. We will be focusing on building positive relationships and fostering healthy self-esteem. Classes will be using literature to guide these discussions and explorations. One story that will be shared is “Enemy Pie”, by Derek Munson. In this story, a young boy learns about the difficulties and rewards of making new friends as he navigate his feelings when a new boy moves into the neighborhood and brings change to his life. This book can be used as a way to explore the definition of bullying, different perspectives and building positive relationships.

February 28th is National Pink Shirt Day. On this day we encourage students, staff and families to wear pink to symbolize that we do not tolerate bullying. Students and staff will be making their “mark” on a collaborative project to symbolize our unity and support for positive relationships.

Did you know Wednesday, February 7th is the 100th day of school? All classes will participate in 100th day activities.

On February 14th, class will be talking about the teaching “Love and Kindness” and celebrating Valentine’s Day. Class lists will be sent home.

Have a wonderful February and share the love!

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## December 2017 | Targeted Support for Grades 1 & 2

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

December and all of the joy that it brings is here! There is always so much to be grateful for, but this time of year makes me appreciate this precious life and all of the wonderful blessings that we have even more. Having the opportunity to support and nurture our students every day is one of those blessings that I truly am thankful for. We strive to do whatever we can and whatever is needed to best support our students and their families.

In order to better support our students, we have started targeted, small groups for all of our grade 1 and 2 students for reading, writing and mathematics. These groups occur daily Monday to Thursday. In doing this, we are able to personalize learning for our students and provide targeted support to increase student learning and success. These groupings are fluid and students can move from one group to another as their learning needs change.

We would love to chat with you more about these groups and your child’s learning during conferences on December 7th and 8th. If you are unable to attend conferences, please feel free to call us to chat on the phone or book another time to meet.

I hope everyone has a wonderful December and a joyful winter break!

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## November 2017 | Practicing & Improving Literacy

As a school we are working together to continuously improve our student’s achievement in literacy. This includes skills in speaking, listening, understanding, reading and writing. Before students learn to read and write there are many skills they need to have, including: alphabet knowledge, letter sound identification, rhyming and identifying familiar pictures and objects by name. Mastery of these skills is crucial for later literacy achievements. It is never too early to start practicing these skills with children!

Some ideas for practicing literacy skills at home with your children are:

• Search for letters in the environment – “my cheerio is shaped like the letter o”
• See how many words you can find that rhyme – cat, bat, hat, mat, etc.
• Create letters out of random materials – straws, blocks, play dough
• Use a paintbrush and water to paint letters on pavement
• Practice writing or making your child’s name with whatever materials you have at home – pencils, play dough, letters from a flyer
• Go for a walk and talk about what you see – “I see a tree, what do you see?”
• Sing together!
• List as many words as you can that start with a certain letter sound – snake, soap, sat, etc.

We would love to hear about the literacy games or activities that you are doing with your children at home! You can email me at krpost@cbe.ab.ca, send in a photo or story or chat with me when you see me! I would love to feature some of your ideas and literacy experiences with your children in our next newsletter!

We are all in this together and we all have so much to learn from each other.

Have a wonderful November!
Love,

Ms. Kelly

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

Fall is here! I am excited to explore this new season and all of the things we are grateful for with the students!

Improving our student’s literacy skills and ability to read the world around them is a key part of our programming at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre. Literacy learning is embedded in our classrooms through play, conversations, explorations, activities, reading and visuals.

This month, our grade 1 and 2 students will begin daily reading groups. In these groups, students will have the opportunity to work on targeted reading strategies, specific to their needs, in a small group setting. If you have any questions about these groups, or would like to know what skill or strategy your child is currently working on, please contact your child’s teacher or myself.

Reading with your child at home will have a positive impact on their reading skills and enjoyment. Reading takes many forms, including reading our environment through words, symbols and pictures. Here are some ways you can incorporate reading into your daily routines:

• Read together for 15 minutes before bed time
• Have your child help to create a grocery list – they can draw pictures for items or cut them out of newspapers or magazines
• While driving or walking, challenge your child to find specific letters or signs, ie. How many stop signs can you find?
• Play ‘Eye Spy’ in the car, at home or while you are out and about

Wishing everyone a wonderful October.

Love,

Ms. Kelly

## September 2017 | Supports and Services Available at NLC

Oki, Tansi, Hello,

As we begin the second year of the Niisitapi Learning Centre, I am filled with gratitude, hope and excitement. It has been so wonderful to see so many familiar, beautiful faces return to our school and to meet many new students and their families. Our family is growing every day, bringing us new opportunities, friendships, partnerships and possibilities.

We are very lucky to be able to access various supports and services at the Niitsitapi Learning Centre, including support from an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist and a Speech and Language Pathologist. Strategies provided by these amazing professionals are embedded into all of our classrooms and benefit all students.

As we head into September and students are becoming more comfortable and familiar with school routines and expectations, we want to ensure that all students and families feel supported in their child’s learning journey. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s learning or development or the supports and services that we can provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Here is to a wonderful and exciting school year!

Love,
Ms. Kelly