Mrs. Stanford

Coming Up for Room 80!

March 11,12 - Swimming at Acadia Pool

March 9, 10, 16, 17, 18 - Cathy Beveridge our Author in residence is coming!

March 19 - Early Dismissal and Student Led Conferences

March 20 - No school - Student Led Conferences

March 24 - 28 - Spring Break

March 30 - First day back

Sight Words for the Week are: please, your, new, must, our

Success / March 10

GUESS WHAT!!! Take a look at some of these faces and compare them to the last post....

This is the look of victory and confidence!! I am so proud of your kiddos! They continued working on the Exploding Hat math question and succeeded!! Every. single. group. did. it. Take THAT hard math tasks.

Reminder that we are swimming tomorrow and Thursday. Our lessons are at the same time as last week. Don't forget the towels, suits and everything else they may need.

Exploding Hats / March 6

This morning we got our sweat on in math. That's right. In math, as in sports, the harder you work, the more you get out of it. We struggled (in a good way) today. Exploding hats is a math problem that involve organizing the numbers 1 - 8 into two "hats". The trick is, you can't have the sum of 2 numbers in the same hat. For example, if you put a 1 and 2 into the first hat, the 3 must go in the second hat (2+1=3). You have to put the numbers in sequentially and when there is a conflict with numbers, the hats EXPLODE! I took some pictures during our first attempts - look at those faces!

While they may be struggling now - wait until they figure it out. I'll record those expressions too. Those are my favorite!!

Next week we have Cathy Beveridge, a local author, coming to teach us the ways of writing a story! We will continue on with our Fairy Tale theme. Then, back to swimming on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon! Busy but exciting times.

Have a great weekend.

Day 1 / March 4

Success! The kids had a fantastic time during their first swimming lesson. I saw some very brave kiddos with GINORMOUS smiles on their faces. I took a crazy amount of pictures and will share them with you as the days go by via email. Tomorrow we will have our second lesson. Same time, same place. 

A big thank you to our amazing parent volunteers - much appreciated.

Here's hoping they sleep well for you tonight!

Swimming / March 3

We are SWIMMING tomorrow!! Woohoo! Our swimming lessons are in the afternoon so we will be leaving shortly after lunch to get on the bus.  We will be arriving back at the school for 2:45.  Please make sure that your kiddo has their swimsuit, a towel and a bag to carry their gear in. Please be mindful of the clothes they have to change in to. Wet skin and leggings are a nightmare! HA!

I will be taking a ridiculous amount of pictures, have no fear. We are excited and ready to go!

Just a reminder, the lessons are on March 4, 5, 11, 12. All at the same time in the afternoon.

Community Walk Tomorrow / February 27

We are so excited to be heading down to Fish Creek tomorrow morning! We will be leaving at 8:45 and heading back for shortly after 11. We have been learning about Chickadees and are excited to see/hear them tomorrow. Just a reminder to dress your kiddo for the weather. It is a slippery walk down into Marshall Springs and will probably be a little wet and muddy. Please keep that in mind! We are not bringing backpacks on our walk and therefore ask that you pack a snack for you kid that fits into their pocket (granola bar, etc.) We will be leaving water bottles at the school (no public washrooms!).  If you would like to join us for our walk, and have police clearance, please sign in through the office at the bell.

Thank you so much for your support!! We are excited!

Our Trip to England / February 20

Today was such a fun day! After having our passports validated by custom's officer Mrs. Stanford, we were given plane tickets to London, England. Seeing as many of our families have connections to England, it seemed a fitting place to start. We took off in our airplane (assigned seating and all) and traveled HOURS to our destination. Once we arrived we took a taxi to visit the Queen at Buckingham palace. We learned to wave like a Royal and then carried on with our tour by visiting the London Eye. We watched little video clips at each place to experience it ourselves. We then visited Big Ben and told the time by listening to its chimes. We had some traditional food before taking a quick visit to Mrs. Stanford's family's paper stand in the heart of Sloane Square! Afterwards we flew home (complete with an in-flight movie).

We were a little jet lagged but managed to perk up after getting some fresh air. Traveling can be exhausting.

Here's the in-flight video from our trip

Take Off
Take Off - Our view out the window

We will be visiting all of the countries that you identified with as a family! Learning from the past to understand the present and future - I love grade 1 Social Studies!

To top off the day we met up with our Grade 3 buddies who shared stories that they had written! Buddies are the best!

Candy Heart Writing / February 12

What an exciting day! I love celebrating Valentine's Day in a grade one classroom. The kids are always so excited to share a friendly message or treat. And boy were we all spoiled! Thank you everyone for the time and energy you put into the cute messages/treats to friends!

Today's writing activity involved candy hearts! Each kiddo was given a candy heart to incorporate into a picture. Afterwards they had to use the sentence starter, "Once I was a candy heart but now I'm a ....."

There were some really cute ideas!

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. I'm excited to participate in a variety of sessions during Teacher's Convention and then apply them in the classroom! Always an exciting time.

Happy Valentines!!

Valentine's Day / February 11

Tomorrow is the last day of the week together! Thursday and Friday is Teacher's Convention so the kiddos have the 2 days off. We will be exchanging valentines' tomorrow if your child would like to participate. This is definitely not a mandatory thing. I just ask that if you do decide to exchange valentines that every student be included. We have 22 kiddos in our class. The easiest way is for your kid to leave the "to" blank and just sign their name. Sometimes it's tough to read our friend's names!

Happy Valentine's!

Hip-Hop / February 7

Oh my goodness. Families, the dancing was adorable. We have recorded the video of our dance and we will display it during the next parent-teacher conferences. Such sass! Such attitude (in the right way!) I look forward to you seeing it in the future. They had so much fun (mixed with nerves). Mr. Josh does such a great job getting everyone involved. 

Next week we are back to our regular schedule! Woohoo for regular schedules. We will continue to focus on black bears next week and then compare these with Grizzly Bears. We will also narrow in to our beautiful city next week and work on our collaborative Evergreen map.

Have a great weekend!

Raz-Kids / February 5

It's such an exciting day!! Parent council has purchased a Raz-kids account for all grade 1-2 students!  This website (or app) is such an incredible resource for students of all reading abilities. I gave the kiddos a tutorial of how to use the site and have taped their username and passwords into their blue folders. Check it out as a family! The more your kiddo reads, the more stars they earn. They can then use these stars to 'level up' their Avatar. My own children love using this app and I'm confident yours will too (I should work for them...)! You can use the website or download the app for free on any tablet/ipad/iphone/etc. 

Let me know what you think!

Here is a message from Ms. Roworth and Mr. Josh regarding dance:

Our students have been working hard and enjoying our 2 week Sound Kreations Hip Hop Residency with Josh. This Friday will be a chance for classes to informally share their new skills and celebrate with their peers in a 1-2 minute dance. In order to fit a dance floor and all the student audience, there is not sufficient room in our gym to invite parents to the live performance. Not to worry though! The performance will be videotaped and shared with parents at the upcoming Student Led Conferences. 
Thank you to Parent Council for supporting this residency and to all the students for their incredible energy and enthusiasm during this program!

Ms. Roworth and Mr. Josh

Swimming / February 3

We have our swimming field trip quickly approaching on March 4,5 and 11, 12 at Acadia Pool.  Swimming Ability forms are coming home today. Please fill out and return to the school as soon as possible, so that the pool can program for lessons.  Permission forms will be sent home soon.

We will be looking for volunteers for each of these days.  If you have a current police clearance with the CBE and are able to volunteer these days, please email me with your availability.  We are in particular need of male volunteers to supervise in the boys change room. Volunteers are only needed to supervise in the change rooms and will NOT be swimming.  Our class will be swimming in the afternoon.

This morning we started off by building our February calendar. There is nothing quite like creating our monthly calendars. The kids do such a great job and are getting so much better with proper number formation. We plotted all of our important dates coming up. My favorite quote of the morning was: 

A: Mrs. Stanford, how is it February?

Me: Right?!?!

We continued on with Josh for Sound Kreations. I snuck in to watch their routine for a few minutes. Amazing. They manage to pick up moves so quickly and Josh is such a great instructor. He has a way of making it look easy...

To get a sense of where we are in the world, last week we looked at our planet as a whole, then found our continent, our country and now we are focusing in on Alberta. This isn't as in-depth as the students will learn in later grades but it's hard to picture yourself in the world without first discussing your country, province and city. We studied the Alberta flag and picked out some key symbols, then colored our own flag that will go in our visual journal. We will talk about our province and then narrow our area to Calgary and finally Evergreen. Then, we will head back out into the world to discover where are family/ancestors were from.  

Our Family Wall is up!! Thank you for sending in a family photo! It takes a while to draw each frame but it's finally up!! I'm still missing a couple and would LOVE to have everyone up there! If you send me the picture via email I can print it off for you here! Thanks!

Exciting Week Coming Up / January 24

"Happy little trees!"

That's what we kept repeating today as we dabbed dabbed dabbed away at our Bob Ross inspired paintings. We have taken our time to create some beautiful pieces of artwork. We will complete them on Monday with the addition of some water in the foreground. They have done amazing stuff. I'm excited to share them with you.

This week, our focus in math has been on doubles. We have listened to some songs online.  Here is the link to the two songs we know and love so far:

These songs are easy to remember and help the kids memorize these important facts. While you are on the song theme, look up the sight word songs. These help kids practice and identify the beginning sight words.

Happy Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year)! It's the year of the rat. We looked up our zodiac signs today. Most of the kiddos are snakes and some are horses. We learned what characteristics these zodiac signs identify with (apparently, snakes are supposed to be pretty quiet.... so I'll leave that here with you....) If you celebrate this holiday, Happy New Year!

Next week will be an exciting one! Sound Kreation starts next week. We will be dancing each day so please make sure your kiddo is dressed in comfy clothes, ready to get dowwwwwnnnn. (Yup, I said it) It's going to be so much fun. Even the timid seem to find their groove. 

Have a great weekend! It feels like summer...ish....

Curriculum Newsletter / January 16

Curriculum newsletters were sent home on Tuesday afternoon. In case you did not receive one, I figured I would post it here :)

Hares and Gruffalo / January 15


This morning our classroom was a beautiful 22 degrees. Normally I would argue that 22 degrees is a little warm with 23 bodies in a room but let me tell you. It was glorious! We thawed in no time.

We are officially in love with Julia Donaldson stories! This week we read the story, "The Gruffalo" and followed up with "The Gruffalo's Child" today. They are such fantastic stories. Each book rhymes so we have really been practicing rhyming words. We found a video online of Julia Donaldson discussing the process that she goes through to write her books. Take a look at the video here: 

We were inspired to create our own monsters. 

After we created our monsters, we went through the same process as Julia Donaldson where we labeled the monster and came up with rhyming words for each part.

For example:

eyes - buys, guys, tries, fries, lies, goodbyes

This afternoon we learned about the Snowshoe Hare. We discussed how Hares adapt to seasons by changing the color of their fur. We watched a short video clip of a snowshoe hare running away from a predator and how it used the snow to camouflage. We decided that snowshoe hares would not do very well in warmer climates that didn't have snow! We will continue to learn about these animals throughout the week.

A message was sent via email to parents this afternoon looking for family photos for our picture wall. If you had already sent one in previously, please ignore. We have about 10 families that are represented on the wall. We would love to have everyone represented :) These pictures will be used for the rest of the year and returned in June. 

Stay warm!

Happy New Year / January 9

Happy 2020! I can't believe that number! Crazy!

I hope you all had a wonderful break and were able to enjoy time with your family. I am so excited to hit the ground running with your kiddos. I tried to tell myself to stay away from work over the break but I. Just. Couldn't. Do. It.  I had so many ideas and exciting things to plan! 

We are beginning our unit on mapping in Social Studies. We took a look at a map of Calaway Park and the Calgary Zoo. We noticed that they both had similar symbols to identify different things. For example:

This led us to a discussion about the map legend.  We quickly looked a various maps to verify that indeed, every map needs a legend. We also noticed the Compass Rose and discussed what this symbol means. As this unit progresses we will learn to find ourselves on a map, with a focus on the community of Evergreen and our school. To end the unit we will create a Mondrian-inspired Community map along with the other grade one classes.

Our main focus in math is currently the friendly ten numbers. We have read different stories, discussing different ways to make ten. On Tuesday, one of our friends made the connection between adding and subtracting! Woohoo! We figured out that if we know 8+2 and 2+8 equals 10, we also know that 10-8 has to be 2! Excellent stuff. We play a variety of games to practice identifying the friendly numbers of ten such as:

Go fish (where you look for pairs that add to ten instead of the usual pair)

Splat (or variations of) where some blocks are shown and you have to say how many cubes are hidden

Buzz - this game practices the friendly tens with movement. The kids stand in the middle of the room. In each corner there is a sticky that either says 10 or Buzz. The teacher says two numbers. If they add up to ten, the students must quickly go to a "10" sticky. If not, they must find the "Buzz" sticky. They really enjoy this one.

We are continuing to focus on literacy each day with writing and reading activities. Our spelling pattern of the week is "ing". We have been searching for "ing" words throughout our writing and the text we encounter. 

Welcome back to routine! Have a warm night (if that's even possible!)

Recap of Exciting Things / December 13

There has been so much happening this week! It's been crazy and exciting. Did I say crazy?!? Here's a few pictures from this past week:

Our theme for the week was Gingerbread! We read a new gingerbread story each day, comparing things that we like and things that we didn't about each story. Today's story was called Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett. We loved this one. We also built our own Gingerbread houses using brown paper bags. We added our own house numbers to our gingerbread houses and will be using this to practice counting on and even and odd numbers next week.

It was a fun week - and we are exhausted! I hope everyone has a lovely, peaceful weekend!

Concert Tonight / December 11

Winter concert tonight!!! Please have your kiddo come to our classroom for at 6:40.

We are also accepting food donations for the Food Bank tonight! Feel free to drop off a non-perishable food item!

See you tonight!

Countdown to Christmas / December 9

We have our very own countdown to Christmas happening! There are 9 (8 now!) days of school left before Winter break! Each day we will look into the mystery bags to reveal a fun activity to do as a class. Today's activity was to create some winter art for the concert!

We used oil pastels, watercolour paints and salt to create some beautiful pieces of artwork. Take a look around the gym on Wednesday to find your kiddos!

We will be accepting donations to the food bank on the night of our Christmas concert. Please help us support this wonderful cause with a non-perishable food item!

Friendly 10s and Adaptations / December 6

Exciting news! We have a student teacher from St. Mary's University! Ms. Nodwell has been such a welcomed addition to our class. Having another adult in the room provides extra support - and she is fantastic! She is with us until next week and then will return in March for her second part of the placement.

In math, we have introduced the concept of "Friendly Tens". These are the numbers that add together to get 10.  This will be our focus for the next few weeks. 

We have been looking for adaptations that humans and animals have to survive in our climate. Yesterday we discussed how we adapt to the seasonal changes through behaviours and appropriate clothing. We then drew ourselves in our winter gear and labelled each piece of clothing. We also compared how some animals adapt to the winter by migrating, while others may grow thicker fur. 

Have a great weekend! It's going to be an exciting week!

December Calendar / December 2

Today we created our December calendar! Take a look!

If you family has an important event/birthday/activity in December, let me know and we'll add it to calendar. We love planning out our month!

Venn diagram / November 25

This afternoon we compared the Canada goose with Bald Eagles! We were inspired by one of our peers who brought in pictures of the two birds that were painted by a neighbour! 

We created a Venn diagram to compare and contrast what we know about each animal.

Here is a message from the grade two students:

Thank you to our Evergreen families and parent council...because of you...the grade 2s were able to reach their goal of raising $1200 to fill 50 children's backpacks with mittens, toys, craft supplies, etc. for Stephen's Backpack Society.  These backpacks will be picked up and delivered to children living at the numerous shelters in and around Calgary.

Number Lines / November 19

Good evening! What a crazy snowy day! Thank you for having your child dressed for the weather :)

Yesterday we made our own number lines to twenty. They are such a valuable resource to have in the class as they can be used for some many reasons. Not only does it support the children with ordering numbers, we use it for problem solving, games, oral counting, skip counting, etc. Today we put our number lines to use to learn a new game. This game focuses on building number sense as well as simple addition and subtraction. We call it Number Line Tug-o-War. To play, each partner group needs one number line, one game marker and red and black playing cards between 1-5.  The marker gets placed on the number 10 (middle). Each partner decides who will be 0 and who will be 20. Taking turns, a player flips over a card. If the card is black, they move forward (add) that many spaces. If the card is red, they move backwards (subtract) that number. Whoever gets to their number first is the winner.

The kids enjoyed this game so much that we decided to make another number line to bring home to play with you! It's quick, easy and fun.  Not to mention the math :)

Have a great evening with family. I'm looking forward to meeting with you all during conferences on Thursday evening and Friday morning!

Canada Goose / November 18

Today we started chatting about our beloved Canadian Geese! We first looked at pictures that had something to do with the geese. One was a picture of the Flying V, another showcasing their webbed feet, etc.. We talked about using our scientific observations to give us clues as to what was important to the geese. After observing the pictures in small groups, we came together as a class to discuss what we found.

So far, 3 big ideas have come up:

1. They have webbed feet so they must live in or around water!

2. There was often more than one goose in a picture so we think that they live in groups.

3. They fly together in a V shape. 

We also shared stories of seeing the geese flying in groups and the sounds they make. 

We will continue our investigation tomorrow!

Please remember to send in a family photo for the family wall. If emailing a picture is easier for you, I will gladly print them off here at school! Thank you!

Thank You / November 15

Thank you so much for the donations to Stephen's Backpack! We reached our goal of 22 dollars! In fact, we doubled it and then some! Woohoo! Very appreciated. 

Have a fantastic weekend. Please take some time to read and practice those sight words! 

Last Day to Donate Tomorrow / November 14

The last day to donate to Stephen's Backpack Society is tomorrow! The grade twos are really hoping to meet their goal of making 50 backpacks. Let's help them get there :)

This morning we had out first Lockdown practice of the year. The kids did such a great job being quiet and still until Constable Gemma (our community officer) came to unlock the door. Very proud of them.

Our big topic of the day was the Tricky Teens! My goal is to get the children to think of teen numbers as a group of ten and __ more. For example: 13 = ten and three more (10+3). We first listened to a few helpful songs.  Take a look at them here:

as well as:

Afterwards we made paper chains to represent groups of ten and ones. Each table group had to build two numbers. Then we hung them on the wall to have a visual reminder.  Ask your kiddo to decompose a teen number into groups of tens and ones!

Our teen number (and then some) chains!

Capture the Square / November 12


Here's a recap of what has been happening in our room this past little while!

We had a beautiful Remembrance Day ceremony on Friday. The kids were so reverent and really took the assembly seriously which shows tremendous respect. We created a beautiful wreath to honour the soldiers using red water colour paint and black sharpies. For the first time, we had an RCMP member here to accept the wreaths. It was very exciting!

Math has been focused around representing and decomposing numbers to twenty (and higher). We have been practicing breaking down numbers into place values, building them with blocks and using the hundreds chart as an anchor to support us. Today we took a closer look at the patterns on a hundreds chart and began working on hundred chart puzzles.  This will continue to be a focus this week. We also learned a new game called "Capture the Square". Ask your kiddo how to play! 

We have done quite a bit of opinion writing these last few weeks. Our main goal when writing a journal entry (or any kind of writing, really) is to ensure that we are using finger spaces to isolate different words. This is a big step for writers in grade one. Besides spaces, student's have really been challenged to stretch out unfamiliar words looking for the letter sounds. 

Have a great night! Tomorrow is already Wednesday!!

November / November 4

Here is our class calendar for November! 

If you look closely, you might even see your birthday on the calendar!! 

Happy Halloween / October 31

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween! It was quite the day yesterday! We counted a WHOLE lot of pumpkin seeds, wrote about our Halloween favourites, listened to some Halloween books and hung out with our grade three buddies! We found out that the medium pumpkin had 388 seeds! It was a great exercise in building numbers. The smaller pumpkin had 325 seeds. That's a lot of seeds!

Hand in the pumpkin for the first time ever - This face!!!

As a class, we decided that making groups of ten would be the best way to organize our seeds.  Smart kiddos. 

Building numbers has been a big focus for us these past few weeks. Breaking numbers into place values.  Ask your child how many ones there can be in the ones place before having to move over to the tens! 

Have a great day off today! Enjoy your weekend

Pumpkins Galore / October 28

Ohhh Pumpkins! Despite the shortage I managed to snag two perfect little pumpkins for our class to explore. Pumpkin math is something I look forward to every year. It's gooey, ooey and just plain gross! Which is amazing.  We started off by reading the book, How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin. 

We learned some pretty cool facts about pumpkins..... Did you know....

So, to begin our pumpkin math exploration, we broke into two teams and counted how many lines were on our pumpkin. It was a lesson on perseverance as we had to work together to count the lines, and we all had to agree! 

The boys had all hands on deck. Which proved to be tricky and confusing!
The girls were a little frustrated, can you tell?

Guess what?!?!?! Both pumpkins had 28 lines each! So now how could we predict which pumpkin had the most seeds?!  

We looked at the colour. The darker the colour, the more seeds there should be..... they were the same colour! So our last resort is to cut them open which we will be doing tomorrow (or today depending when I can push the publication button on this entry!)

We also worked on measuring pretend pumpkins! We measured the height and width of our team's pumpkin!

The messy part comes on Wednesday when we cut these bad boys open and clean them out! Exciting stuff!

Literacy Activities / October 25

Every day, students participate in an hour of literacy activities. Currently, our main focus has been on letter assessment and beginning sight words. We are working towards using this as an independent time while I run guided reading groups. Some of the activities we have been practicing are:

Sailboat words - words are built one letter at a time in a triangular shape (the sail).

Magic Words - words are written in white crayon and covered with Mr. Sketch markers to expose the word!

Wiki Sticks - sight words are built using waxy-type string. See example below:

Ipads - Students go on various (teacher chosen) apps that practice letter formation, letter sound and reading strategies. 

Guided Reading - During this time a small group of students sit with me to work on reading strategies. 

Today, as a class we learned our very first reading strategy. We use something called Beanie Baby Reading Strategies. The first and most commonly used strategy is looking at the pictures to give us clues to unfamiliar words. We have a class 'Sid', the seeing eye dog. When faced with a word that they are unfamiliar with, Sid reminds the students to look for clues in the picture. 

Hope you were able to join in the fun at the Halloween Howl! Have a great weekend!

Teen numbers / October 23

Sorry for the delay in updating the blog. Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball! 

This week we had the opportunity to have two students from the University of Calgary in our room! It's always nice to have extra adults in the room! They are learning to be teachers and had the opportunity to chat with our kiddos, assist in the daily activities and just get a sense of what a typical day in the life of grade one is like. 

In math, we have started focusing on the TEEN numbers. We like to use the ten frame as a form of reference to introduce the teen numbers. Today, our focus was on 11 and 12. Not technically "teen" numbers I suppose, but the idea still stands. We begin by looking at the number ten and adding one more. So a teen number is therefore, 10 and 1 more (11). In our visual journals we represented these two numbers in a variety of ways. 

Twelve is a particularly difficult number for grade one. It is often confused with 20 and 21. It helps the students to think of the number 12 as 10 and 2 more, or, 10+2.  

I am so proud of all the kiddos who have required new sight words! The practice is really showing! I'm so excited to start guided reading next week. I love when they realize, "hey, wait! I know these words!" 

Tomorrow is walking Wednesday! Also, pictures were sent home today :)

Have a great night!

Colours / October 15

Today we practiced our colour words!  We had a new poem called, "Jelly Beans"  during literacy time. After reading the poem together we tried reading the poem independently, looking for familiar words.  We then had to colour the "colour" words appropriately. Our last job was to draw a picture that matches the poem.  Drawing a picture is a very important step as it assesses for comprehension.  

Our second literacy job today was building sight words with play-doh.  This is great for tactile learners who physically need to touch and feel letters. During this time of the day our goal is to be very quiet to ensure that everyone is given the right to concentrate. While the class works on their literacy rich tasks, students often sit with me to read sight words and books.  We are doing amazing with sight words! Woohoo! Remember to send them back when your kiddo has nailed them and I will add more. 

This afternoon we had a conversation about showing respect to ourselves and others. We are learning to be respectful and make the right choices here at school. We had some sharing time where we discussed what makes us feel good! Some popular answers were:

- hugs from my parents

- kisses from my family

- skating

- playing with friends

- trying something new

- beginning to read

We then talked about what could make us feel bad:

- being ignored

- someone saying hurtful things

- not having anyone to play with

We want to make sure that EVERYONE is cared for and feels loved in our room. We are a team!  Ask your kiddo how they can make someone feel good!

Literacy / October 8

In case you have forgotten why we live in Calgary:

- the mountains

- the friendly people

- the freedom

Just as a reminder in the depths of Mother Nature's temper tantrum.

Thank you for preparing your kiddos for the day with outdoor gear! Even better, I can tell that many of your kids have been practicing putting their gear on by themselves! Woot woot! #thankyou

This morning we learned a new literacy sight word game! We have named it Guess My Word. The object of the game is to "guess the word" based on how many letters it has and the shape of the word. We use our list of sight words to help us out. 

Can you guess which sight word would fit into the boxes?

Sooooo…. teaching seasons in Calgary can be, shall we say, difficult. ;) If you happen to have family in a place that experiences fall (hello Ontario...) maybe get them to send you a picture so you can share it with your child. (I kid! Sort of...) 

Have a great night and give the new game a try!

Buddies / October 4

This morning we met up with our Grade 3 buddies in Ms. Keir's room! We had some introductions, read and ate our snacks together. Grade three buddies are the best! Ms. Keir is very artsy and I'm so excited for your kiddos to benefit from this expertise. The kids were so great together. 

This week we read a book called 10 Black Dots by Donald Crews. We are then going to use this as a template to create our own math books. The intention of this books is to represent numbers in various ways. We are using ten frames, pictures, numbers and words.

Book orders were sent home this week. I will be putting in the order October 11th! Please make sure everything is in (online or in person) before this day!

Have a great weekend!

Physical Education / October 2

I realize that I haven't posted about Phys Ed. It's one of the most popular subjects in school and I haven't posted! Shame, Mrs. Stanford, shame! We are very lucky to have Mrs. Roworth as our gym specialist. She has a wonderful way of adding Literacy into Physical Education. One of the most fantastic aspects is actually in the last two minutes of class. During this time, students enjoy a 'mindful minute'. The lights get dimmed and students lie on their backs to open their chests for more oxygen intake. It is a reset for the students to prepare themselves for the rest of the day. 

On Wednesday mornings we get to partner up with grade two friends from Ms. Bell and Mrs. Hordyk's class.  It's great to have older peers to lead the way. Today we played a partner game called, Level Up. The object of the game is to get from one end of the gym to the other by passing an object to each other. If an object gets dropped, the team has to start over at the beginning. 

Another nice thing about buddying up with grade twos is that sometimes, you get to hang out with your sibling :)

Did I ever get along this well with my brother?!?!

Another really important task is the creation of our monthly calendars. The students get assigned a day of the month and record any special events for that day. If there is not a special event, they get to decorate the day with something that symbolizes the month. 

This works on days of the week, ordinal numbers and number recognition. Not to mention organizational skills!

Tomorrow is Library! Please make sure to return library books!

Have a great night!


Wordless Stories / October 1

I can't believe it's already October 1st ?!? What happened to September?! 

Yesterday we "read" The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. I put the "read" in quotation marks because it is a story without words. While it is, in my opinion, too early to be thinking of snowman, it fit the situation. We loved looking at all the pictures and inferring what was happening in the story. We even practiced identifying emotions based on the character's body language and facial expressions. Today, to follow up with the book we watched an animated version of the story during snack time. As a follow-up activity we are re-telling the story using our own pictures! To begin with we discussed how the book was filled with detailed pictures and how this was extremely important to the story considering there were no words to fill in the gaps. We also observed how the pictures were made -- pencil crayons! We have those! We have completed the first part of the story and will continue on tomorrow. Once we have finished re-telling this story, we will be making our own wordless stories! This was inspired by one of our peers who created their own wordless story about a little green pea. Inspiration is everywhere.

Thank goodness that the snow is starting to melt. It was a rude awakening to have all the snow this week. It might be a good time to make sure your kiddos know how to put on their snowsuits, mittens and boots. It took us quite a while to get out for recess today! 

Thank you for supporting your child with home reading. I am so impressed by how many people are remembering to bring back their books each day. Yesterday, a letter went home regarding sight word activities. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Have a great night - Melt snow MELT!

Orange Shirt Day Monday / September 30

Monday is Orange Shirt Day! Below is a link for more information. We had a short discussion (grade appropriate) as to the origins of Orange Shirt Day. If your kid wants to wear an orange shirt please feel free. Some kiddos were worried that they didn't have an orange shirt, we talked about colour mixing! Yellow and Red could work too :)

Here is a message about Healthy Hunger:

“Healthy Hunger is happening again this year. Sign up to order lunches for your child(ren) on the selected days. Orders can be done for the year, or month to month. Healthy Hunger is also where you will register for some school events like Movie Night (first one is Toy Story 4 on Oct 10!)

Please sign up at

Thank you!
Evergreen School Council
Like us on FB for information, too!”

Sight Words and Home Reading / September 26

Today we are coming home with a sight word ring and a home reading book! We are excited to start reading! Each night the students will bring home a book that is at their reading level. We ask that you spend 15 minutes a night reading with your child. As mentioned at the Open House, if your child becomes frustrated, help them out. Enjoy this time together, don't let it become a stressful activity for child or parent! As some of the books are quite short, it is recommended that you read through a book 3 times. The first time through is to decode, the second time through helps with comprehension and the third time through works on fluency. After reading for 15 minutes, have the kids put the book back into their blue folder in the plastic bag to keep them safe. These books should be returned each day and will be exchanged for a new one. 

In the bags there is also a sight word ring. These are the words that we have been working on in class. I will send out a letter soon with ways that you can use these rings to support your child. Practicing these words at home will help your child become better readers. Once your child can quickly identify each word on the ring, send them back in the blue folder and I will give them knew ones.  Your child will be reading in no time!!

Have a great night - Winter is coming....

Terry Fox Run / September 25

It was a beautiful afternoon for the Terry Fox Run! So much nicer than last year, if you recall! Today, our main focus was obviously Terry Fox. We learned more about him as a person and discussed what being a "hero" truly means. Does every hero have superpowers? 

For the first time in my ten years teaching, the students were enthralled with the idea of prosthetics! We took some time to show how prosthetics work and how they came to be. We watched a short video of a little boy using a mechanical arm for the first time! We then talked about why we raise money for cancer research.  

Thank you for the donations today!

Have a great evening!

We're Going on a Leaf Hunt / September 24

Today was an exciting day in room 80! We decided to take full advantage of a beautiful fall day to investigate leaves (before the snow hits on the weekend). We listened to a story called, We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger. It is based on the book by Michael Rosen, We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Afterwards we went outside for our very own leaf hunt! We walked the perimeter of the field to find the perfect leaves to investigate! Then we came back inside and went full on Science mode! And a little art mode... 

We observed that nature does not use one colour and neither should our leaf drawings. We observed our leaves very carefully looking for the range of colours! 

This morning, we also finished our four seasons trees! 

I asked the kids a big question at the end of the day which is going to inspire our Science experiment tomorrow. The question is:

Why do some leaves change colours?

Tomorrow is our Terry Fox Run! Inside each child's blue folder is a sticker and temporary tattoo for tomorrow. Please have a discussion with your child to determine who they are running for (Terry Fox is a perfectly suitable name as well) and write the name on the tag. Your child will wear the tag during our run. 

We are still accepting donations as well! 

Have a great evening!

Fall / September 23

Taking a look around our school building you can see fall has definitely made its arrival! Today we discussed the colours of fall and what happens to the leaves during this time of year. We began an Art Project focusing around the 4 seasons of a tree. Stay tuned for the final project tomorrow :)

In math, we worked on problem solving! Our question of the day was:

We had a group discussion as to how to solve a question like this (pictures, numbers, etc.) and then the kiddos got to work. This is a tricky question for the beginning of grade one considering there are three numbers to add up.  We decided the best option was to draw out all the leaves and count them together!

Hope you have a great Fall evening!

Catch up / September 20

Thank you so much to all the families that came out last night! It was lovely to catch up with you all! And thanks for putting up with the slideshow! Ha! 

Just to catch you up on the last few days of the week. We had our big SOGO run! I honestly cannot stress enough how amazing your children did in Fish Creek. Beyond amazing.

We found some grasshoppers and were intrigued!
I love the relationships that develop on these excursions!

We continued on with developing our community through Star Students! The kids have vocalized how much they enjoy this part of the day.  We also continued building, labeling and expanding patterns this week. This upcoming week, we will transfer our knowledge of patterns to explore numbers. 

Have a great weekend together!

Star Student and SOGO Day 2 / September 17

This morning we started "Star Student". Each day (whenever time permits) we will have a new Star Student! During each kiddo's turn they get a chance to sit in the big teacher chair that we have lovingly named "Cherry", like chair, but sweeter :) Their peers take turns asking them strong questions that require more than a yes or no response. They must also be interesting questions that they would want other people to ask them! Our Social Studies curriculum focuses on citizenship and belonging in various communities. This is a great way to build upon our own classroom community.  This morning our Star Student was Athens, a new friend who joined us here at Evergreen.

After the questions have been asked, I record the answers on chart paper. Afterwards, each student chooses one sentence to copy and illustrate. These with then be made into a book about the Star Student.  The books will remain in our class library until later in the year and then will be sent home with each kid.  Later on in the year, students will be able to write their own sentences about their peers, however, as this is the beginning of grade one many of us are still practicing letter formation, finger spaces and sentence structure. This activity is a great introduction to writing and is accessible to all. Plus, we all just love it!

Tomorrow we are heading to Fish Creek for the morning to have our final SOGO session. We will be leaving shortly after the morning bell and returning just before lunch. We will not be bringing our backpacks with us. We realize that 3 hours is a long time for our students to go without a snack so, as a compromise, we are asking that parents pack a small, portable snack that can be put in their pockets to tide them over. Water bottles will have to be carried.  It's going to be a ton of fun. Please make sure that your kid is dressed for the weather and has appropriate shoes on (runners!)

Have a great night!

SOGO / September 16

Holy Moly did we R-U-N today! This afternoon we had our first SOGO session. Each kid got a map to orientate themselves on our field and look for hidden flags. They were also fitted with a finger tracker. The finger tracker documented when they reached each flag. The kids were amazing! There was so much running and equal amounts of map reading! Win-win!  Tomorrow will be our second session. Same time, same place. Wednesday we are spending the morning in Fish Creek looking for more hidden flags. We will leave around 8:45 and return in time for lunch. It's going to be a ton of fun!

Here's hoping the kiddos have a restful night!

We Are Hap-PEA / September 13

We made it through another week of grade one! I don't know about your kiddos but I am having no trouble sleeping at night! Grade one is a lot of work!

Today we finished off our "Pea" art. They turned out adorable and really showcased each kid's interests and identity. 

This art project worked on a variety of skills including fine motor skills, printing, painting and tracing. And they are just plain fun. 

In gym today we got to play with Mrs. Leonard's class with a variety of balls working on our throwing and catching skills. We also practiced our sight words again using sailboat words. Ask your kiddo what sailboat words are! 

Have a great weekend!

L M N O Peas / September 12

Today was such a great day in room 80! We are really getting good at following routines which is helping to make our day run so smoothly. I'm proud of how the kids have transitioned to grade one. We are consistently bringing in our blue folders and getting ourselves ready for the day quite quickly in the morning.  Amazing. We have also been given a few compliments as the "quietest" class walking through the hallway. 

We had an assembly this morning with Dare to Care.  The program spoke to the kids about how to be a good friend and how to identify bullying. We learned that if someone says something mean or physically hurts us once, while not ok and not acceptable, this is called, 'conflict'. If the same type of behaviour continues for more than a week, it becomes classified as 'bullying'. The kids also learned how to ask for help from trusted adults. It was a really meaningful assembly.

This afternoon we read the book, LMNOPeas by Keith Baker. 

We are now in the process of turning ourselves into peas! Stay tuned for the finished product!

Have a great night

Two Stones / September 11

Today we learned a new math game called Two Stones.  The object of the game is to block the other player from being able to move their "stones". 

It's a great game to play as it develops strategy and problem solving skills. Bonus: It's also a really easy game to play at home! In grade one we often start our math lessons with a quick game to get their math brains started. 

Blue folders are coming home today with a Family Viewpoint for parents to fill out. I know lives are crazy right now with paperwork everywhere so I really appreciate the time you put into the viewpoint. As soon as they are filled out, please return them in the blue folders.

Side Note: Blue folders get sent home daily and should be returned each day. While there may not be anything in them some days it is important for students to get into the habit. :)

Have a great evening!

My Mouth is a Volcano / September 10

Today we read a great book called, My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook

The story is about a little boy who has a hard time waiting his turn to talk. When he gets an idea, he feels that he needs to share it RIGHT AWAY, instead of waiting to get called on.  Later on in the story someone interrupts him during a special sharing time and he gets to experience the frustration that comes with that. It was a great story to read as a class because it reinforces the idea of raising your hand and listening respectfully to others.  Perfect for this time of year! 

In math, we moved into more complicated patterns (ABC, AABB, etc.) We identified the core of the pattern and even tried to stump the teacher! This will continue to be a focus for the rest of the week. 

Our sight words of the week are:






While reading at home, see if your child can find any of the sight words in the story! 

Welcome to Grade One / September 9

Hello families!

My name is Mrs. Stanford and I will be your kiddo's teacher for the year! I am so excited to be teaching grade one again. Although my daughter is a little confused why I didn't graduate to grade 2.... This will be my 10th year teaching and I am very much looking forward to all the learning and fun we will be having together. If you need to contact me for any reason, it is best to do so through email. My email address is  I will respond as quickly as I can, however, please keep in mind that I am teaching during school hours :)

I will do my best to post an entry everyday to keep you in the loop of what is happening in our classroom!  Without further ado....

Today we created art with the alphabet! 

Our first class attempt at painting was a success! Woohoo!

We also began our patterning unit in math. We read a story called Rosie's Walk and discussed the patterns we found in the book. We then created our own patterns in the class, identifying the core of the pattern. We did amazing at AB patterns and will be moving on to some variations tomorrow. Ask your kiddo what an AB pattern is!

Have a great night!

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