It was a very exciting month in Grade One, as the long-awaited Open Minds Zoo School experience took place! We would like to extend our thanks to all of our grade one volunteers who helped make this experience happen. Thank you for your time, effort and energy!
The Grade Ones became true scientists during their week long learning and took part in rich and meaningful activities to gain an understanding of conservation and wildlife. Students answered the question, "What Matters?" all week long as they discovered new and interesting facts about their observation animals and the many other animals at the Wilder Calgary Zoo. They were given the opportunity to interact with Zoo Keepers, Animal Care Technicians and Zoo Educators.
Students had the unique experience of seeing the giraffes and camels up close. They were given behind the scenes access to a feeding and learned about their status as an endangered species. Giraffes are currently going through a silent extinction and there are only approximately 1000 camels alive.
As we transition back into our classrooms, grade ones will be continuing their conversations about “What matters?” and how our actions can make a difference as a school community.
Spring has finally arrived and we are welcoming the longer days and brighter mornings!
In Literacy, students continue to focus on their story writing and learning about the elements of a great story. Students have also been working on using transition words to help their stories flow and incorporating adjectives to keep the reader’s attention. It’s all about the “details, details details”! In Math, students have been learning about symmetry and investigating symmetry of two-dimensional shapes by folding and matching. Students now know that a line of symmetry indicates the division between the matching halves of a symmetrical shape. They have also learned that a shape is symmetrical if it can be decomposed into matching halves.
In Social Studies, we have been comparing the past and the present in relation to ways of living, toys, and electronics; imagine having only one wooden toy or doll to last you years and years or washing clothes in a metal tub or writing a letter to communicate an idea or thought to someone who lives far away! In Science we are learning about all things Spring and preparing for Zoo School, by doing timed sketches of the elephants on a live web camera at the San Diego Zoo. The elephant’s behavior and socialization is fascinating and we have loved watching this herd roll in mud, play with each other and take care of their baby. Stay tuned for all the information regarding Zoo School after spring break!
It’s hard to believe we are half way through the school year and have been in school for over 100 days. We marked the 100th day by celebrating with a number of literacy and numeracy activities. Students brought in 100 items of their choosing (goldfish crackers, pasta, pompoms, and paper clips) and used their computation and sorting skills to organize them. They wrote about something they have heard 100 times and many of their answers gave the grade one team a good chuckle.
In Literacy, students continued to explore word families and used them to build on their phonics awareness. In writing we looked at the elements of story writing using a beginning, middle and end while adding details and juicy words. In Math, students were introduced to geometric shapes and began to see them everywhere. Patterns continue to be explored and students created a fish using shapes, words and colour to create multiple patterns.
In Social Studies, we celebrated our identity by learning about who we are and where are names originated from. Listening to each child’s story about how they got their name was heartwarming and students loved sharing their unique narrative. As we continue to help students make connections between their school world and the real world we asked them to interview their families and ask them a number of questions related to their jobs. This activity helped students understand the how the past affects the present.
In Science we are journaling and looking closely at artifacts from nature. We are sketching and learning how to look at items by zooming in and zooming out. We have discovered that nature is fascinating!
Happy New Year! It has been a very productive couple months in grade one. In Literacy, students continued to work on their daily phonics and incorporated their understanding of blending letters and sounding out words independently. Students learned how to write a friendly letter, began Monday morning “On the Weekend” writing using a writers checklist and literacy centers were introduced.
In Math, students continued learning about friendly numbers, doubles and counting by fives. Students were also introduce to Math Talks and expanded their understanding of how to represent numbers in multiple ways. We began our unit on graphing and have become master data collectors. We represented our data through concrete graphs and pictographs.
In Social Studies, we had a number of local special guests to help us learn about the importance of Community Helpers. Doctor Yasmin, who is an emergency room doctor at the Rockyview General Hospital taught grade one all about what it means to be healthy and what her role is as a community helper. Students reflected on what their responsibilities and rights are in a community and brainstormed the community’s they belong to.
In Science, we have been exploring various animals and researching information to record in our Animal Research booklets. Students have been learning about bears, rabbits, geese and squirrels. Through the process of research, students gained new knowledge about these animals and used critical thinking skills to decide what information should be recorded.
In December, we were very lucky to have local artist Iana Dzombak as an Artist in Residence. Iana taught grade one how to use acrylic paint on canvas. Students learned how to stencil, use various brush strokes, paint mixing and detailed paint application. The final product was a beautiful winter bird scene.
The grade one team is excited for all the learning that will take place in 2023!
It has been a SPOOKTACULAR month of learning opportunities and experiences.
Students have been learning reading strategies to help them decode unfamiliar words (Eagle Eye, Stretchy Snake and Flippy Dolphin). They are beginning to apply this to their daily reading of their books in their book bags, poetry books and the student interview posters on the wall. The children have begun to do independent writing to explain what they did on their weekend. Students and teachers have created a writing checklist so students can reflect and assess their own work. They are looking to make sure they are printing on the line, using finger spaces between words and are sounding out the words.
In Science, we have continued to study colors. Students have learned about primary colors (red, yellow and blue). Using these primary colors the students completed a variety of experiments to create the secondary colors -green, orange and purple. Some of the materials used in our experiments were shaving cream, plasticine and tissue paper. As we studied each color, students created their own color wheel with yarn.
The Wilder Calgary Zoo provided us with a lemur story box to explore these endangered animals. Students had an opportunity to look closely at two lemur skulls, the food they eat, their natural habitat and a model of a lemur. We sketched, journaled and had deep discussions about What Matters?
Fun Fact: Ring-tailed lemurs stand out for their raccoon-like markings—black-rimmed eyes and a tail with 13-14 alternating black and white bands.
In Math, students learned and continued to represent numbers from one to twenty (using words, equations, tally marks, ten frames, dice, base ten blocks). Did you know that friendly numbers are two numbers that add up to ten? Students are working to be fast and accurate with these facts (0+ 10, 1+ 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7, 4 + 6 and 5+5) through the use of games and energizers.
Closer to Halloween we began to use ghost and pumpkin manipulatives to solve word problems on a haunted house mat. After the teachers modeled the students then practiced orally telling their own math stories to their classmates. We also had an exciting Pumpkin Math Day where students learned about pumpkins and how they grow. They described the pumpkins with their senses (taste, smell, sight, hearing) and measured pumpkins (height and circumference), counted seeds (by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s). We counted so many seeds! Then of course the pumpkins were carved and decorated.
In Social Studies, we continued to explore aspects of Indigenious culture. As it is the time of year for the annual salmon run we watched an Indigenious Salmon dance. We were then inspired by Haida Salmon Art to create a river filled with beautiful salmon heading upstream.
As we are always working to create a happy, caring classroom community we have been learning about bucket filling. Please ask any grade one student how they can fill buckets.
September in Grade One is such an exciting time! The students are now at school all day to have fun and learn lots. This month we have been working on building our classroom communities and setting routines. The students are making new friends and learning about each other with our Identity project. Each child brought in a bag with some special items they brought from home that help to describe them.
We have been doing lots of work with letters! The children are learning to print both upper and lowercase letters neatly on the line and with finger spaces in between. We have been solidifying their knowledge of letter sounds and corresponding Jolly Phonics actions. This helps them to sound out words for reading and writing.
In Science, we have been using our senses to explore the world around us. We learn how scientists observe by slowing down and taking our time to look for details. The students have begun sketching an item then going back to their work to add more and more details.
In Social Studies, we have learned about respecting and caring for nature. We have been learning together in sharing circles outside. Students collected nature items to create their own nature collage then returned the items back where they came from for others to enjoy.
May 6, 2022
The grade one’s had a busy couple of weeks with lots of fun learning activities. Read on to find out what they’ve been up to!
The grade ones were able to explore Fish Creek Park and look for signs of Spring. They learned about different types of plants, different animals and their habitats and practiced sketching all the signs of Spring around them in Fish Creek Park.
In Science, students have continued to grow as builders by building a chair and a boat. Students have furthered their knowledge on why building is important, the process of building (blueprints, planning materials and building) and have reflected on their strengths and challenges in building their various items.
In Social Studies, students have continued to explore their world by creating maps of their bedrooms, learning about their communities and what type of communities they belong to and identifying important landmarks within their communities.
Our fantastic writers have been working on publishing their own unique books. They have been writing, revising, editing and illustrating their fantastic stories and are well on their way to being great independent story tellers.
In Math, the grade one’s have been strengthening their addition and subtraction skills and continuing to learn about place value. Students have been working on showing their numbers using base ten blocks by figuring out how many tens and ones are in the numbers their illustrating.
We celebrated Earth Day by participating in different art tasks. Students then thought of creative ways they can help the earth, not just on earth day, but everyday!
April 13, 2022
Spring has sprung and our season detectives are exploring the outdoors looking and listening to the sights and sounds of this new season. The students have also been busy builders- from leprechaun traps to gumdrop houses. With each task the students draw and label their blueprints and as they build they adapt and revise their plans…just like a builder and architect!
In Math, students have been learning subtraction strategies. They are building their understanding about the relationship between addition and subtraction through fact families and exploring how they can balance a scale using equations.
In Social, the grade one’s have been exploring their world, specifically focusing on their home and community. They have examined the groups they belong to, and the importance that their roles and responsibilities play in these groups and communities. The students have learned about three specific types of communities and the parts of each one.
Our oral storytellers are now becoming blossoming writers. They are learning about all the parts of a story through picture books and play. Students are creating their own version of a mentor text and look forward to publishing their own books.
In Art, the students have been showing their understanding of spring! Through a variety of mediums, they created a Spring Equinox art piece that represented the equal parts of day and night. They spent time exploring lines in order to create a detailed spring tree to accompany their piece of work.
March 4, 2022
The grade ones had a busy couple weeks! Read on to find out about our grade one adventures.
Have you ever made Friendship Soup? It’s the best kind of soup out there! All the grade one students spent time listening to stories, discussing and journaling about the important things about friendship. What ingredients are needed to make friendship? Some of the recipe includes a cup of kindness, a heaping spoonful of trust, a dollup of fun and a dash of laughter.
Pink Shirt Day was a reminder to the grade one’s about the importance of being kind. This year’s slogan, Lift Each Other Up, inspired our classes to continue exploring how we can fill each other buckets every day. Through a variety of wordless short films, picture books and group discussions, the students pulled important ways to lift each other up and created an acrostic poem to inspire people who walk through the halls of Nellie McClung.
The 100th day of school was another big day in grade one. Every minute of the day was related to the number 100!
We wrote about 100 . . . What would you do if you had $100?
We counted 100 items . . . How would you efficiently count 100 items? By 2’s? 5’s? 10’s?
We exercised to 100 . . . Can you dance for 100 seconds?
We did art with 100 . . . Where can you see the number 100?
In Math, we continued to work on our operations, specifically focusing on addition and subtraction. We started analyzing word problems to determine the operation and explored different strategies we can use to solve the questions.
The grade ones are getting excited for the opening of their class donut shop! We spent time getting reading by planning, voting and graphing a store logo, preparing the menu and practicing how to sell and document the items sold by using tallies.
We had an in school field trip where students became zookeepers! Making sure to consider the needs of animals, they had to create a personalized habitat for a zoo. They were provided a store full of building supplies and a budget. Then they creatively built their animal enclosure.
February 11, 2022
The grade one’s have been creative entrepreneurs these last couple of weeks, working towards creating our very own mock donut shop. We have gathered and graphed data on our favorite donut shop name and we have analyzed and written descriptive menus for our featured donuts that we made using flour, salt and water. Adding adjectives to our writing sure makes you want to buy one of our donuts!!!!!
Looking into the past and examining our families has been a focus over the last few weeks. We have learned about the generations that have come before us and how the way they lived their lives was the same but different from how we live now. We also learned more about our names, focusing on where it came from, why we have it and the meaning of it. We are all unique and have qualities that make us special.
We continued to focus on addition strategies like doubles (7+7) and adding on to 9. We have continued exploring 3D solids looking at their attributes (faces, vertices, edges) as well as open-ended tasks that have multiple entry points and answers.
Did you know that last week had a trifecta day? On February 2nd it was . . . Groundhog’s Day . . . World Read Aloud Day . . . and Twosday!!!!!!! After learning about the tradition of Groundhog’s Day, we explored data collection and graphing and light and shadow through snowman art. We enjoyed listening to stories throughout the day and examined the number 2 in different ways.
January 28, 2022
In Language Arts, we have been exploring narrative writing and the elements of story writing (setting, characters, beginning, middle and end). Students orally retold stories using a variety of items. They are now working on writing short stories on their own.
Each Monday students write about their weekend adventures. They are reminded to print on the line, use finger spaces and to read their work to make sure it makes sense. We also wrote New Year’s Resolutions, and Valentine cards for Veterans. It is so exciting to see the growth of these hard working students!
In Math, we have been studying two dimensional shapes (sides and corners) and three dimensional solids (faces, vertices and edges). Students explore solids and created solids with marshmallows and toothpicks. We also have been using literature (P. Bear’s New Years Eve Party and Rooster’s Off to See the World) to work on word problems. Students used a variety of addition strategies to determine how many animals were in each story. They also have an opportunity to do math challenges related to the story.
Our students have been focusing on learning about their families in Social Studies. With the help of their families they are learning about their family traditions, histories, celebrations, favorite family recipes and more. They are building a box full of memories which we hope they treasure for years to come. This week they wrote and illustrated poems about their families!
In Health, we are learning about having fixed and growth mindsets. Students share why it is important to have a growth mindset and how it helps you learn and face challenges.
December 3, 2021
What great little writers we have these days! Students are writing about their weekend activities every Monday. They are sounding out words and using the word wall and posters to help them independently write. Students also are learning all about descriptive words. We are creating lots of anchor charts to help them choose adjectives which fit best within their writing.
In Science, we began our Doughnut Business Project. After looking closely at two doughnut shops in Calgary, students were inspired to create their own doughnuts. We have been examining doughnut creations specifically looking at colors, flavors, shapes, fillings and decorations. The planning stage has just begun and we look forward to sharing our special doughnuts with you!
In Social Studies, we have begun to work on a special Family Project where students reflect and learn about what makes their family special. Students will then create artifacts to place in their memory box that represents their family’s celebrations, traditions, food, cultures, heritage etc.
In Health, we have continued to examine our brain, specifically learning about neuron connections and the pathways that we build. We then identified our ‘New’, ‘Not yet’ and ‘Strong’ neuron connections.
In Math, we continued to work on representing numbers, specifically focusing on equations. We created a class book called ‘22 Ways to Get to 12’. Students chose an equation with addends to create a sum of 12 and wrote and illustrated alongside it. We have also continued to work on repeating patterns with different cores (AB/ABC/ABB/ABBA, etc.), both extending and creating these patterns.
November 19, 2021
Hello From Grade One!
With Remembrance Day in our hearts and mind, we explored the word Peace. We read the picture book What Does Peace Feel Like? and used it as inspiration to create a Peace Poem using our 5 senses. We analyzed poppies and created 3-inch poppy art. We sketched, used artist pen, watercolor and mixed media.
The grade one students continued to explore letter sounds through Jolly Phonics, games, literacy tasks like Read the Room and Find A Word, and poetry. We also began writing about our families and the things that make our families special. Students focused on printing neatly, sounding out words, having finger spaces and making sure their sentences make sense.
We began our work about the brain, looking at what it looks like, what it does, how to keep it healthy and why it is important to use positive self-talk. After watching a series of short video clips, students chose at least 2 positive things they would like to say to themselves when something is challenging for them.
To continue our work in math, we explored subitizing through Math Talks and whiteboards, and engaged in a number of games (I Spy, Memory, I Love Math) about friendly numbers. On a daily basis we participate in calendar time where we work on representing numbers, the passage of time, different ways to count and patterning.
This past week was Metis Week. We read articles about Metis culture and then analyzed Metis beadwork and embroidery. Using acrylic paint and nature as our inspiration, we created Metis Dot Art.
November 5, 2021
We began the week talking about peace. Students then wrote poems using their five senses to describe what peace looks like, smells like, tastes like, feels like and sounds like. Ask your child to tell you about their poem.
EEKK - don’t worry nothing to be scared of hee hee. This week we taught students how to do partner reading using the EEKK position where students sit Elbow to Elbow and Knee to Knee. Students learned how to be a good partner and worked on using their reading strategies to decode unfa
In Math, we continued to learn about measurement and comparing items. After reading, Biggest, Strongest, Fastest students learned about measuring with their hand span. They then traced their hand in order to find something in the classroom that fit their hand span. After, they measured using their hand span and compared objects.
We did a lot of work this week learning about our brains. Students learned many ways to help keep their brains healthy. Ask them to share what they learned.
October 29, 2021Literacy
The students are working to understand Word families (at- bat, cat, hat, that). They used a sentence frame to write the beginning of sentences then used their letter knowledge to sound out the ending words all by themselves! Students then drew pictures to represent their thinking and match their sentences.
In reading students continue to work on learning sight words and to build stamina during ‘Reading to Self’.
In math we explored measuring items and learned about standard and non standard measurement. We also solved some word problems with fall and halloween objects. Ask your child to tell you a math story to solve using some items at home. On Pumpkin Day, we weighed, measured and compared our pumpkins in different ways. Students also counted seeds in different ways. Ask your child to explain it to you.
Did you know that Halloween provides so many Math opportunities. Children can sort candy then count it in different ways by groups of ones, twos, fives or tens.
We did an experiment with a black marker to learn about Chromatography and discovered the colors that make up black. Ask your child about how we did this experiment. Through videos and a playdough experiment the students gained understanding about tints and shades of colors.
We studied gourds and pumpkins this week. The children sketched these items and used their senses to make our observations- just like a scientist! Fall is a time when vegetables are ready to eat. This led us to learn about the life cycle of pumpkins as well as many interesting facts. Ask your child to share what they learned.
October 22, 2021
What happens when you do math in science? You get secondary colors! The grade one's have spent the last couple weeks continuing to explore color, specifically focusing on secondary colors. We played with shaving cream with food coloring, mixed paint and enjoyed some creative picture books to inspire us.
Did you know that numbers can be represented in many ways? Our grade one's do! They've continued to show numbers in multiple ways, focusing on dice, base 10 blocks, ten frames, number lines, tally marks and pictures to represent numbers of their choice. They enjoyed engaging with manipulatives and playing games to strengthen their understanding.
The grade one's began writing in their new journals focusing on the lessons taught about having a capital at the beginning of a sentence, spaces between the words and a period at the end of the sentence. Were you aware that you have an invisible bucket? The grade one's learned about the invisible buckets that everyone has with them all the time and how these buckets can be filled or dipped into. They brainstormed ways they could fill other people's buckets and began writing their ideas in a complete sentence. They also used their writing journal to begin expressing their favorite things about the fall season.
We continued to build our grade one sense of community and strengthen our understanding of each other by participating in sharing circles. During our sharing circles everyone voice matters, and everyone's voice is heard. By participating in our sharing circles, we continue to develop each student's sense of belonging and our connection to each other.
October 7, 2021
This was a week focused on Fall leaves. We explored the different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. In Math, we learned about sorting through books and lots of hands-on activities. Ask your child how they sorted leaves, buttons and children.
In Science, this week our color was orange. The children learned the difference between a primary and secondary color. We studied this color through books, poems, songs and even went on an orange hunt. Ask your child to sing you the orange song and to tell you about the plasticine experiment.
We have continued to learn about letter names and songs. The children are making connections between our Jolly Phonics games and the words they see in books and around the classroom. When they are printing they are working hard to keep it on the line and to use finger spaces to make their work easier to read.
In Art, students sketched a fall leaf and painted it in fall colors with watercolor paint. We also created a beautiful Coneflower which is our special plant in the heart garden. We learned that the indigenous people used this plant for medicine.
October 1, 2021
The students are working hard to connect letter sounds to letter formation. As we play games with letters they are beginning to sound out words. This week they have sounded out and have begun to do kid writing (independently writing the sounds they hear in a word). Wowie their printing and drawing skills are getting more beautiful everyday!
This week was Indigenous Week. Through videos, picture books and class discussions the children learned more about Indigenous culture. We learned the meaning behind Orange Shirt Day. After reading the book You Hold Me Up the children created a mixed medium piece describing how the people they love hold them up.
We created and played a traditional math game called Stick Dice. Students created pattern sticks then played the game with a partner while adding up their points. Ask your child about this game. We also played an Indigenous Game called Make A Stick Jump. Students learned that the purpose of this game in the Blackfoot Nation is to work on accuracy. Ask your child to teach you how to play the game!
In Science, we continued to learn about the three primary colors (red, yellow and blue). Students learned songs, poems and went on a hunt for items in nature (or outside) that were the color of the week. Students then sketched them and labeled each item with kid writing.
In Art, we created a collaborative Sunflower garden. Ask your child about this project.
September 17, 2021
Students learned how to ‘Read to Self’ this week
- Read the whole time
- Stay in one spot
- Get started right away
- Read quietly
- Build Stamina
In Math, students began creating their own “My Dots Book” modelled after the picture book “Ten Black Dots” by Donald Crews. Ask your child about this. During calendar time students are learning how to represent numbers in a variety of ways (ten frame, tally marks, number line, base ten blocks).
We have begun our study of color and red is our first stop. The children have learned poems and songs about the color red. They are creating their own color wheels and will be adding both primary and secondary colors to them each week.
In Art, students created the alphabet using colored beans. Students used their knowledge of patterns to decorate each letter. We also created summer trees using watercolour, pastels and paint.
September 10, 2021
This first couple of weeks have been fun and fabulous! September is a time for getting to know the children and establishing routines in our classrooms. The children have been working on connecting letter formation to letter sound through Jolly Phonics actions. We have been working on printing skills (letters sitting on the line) and guided drawings to match the letter of the day. Ask your child about this!
The children have also learned 3 Ways to Read.
- Read the pictures
- Read the words
- Retell the Story
Read to Self is one of our routines. After lunch recess they come in, choose a book and begin to read.
In Math, the children have been learning different ways to represent numbers up to 10 such as using tallies, base 10 blocks, number lines and ten frames. We have played dice games to learn the language of more than and less than. Students created ‘Stories of Five’ using only 5 geometric shapes and their great imaginations to create unique pictures.
We have started the year off learning about the Season of Summer. Throughout the year we will be examining and comparing the similarities and differences of each season. Ask your child about their tree sketch.
Welcome to the Grade 1Team!