Monday, 6 October 2014

Welcome back to my blog!

Bonjour les parents!

After a year of hiatus, I decided to resurrect my old blog. Since nearly everyone is linked in and digitally literate (of varying degrees), I much prefer to update parents via a blog. On this site, I will provide the following:

  • Links to useful resources
  • Important deadlines and events
  • An update of what we are learning in Grade 1 and 2
  • Other relevant information and volunteer requests for 1/2 G 
This month, we are exploring Fall through the Five Senses and focusing on Numbers 1-20 in math. Many students have the idea that they are good at math because they can do calculations at home and count to really high numbers. However, what we are focusing on is a deeper understanding of numbers.

Here are our "I can" statements for math this month:
- I can count forward and backward from 0-21 in French
- I can count by 2 and 5 in French to 20, and backwards (Grade 2)
- I can "see" sets of numbers without counting (1-10)
- I can show my knowledge of "equal" as a balanced equation.
- I can show my knowledge of "unequal" in an equation (Grade 2)
- I know which numbers are odd and which are even
- I can estimate a quantity up to 20 (Grade 1) and 50 (Grade 2)
- I can add 10 and subtract 10 (Grade 2)
- I can read number words up to 10
- I can read and write number words up to 20 (Grade 2)
- I can show a quantity up to 10 in many different ways
- I can show a quantity up to 20 in many different ways (Grade 2)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Les Citrouilles!

Next week is our "pumpkin week". We are doing class research on pumpkins and using them in a variety of contexts. Here are some important dates coming up:

Tomorrow and Friday: Launching our pumpkin unit: Create a list of questions and vocabulary related to pumpkins

Monday: Experiments and pumpkin carving. We are using pumpkin seeds in a number activity, and them collecting them to roast in the oven. 

Tuesday: Performing at our 1:00 assembly - parents are welcome to attend. Our class store will be after the assembly.

Wednesday is Halloween. We will continue with our pumpkin activities in the morning, and dressing dressing up in the afternoon for the carnival. 

Thursday: We will be visiting the town library for story time. Dress warmly as we will be walking! 

Monday, 1 October 2012

What's New in 2G?

I just want to give an overview of what our main learning contexts were so far. We started the year with "Je rencontre mes amis." We learned more about our friends in Grade 2, about our school and expectations for the year. Our big topic of inquiry had to do with collecting data and sharing information about ourselves. We made graphs showing our favorite school snacks and after school activities. These will be added to the students' portfolios. We also celebrated our uniqueness and talents. Everyone is an "étoile!"

Our current topic is "Notre quartier" - exploring our community. We learned about the physical environment through studying 2D shaped and 3D objets. We constructed mini-models of "communities" using toothpicks, marshmallows, and modeling clay. These are on display in our school library. Now we are entering deeper into the topic of our community, focusing on needs, wants, and community services. Our big topic of inquiry is "How does our community respond to our needs?" In the next few days, I am hoping to organize a "neighbourhood walk." I plan to take the students down center street and together we will observe and document what our city has to offer in terms of services, and how these services support our community. You should expect more detailed information in my next blog post.

Finally, I want to share information regarding home reading. As you may have noticed, I assign very little homework above unfinished classwork. I recognize that the children work hard during the day and have full plates with after school activities. However, I ask that you please support your children with their daily home reading. I am starting a daily 1 hour literacy period based on the "Daily 5" technique (please see link.) In French I refer to this as "Café Lecture." During this time I target individual and small groups of students with mini-lessons in reading strategies, & vocabulary, and I also do weekly reading tests with each student. Please make sure that the green reading bag comes home every night and that you listen to your child read in French. I understand that you may not speak French, but you will still pick up on what difficulties you child may have by tuning in to how he or she reads aloud. And of course I encourage you to read to them or with them every night in English. Many skills are transferable from one language to another. Your support is much appreciated!

Daily 5 parent letter

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Welcome Back!

Hello parents and 2G students,

I would like to wish everyone an excellent school year. I do have two favours. First, please read all the information your child is bringing home today. This includes a form that must be filled out and returned tomorrow. This is very important for our school records. Secondly, we are doing a craft this week. Please send an empty plastic water bottle or pop bottle to class if you have one. Please include the cap! We are making piggy banks to hold their pennies. You will learn why when you read our class brochure. Thank you for your help!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Show & Tell and Assembly performance

Important news:

Grade 1/2 G is performing an interesting adaptation of "Les trois petits cochons" (Three Little Pigs). This version is set to music by Dan Bigras, a Quebec recording artist, and involves miming, black lights, and props. Please come to our afternoon awards assembly on Friday, April 27 at 1:05 p.m.

Our inquiry context for the next few weeks: "Are giants real?"

We are currently learning about "giants" that live in the ocean, more specifically about the cetaceans (everything from dolphins to giant blue whales.) Today's activity included going outside and measuring the actual size of five different cetaceans with a meter stick. For this month's show and tell, please look for something that is "cetacean" related. This could be anything from a picture to a souvenir from Marine Land.

Spelling words for April

I promised that I would return to pratising spelling words.  We are focusing on verb conjugation in the present tense. I gave the class a list of verbs (see below) and the students are expected to conjugate the verbs correctly with the subject in the present tense. I will test their skills on Friday, and re-test as necessary. These skills are to be mastered by the Grade 2s and introduced to the Grade 1s. The target verbs are as follows:

Grade 1 (and Grade 2); manger (to eat); nager (to swim); jouer (to play)

Grade 2:   chasser (to hunt or chase); respirer (to breathe); voyager (to travel); mesurer (to measure)

The verb endings the Grade 1s must practise are in 1st-3rd person singular, and 3rd person plural. All verbs ending with "er"  (pronounced "aye") conjugate more or less the same way. See the example below:


Je mange (I eat)
Tu manges (you eat)
il/elle mange (he/she eats)
Ils/elles mangent (they eat)

Grade 2s should also practise 1st and 2nd person plural:

Nous mangeons (we eat)
Vous mangez (you eat - formal or plural)

How to practise the spelling words: Choose one verb a day, and write it out with all the different endings. Consider these your spelling words! Please see the link below for creative ways to practise the words. This list is non-exhaustive! I am no longer photocopying drill & practise sheets. Not only are they boring & redundant for most students, but they are also a waste of photocopy paper. I want to give students more flexibility to adapt to their particular learning styles. Please have them bring in their spelling work. I will post exceptionally well done and creative work in the classroom.

I will give tests on Fridays. These will start off as "Cloze" type passage in which students insert the proper endings on verbs in a typed passage. Each week the tests will become more challenging, and students will be expected to write more.
Fun ways to practise spelling words

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Eggs, anyone?

We are doing an Easter mosaic art project on Thursday, April 5th. I do have an unusual request. If you happen to be making a soufflé, a ton of pancakes, or anything else that takes a lot of eggs, please save your eggshells and send them to school - rinsed out - by next Thursday. If everyone brings about 4 eggshells, that should be enough. If possible, I would prefer them not to be cracked in a thousand tiny pieces; this will make the art project harder. Please click on the link below. It shows a shamrock, but the idea is similar. And again, please rinse the shells well before bringing to school!