Friday, 8 December 2017

Snowy Sentences

When we started Grade 1 together, we knew many of the sounds the letters make and some words, too (thank you, Mrs. Small!). You'll never believe it, but we are now working on writing FULL SENTENCES! 

We really began examining what a sentence was these last few days. 

We learned three things every sentence has:

Mrs. Beliveau revealed her hidden talent ... rapping!
Ask your child to rap for you!

We sorted letters, words and sentences as a class!

This week we read Dream Snow. In the story, a farmer falls asleep and dreams that snow covers his farm animals. This book is very clever! Clear plastic sheets, with "snow" on them, can be lifted to reveal the animal underneath! 

Armed with our knowledge of sentences, we made our own version of the book, but with a twist! 

Students each wrote clues about an animal of their choosing. Kids were challenged to write a sentence beginning with a capital letter and ending with a period. As well, students were required to spell Word Wall Words correctly (weekly spelling words posted on the wall).

An illustration of the animal accompanied their clues. Just like in Dream Snow, a clear page with painted "snow" covered the animal, so it would be lifted up to reveal the animal hidden under the snowbank! The very best part of this was adding "snow"!

Here are the clues:

Peek under the "snow" to see the animal!

Because of their fantastic work, the hallway near our classroom is packed with curious students, reading the clues and peeking under the snowbanks! Well done, Grade One!

Writing strong sentences is a skill we will work on throughout the year! Support your child by finding sentences in the books you read, by identifying components of a sentence in our daily agenda message, and by writing sentences together ... the sillier the better!

"Is It a Sentence" poster was from here
Pete the Cat Letter, Word and Sentence sort was from here
Writing project inspired by teacher Christina Bainbridge

Thursday, 9 November 2017

We Can Spread Peace

This year, Remembrance Day falls during our Fall Break. To help the children better understand this special day, we spent lots of time this week learning about it's significance. How have others made our world peaceful? How can we thank them? How can we be peaceful? Our focus this week was peace 

Together we read the book "I Call My Hand Gentle".

Then we traced and decorated our hands, spending time thinking about when our hands are gentle:

Pop by our hallway bulletin board to see how we have gentle hands!

We also took time to read The Peace Book by Todd Parr. As a class, we took time to reflect and made a book together about when we feel peaceful.

Peace is my mom reading me a story. 

Peace is reading a good book in bed. 

Peace is making pancakes. 

Peace is helping my baby brother.
Peace is holding my cat. 

Peace is eating popcorn. 

We spent some time today creating beautiful "stained glass" windows that can be hung at home during the fall break as a reminder to pray for all peacemakers. 

Today we gathered as a school community to pray, remember, and express gratitude for all of those who have worked and are currently working for peace. 

What a meaningful week. Hopefully the boys and girls are able to look at the poppies on their collars with a little more understanding and a lot more gratitude. 

Friday, 27 October 2017

"PARR"-fect Art!

This week we were inspired by Todd Parr's creative illustrations and messages of acceptance and inclusivity! His books rock!

After a week of painting and creativity, our It's Ok To Be Different art project is done!

Using wacky, bright colours, we made "Todd Parr-inspired" self-portraits! Amazing! Check them out!

First we painted...

...then did a little cutting and gluing ...

...and finally we added black details!

Check out our bright masterpieces!

And the best part? Our art will be on display at the County Library for the month of November! 

Awesome job, kiddos!

Friday, 20 October 2017


Have you noticed this? Perhaps you recognize it from the bottom of my emails. 

Each school year, our district comes together around a common theme. This year, we focus on the words of Isaiah, "Here am I. Send me!"

God calls us. Each and every one of us. How do we answer? 

Students, staff, and families of EICS are encouraged to answer God's call boldly, with enthusiasm and joy! YES! #ChallengeAccepted

We've been unpacking this challenge and Isaiah's words as a school. Pictured below is our recent school-wide buddy project. It reminds us to raise our hands and say yes to God! I can do it, God! Send me!

Each month, our Superintendent Michael Hauptman is challenging us to grow in our faith. For October, he has challenged us to pray the rosary. 

To make this form of meditative prayer accessible for us littles in Grade 1, we will pray one decade each day. 

To prepare for next week's Decade a Day, we made single-decade rosaries. The beads can be moved around as each prayer is shared.

To connect our daily decade to the full rosary, we will colour in the 10 beads we pray each day. 

Learning the Hail Mary prayer has been central to our exploration of the rosary. A "puzzle-piece" Hail Mary prayer is coming home this weekend. Consider praying this prayer as a family. 

If you are interested in learning more about how to pray the rosary, this How to Pray the Rosary infographic is spectacular as well as the free app Laudate

Single-decade beaded rosary craft from Catholic Icing
Puzzle Piece Hail Mary activity from Pearson's Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ Grade 1 resource

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Building Number Sense

In grade 1 we learn how our number system works by examining numbers up to 100. First, we took a speedy march around the school, hunting for numbers! Where do we see numbers? When do we use numbers each day? 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

For now, we will be working very closely with numbers to 20. 

  • How are numbers related? 
  • What are some different ways to make a number? 
  • How can we take a number apart? 

Keep hunting for numbers with your child! Road signs, recipes, flyers ... they're everywhere and so important!

Junk It Game

In case you haven't heard, we were introduced to a fast-paced card game last week, Junk It! It helps us recognize numerals and order them to 10. 

Junk It is a 2-player game. Remove face cards, but keep Aces. 

Put 10 cards in two rows of 5 face down in front of each player. Place the remaining cards in the centre. 

The first player flips a card over, and places it in its numerical spot. He picked up a 6 ... 

... so he put it down where the 6 goes. 

When he placed his card in the 6 spot, he picked up an Ace (formerly face down in the 6th place). Off the Ace goes to spot 1!

Notice how when he put his Ace down, he picked up the card in that spot? It is a 6! He already has a 6, so he gets to call JUNK IT and discard it. 

His opponent can either pick up the card that was just discarded, or select a new card from the pile. She needed a 6, so she chose to keep it. 

The first player to get all 10 cards flipped over in order wins!

It is a little confusing to explain on our blog, but the kids are definitely the experts! Will you challenge your child to a game of Junk It?!?

GIANT SHOUT OUT to the Ecole Edwards grade 1 classes in Airdrie (@Grade1Wiggles) for teaching us this game via Twitter! We love it!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Gratitude Changes Everything

This week we spent a little extra time exploring how blessed we truly are. Our blessings so are abundant and we seized every opportunity we could to thank God! Gratitude breeds positivity!

One of our Read In Week guests was our very own EICS Catholic School Trustee, Michelle Szott! She shared two WONDERFUL books that got us thinking about gratitude and blessings! With just the mention of the word "thankful", the students' hands were shooting up and ideas were overflowing. They were bursting with thankfulness!

In the spirit of fostering a "growth mindset" and giving the students (and their teacher) the opportunity to practice perseverance and patience, we tackled a challenging Thanksgiving project, woven place mats!

We began by writing and colouring. 

Then the students helped each other weave paper strips over, under, over, and under. Fantastic teamwork! Many also showed off their patterning skills!

Amazing work! These will, without a doubt, be the center of the Thanksgiving tables this weekend!

What are YOU thankful for? Take a minute to leave your reply. Simply double-click on the "wall" below to leave a "sticky note". There is no log in. Just type your idea and click GO. The students and I have left a few responses already (signed, Student). When leaving your response, feel free to sign your name as Mr. or Mrs. and your last initial (e.g. Mrs. S, Mr. H), or something equally appropriate. Thank you for not mentioning first or last names on our blog. 

Made with Padlet

We have been blessed beyond measure and it is so important to take time and give thanks. God is indeed SO GOOD! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Zoo School Project: Kids With Character!

As you know, our class is headed to the Edmonton Valley Zoo for AN ENTIRE WEEK in January! HOLY MOLY GUACAMOLE! To qualify for one of the highly sought-after weeks at the zoo, a year-long project must be submitted and selected. Drumroll, please!......Character education will drive OUR awesome year-long Zoo School project! 

Our Zoo Project

Character Education is when we intentionally teach our students about the traits that will help them become successful, caring individuals. We strive to encourage our children use their God-given gifts to be the hands of Jesus to others! 

Throughout the year, our project will focus on 6 key character traits; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring & perseverance. We’ll read zoo animal stories that feature these character traits, and then students will deepen their understanding through journal prompts, reflections, activities, and Bible readings.


We began our project by reading the folktake Give Up, Gecko! When the animals find themselves thirsty and without water, they decide to dig. The large animals try, but give up. The medium animals try and give up, too! Even small animals try, but quit. Then an itty bitty little gecko tries and tries, and eventually finds water! He sure didn't give up!

This story highlights perseverance and promotes a "growth mindset", which is what we celebrate and encourage here at Holy Redeemer. We value hard work, persistence, & effort! Have a look!

After reading Give Up Gecko!, we focused on something tricky we wanted to learn that we promised not to give up on! 

I won't give up until I learn to build a robot.

I won't give up until I learn to do a handstand.

I won't give up until I learn to BBQ.

We will continue to read animals stories featuring perseverance! Isn't everything new a little tricky at first?

Psssst! Hang on! Stay tuned for part 2 of our Zoo School Project ... it's really exciting! (Hint: This second part of our zoo project is digital, eeeek!)

My blog posts from last year's phenomenal zoo school week can be found here, here, here, here and also here! Get excited!
Writing prompt courtesy of Deanna Jump can be found HERE