On Tuesday we celebrated Children's Day. The students had a wonderful time at the Eco Park experiencing games such as Tennis and Football. They were given the opportunity to learn new skills for tennis and activities that involved hand and eye coordination skills. Football was a great opportunity for the children to show good sportsmanship, as the game had rules and there was a winning an losing team. Although the day was very hot, the children had a chance to socialise with other children in the school and parent helpers were able to participate in the fun days activities.
In Maths this week the children have spent time revising the concepts, such as greater than and smaller than, place value and skip counting. Mums and dads do not forget that your child has become skillful with the value of money so whilst you enjoy Starbucks, allow your child to go get some food at the Patio and ask them to bring it back and check that they receive the correct change.
In Language the children spent time revisiting words beginning with the digraph 'wh' and 'th", such as what, where, when, why? and the, them, there, their, that. Please spend time allowing your child to practice these sounds and identify them in their reading books.
英语部分我们复习了以“wh”和“th”开头的单词，比如what, where, when, why和the, them, there, their, 还有that。请花一些时间和你的孩子复习这些词汇，提醒他们在指导阅读的故事书中去识读这些单词。
To continue our study and inquiry about the weather, we did two experiments and some observations. First, we made simple thermometers and used it to test hot water and cold water. Through this experiment, we learned the principal of thermometer, which is heat-expansion and cold-contraction. This week, we made simple anemoscopes, and learned how to use it together with digital compass to locate directions of wind. Each day of this week, we went down twice to observe and record the weather. The information that we recorded down included time, weather, wind direction, and temperature.
Can you believe this time next week the children will have graduated from Grade One!
We spent time this week practicing our words and songs for the final graduation process.
The children cannot wait to show off their skills to you next week and are looking forward to seeing you on Friday.
Thank you for being active in the students learning this week. During their Chinese lessons the students were very excited to share their findings that they did at home with you.
In this week’s Chinese we learned a text named “我多想去看看”. Using this text, we took some time at school to make travel plans to the Tian Shan Mountains in Sinkiang. At home we also made personal travel plans to see the Flagging-Raising Ceremony at Tian’anmen Square at home. We tried to use the sentence structure “我多想……” to talk about our aspirations. Someone said they want to be policemen when they grow up, someone said they want to go inside the volcanos to see what is inside. It was a wonderful experience to listen to their dreams about the future and how they became inspired by each other.
In addition we have been looking at our personal journey this year and illustrating this. We asked the students if did they want to share one of their journeys with each other and here are some of their accomplishments.
When I came to China I couldn’t speak Chinese but now I am happy that I can.
When I was little I couldn’t walk but now I can walk and run.
Before I came to this school I could not speak English but now I can.
This morning we had a guest speaker come to our class to talk about inspirational journeys. Dr. Catherine Chu gave the students a wonderful inspiring talk based on the questions the students had previously come up with. It was also lovely to see that the students were engaged and asked questions. Do ask your child about this learning experience.
During our Maths lessons the students have been continuing with activities to help their understanding of fractions. Additionally they have been practicing their division skills using materials in the classroom to help them see the process of these number sentences.
What you can do at home.
The students have been so enthusiastic in learning and reciting Chinese ancient poems. Please help your child to recite poetry that they bring home from school. Have a competition with you child.
As we work our way through the Inquiry Unit, this week students planned a physical journey to an imaginary place of their dreams. This involved identifying the type of climate their chosen place is experiencing, how they would get there, what this involved and what did they need to make their holiday a happy one. It was interesting to see how the students prioritized their wants and needs. We noticed that iPhones seemed to be an important thing to pack for a holiday.
This week we really consolidated identifying the properties of shapes as well as understanding simple fractions 1/4 and 1/2. We did this by linking our understanding to our knowledge of division and how do we divide whole objects equally.
We continue to invite K2A to our class as reading buddies. This involves K2A reading their books to us as well as listening to our class read to them. This has been a very successful literacy time and Grade 1 are really proud to be great role models to K2A.
Our students have really become enthusiastic readers. A lot of our students ask to read other children’s readers which means a lot of swapping of books. However, the impact of this freedom inspires the students to have a go at reading other books and it also encourages risk-taking in reading. Writing has also been an enthusiastic activity and the students have been participating in Handwriting, Story Writing, Friendly Letter Writing and Journal Writing.
Last Friday was an amazing day for the students when they put their physical skills and emotional and social behavior to the tests. Our Sports Day was full of fun and the students were able to show parents how much they enjoyed this side of learning as well as how they can be supportive of each other. Thank you parents for coming to watch your children participate. We asked the students what was the best thing about the day and the first thing most of the students said was having their parents come to see them. The other fabulous event was students receiving medals from Boris Becker. Boris is a renowned tennis player who during his time playing tennis was the youngest men's champion in history with his victory at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. Overall he won 49 career singles titles, another 15 in doubles. He was also a gold Olympic medalist. What a privilege and an inspiration for our students.
We began our new and final Inquiry Unit ‘Here to There’. As you are aware, this unit is about journeys physical and inspirational. Last week the students asked you to help them recall family journeys. In class we have used this information to locate the different countries on the world map and linked them to your child’s name. The have been also been inquirying into the culture of these countries. Many of the countries are international but also some places are within China. We asked the students about any differences or similarities they may have noticed.
To help understand the concept of inspirational journeys, the students has written a letter inviting a guest speaker to come to our class and talk about their personal journey. We hope this will inspire our students to reflect on their personal journey so far and to have a positive understanding of why the journey of school and education is important.
At home we would like you to discuss what is involve when planning for journeys.
We had a lot of fun in Chinese this week. We made our own Chinese flashcards, our own character recognition books, and our own guided reading books. We can see that children are really enthusiastic into learning at school. As they found ownership of their knowledge they saw the closed link between learning and daily life. We hope at home you will support your child’s learning and make it become a playful habit.
This week the students were assessed on what they learned during our Inquiry Unit. They were asked to select no more then two different types of materials from around the classroom, to name them and speak about their properties. For example, this piece of wood is hard. It is in the shape of a triangle and it is smooth. The properties of this piece of wood can still be changed by… or the properties cannot be changed. The students did a great job of recalling information and using scientific words to describe properties.
They did a wonderful job making posters to show case their designer bags which were mainly aimed an adult audience. These can now be seen on display.
During our Language learning we revisited contractions and apostrophes. The students have been singing along to a song to help them remember what a contraction is and when to use it. For the past couple of weeks we have diligently using the first fifteen minutes of class to read. This is proving to work very well and the students are enjoying using their phonics meaningfully during this time. Another activity we have been doing in groups is reading high frequency words and then selecting a word to make a sentence and sharing it orally with the class. We have also been focusing on the correct spelling of the days of the week and numbers.
Maths we have been revisiting Place Value, Even Numbers and Tally Marks as well as Mental Maths. We continue to include learning the time daily, focusing on ‘quarter to and quarter past’.
As we explore our next unit please don’t forget to answer your child’s questions about places they have traveled to. Thank you for your help with this. This information is for Monday.
This week we learned two poems in Chinese. Please read and recite the poems that we learned with your child. You may have noticed that we didn’t send home regular Chinese readers this week. This is because we are going to make some changes based on students’ Chinese level. We shall resume it in two weeks. If your child haven’t returned the Chinese reader, please remind them to return it to school next week.
The students also had a great treat and learning experience when they went to watch the Annika Golf Tournament. They showed their understanding of the etiquette required and were so excited to watch keen young golfers play. Do ask them you to tell about it.
How you can help at home:
Recall the places you have traveled to and share this with your children.
Did the places you visited demonstrated differences in culture in comparison to your own?
Have writing books and sparkly pens available (your child loves writing).
Have some mental maths fun.
This week was a great learning experience in many ways as we focused on our country of choice for International Day. We learned about the location of Nepal, the number of languages, their traditional dress and how to greet each other. It was also a small introduction into our next Inquiry Unit which is about journeys.
In our classroom the parents had the opportunity to join in the song with the students ‘The More We Are Together’. This was followed by a fashion show. They showcased the students tie-dye skills and their Paper Mache bags they made as they inquired into different materials and their properties. Unfortunately there was not enough time in our week to make advertisements for the bags but the students will do this this coming week as we come to the end of this much enjoyed unit.
Thank you to our parents who put so much effort into making our International Day a success. Thank you for providing food that represented Nepal and most of all by promoting togetherness within our school and helping us spread awareness of internationalism among our students. A special shout out to Rani’s mum for dressing three adults and ten girls in Sari’s.
Last Friday the student were lucky enough to experience simple coding with Teacher Steve and Teacher Theresa. As you most likely are aware, code powers our digital world including digital home appliances such as microwaves. Our smartphone applications, computers and every website we visit relies on codes to operate. Teacher Steve is an expert in ICT and he visited China from Canada. The students thoroughly enjoyed this learning experience of introduction to coding and will continue to develop their coding skills in the future. The App the students used is called Kodable. Do ask your child about this experience.
On Monday morning the lovely K2A reading buddies joined us for fifteen minutes of promoting reading in our class. Grade 1 read to K2A and K2A read to Grade 1. The students are enjoying this time together with another grade.
The students have been doing some amazing writing, using their phonic knowledge as you saw too from their home work this week. They used the Friendly Letter format and I really enjoyed reading their friendly letters to me telling me what they did over the weekend.
Our Inquiry Unit has taken an even more exciting turn as students have become Designers and used the material ‘paper’ as their base for making bags. They have sketched and have started to make Paper Mache as the base for their bags. Over the next week, their bags hopefully will be complete and will be on display in our school. Have a look at at their advertisements for their product as well.
Maths have been a consolidating time. The students have been writing the time of different events over the week. For example, the time we go out to play or the time they get breakfast at home. We have also been practicing mental math and students are becoming faster in responding to times tables questions. Mental Maths includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, doubling and halving.
Last Thursday Grade 1 attended K2A’s music lesson and each student randomly sat with a child. Having made a buddy at music we used this connection to make reading buddies. On Monday morning K2A and read with Grade 1 and vice versa. It was productive and both grades felt very important for different reasons. Grade 1 said they felt so big and they loved having reading buddies.
In this week’s Chinese, we learned a poem “小小的船”. We discussed and practiced how to read it with expression, and integrated it with music as well, as it is also a beautiful children’s song. We asked Teacher Lulu to play the piano and teach the students how to sing it. In addition, Teacher Jessica did a wonderful Chinese lesson with G1. When we come back from Qingming Holiday, we will start learning to use dictionary to help with character recognition. Please prepare a Chinese character dictionary (《新华字典》, the 11th edition) for your child and let him/her bring it to school on April 6th.
On Tuesday we began our journey with real life money experiences. This carried on throughout the week. Every morning on entry to class the students were given 200rmb (pretend money) and they had to use it wisely throughout the day. The price list of items to buy included their table space and chair. The idea was that students were meant to buy things that fitted with their needs and wants and to use their money wisely. It was a great experience as students put their concept of money to good use. We had a few students who bought things without thinking of their needs for the day and so ended up with a chair but no table. This meant for the rest of the day they didn’t have a table to use but they did have glitter pens and beads. They tried to return things to the Banker but the rule was once things were bought they were non-returnable. Some students found they did not have enough money for a particular item and tried to negotiate the price but there were only set prices until Friday. When paying for things students also had to ensure they received the correct change back. It was a wonderful and successful Maths lesson as well as acquiring some life skills.
We have also been inquiring into the material paper and how we can use or reuse it. We discussed the properties of paper and the possibility of its uses. During the week we also discussed advertising and why we advertised. The students decided to make bags from old newspaper. They sketched their design and then made the bag. When we come back from holiday they will be designing a poster to advertise their product. Our bags can be seen on the display board on the third floor.
How you can help at home
With your child make a short list of food items you need to buy. Give your child some money and let them help you to shop.
The students have been experimenting again this week. They wanted to know if some materials can be brought back to their original state. With Teacher Jessica leading the inquiry, the students were given salt (solid) and water (liquid). They decided how much salt each group would use and how much water. They stirred and stirred and stirred…
Here are their predictions:
The water would turn white.
The water would freeze.
The water evaporate and the salt would be left as a solid.
If the water were to evaporate then it would take many days.
The students are now recording the days and waiting to see what will happen.
This week the students were keen to do a performance of the Three Little Pigs. It was a pleasure for us to show parents the things the students did prior to the performance, such as video recordings of whole class Shared Reading in English, discussions about their understandings of the story and who would play the characters in Chinese and finally a mixture of the languages in their two minute drama production. Well done Grade 1.
In Chinese we learned two poems. One is “Jiang Nan” （《江南》）and the other is “Qing Wa Xie Shi” （《青蛙写诗》. At the end of the learning journey, we compared the similarities and differences of these two poems. We found out although one is an ancient poem, and the other one is a modern poem, there are a lot of similarities. Please see the Venn Diagram that we made together on Friday.
In Maths the students are learning the measurement of time. Their experience have been practical using their own watches (thanks parents) as well as making their own clocks from classroom materials to show their understanding of how to read the clock. So far we have looked at the difference in the hands of the clock and what it means, counted the minutes equal to one hour and understand where the half hour and the hour is located with the use of the big hand.
Thank you to the parents who attended the workshop. You were great students.
How you can help at home:
Create a ‘to do’ schedule with your child for school nights.
Ensure supper is a time when families talk about their day.
Have a go at reading or reciting the Chinese poems learnt at school. You can make it as a family competition and let your child to be the judge. Let him/her decide who reads the best!
This week we did two experiments which the students really enjoyed. The first one was ‘The Volcano’ where the students made predictions. However, although they enjoyed making their own experiment, in their excitement they did not keep track of how much of each substance they put into making it. They will do this once more next week. To get the answers to the experiment the students will be divided into groups and they will have a particular question to investigate and share their findings with the other groups.
The second was experiment was hypothesising about patterns as we investigated the art of tie-dye and how the colours would behave. To give us an idea of the process, we first watched a video of the procedure.The students brought in their own tee shirts and had a load of fun experimenting with folding and tying and predicting how the pattern would come out.
This week we spent two days on reviewing Pinyin and we gave some home practice and self-assessment to students. Next Monday, we will go through these exercises together and take it as another Pinyin reviewing opportunity. Meanwhile, we practiced writing new characters and learned a new character formation: associative compound character. For example, 明 is composed of two characters 日 and 月, and the meaning of 明 is associated with the other two characters. There are a lot of associated compound characters (会意字) in our daily life. At home play a character game with your child, using associative compound characters. You may even add maths into it. For example, 明=日+月 or 鲜=鱼+羊.
We are currently also focusing on getting the students to write for various purposes. This week the students did journal writing, wrote up an experiment and attempted to write about the story of The Three Little Pigs. Students were given a number up to three and various children wrote their understanding of the beginning, middle and end. This can be seen in our class so do please drop by and view your child’s work. The students have also been having a go at using different voices to give the listener a better understanding of meanings behind the words as they retell the story and act out The Three Little Pigs.
We are inquiring into the analogue clock. We would like your child to wear a watch to school from Monday so that other than learning how to read the clock, they will also develop the concept of time. We also practiced multiplication and built on division facts through different board games. Mental math continue to be part of our daily routine.
The highlight of the week seemed to be the Spring Field Trip. Reflecting on the trip, although the students loved the activities they also loved having their parents there to cheer them on and to participate in the fun. Thank you so much to our wonderful parents for the picnic and for being so supportive.
Have a great weekend.