Friday, February 28, 2020

School closure information and update

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

As you are already aware, the school will be closed for the next two weeks. I have emailed instructions on the Homework and Class Assignments given in your child's homework folders. I will be sending an email next week, sharing the Grade 1 Google Classroom where more class assignments will be uploaded for the rest of the two weeks.

This week, we had another parent come to our class to share a special celebration. Mrs. Kohberg, Ella's mother, talked to the first graders about a Danish celebration, Fastelavn where children hit a barrel filled with candy while dressed in costumes (similar to Halloween). We even learned a special song about eating buns. A BIG THANK YOU to Mrs. Kohberg for teaching us and bring in the yummy buns!

We started tuning into our Unit about solar systems. The students had so many wonderings...
- How many planets are there?
- Why is it dark in some parts of the Earth?
- How heavy is the sun?
- Can people go to the moon?
... and so many more!
We will investigate and find out all the answers πŸ˜€.

The first graders are learning about metric measurements in Math. How long is it from your wrist to your elbow? From your knee to your foot? The width of the table?

In Language, we are now looking at what is a homograph? How is it different/same from a homophone and a homonym?

What is the difference between whole foods and processed foods? Which is healthier?

Have a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Concluding our unit on farm to table

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

Many students and parents shared how happy they were about our field trip last week. There is an even happening at the Peace and Nature farm coming up in March so if anyone would like to go, please check their website -

This week in language, we looked at what homophones are, and how they are different from homonyms, which we studied before. Homophones are words that sound alike but have different spelling and meaning such as deer/dear, to / two / too,  pear/pair.

Math lessons focused on how long a minute was, what you can do in less than a minute and what takes more than a minute to do. How many times can you clap your hand in a minute? hop up and down in a minute? say 'Sally sells seashells down by the seashore' in a minute? Students had to estimate and then carry the activity out. The first graders also looked at their schedule of the day... what time they do certain things such as wake up, eat breakfast, do homework, eat dinner...

We are concluding our unit on how food gets from the farm to the table. Students are finishing their research projects on their chosen food. We also carried out an observation of how moong beans grow. Students wrote in their observation books, describing how the moong beans look like, smell like and feel like and the changes which occurred throughout the week.

As mentioned in the school blog, we are helping out with the Tokyo Olympic organization by collecting used plastic bottles and containers of any kind which will be sent to them to create the podium for when the announce the winners - how exciting! The box for collecting recycled items is at the main entrance and will go on until the end of this month. Thank you for your cooperation!

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Field trip to Peace and Nature Farm

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

This week, we welcome a new student in our class, Henri Kiser, from Germany! We are so happy he is joining our class and the German program at our school.

This week in Language, we focused on where to add periods and capitals in our sentences. This is a challenge many students face. Whenever there is a complete idea, there should be a period. The students also wrote Valentine's stories! So cute πŸ’•

In Math, students used the calendar to answer questions such as what happens a week from Monday, what is three days before the 26th, which day is the 9th and such. The first graders also learned what is a leap year. If anyone is born on February 29th, they only get their real birthday once every four years... oh no!

Students have all chosen a fruit or vegetable to do their research projects on. They will investigate the process of how their item gets from the farm to the table.

On Thursday, our class went on a field trip to Peace and Nature Farm. The students thoroughly enjoyed being out in nature, exploring the surroundings and helping out on the farm. I'm sure your child has shared lots about the day. It turned out to be such a wonderful, warm day - so perfect for our trip. The students also were able to take home an onion plant. Please make sure to put it out in your balcony or garden and water it from time to time. A very BIG thank you to Mrs. Gras and Mrs. Fukuda for helping us!
Here are some photos from the trip.

Next week is supposed to get colder again (especially Tuesday) so please take care. People are prone to get sick when the temperature fluctuates like this.

Have a lovely, Valentine's weekend!

Friday, February 07, 2020

More cultural activities this week!

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

It was so lovely to have the Three-way conferences with you and your child this week. The children work so hard every day, putting in their best effort so it was nice for them to share their learning with you. πŸ˜„

In Language, we learned what homonyms are... words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. For example, a baseball bat vs a flying bat, I am feeling "well" vs getting water from a "well".

What is an array? We saw how drawing a repeated addition problem can help us answer a question quickly. The students also studied how to solve subtraction problems using regrouping or "borrowing. This was quite tricky for many students so we will keep reviewing this concept.

We are so lucky to have been able to experience the French celebration of 'Candlemas'. Mrs. Gras shared the meaning behind this event and how the circular shape of a crepΓ© symbolizes the sun. The first graders watched Mrs. Gras make crepΓ©s and even had the opportunity to flip them in the pan!
A very big thank you to Mrs. Gras for teaching our class and making yummy crepΓ©s for us!

Here are some photos of the day: Candlemas photos

We were also so lucky Mrs. Le Henne (with Mrs. Josie to help!) came to our class to teach us how to make our own unique cultural plates. Students decorated their own plates with their country's flag, name, words, and other pictures. They will be ready next week  - so cool!

**Next week, on the 13th, the first and second graders will go a field trip to Peace and Nature Farm in Ozo. Please have your child dress warmly on that as the farm is in the mountains and maybe colder. In addition, please pack a snack, lunch, water bottle and an empty bag to bring back some vegetables we may pick for your child. In case of rain, we will postpone the trip to the 18th.

**I am looking for two parent volunteers to join the field trip. If you are interested in coming along, please let me know ASAP. Thank you!

Peace and Nature Farm

Once again, if any parent would like to celebrate a cultural festivity, please do let me know.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Practicing proper hand washing

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

The first thing we talked about on Monday morning was how to wash our hands properly, each time before snack, lunch and after recess. Hopefully, this medical situation with the coronavirus will subside soon. But it is always important to practice cleanliness, especially after using the bathroom!

In Language, we discussed what is a sentence and a fragment. What do we need to have a proper sentence? A verb tells who did what or where. We also learned what is an antonym and synonym.

In Math, we reviewed skip counting by 2, 5, and 10. We also discovered what an array is... there are arrays all around us, in our class and out in the streets.

We continued to investigate how different foods come to us from the farm to the table such as flour, milk, and vegetables.  Some keywords we learned are crops, pasteurized, harvest and ripe.

A big thank you to Mrs. Josie, Mrs. Zheng, and Mrs. Yang for all their efforts in helping the first graders celebrate Chinese New Year! The students were lucky to a Chinese New Year skit, starring Tim, Lingyi and Yi Fei (visiting student). They also had the wonderful opportunity to make yummy dumplings and a Chinese New Year wall hanging! We are so lucky!!😍

If any parents are interested in sharing something from their own culture, please let me know! We'd be happy to have to come to share it with our class.

**One request - the students need to bring in a small Tupperware container about 10 cm x 10 cm and a small cotton hand towel to use for a cultural activity we will be doing in class next Friday.

On Wednesday, we said farewell at our assembly to two teachers leaving our school - Ms. Annie and Ms. Rost. We wish them all the best!

Just a reminder, from February, Library time will be changed to Thursdays πŸ˜„.

In case you and your child need to find out the definition of a Spelling word, here is a great children's dictionary website -
Just type the word in the left side box and click on Go.

Please register for Term 2 Clubs via the main school website. The deadline is this coming Monday!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 24, 2020

New Library day from February

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

We are now in the second week of our new unit. Perhaps your child has come home, explaining how different animals give us different food or the steps involved in milk production.

In Math, we worked on making a sensible estimation when trying to guess how many items there are, rounding numbers to the nearest 10 and adding money to buy things & making change.

We studied what makes a friendly letter - date, greeting, body, closing and name. Students chose to write a letter to whoever they wanted.
We have a few parents coming in to do some cultural celebration activities as a part of our on-going unit. If any more parents are interested to share something from their country, please do let me know. We would be very happy to learn some new information!

Today, the first graders were invited to the 2nd grade Invention Convention!

From February, the first grade library time will change to Thursdays instead of Mondays. I will send a reminder again.

New clubs will be starting from Friday, February 7th. The sign-up email will be sent soon. Please do sign up. I will be having my Creative and Active Kids sessions on Thursdays after school, learning crafts and dancing with some yoga!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Tuning into our new Unit

Dear Grade 1 Parents,

We're back to our regular routines this week with a full class.

In the language lesson this week, the students worked on their New Year Resolution for 2020. Let's hope they can keep up what they promised!

What is an odd and even number? How do you know?
Where can we find patterns around us? Can you make a pattern? What are the patterns found in clocks and calendars?
These are some of the questions we investigated this week in Math. Also, we worked on how to solve addition problems using regrouping.

Our new Unit now is studying how the food people eat goes through several steps from the farm to our table. We looked at what foods we get from different animals and vegetables. In addition, we saw where in the world some of the different foods come from.

Perhaps next time you go to the supermarket with your child, you can figure out together where various items have come from.

I had shown the first graders an animated video of a boy in school and how his friendship helps him through his disability. It ties into our first unit on feelings and friendship. Here is the link if you'd like to watch it -

Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. I was here in Kobe when it happened. We had a discussion in class about my experience and the tremendous impact the earthquake had on our city and its people.  I hope such a tragedy never happens again.πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»πŸ™πŸ»

Have a warm and relaxing weekend!