February Update

Hello parents, sorry to take so long to update this blog. I will give you an update of what has been happening in class. In general, things are going well and we are covering many topics.

Language Arts

In reading we usually try to complete a new story every two weeks. In that two week period we will have classes on reading, writing, grammar, phonics, vocabulary and spelling. Presently we are just finishing a story called “Where Does Food Come From?” During this story students had to focus on thinking of the important facts in the story to be able to make a conclusion as to what the authors purpose was for writing the story. We had phonics classes on the long “a” sound spelled with “ai” and “ay.” We learned how to use the contractions “ll” and “d.” We had lessons on writing, to write a friendly letter and studied how to use commas and capital letters in dates. The next story is “Tomas Rivera” which is Lesson 19 in our Unit 4 reading textbook. It is the story of a poor migrant Mexican family who come to pick crops on farms in the United States. A young boy (Tomas Rivera) learns about the importance of reading from his grandfather and the grandfather takes him to a library where Tomas takes interest in reading and later in life become a teacher. In this story the target skills to learn are the “sequence of events” and how to “monitor and clarify” your reading. In grammar we will learn how to use “future tense” words, and the contractions ” ‘ve, and ‘re. We will write personal narrative stories. In phonics we will learn the “oa” and “ow” sounds. There is always an important question to think about throughout the stories we read and in this story the important question is “Why is it important to learn about people from the past?” This is the last story in Unit 4 and we will use two more reading textbooks after this story. Each time we change reading textbooks the stories get a little more difficult.


We have a spelling textbook and study spelling and vocabulary once a week and have a spelling quiz on the words for each lesson. This book is a good compliment to our reading lessons as it gives more time to focus on spelling, phonics, and word usage. We are presently at Unit 23 “long e” words.


In our math textbook we are presently on chapter 8 “Two – Digit Addition and Subtraction. We just finished lesson 8. It is a little difficult so I would like to ask parents to check their math homework to see if they need help. There are only 2 more lessons in this chapter before we have a test. The next chapter, chapter 9 is “Measurement.”


Presently we are studying about sound and light. we do not have a science text for this but we do have a science journal which is an A4 sized craft paper notebook which we paste our work into. We have been doing a lot of experiments to learn that sound is made from vibrations and vibrations can make sound. We also learned about pitch and frequency (how high or soft a sound is), and sound waves. The more vibrations in a sound, the higher the pitch or frequency. We are finished the section on sound and will have a short quiz on it this before studying our next topic” light.”

Social Studies

Our unit in social studies is called “Now and Then.” We have been studying and comparing the past with the present. We do have a workbook for this topic which we use and also supplement with other resources. Come and have a look at our grade 1A timelines on the wall outside the classroom.

Core Essential Values and AR Reading Awards

November Update

This is an update on G1A class activities. The first term is almost over and we are working hard each day. As well as our daily class schedule, the students are enjoying their co-curricular classes. Most students are engaged in the AR reading program and usually each month there are many students from grade 1a who get an AR award for keeping their average on the AR book tests above 85%. There are also awards given for one of the core essential values we study each month. We had fun at Halloween with some scary costumes, some superhero characters, and some princesses.


In reading class we usually read a new story every two weeks and complete related assessments. We usually do some combination of the following tests: grammar, phonics, vocabulary and comprehension. Presently, we are on the second week of lesson 13 “Seasons.” We have been studying the digraphs (two letters that make one sound) “ph, wh, and sh” in phonics.” In grammar we have been learning about subject/verb agreement. We will also learn how to use contractions. In each story beside the basic understanding of the story there is a target skill to learn. This lesson’s target skill is “cause and effect.” (why something happens and what happens after the cause. We also complete writing lessons. The writing lessons for this story are writing informative sentences. (sentences that tell facts about a topic). This is the basic format of our reading lessons. Throughout the year the stories get progressively more difficult with more words in each story. The next story is lesson 15 “Animal Groups.”


We are usually doing some kind of writing everyday related to the stories we read. We are learning how to do narrative writing by writing a topic sentence, three detail sentences and a concluding sentence. We also are learning how to revise and edit our writing before publishing a good copy.


We have one spelling class a week where we study phonics, vocabulary, and spelling. We have a spelling test once a week. Our school will be having a Spelling Bee and I will be sending home words to practice. The grade 1 and 2 classes will have their own contest separate from the rest of the school. We will choose 2 class winners and then have a contest for the overall winner.


We have four math classes every week. Our math textbook has a lot of written English which makes it a little difficult at first. We learn the concepts first then practice 2 pages in class and 2 pages for homework. Each chapter has the same theme so by the end of the chapter the students have practiced the same concepts many times. We are getting near the end of chapter 5 and will be having a test soon.


We are near the end of our studies about animal habitats, how animals use their body parts, and animal life cycles. Next term we will be learning about light and sound.

Social Studies

This term we learned about rules, relationships, and responsibilities. Next term the theme is “Then and Now.” We will be studying about what children, families, schools, and communities were like in the past compared to now, and how changes have affected our lives.


We have mostly finished studying about plants and animals. In term 2 we will be studying about light and sound. The students will not have a textbook for this unit although we will be using textbook resources at times. Students will be using an Art (sketchbook) book that will be supplied to them to paste all of our related papers

September 2019 Post

Hello Grade 1A Parents,

We are off to a great start this year. We have a great class with students who are ready and willing to learn. I’ll list below what we have been doing in each subject area. If parents are wondering why not so much work is coming home other than the Math and Reader’s Notebook, the students have a file folder which they put their papers in that are given out in class. I will give all their work from this term back at the end of the term. We will use some of these papers to put in their Writing Portfolio which the parents can see at the end of each term and take with them when they leave the school. The Writing Portfolio will move with the student through each grade.

READING: In reading class we are using the Journeys textbooks for our language arts program which includes reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary, phonics, and spelling. We are just finishing with the first story “Curious George at School.” We studied it the last 2 weeks. The next story is from a different reading book. The “Curious George at School” story was from a 1.1 level reading book, the first level. The next story which we will start Tuesday Sept. 17 is called “A Cupcake party.” It is from the second level reading book. It says 1.2 on the side of the book. There are 6 levels of books and by the end of the year we will be using the 1.6 (last) level.

WRITING: We are getting writing practice in most subject areas although our Journeys Reading Notebook (workbook) is most important for writing. We also use a writing notebook which we have in school. We recently practiced writing sentences with a naming (noun) part and an action (verb) part. We also write in our Spelling & Vocabulary workbook.

SPELLING: We have a Spelling and Vocabulary workbook which we will use once a week. It compliments our work with the Journeys text and Readers Notebook as many of the same phonics skills are taught, although at different times than the Journeys book. The spelling book also has different spelling words than the Journeys book. We will teach spelling, phonics, and vocabulary from this text as well as with the Journeys book.

MATH: In our Math class we are studying chapter 3, lesson 6 at this time. We skipped the first 2 chapters so you can do those at home if you wish. There are 5 chapter on addition and subtraction and a lot of repetition so we will skip the first 2 chapters. When we finish all the lessons in chapter 3 we will have test, then start chapter 4 (subtraction). Presently, the difficult concept we are studying is the idea of using double numbers, ex: 2+ 2 or 4+4 to add. Also we are learning that it is easier to add double + 1 and doubles – 1 to add and subtract. ex: to get 2+3 = 5, we can add 2 + 2 +1 = 5, or 3 + 3 – 1 = 5, so if we can remember double number (addends) to find sums and differences, it will make it easier when adding and subtracting. A good rule to follow is if one addend is one more than the other, you should use doubles + 1, if one addend (number) is one less than the other, you should use doubles – 1.

SCIENCE: In Science class we studied the traits of living and non living things. presently we are studying about the parts of plants and how plants grow. We planted seeds in clear plastic bags so we can see the seeds sprout. Next we will plant seeds in a pot to watch them grow. Later in the term we will be studying about animals but for now we are focused on plants and plant parts, and what they need to grow, (water, sunlight, soil, and warm air)

Social Studies: In Social Studies we are studying about rules and responsibilities. ex: rules at home, rules at school, rules for outside. We have been studying about the importance of fairness, sharing, taking turns. The students have a workbook which they write in and we supplement these lessons with other activities and group projects.

April Update

The year is going by quickly and we are now nearing the end of the year. We have been very busy in grade one. I am including some photos and videos of what has been happening in our class.

  • Rui, Jung Woo, and Allen received the service award in our Core Essential Values Class.

February Above 85% AR Awards

Keito receiving the Independent Reader Award and Khishig receiving the ready reader Award.

Making our community for social studies.

Making our community for social studies.

Making our community for social studies.

Making our community for social studies.

Making our community for social studies.

Kaito and Yuan receiving the Ready Reader Award.

Miyoko receiving the Ready Reader Award.

Learning about positions.

Learning about positions.

Word Games


March Above 85% AR Award

Core Essential Value Award for Individuality

Grade 1 Class Photo with our new assistant Ms. Hannah.

Chanwoo receiving the Ready Reader Award

Making a “Symbols of Our Country” Poster

Making a “Symbols of Our Country” Poster

Researching for the “Symbols of Our Country” Poster

Making a “Symbols of Our Country” Poster

Making moon craters for a science experiment.

Making moon craters for a science experiment.

Moon and sky painting project.

Moon and sky painting project.

Moon and sky painting project.

Moon and sky painting project.

Moon and sky painting project.

Moon and sky painting project.

Devam and Yuan presenting their new friends country symbols.

Allen and Ren presenting their country symbols.

Yudi presenting her groups country symbols.

Visit by Ms. Christina to talk about starting at a new school.

Experiment to compare the distances between the Part, Moon, and Sun.

Presenting our “New Friend” skit.

Presenting our “New Friend” skit.

Presenting our “New Friend” skit.

Presenting our “New Friend” skit.

Spelling Bee

We held the grade 1 and 2 Spelling Bee February 12. Unfortunately the grade ones didn’t win, the winner was Lucas from grade 2. The students had a good experience and there is always next year. They lasted quite a few rounds and they went through the grade 1 and 2 words and were starting on the harder grade 3 and 4 words when they got out.

Rio, Keito, Tokuma standing, Yeji (G2), Lucas (G2)
Bowing to the judges after the Spelling Bee
Great effort boys! Three future spelling champs!

Term Three

We will be starting the last term soon. The year is going by fast. I will give you an update on our subjects.

Language Arts:

In our Journeys reading books we are starting a new story called Amazing Animals (Unit 5, Lesson 22). In case you want to read ahead we plan on reading the following stories this term.

  • Unit 5 – Lesson 22 – Amazing Animals
  • Unit 5 – Lesson 24 – A Tree is a Plant
  • Unit 5 – Lesson 25 – The New Friend
  • Unit 6 – Lesson 26 – The Dot.
  • Unit 6 – Lesson 27 – What Can You Do?
  • Unit 6 – Lesson 28 Days with Frog and Toad
  • Unit 6 – Lesson 29 – Hi! Fly Guy


In Math, next we will start Chapter 7 “Compare Numbers” and after that Chapter 8 “Two -Digit Addition and Subtraction”


Next in science we will study a unit of study called “Space Systems: Patterns and Cycles”. We will learn about the following topics:

  • the rotation of the Earth
  • the revolution of the Earth around the Sun
  • the orbit of the planets
  • Earth spins on an imaginary line called an axis, resulting in day and night
  • seasons are caused by the angle of light from the sun as it hits the Earth
  • the sun is the center of our solar system, and allows us to survive
  • the planets, the sun, the moon, all interact to create our solar system
  • we have seasons because of orbit and tilt of the earth as it rotates around the sun.

Social Studies:

Our next unit in social studies is called “Communities and Maps” Below are some of the main topics we will study:

  • basic map symbols can represent land, water, cities and roads.
  • construct simple maps of familiar places using basic map symbols.
  • identify the cardinal directions (north south, east, and west).
  • locate their home, neighborhood, school, and Japan on a visual representation.
  • identify cultural groups of Japan and their characteristics.
  • recognize and explain the similarities and differences between their family and families of other cultures.
  • identify ways that people can change the environment.
  • identify geographic factors that may influence the way people in Japan live.

Science Experiments

In Science we are learning about Sound and Light. Sound is energy that you can hear. Sound is made of vibration. A sound’s pitch can either be high or low, and the volume can be loud or soft.

To know more about sound, we conducted several experiments. We used tuning forks to understand the concept of pitch. The pitch’s sound waves can move fast and slow. High pitch makes small and fast moving sound waves, whereas, low pitch creates slow moving and big sound waves. We also did the musical rulers experiment to see the movement of sound in high and low pitches.

In addition, we made more projects such as kazoos to help us understand that vibration makes sound. We made cup phones to know that sound can travel in different medium (gas, solid, and liquid). In the case of our experiment, the string, a solid, vibrated and the sound traveled on the other end of the string.

The kids loved the experiments and all other activities we did for our lesson on sound.

Light is energy that you can see. We conducted experiments to show that without light, we cannot see the things around us. Light can be reflected or refracted. We conducted experiments to show that light can bent and light can move in the opposite direction when it hits a shiny surface such as mirrors or glass.

All light can pass through TRANSPARENT objects. Some light can pass through TRANSLUCENT objects, and no light can pass through OPAQUE objects. A SHADOW is formed when the source of light is blocked.

Here are some pictures of our experiments and activities.

AR Reading and Core Values Awards

More and more students are getting awards for Accelerated Reading or AR. The students awardees accumulated 5 AR Points on books that they have read independently. Also, we would like to congratulate all the students who received the Core Values award for January, Self-Control: Choosing to do what you should even when you don’t want to. Keep up the good work!

Christmas Party 2018

*Apologies for the late upload*

In December, we had our Christmas party! We played fun games such as musical chairs and bingo, and we exchanged gifts with our Secret Santa. The students were provided with healthy snacks courtesy of classroom parent volunteers. The party was absolutely fun and memorable thanks to everyone’s support and help. We appreciate your generosity to the students and to us teachers.

We are truly grateful for everything!

Attached herewith are some photographs captured by Mrs. Jeon, Chanwoo’s mom, during the party.