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Friday 17th June-The Last Post

posted 16 Jun 2016, 01:04 by Ben Morley   [ updated 16 Jun 2016, 19:29 ]

THE END OF AN ERA
“Transition begins with an ending and ends with a beginning.”
~William Bridges, 1986
To condense a year’s worth of learning into a final newsletter would be almost impossible…it is difficult enough trying to fit in one week’s happenings let alone forty-four weeks! As teachers, we believe we have enjoyed a truly wonderful year in Grade One. The children have been an absolute pleasure to teach and, although we will miss them when they move on, we are confident that they go “across the bridge” to Grade Two ready to continue their learning journeys. 
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support, passion, enthusiasm and help over the year. We hope that you have felt part of a learning community and will take many happy memories of Grade One with you. 
As Head of Grade, I would also like to take this opportunity to say an enormous “THANK YOU” to the Grade One teachers, teaching assistants, the specialist teachers, the Learning Support team, Ley Chu and our cleaners and all the support and administration staff who have been so committed, so passionate and a genuine pleasure to work with throughout the year. We are all very lucky to have them. Of course, the biggest congratulations must go to each and every Grade One student and, on behalf of all the adults who have worked with you this year, WELL DONE and THANK YOU. We wish you all the very best in Grade Two and hope that you will come back and see us from time to time to let us know how you are getting on over there and share your news.
There were many, many highlights this year...Forest Adventure, the UN Day performance, our incredible Arts Festival, our visits to Happy Lodge and The Shoebox Project, “Love Your Lungs,” the Swim Gala, our many excursions around Singapore, the Infant Service Trip to Cambodia, The Sleepover...but, to be honest, it is not the big ticket events that are the most enduring memory of the year, it is the collaboration, commitment to care, resilience and excitement that we enjoy each and every day across the classrooms. Grade One is a very special place to be.
We have a number of children who are leaving UWCSEA at the end of this term:

Finley Johnston (1IVa)
Priyanka Wauters (1IVa)
Kiara Clements (1NaD)
Alexander Douglas (1PTh)
Daniel Douglas (1PTh)
Maddi McLaughlin (1LJe)
Sophia Rizarri (1LJe)
Ava Jochmann (1LJe)
Arhanth Singh (1MLN)
Finbar Skansebakken (1MLN)

All the very best to you and your families as you move onto pastures new and please keep in touch to let us know how you are getting on.
Last Minute Reminders
*Portfolios will be sent home next week
*Wednesday 22nd June-Last day of school. Infants finish at 11.00am...please join us to wave the Grade One children off one last time!

Have a safe and restful break with your friends and families, wherever you may be and thank you all again.

The Grade One Team

Friday 10th June

posted 9 Jun 2016, 18:40 by Ben Morley

THE SLEEPOVER
After months and months of waiting (patiently?), yesterday night the Grade One Sleepover finally arrived...and what a night it was! The excitement started early as the children prepared for the big event by moving all the furniture to the sides to make space for 24 beds. The floors were swept and, in some cases, windows were blacked out in preparation for the night ahead. Across the grade, there were many animated conversations and you could feel the excitement everywhere. At 6.30pm, people started to arrive downstairs and, after a last cuddle and kiss with mum and dad, the children made their way up to Grade One to unpack their bags and get ready for the night ahead.
After everyone was unpacked, we all grabbed a torch and headed out into the darkness! The school looks very different at night. We explored the classrooms, the halls, the playground, the field, the Black Box, the auditorium, the library...everywhere! We then made our way to the Infant School roof to enjoy a very special “Story Under The Stars” performed by the Grade 1 teaching team...it was very funny!! We then headed back to the classrooms and made ourselves comfortable for a movie in the dark...and some of us even managed to squeeze in popcorn! 
As the hour grew late and our eyelids started to feel heavy, we paused the movies to get ready for bed. Everyone waited patiently in line to brush their teeth, go to the toilet, comb their hair and wash their faces before climbing quietly into bed. After a quick bedtime story, it was time for lights out. 
After a (fairly) good night’s sleep, we were up early and getting ready for the day. At around 7.15am, we headed over to the canteen together to share a lovely breakfast of pancakes and fruit. The perfect way to start the day. We then came back to the Grade One pod where Mr. Betts put us through our paces with a whole grade “Jump Jam” session to get us nicely stretched and warmed up, ready to take on the world. Mums and dads started to arrive, eager to hear the stories of our adventures and, by 9.15am, everyone had gone home happy (and, perhaps, still a little bit sleepy) and Grade One felt unusually quiet.

A huge thankyou to all the Grade One team, Ms. Sally and Mr. Wilcox for all their efforts in making this night such a success and, of course, for spending a night away from their own families. Same again next year?


The Swim Gala
A huge thank you to the P.E. team for all their efforts in organising Tuesday’s Swim Gala for the grade. It was great to see so many parents down at the Main Pool supporting the children as they took part in a number of “races” across the water. A special thank you to all the parents who got in the water for the final “race” of the day...it certainly looked cooler in the water than out!

The talented Ms. Newbigin created a wonderful video of the event and you can find it here.

Reminders and Requests
*We will no longer be sending “Just Right” books home as we will be doing a stock take across the grade, so, please return any books you might have at home
*Wednesday 22nd June-End of Term-School finishes at 11.00am for Infants

Enjoy the weekend and sleep tight,

The G1 Team

Friday 3rd June

posted 2 Jun 2016, 08:54 by Ben Morley

Student-Led Conferences
Wednesday’s Student-Led Conference Day was a huge success. The children were so excited to have the opportunity to share and celebrate their learning with all of you. The air was filled with a genuine sense of calm and a buzz of conversation all day long as everyone immersed themselves in the learning experiences across the classrooms.
It was wonderful to observe parents and children expressing their thoughts and ideas in so many ways and to listen to the fascinating dialogue sparked by the provocations on offer. Thank you to everyone for your support and for making the day so memorable.

Swim Gala
The P.E. team would like to invite you to come and watch the Grade 1 Swim Gala at the main pool on Tuesday June 7th. The event will start at 8.30am and should be finished just before 10.00am.

There will be some 25m races along with some fun races so that all children are able to take part. Sam, Zai and the Swim Team look forward to welcoming you.

Book Amnesty
As the year draws to a close, it would be great if you could help us by returning any books belonging to the school. These might be teacher's own books, library books, levelled “just right” books or class library books. Please work alongside your child to ensure maximum returns. Happy hunting!

Literacy
As many of you were lucky enough to see during the SLCs, our ‘Independent Literacy Projects’ are really starting to come together. The children are revisiting many of the Essential Understandings pertinent to the particular genre they are focusing on, reading a huge variety of books as research before having a go at creating their own pieces in the same style. At this stage in the year, the children are being encouraged to revise and edit their work as they go, rather than waiting until they are “finished.” At the same time, they are being reminded to continue to transfer their developing understanding of sounds and punctuation to their pieces.

Mathematics
In Mathematics, we are exploring how to distinguish between defining and non-defining attributes of 3D shapes. Building and drawing with shapes is a very effective way to develop a deeper understanding of these attributes. This unit throws up a large amount of specific vocabulary, some familiar and some unfamiliar, and we will unpack many of these words and phrases over the coming days: attribute, circle, half, quadrilateral, quarters, triangle, symmetry (mirror), evenly, cube, sphere, rectangular prism, triangular prism and pyramid.

Unit of Study
It seems the highlight of the SLCs for many of you was the opportunity to explore and investigate light and sound. Your collective inquiry has created some fabulous wonderings which we will now use to guide and drive our explorations going forward. Using the children’s thinking and ongoing dialogue as a springboard for future learning is something we constantly strive for in Grade 1 and it will be interesting to see where some of these questions take us next.
To support this, a reminder that we would like to request that all children bring in a torch/flashlight to school. We will also use these on the night of The Sleepover.

G1 to G2 Transition
On Monday, we enjoyed eating our lunch in the canteen to give us a "taste" (!) of what lunchtimes will be like in G2 next year. We are hoping to repeat this over the next two weeks so that, come August, we are all really familiar with how it all works.

Infant Service Trip
Lastly, huge congratulations to all of our Grade 1 Kuma Ambassadors who did a magnificent job in Cambodia last week. Each and every one of them was a perfect representative for the grade and for UWCSEA as a whole. They conducted themselves impeccably throughout their time in Cambodia, displaying great resilience in an unfamiliar and, often, challenging environment. The ambassadors and their parents had an unforgettable time with their Kuma buddies and the trip was, hopefully, the start of a relationship with Service at the school that will continue long into the future. Over the next two weeks, the buddies will share their experience with their classes and, perhaps, wider audiences. 

Reminders and Requests
*Please send in a torch/flashlight with your child
*Please return any school books you might have at home
*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool
*Thursday 9th June-The G1 Sleepover-please return slips and money if you have not already done so
*Friday 10th June-NO SCHOOL FOR GRADE 1 CHILDREN

...and, of course, do not forget that every Friday is Fresh Fruit Friday!

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 27th May

posted 25 May 2016, 17:32 by Ben Morley

Grade 1 to Grade 2 Transition
Following last week’s “Grade 1 to Grade 2 Transition Talk for Parents,” it was the children’s turn this week. On Monday, all the Grade 1 children paired off and headed across the bridge to the Grade 2 corridor. Each Grade 1 pair was buddied up with a couple of Grade 2 students and, together, the groups spent the morning exploring the Junior School. Each group had a long list of locations they had to familiarise themselves with and, in each instance, they needed to provide evidence that they had visited each place by taking a photo...often, a group selfie! 
Everyone seemed to get on very well and, hopefully, the Grade 1 children left feeling excited about their pending move and, for some, less anxious than they might have been before. Next week, we will continual supporting this transition and we will have the opportunity to eat our lunch in the canteen in the same area that the children will use when they are in Grade 2. We also have a special assembly next week, where the Grade 2 teachers will introduce themselves, talk more about life in the Juniors and answer any questions the Grade 1 children might have.

Infant Service Trip
On Thursday, we waved “farewell” to our Grade 1 Kuma Ambassadors, their parents and teachers as the Infant Service Trip set off on their journey to Cambodia. Thanks to the huge level of donations we received over the last couple of weeks, they left armed with 30 boxes of clothes, toiletries and stationery to share with the Kuma children and the surrounding communities! We are all looking forward to hearing all about it next week and wish them all a safe and rewarding trip.

Literacy
This week, we launched our final Literacy unit for the year, combining Reading and Writing Workshop to create “Independent Literacy Projects.” This unit is an opportunity for students to revisit the units we have explored over the course of the year. The children are focusing on choice, purpose and audience to express their passions as readers and writers.The final part of the this unit will incorporate an element of celebration as we look back on our journey as readers and writers since August 2015. At the moment, we are reviewing the many genres we have investigated and are deciding which areas we would like to focus on moving forward.

Mathematics
We also started a new unit in Mathematics this week, namely “3D Geometry and Time.” Over the coming weeks, we will unpack how to distinguish between shapes and build and draw shapes that possess different attributes. Later, we will look at combining 3D shapes to create composite shapes. At the same “time,” we will also think about why learning to tell the time is such an important skill to have and think about how time is measured and why. We will investigate telling time to the hour and half hour on both analogue and digital clocks.

Light and Sound
Lastly, this week saw the launch of our final Unit of Study for the year, “Light and Sound.” This unit focuses on using a scientific process to investigate light and sound. The children will have the opportunity to explore a range of provocations and, in turn, conduct a range of experiments that explore the energy sources of sound and light and how they can be sourced. At this stage, we are considering what we already know and coming up with our own guiding questions.

To support this, we would like to request that all children bring in a torch/flashlight to school. We will also use these on the night of The Sleepover.

Reminders and Requests
*Please send in a torch/flashlight with your child
*Please return any overdue Library books you might have at home
*Wednesday 1st June-Student-Led Conferences-please arrive promptly at your child’s appointment time
*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool
*Thursday 9th June-The G1 Sleepover-more details will be sent home on Monday 30th May
*Friday 10th June-NO SCHOOL FOR GRADE 1 CHILDREN

...and, of course, do not forget that every Friday is Fresh Fruit Friday!

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 20th May

posted 19 May 2016, 21:17 by Ben Morley

Grade 1 to Grade 2 Transition
It was great that so many of you were able to make Thursday’s “Transition Talk.” We hope you left the meeting feeling reassured and excited about your child’s move “over the bridge.” A number of parents have requested access to the information shared by Lindsay Strickland (the Head of Grade 2) and you can find a summary of her presentation by following this link:

Grade 1 to Grade 2 Transition Information for Parents

To reiterate what was said at the meeting, please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay if you have any questions or queries about the transition to the Junior School.

We welcomed the Grade 2 teachers to the Grade 1 classrooms on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning this week. This was an opportunity for the teachers to meet the children and discover more about the learning that is happening across the grade at the moment. It was also a chance for the children to familiarise themselves with the Grade 2 teachers and, perhaps, start to put names to the faces. Next week, the whole of Grade 1 will spend Monday morning with the Grade 2 children taking part in a “Scavenger Hunt,” identifying and locating all the places and some of the people that will be part of their everyday lives in Grade 2 next year.

Service Week
Service Week was a resounding success in Grade 1 this week...and, indeed, across the whole of Infants! It was wonderful to observe the passion, enthusiasm and understanding the children display for this integral element of life at UWCSEA. 
The week saw the culmination of a number of projects and initiatives across the classrooms, friendship/kindness benches, morning tea for the cleaning aunties, baking for the K1 students, launching Fresh Fruit Friday across the Infants, designing and creating games and gifts for the Kuma Ambassadors to take with them next week and so on. Grade 1 was alive with Service and it was a very special place to be...it always is!

Donations Reminder
We are still looking for donations for next week’s Infant Service Trip. Again, we are hoping to take some specific donations to the school which will be given out in the local communities. If you have any of the following items we would love to take them to Kuma where they will be gratefully received. We will be packing the boxes up for the trip on Tuesday after school, so, if you do have anything you would like to bring, Monday or Tuesday would be perfect. A reminder that we are looking for:

-children’s clothes (baby to age 12)
-new underwear
-pre-loved (but in good condition!) shorts, t-shirts, skirts, dresses, light sweatshirts, sandals and swimmers
We will also be making up packs of toiletries/stationery for the children, so, please feel free to send in anyof the following:

- soap, facecloths, combs, hairbrushes, toothpaste, hair ties, clips
- new pencils, pens, small rulers, small erasers

All items can be left in the Grade One pod, where we will sort and box them up. Thank you so much in advance for your support! 

Reminders and Requests
*Wednesday 1st June-Student-Led Conferences-appointment times will be sent home on Tuesday 24th May
*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool
*Thursday 9th June-The G1 Sleepover-more details to follow nearer the time
*Friday 10th June-NO SCHOOL FOR GRADE 1 CHILDREN

...and, of course, do not forget that every Friday is Fresh Fruit Friday!

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 13th May

posted 12 May 2016, 05:46 by Ben Morley   [ updated 12 May 2016, 22:00 ]

Service Week
Next week, we will be celebrating Service Week across the Infant School. The children will explore what Service means and why it is important to have a commitment to care, as well as how we can all be of Service to others. We will be refocusing on our ongoing Service initiatives as well as thinking collectively about the upcoming Infant Service Trip to Kuma Cambodia. 
On Thursday 26th May, a group of Grade 1 Ambassadors and parents will head off to Kuma Cambodia to build friendships, share culture and work together on collaborative projects with the staff and children at the school. They will learn about the school and work that the NGO are doing to "change the tomorrows" of marginalised children in the Takhmao area. We are hoping to take some specific donations to the school which will be given out in the local communities. If you have any of the following items we would love to take them to Kuma where they will be gratefully received.

-children’s clothes (baby to age 12)
-new underwear
-pre-loved (but in good condition!) shorts, t-shirts, skirts, dresses, light sweatshirts, sandals and swimmers

We will also be making up packs of toiletries/stationery for the children, so, please feel free to send in any of the following:

- soap, facecloths, combs, hairbrushes, toothpaste, hair ties, clips
- new pencils, pens, small rulers, small erasers

All items can be left in the Grade One pod, where we will sort and box them up. Thank you so much in advance for your support!

Unit of Study
Tuesday’s ‘“Love Your Lungs’” morning was a fabulous event. The children thoroughly enjoyed swimming, biking and running around the challenging course. The focus was very much on working as a team and, of course, promoting healthy choices. It was great to have so many parents and buddies cheering us on. Although the number of laps was of secondary importance, we wanted to acknowledge that, collectively, the Grade 1 children completed a staggering 640 laps!! Everyone is feeling very proud of themselves and, hopefully, the morning will encourage people to take action themselves. A big thank you to the wonderful P.E. team for organising this showcase of everything the students have been exploring in their P.E. sessions.

Literacy
Our Character Morning Teas were another highlight of the week. The children came to school “in character” and it was wonderful to observe how much thought and time had gone into everyone’s preparation. We had countless book characters roaming the floor, interacting with each other and sharing their many scrumptious delicacies! Let’s hope the morning inspired the children to transfer this enthusiasm and energy to their own pieces during Writing Workshop. 

Mathematics
This week, we have continued to explore money and have also been thinking about the concept of time. Money is a great medium to explore counting as the children learn to identify coins and notes of different denominations. With time, we want the children to appreciate why learning to tell the time is an important skill to master. In Grade 1, our focus is on telling time in hours and half hours.

Leaving Well
We have a number of students who will be leaving UWCSEA at the end of the academic year. This is something that we address at the end of every year, such is the often transient nature of the expat community here in Singapore. In Grade 1, most of the “support” for children who are leaving will come from class teachers and classmates. We will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible for the children, celebrating the children’s time here with us and helping them look forward to their next adventures. At the same time, we support the rest of the class in dealing with the departure of a friend.

If you have a child who is leaving and would like to know more about how to best support your child through this transition, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with your child’s teacher to talk through the process. There is also a wonderful book entitled “Third Culture Kids” by David Pollock available in the library, which has a chapter on transition that you may find useful as you make preparations as a family.

Reminders and Requests
*Thursday 19th May-G1 to G2 Transition Meeting for Parents-8.15-9.15am-Conference Room 3 (followed by the Principal’s Forum)
*Friday 20th May-Staff Professional Development Day-SCHOOL CLOSED FOR STUDENTS
*Wednesday 1st June-Student-Led Conferences-more details to follow nearer the time
*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool
*Thursday 9th June-The G1 Sleepover-more details to follow nearer the time
*Friday 10th June-NO SCHOOL FOR GRADE 1 CHILDREN

...and, of course, do not forget that every Friday is Fresh Fruit Friday!

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 6th May

posted 5 May 2016, 20:25 by Ben Morley

SLCs
This final term is full of exciting and important events and there is yet another one on the horizon that you might want to mark in your diaries now...the Student-Led Conferences (aka SLCs). This year, SLCs will take place on Wednesday 1st June across the Primary School. SLCs underline the teaching and learning across the curriculum areas and, hopefully, give you a taste of the interdisciplinary nature of inquiry based learning. They are a wonderful insight into your child’s learning and an opportunity for you to celebrate your child’s learning with them. The Grade 1 children will be heavily involved in all the planning and preparation for the day. More details regarding appointment times will be shared with you nearer the date.

Unit of Study
This week, the Grade 1 classrooms have been hotbeds of debate and creativity. Many children have begun creating multi-media dioramas, 2D and 3D versions, to showcase their current understanding around this unit and, perhaps, demonstrate how that thinking might have shifted over the course of the unit. Elsewhere, children have been debating the pros and cons of real and current events that will have an impact on the environment, such as the proposed Cross Island Line here in Singapore and the regional haze situation. In each case, the children presented both sides of the issue and it was wonderful to hear them dialogue with such passion, knowledge and insight. This unit certainly seems to have resonated very strongly across the grade.

Literacy
We are all very much looking forward to our Character Morning Teas next week. Please remember that this is not for parents (sorry!) but the children are invited to come to school dressed as a favourite book character. We would far rather they created their outfits using what they have available to them at home...and a whole heap of imagination! Some children are even talking about coming as characters they have created themselves in recent Writing Workshop sessions, which is great to hear. On the day, we are hoping the children will remain “in character” throughout the morning and it promises to be a lot of fun. Please do not forget to bring a little something for the morning tea to share with the class (no nuts and no pork).

1LJe
Congratulations to 1LJe for a FABULOUS “Book and Bake Sale.” There was a plethora of wonderful books and delicious goodies on offer and the whole Infant School dropped by to take part. Of course, the main purpose of the day was to raise awareness of the Book-Book-Tuk-Tuk service initiative in Kuma and all the proceeds from the sale will be put towards purchasing books and resources for this fantastic project. Having said this, the $818.85 (and counting) raised is a remarkable figure and a big thank you to all the Infant community for taking part.


Mathematics
This week, we have continued to explore the concept of money. 1LJe’s “Book and Bake Sale” was the perfect opportunity for the children to put some of their developing understanding into practice...and it highlighted that we still need to do a little more investigation in this area! On the whole, the children were able to identify coins and notes of different denominations but were not so comfortable when it came to combining coins and notes to represent amounts and giving the correct amount of change!

Reminders and Requests
*Tuesday 10th May-Grade 1 “Love Your Lungs” Morning-Infant School Playground/Pool:
1PTh-8.20-8.45am
1IVa-8.45-9.10am
1MLN-9.10-9.35am
1BeM-10.10-10.40am
1NaD-10.40-11.05am
1LJe- 11.0-11.30am

*Wednesday 11th May-G1 Character Morning Tea in 1BeM, 1LJe, 1PTh & 1NaD
*Friday 13th May-G1 Character Morning Tea in 1MLN & 1IVa
*Thursday 19th May-G1 to G2 Transition Meeting for Parents-8.15-9.15am-Conference Room 3 (followed by the Principal’s Forum)
*Wednesday 1st June-Student-Led Conferences-more details to follow nearer the time
*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool
*Thursday 9th June-The G1 Sleepover-more details to follow nearer the time
*Friday 10th June-NO SCHOOL FOR GRADE 1 CHILDREN

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 29th April

posted 28 Apr 2016, 19:48 by Ben Morley   [ updated 1 May 2016, 21:24 ]

The Sleepover
The biggest event of the Grade 1 calendar is not too far away now...on Thursday 9th June, at 6.30pm, children will be dropped off for The Grade 1 Sleepover! The purpose of the sleepover is twofold. Firstly, it is to celebrate our time spent together in Grade 1 (and the Infants!) and, secondly, it also prepares the children for the many other Outdoor Education excursions they will be involved in during their time at UWCSEA. All Grade 1 children are expected to participate in the sleepover. We ask that you help your child to see it as an exciting adventure, giving them a unique opportunity to celebrate the end of Grade 1 with their classmates. The event is aimed at developing confidence and independence and, hence, an enthusiastic response and approach is asked of all involved. Nearer the time, we will send home a letter outlining all the details of the evening, including a list of what the children need to bring and the drop-off/pick-up arrangements. Please make sure you carefully read through all this information and get in touch with your child’s teacher if you have any questions or queries.

We appreciate that some children may have reservations about spending the night at school and, as teachers, we want the experience to be an enjoyable and memorable one for each and every Grade 1 child. Between now and Thursday 9th June, there will be many opportunities for classroom discussions about the sleepover, where we will encourage the children to share any anxieties or questions they might have. In the past, the sleepover has always been a huge success and we are confident this year will be no different.

Unit of Study
This week’s trips to the Tampines Eco Green were a resounding success. The children (and adults!) were fascinated to discover such an oasis of local wildlife more or less on our doorstep. The groups took their time exploring the different habitats, namely freshwater ponds, secondary rainforest and marshlands, and observing the animals going about their daily business. From time to time, the children took a moment to stop, close their eyes and use their ears to listen to the world around them. Many noticed the call of birds or the buzz of insects alongside the hum of traffic or the whirr of trains. 
Around the periphery, the children noticed a number of different man-made creations surrounding the Eco Green, including the MRT line, the TPE, an extensive HDB block and Tampines Avenue 9. This sparked a great deal of discussion around the positive and negative impact people have had on local wildlife and these conversations continued for a number of days back in the classrooms. In addition, the visit ignited some heated debates about what it is that makes something living or non-living and these conversations are still ongoing.
Back in the classrooms, the trip has sparked much debate and ongoing discussions about the viability of a number of proposed projects here in Singapore, such as the cross island line, and we are focusing on looking at some of these changes from both sides of the argument. 

Literacy
We are enjoying adding more to our stories as we strive to write “longer and stronger.” At the same time, we are trying to increase the volume of stories we are creating, using our chosen authors as mentors. It may well be that we choose not to adopt our author’s “craft moves” in our own pieces but studying an author’s craft is certainly making us carefully consider what we are hoping to achieve in our writing and the most effective way to achieve this.
As we move into May, many of us have been listening back over the recordings we have made of our reading over the course of our “reading year.” It is fascinating to hear how much we have grown as readers, not only in terms of reading accuracy and stamina but also in terms of fluency and expression. These logs will certainly be a lasting memory of our time in Grade 1.

Mathematics
This week, amongst other things, we have been consolidating our skip counting skills and strategies and using addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems. At the same time, we are using money to explore counting, identifying coins and notes of different denominations and combining coins to represent amounts up to and including a dollar. Over the coming weeks, we will also investigate time and telling time in hours and half hours.

...and finally
A special message from Milo in 1LJe:
"On Tuesday May 3rd, we will have a book and bake sale. We are raising money to help Kuma Cambodia with their Book Book Tuk Tuk. Please bring $3, $2 or $1 to buy a cookie, brownie, cupcake and books."


Reminders and Requests
*Tuesday 10th May-Grade 1 “Love Your Lungs” Morning-Infant School Playground/Pool:
1PTh-8.20-8.45am
1IVa-8.45-9.10am
1MLN-9.10-9.35am
1BeM-10.10-10.40am
1NaD-10.40-11.05am
1LJe-11.05-11.30am

*Wednesday 11th May-G1 Character Morning Tea- A reminder that this is not for parents but the children are invited to come to school dressed as a favourite book character and bring a plate of something to share with their friends

*Thursday 19th May-G1 to G2 Transition Meeting for Parents-8.15-9.15am-Conference Room 3 (followed by the Principal’s Forum)

*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool

*Thursday 9th June-The G1 Sleepover-more details to follow nearer the time

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 22nd April

posted 21 Apr 2016, 19:45 by Ben Morley

Unit of Study

We are all very excited about next week’s visits to Tampines Eco Green, an eco-friendly park offering a sanctuary for flora and fauna and a place for recreation...and it is right on our doorstep. Weather permitting, the children will have the opportunity to explore the whole area and it will, hopefully, help to frame some of the wonderful thinking around the interconnection between humans, animals and the environment we share. More importantly, it may well add to ongoing discussions around the idea of a shared responsibility for the environment.
We have been thinking a great deal about the impact of humans on the environment and are beginning to explore how this has changed over time. One learning experience that really peaked our collective interest was to consider the view from our classroom windows. The children were invited to imagine how the view has changed over time and record what it might have looked like in the past and, indeed, what it might look like in the future, explaining their reasoning throughout. 

Literacy
This week, you might have noticed a number of unexpected yet strangely familiar characters passing from class to class across the grade. The teachers have all been acting out of character (!) as they donned costumes and props and visited the different classes to introduce themselves to the children. Chrysanthemum, Thing 1, Emily Eyefinger, Strega Nona, Kevin Henkes’ Lily and Willy Wonka all went down very well with the children.

With this in mind, we are planning a “Character Morning Tea” on Wednesday 11th May. On this day, we would like to invite all the children to come to school as a favourite book character (with the emphasis on book) and bring a small plate of something delicious to share with their classmates that reflects their character. We do not want the children to go out and purchase an elaborate costume and would much rather they came to school in something homemade. Their “costume” may well be nothing more than a few props, perhaps a hat or a simple accessory. We are letting you know now to give everybody plenty of notice although, once again, the main idea of the morning is for the children to come “in character” rather than it being a “dress up day.”

Mathematics
This week, we have been exploring addition, subtraction and the number system. This is a unit we revisit continually throughout the year as we develop strategies and deepen our understanding of number relationships. At the moment, we are focusing on fluently adding and subtracting within 20. “Fact fluency” is something we concentrate on, however, we are more interested in the children understanding their mental computations than reeling them off regardless. This unit will give the children plenty of scope to practice and consolidate various strategies, such as counting on, making ten, decomposing a number leading to 10 and so on.

P.E.
We have a couple of exciting events coming up that will, hopefully, highlight much of the wonderful learning that has been taking place in P.E. across the year. On Tuesday 10th May, we will be hosting a “Love Your Lungs” morning in Grade 1. This was originally planned to take place during our “My Body” unit but we had to postpone due to the haze. Each class will be given a 25 minute slot where they will work as a team to cycle, run and swim around a course that traverses the Infant School playground and swimming pool. The emphasis will be on working together as a team and promoting healthy habits as opposed to individual competition. Parents are very welcome to come along and cheer the children on. Please make a note of your child’s class slot below:

1PTh-8.20-8.45am
1IVa-8.45-9.10am
1MLN-9.10-9.35am
1BeM-10.10-10.40am
1NaD-10.40-11.05am
1LJe-11.05-11.30am

A little later in the term, on Tuesday 7th June, the P.E. department will be hosting the Grade 1 Swim Gala in the main pool from 8.30-10.00am. Once again, this is an opportunity for the children to showcase and share some of their learning and parents are invited to come along and support this event as well.

Grade 1 to Grade 2 Transition
Over the remaining weeks of the term, we work closely with the Grade 2 team to do everything we can to make the transition to the Junior School as smooth and successful as possible for everyone. There are lots of events planned to raise the children’s awareness of life in Grade 2, familiarise themselves with the teachers and the learning spaces over the bridge as well as hear all about what to expect next year. The Grade 2 teachers will be spending time in the Grade 1 classrooms with the children and, of course, the Grade 1 children will visit the Grade 2 classrooms on a number of occasions where both the Grade 2 students and teachers will lead a number of activities and experiences to introduce life in the Juniors. Towards the end of the term, we will also take the Grade 1 children to eat lunch in the main canteen on a number of occasions.

We want to make sure that you are all “prepared” as well and, to this end, we strongly recommend that you do your best to attend the “Grade 1 to Grade 2 Transition Meeting for Parents” on Thursday 19th May, from 8.15-9.15am in Conference Room 3 (followed by the Principal’s Forum). At this session, you will find out all about life in Grade 2 and be introduced to the teachers. We know that many of you still have questions around the transition and we are sure that most, if not all of them, will be addressed at this session.

...and finally
As you may well have heard, the Grade 1 children did a fantastic job as the surprise final act at Tuesday’s Grade 12 Leavers Assembly. When the curtain rose, the whole Sports Hall erupted in spontaneous applause and, in spite of the large crowd, the Grade 1 children performed loud and proud. By the end, there was hardly a dry eye in the house. We might just be invited back next year.

Reminders and Requests
*Tuesday 26th April-Visit to Tampines Eco Green-1IVa,1 NaD and 1LJe-8.20-10.00am

*Wednesday 27th April-Visit to Tampines Eco Green-1MLN, 1PTh and 1BeM-8.20-10.00am

*Tuesday 10th May-Grade 1 “Love Your Lungs” Morning-Infant School Playground/Pool:
1PTh-8.20-8.45am
1IVa-8.45-9.10am
1MLN-9.10-9.35am
1BeM-10.10-10.40am
1NaD-10.40-11.05am

*Wednesday 11th May-G1 Character Morning Tea

*Thursday 19th May-G1 to G2 Transition Meeting for Parents-8.15-9.15am-Conference Room 3 (followed by the Principal’s Forum)

*Tuesday 7th June-G1 Swim Gala-8.30-10.00am-Main pool

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

Friday 15th April

posted 14 Apr 2016, 17:43 by Ben Morley

Unit of Study
This week, we began to unpack our new Unit of Study, “Life Links.” At this stage of our inquiry, we are focusing on sharing what we already understand and, in our pre-assessment activity, have been recording what we understand about habitats, survival and the impact of humans on the environment. There have been many discussions across the classes around what we already know about animals, what they have in common and how they are different. From here, the inquiry may well go in different directions in the various classrooms, as we explore such areas as living and non-living things, food chains, natural and man-made environments and so on.
An important part of our investigations will be the upcoming trips to the oasis that is Tampines Eco Green. Please complete and return the permission slip for this asap if you have not already done so.

Literacy
Our final term got off to a wonderful start on Monday when we were treated to a Reader’s Theatre performance by 3KDu. The Grade 3 children acted out three of their favourite plays for us, complete with props, costumes and sound effects. It was great to hear so many fantastic character voices and the children really got into their roles on the stage. Well done, 3KDU! The performance was the perfect segway into our new Reading Workshop unit, “Character Study.” In this unit, we will explore how readers can make characters come alive as they read by connecting to them on a meaningful level. At this early stage, we have been immersing ourselves in familiar, character driven stories, compiling lists of favourite characters and their attributes or traits. We have even started to think about how characters drive stories and display their traits over the course of a story as we try to “read like writers.”
At the same time, we kicked off a new Writing Workshop unit on Monday, namely “Authors as Mentors.” Each class has selected a particular author to concentrate on and has started to look closely at the “craft moves” they employ in their writing. We have spent a great deal of time researching our chosen writers and, from here, we will unpack what it is that makes them special and the reasons behind the choices they make in their writing. In time, we will start to compose our own narratives and, perhaps, begin to incorporate some of their moves in our own pieces.

Mathematics
In Mathematics, we have revisited some of our assessments from Term 1 and 2, focusing on number. It is pleasing to observe the progress the children have made in their mathematical understanding and, at the same time, it gives us, as teachers, valuable insight into areas that we might need to look at again, as well as highlighting common misconceptions and gaps in understanding.

Reminders and Requests
*Visit to Tampines Eco Green:
Tuesday 26th April-1IVa,1 NaD and 1LJe-8.20-10.00am
Wednesday 27th April-1MLN, 1PTh and 1BeM-8.20-10.00am
*Do not forget "Fresh Fruit Friday" is still on each week

Have a lovely weekend,

The G1 Team

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