Sunday, September 15, 2019

September 16

We have had a couple of nice weeks getting to know each other! We have been busy co-creating our classroom together. The students are excited to be part of all of this. We have also sorted many of my books and created new bins to organize them all. Last week, we talked about our Classroom Safe Place. We talked about the different emotions that we could experience in a day.

St. Cecilia Newsletter
Please read the St. Cecilia Newsletter when you get a chance. This will be posted on the school website at the start of each month. It will keep you updated on school wide events and initiative by our St. Cecilia School Council. You can also follow both on twitter: @StCeciliaOCSB and @StCeciliaSC to stay in the loop!

Growth Mindset 

As I mentioned at our Meet the Teacher night, I want to share some of the videos for Growth Mindset. Having a growth mindset is so important for all of us! As teachers and parents, we need to praise children for their efforts and not their achievements. We will be using the words “grit”, “you are trying so hard…” “not yet” and “We will not give up”. Please start to use these words at home. This is an area that most kids need to improve. Here are a few short clips about having a growth mindset if you are interested to learn on how this will help your child’s learning. 

Word Wall Words (WWWs)

We will continue to work on our WWWs week. Your child will print them on his or her agenda sheet on Monday until we get our agenda. The goal is for your child to be able to recognize these words by sight without sounding out. They are called sight words. 

We continue to work on patterns. We are learning that different attributes can change in a pattern (e.g., colour, size, shape, direction, number of occurrences). We are also learning to represent a pattern in a variety of ways (e.g., pictures, actions, colours, sounds, numbers, letters). For example, make an ABA pattern using actions like clapping or tapping.

Ontario Curriculum
As I mentioned on our Meet the teacher night. Here is the link to the grade 1 expectations.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to write me a note and I will get back to you.
I look forward to working with you to create a safe, happy and successful school year for your child.

Mrs. Giovanna Smith ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Week 2

         Image result for back to school 
We had an awesome start to our school year. I have been blessed with a classroom  full of caring, thoughtful and excited students. I am looking forward to our school year with them. They are all settling into grade 1. It is a big change from kindergarten! We are quickly becoming a classroom family.

Class Donations 
Image result for back to schoolThank you to all of you who sent in your donations to the class. A few items are to share as a class and I store them in the classroom cabinets (e.g. Kleenex boxes, wipes…) and most of the other supplies are in your child’s pencil case. I suggest you try to write his/her name on each new piece (yes every marker and pencil) that come into the classroom. I know it is all expensive and they will disappear if there is no name on it. If you can, please take the time and write your child’s name on each piece. Everyone seems to have yellow pencils and white erasers.

Bitmoji ImageMeet the Teacher
We will be having Meet the Teacher on Wednesday, September 11. The night will be set up with two 25 minutes sessions in the classrooms starting at 6:00 then a school presentation in the gym will follow at 7:00. I hope to see you there! 

Welcome Phone Calls
I will try to touch base with each of you in the next few weeks to let you know how your child is settling in grade 1. If I keep missing you, let me know a better time to connect with you.

International Dot Day – Sunday, September 15
It is International Dot Day on Sunday, September 15. It is a day to celebrate creativity, courage and collaboration. We will celebrate Dot Day on Friday, September 13. We will be reading the story The Dot. It is a story about a girl who needs a little encouragement at the beginning. She learns with a growth mindset that she can create many masterpieces! Students are encouraged to wear dots on Friday.

Last week, we starting to practice our subitizing. This is the skill of looking at a group of items and knowing how many there are without counting. This was introduced to the children in kindergarten. You can practice this at home a few different ways. You can ask your child to roll a die and have them say the number without counting. Here is a video that you can have your child watch as well.  
Once your child can subitize numbers up to 5 well, please move to numbers to 10.

Please return!
Bitmoji Image
Last week, I sent home 3 different forms home with your child. There was a Technology agreement, a participation form and the Verification form. Thanks for your help in returning them promptly.

Student Activity Fee
There is a $30 fee for all students. This money goes directly to your child. It helps with special crafts, our field trip – the bus and entrance to the facility and any presentations that come into the school. It will also cover the cost of the agenda (Let's hope this comes soon!). If you have 3 or more children at St. Cecilia, the fee would be $75 per family instead of $90 or $120. This can be done on  School Cash Online which you have access through our school website. 

I look forward to working with you to make this year a successful year for your child.

Giovanna Smith :) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Welcome to Grade 1!

Welcome to Grade 1D!

Image result for back to school

I am excited to be your child’s grade 1 teacher this year! I look forward to working with you to make your child’s school year a successful one! 

I will be making posts on this blog to keep you inform of our learning and our classroom events. It will not replace the agenda. The agenda will be a great place for us to communicate with each other. Please feel free to write me a note in the agenda if you have any questions or concerns or to inform me about upcoming appointments. Unfortunately, the agendas will not be arriving for a few more weeks maybe October . I will try to use a prepared paper for our communication tool in the meantime. Please help your child bring the paper back to school each day in his mailbag. Once the agendas arrive, our Word Wall Words (WWWs) will be posted in the agenda every Monday. More information to follow. 

I look forward to an awesome first week of Grade 1!

Giovanna Smith ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sunday, June 23, 2019

June 23

What a beautiful weekend! Hope you had a chance to enjoy it! We finally got some summer weather! Too bad we did not get it last Thursday for our school BBQ. That was disappointing for the children and especially for all those who worked so hard for it. We are so lucky to have a strong, hardworking group of parents on our School Council. 

Variety Show
We will be having a Class Talent Show this week. The children are excited to “perform” in front of their classmates. The School Variety will be on Wednesday, June 25. The agenda has changed. The primary grades (1-3) will be performing during block 2 (10:30 -11:55). The junior grades (4-6) will be performing during block 3 (12:55-2:05). Hope this helps with planning your schedules.

Google Drive folders
All of you should now have access of your child’s google drive folder. This folder is the same folder your child showed you on our Open House morning. Some of you do not have a google account. If the shared settings need to be changed, please let me know. The grade 2 students have access through their own google drive. I shared it directly with them. Please ask them to share it with you if you rather have the folder yourself. The children will have the same email address until the end of grade 12. You may want to make a copy and rename it Grade 1 pics or Grade 2 pics.

Summer Reading
As I mentioned before, it is important to keep up with the reading over the summer. Many of you have wonderful family traditions to read each night. I love it! I do have a reading log that I will share with you. It is not for me. It is a great way to keep track of the times you have a good reading time with your little one. I know how summer nights turn out to be a bit later than school nights. Use it if you like.


The children have been more active on their Zorbits accounts these last few weeks. They are learning as they play. I am hoping that you will have access to this awesome resource over the summer. Your child can access this app through the student portal. 

 What an incredible school year! I’m so very proud of all these little peeps! I was so happy to be their teacher. They truly are all super special to me. I will miss them all. We had fun every single day! I will always love them. Remember that I always have a great interest in your children and their destinies, wherever they go, whatever they become or whoever they become. Please stop and say hi when you are at the school or even if you see me at the grocery store. I know they would have all grown even without my help, I was just so happy to be part of the journey!  ๐Ÿงก

It was also great to work with all of you as parents. You have been very supportive! I am truly grateful for that. All of your children are lucky to have you. Keep doing all the great things that you are doing!
Remember to continue to foster their love of learning and to continue to build grit and resilience. ๐Ÿ’—

Have a wonderful summer!

Mrs. Giovanna Smith ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June 16

I hope you all had a great father's day with your families. 

It has been a fantastic year together. Time has flown by super quickly. The children all have grown so much. I am so proud of all of them. I hope you can see that on our Twitter account. I hope you enjoyed following our learning. I am going to be very sad to say goodbye to my little peeps. As the children move into the next grades, I will always look out for them in the school yard while I’m on duty. I will continue to watch them blossom and grow as they take part in assemblies or in school activities. I will always think of this group as my peeps. ๐Ÿ’—

St. Cecilia School BBQ – Thursday, June 20– 5-8 pm

Our School Council has organized a fun event to celebrate the school year! Hope your family is planning on attending! It is always lots of fun! Let’s hope Mother Nature cooperates! 

Talent Show
I am proud of all the students from our class who tried out. Unfortunately, not all of the acts were selected. If your child was not selected, I will give them a chance to perform in our pod in front of our class. The St. Cecilia Talent Show is set for Wednesday, June 26 during block 2 and 3. Block 2 starts at 10:40 and block 3 starts at 12:55. I will have a better idea of the order of the acts by the end of the week. Write me a note in the agenda if you would like to know the details. 

We will continue to work on word problems and solving simple algebraic equations. 

We will continue to write narrative stories with a beginning, middle and end. 

Getting Ready for Grade 2 or Grade 2 This Summer!
Over the summer, please continue to have your child read regularly. Play is a big part of learning. Have them build, create and count! Encourage your child to write a few times over the summer. He/she can write persuasive letter to you or a friend, he/she send an email to a friend, he/she can write a recount of a fun weekend or he/she can even make a list (grocery, wish list). In math, please continue to have your child solve math problems and explain his/her thinking. Remember it is more important to show the thinking than showing just the answer. He/she can continue to practice counting a large number of items using skip counting (e.g. buttons).  Practicing skip counting is so important in building number sense.  If your child has mastered counting by 10, 5, 2, 3… have him/her start a number other than zero. Or have them skip count backwards… there are endless ways to challenge your child. Take a peek at the Grade 2 or Grade 3 curriculum to give you some ideas of what your child will be learning next year:

Library Books from the Learning Commons
Please return any borrowed books when you are done reading them. I will let you know if a book is outstanding. Thank you to those that have already sent in your child's books. 

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am looking forward to another great week with the children. I love each and every one of them. They are all so very special.

Mrs. Giovanna Smith :)

Sunday, June 9, 2019

June 9

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! It was amazing out there! Finally! I continue to be amazed by your little peeps. They are so hard working and I am so proud of them! We had a lot of fun in the flower gardens last week. I let all the children have a turn with the wheelbarrow! It was super cute! I was so impressed by all of them. No one complained! I like to think that my own kids are good kids but I think if we were out in the garden at home, my kids would probably complain! They are teenagers ๐Ÿ˜Š Maybe when they were little, it would have been more pleasant.

Congratulations to Derrick and Sawyer for receiving the sacrament of First Eucharist during the last few weeks.

We will be having our end of the year mass on Wednesday, June 12 at 9:30. All parents are welcome.

St. Cecilia End of the Year Picnic
We are having our School BBQ on Thursday, June 20 between 5 and 8. You need to go to your child's School Cash Online account to order. It is opened until Wednesday, June 12. It is always lots of fun for the children. 

Variety Show 
We had our Variety Show auditions last week. A couple of acts will audition Monday or Tuesday because they were absent last week. I was so proud and impressed with all the children who tried out for a spot. It takes courage! The children will find out soon if they made the cut. The list should be posted this week. As I mentioned last week, if anyone does not make it, he/she can perform in front of our class at our own show! The St. Cecilia Show will take place on Wednesday, June 26.

We will continue to work on synthesizing and making inferences while we read. We continue to learn how to retell a story. The children are learning to name the problem, the characters and the setting. They are trying to find the 4 main events in the story and the solution. Ask your child when you are reading at home. We will continue to work on adding more detail in our writing.

We will continue to work on solving word problems. We will also be exploring with mass and volume this week. 

In health, we continue to work on our phone numbers and when to call 911. We have been working on counting to 15-20 seconds when we wash our hands! This needs practice! Grade 2 students continue to learn about caring for their teeth.

Please send in your child’s library books when you are done with them. The last day to return them will be Friday, June 14.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me with a note in your child’s agenda or by calling the school. Looking forward to another great week of learning with the children.

Giovanna Smith ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sunday, June 2, 2019

June 1

We are officially in the last month of our school year. It has gone super fast! All of the children have grown so much. You should be so proud of your little one. The grade 1 students had a blast at our field trip to Baxter Conservation Area. Thanks again to all the parents who were able to join us. Thanks for taking pictures for our iMovies. We will continue to work on them this week. 

We have been listening to more narrative stories and practicing retelling the main part of the story using the GO Map. This helps the children realize that all stories have three parts: a beginning, a middle and an end. We have also beginning to synthesize when reading. This is the skill when good readers make inferences as they are reading and they add or change this thinking as they continue to read.

We continue to work on word problems for both groups. The grade 2 students have been diving deeper with problems with fractions. Try to make some sample questions at home for more practice. Encourage your child to use pictures, numbers or words to help explain his/her thinking. We will continue to work on these problems. We will also work on a few Algebraic problems. The children will show how to make both sides of the equal sign equal (For example, 4+5 = 3+ ?). 

12 men sat in a cafรฉ which had 5 tables.                                            

Show how the men might have sat at each table.

We continue to learn about living things. We are hoping to see some more pupa changing into beetles this week. We are also waiting for our Praying Mantis to hatch. It should be any day this week. Our Sunflowers are growing as well. Hope you have a good spot in your gardens for them :) 

We started some learning on Healthy eating and how to care for our teeth. We will continue to learn more about being safe at home, school and in our neighbourhoods. Last week we had a few discussions about online safety again.

Variety Show
If your child is interested in trying out for the school Variety Show, the auditions will take place this week. I am always so impressed with these grade 1 to 3 students who want to tryout for a spot. Unfortunately, not all are chosen. We will have a class talent show on the last week of school and anyone can perform during that show. The date of the school show is June 26. I will let you know if your child was chosen as soon as the list is posted. It may not be until next week.

Book Exchange
This Wednesday will be our last visit to the Learning Commons. All library books are due back by Friday, June 14.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me with a note in your child’s agenda or by calling the school. Looking forward to another great week of learning with the children.

Giovanna Smith :)

September 16

We have had a couple of nice weeks getting to know each other! We have been busy co-creating our classroom together. The students are exc...