Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Primary Language Class

Hello and welcome to a new school year! I hope that everyone had a
wonderful and relaxing summer! I know I enjoyed my time with my
family! I was so thrilled to see my returning students and I am very
excited to get to know my new students.

We certainly have had an exciting start to our new school year.  
It has been a very busy few days. We have started some
getting-to- know-you activities, talked about our summer holidays,
discussed school and classroom rules and procedures, and began
to establish routines within the classroom. We even practiced a fire
drill and lock down so we know what to do when the first one happens.
We are off to a great start and I know it is going to be a
wonderful school year!!

In the next few weeks we will dive right into our learning.
I will be teaching the students about reading and writing strategies
and we will be working on our oral language skills daily. We have
already begun talking about letters and sounds and how they work
together to make words. We have practiced rhyming and syllables
each day.

We read a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
We spoke about ways to be kind and make others happy and
how these acts of kindness will, in turn, increase our own happiness! 

We will begin weekly word wall words shortly. The students will
complete activities within the classroom to practice and learn their words.
The words will be sent home each week for you to practice with your
children. I will write the students words in a book each week and you
can review them with your children. There is no specific activity that
will be required of them, the words are sent home for reinforcement
and to keep you in the loop about what your children are learning.
Feel free to read the words with your children, write the words with them
or simply bring them up in conversation and talk about their spelling.

We will also begin our Snuggle Up and Read Program soon. I will be
sending home their reading folders with a book for your child to read.
For the new families, the concept of the Snuggle Book is that I send
home a book for you to snuggle up and read with your child.  While
I am sure you have tons of books at home, this is a book that I have
chosen to be at your child's reading level. The idea is that you read the
book with your child a few times until they can read it to you independently. 
This may be right away or it may take a few days.
However long it problem! Please keep the book until your
child feels comfortable reading it on their own, then you can return it
for a new book. In the folder there is a place for you to write whether
the book was too easy, too hard or just right.  Please let me know so I
can continue to choose appropriate books for each child!

We will begin learning about our Daily Five workstations. This is valuable
learning time that we use to focus on each child’s individual goals. The
stations are set out with each child’s individual learning needs in mind.
It gives them time to work on skills at their level!

Also in the next few weeks we will be learning some new games to
help with our learning. We love to make learning feel like playing!

The students are working hard and I am really proud of them. 
It is a lot of work coming to two different schools! I would like to thank
you for your dedication to your child's learning. Our little class can be
best described as a family. We take care of each other and learn from
one another. Our situation is unique and beautiful. I feel so fortunate
to be in a class where I can focus on each child, assisting each one to
meet their goals. I am looking forward to learning with them throughout
this school year. I know it will be amazing!

Here are just a few little reminders:

Have you checked us out on Twitter yet?
There are tons of pictures and snippets of what we do everyday. 

Also, remember that our blog is I will not be
printing out blog posts anymore, so please check us out! 

We will also be using the SEESAW app again as a way for you to see
what is happening in the class. You will be able to sign up and get
notifications when your child adds work to their folder. There will be
more information sent home about that shortly. Stay tuned!
Transportation: If your child is absent from our Primary Language Class,
it is very important that you call the transportation office to cancel the
STS drivers (arrival and departure).
The phone number is 613-723- 9677.

Does your child have indoor shoes at St. John the Apostle Catholic School?  
We are requesting that each student brings an extra pair of shoes that
could be left in our classroom. The shoes should be shoes he/she can
put on easily on their own (i.e. without laces if you child is unable to tie
his/her shoes yet).  This will help keep
the class floors neat and tidy.  Please be sure to write your child’s
name in the shoes clearly. Please let me know if you have any concerns
about this.

Please label your child’s belongings. It is very helpful to have your child’s
name in their coats, sweaters, lunch bags, backpacks, shoes and boots!

Your child’s Individual Education Plan is developed in collaboration
between the homeschool team, you the parents, and me. The homeschool
will send home a draft copy of the IEP in October.  Please take the time to
read it carefully. Please remember your input is very important. Please note
that a different teacher from St. John the Apostle will be reporting on the
Social Studies curriculum for our students.

I hope everyone had a nice week. The first week back is always busy and
hectic and wonderful! Please remember that I am happy to help if you have
any questions or concerns.

Sarah Faloon

Monday, 24 June 2019

Can you believe the end of the school year is only a few days away?
These past few months have really flown by! With the sun out and
arm weather upon us, the summer vibe is really strong!
We have enjoyed a wonderful year of learning and created many
memories, and now it’s time to celebrate our hard work! The children
are very excited with the end of the year and the new challenges
they will be facing in September. Some children will be moving back
to their homeschool or moving to another system class while others
will be returning to the Primary Language Class. For the children
moving out of the program, I wish you more success and happiness.
It has been my absolute pleasure teaching you and watching you grow.
It is an amazing gift to watch you learn and I am thankful everyday for
it. To my littles who are returning to me in September, I look forward
to helping you meet your new language goals.

A big thank-you to all of you for your support and assistance this
school year. As parents, you play an important part in helping children
meet success. It has been my sincere pleasure working alongside with
you to teach your children this year. I have mentioned this in previous
posts, but this is the most amazing job in the world. Your children are
an incredible joy and they teach me something new everyday. I feel
blessed to be in this unique teaching position and I look forward to
seeing what the children can accomplish in the future!

Over the summer vacation, I strongly encourage you to help your child
continue learning. Read to your child every day and practise writing by
using the word wall words that we have been working on all year. Talk
to them about words and sounds and how they work together. I love
singing with my kids, so we turn most things into a song! Doing one or
two activities each day over the summer vacation will help to keep
your child’s skills sharp.

I hope you enjoy time with each other this summer.
Have a happy and safe summer holiday.
God bless you and your family in this summer season!

Sarah Faloon

Keep Learning in the Summer - Research tells us that children
retain a surprising amount of information over the school months.
What is more surprising, is the amount of information children
lose over the summer months if they DON’T keep the brain working
and learning. Fifteen minutes of review daily would be very beneficial.  
Make the most of the summer and try all (or some) of these activities
with your child!

Read- Read to and with your child. Don’t forget to ask your child
questions while you are reading to check that he/she is understanding
the text and relating it to his/her own experiences.
Play outdoors- Head to the local park. Look for living things, play tag,
or have a picnic. Sunscreen and hats are always suggested, even if it
is a cloudy day.
Swim- Practise makes perfect!
Ride a bike- Don’t forget helmets and road safety rules.
Practise letter sounds- We have made our way through the entire
alphabet! Please review letter sounds. Recite them, sing them, and
print upper-and-lower case letters!
Crafts- Unplug and try new crafts using recyclable items!
Try making a scrapbook of the summer break.
Cook together- Try a new healthy recipe and get your child to
measure, peel, and chop.
Visit the local public library- Join the TD Summer Reading Club.
It’s free!!!
Write- A great way to practise writing over the summer is to keep
a written journal or write letters to friends or relatives who live
outside of Ottawa.
Visit relatives and friends- Spend quality time together and share
oral stories.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Monday June 10th 2018
Good Monday morning! Wasn’t that a beautiful weekend! It was so nice to be
outside with my family, playing in the sunshine. I hope everyone enjoyed the
gorgeous weather.

While we were basking in the heat and sun all weekend, the weather is still
fluctuating. There is rain in the forecast this week. Please ensure that your
children have the appropriate clothing for the say.  Also, for the nice days, the
students need cool clothing, water and sunscreen. If you send in some
sunscreen, the students will be given the time to apply it themselves.
Please, do not send in any spray cans of sunscreen! I will always encourage
the students to go and drink water and they are always welcome to fill up
their water bottles.
So, as we are now into our second week of June, we are looking very quickly
at the end of the year.  I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by. I find
the years are flying by at an increasingly fast pace. It must be a testament to
the fun we are having!
A few reminders as we finish up the 2018-2019 school year.
I will begin to send  home some of the students' books and folders.
Please take a look at the contents, discuss them with your child.
They are now yours to keep!  We are still working on important things in
class, but these are the books we no longer need and I really wanted
you to get a chance to see the amazing things that your children have
done this year.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

There will be no more new Word Wall Words coming home for this year.  
We will spend the month of June reviewing the many words that we have
learned this year already.  Thank you so much for your dedication and
commitment to assisting the students with their new words each week.  
Their practice and hard work has certainly paid off!

Your child’s report card and IEP will be sent home from their homeschool
during the last week of June.
Interviews will not be held at the end of the year.  
I am more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your child’s
progress before the documents are sent home.  If you would like to
schedule a meeting to talk about your son/daughter and the amazing
work they have done this year, please do not hesitate to call SJA or
write a note in the agenda and we can arrange a meeting.

The students are working harder than ever to get ready for the end
of the school year! There is still tons of writing, reading and learning
happening. We are working hard at vocabulary connections, story
retelling, letter sound deletion and sounding words out. We are taking
all of the skills we have learned this year and we are putting them to
We used some BeeBots last week as a fun way to practice some things
we have been learning.
Ask your child about his/her new programming skills!

As is tradition in the PLC, we will planning an end of the year party! We
ike to have the students input into what they would like to do/bring for
the party. We will be discussing these details in the days to come and
I will let you know what we have come up with!

Thank you again for your time. Stay tuned for more information in the
next few weeks and, as always, do not hesitate to send me a note or
give me a call if you have any questions!

Sarah Faloon

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Happy May,

It looks as though we are finally getting some consistently
warm weather, and I am certainly ready for it! I hope everyone
enjoyed the long weekend doing something that brings you joy.

We have had a busy month already! Our Education Week
celebrations were exciting and the sunshine has allowed us to
participate in some fun learning activities.

This month, we have really been working on our writing.
Grade 1 students are focusing on writing complete simple
sentences. They are using their letter and sound knowledge
to try and write words independently. I am always reminding
the students to try and write a word on their own first,
and then we can fix the spelling after. It is a big step to be
able put something down on their paper by themselves,
regardless of whether is it right or wrong!
Grade 2 students are encouraged to expand on their ideas
and add explanation and description in their writing.
They are trying to use more complex sentences in their
writing and they are encouraged to correctly write their
word wall words consistently.
Grade 3 students have been working on descriptive paragraphs.
They have learned all about topic sentences and closing
sentences, and have really practiced using adjectives to
describe. I am really proud of all of the students and their
amazing efforts to produce quality written work.
They have all come a long way!

Another large focus for this month has been narrative stories.
While using a Shape Go Map, students have practiced identifying
the elements that make up a story. (Characters, Setting,
Problem and Solution) They are also using their sequencing
skills to put the major events of the story in order. This is
essential for students to fully comprehend a story. At home,
you can ask your children to retell you any story you read.
You can ask, “What happens first in the story? Where does
the story take place? What is the big problem of the book?
How does the main character solve that?”  
Practice makes perfect!

In the coming weeks we will really focus on oral language
skills including rhyming, blending sounds to create new
words, deleting sounds from a word and identifying the
sound that was deleted. Our units of higher level words
will also continue (synonyms, antonyms, hyperboles
and multiple meaning words).

For the remaining weeks of the school year, we WILL
NOT be learning any new word wall words. Instead, in
class, we will focus on using these words in our writing
and in our speech. For homework, I will be placing a
writing prompt in their book each week. Students can
work on this writing prompt independently or with you.
If you child is still at the emergent stages of writing,
you can ask them to say their answers and you can
write down what they say. Please continue to read
daily with your children at home.

I will be away next week, from May 27-May 31 to care
for a family member. Mrs. McLean will be in with the
class all week. She has been a guest teacher in our
class many times throughout the year and she knows
the students, routines and expectations quite well.
Please feel free to contact her next week should
there be any questions. I will also be available via
email should you need to speak with me!

Thank you again for your support and cooperation.
I am really excited to see what the rest of this school
year brings. I know the students are looking forward to
the upcoming summer months, as am I, but the transition
is always bittersweet for me. I will be trying to soak up
as much of my Grade 3s as possible before they leave
me for Grade 4. Looking back on the past year brings
me so much joy and happiness.

Wishing everyone a wonderful May!

S. Faloon
Primary Language Class
St. John the Apostle