What a busy and productive time we’ve had in Grade 1 ESL, both before and after the April break! I will try to briefly outline for you the main events that our lovely students were involved in.
First of all, thank you very much for attending our Student Led Conferences before the break. Our students were obviously very proud and happy to share their learning with you and also to let you experiment what it’s like to be a student in Grade 1 ESL.
We love our current Unit of Inquiry, “Mini-Beasts”. Students are very excited and actively engaged in learning about the characteristics, roles and importance that the different mini-beasts have in our world. They totally enjoyed our mini-beasts walk before the break and were fascinated by all the mini-beasts they discovered. This week’s visit to the Natural History Museum added a plus of information and excitement to our learning process. This week we also learned that butterflies and bees are attracted by brightly coloured flowers, so we decided to plant our own garden. Thank you, Ms. Dingle, for putting together this wonderful movie for us.
In writing this week, we focused on recounts of the fun things we did during the April break. Our students are becoming very skilled at verbally sharing their experiences and at writing them in a logical sequence in a recount. We also keep focusing on using powerful, interesting adjectives in our recounts, which the students enjoy tremendously and which makes our writing fabulous.
Our reading lessons are gaining in complexity, as the books that we read require more inference and an increased ability to start reading between the lines in order to get the whole gist of the story. Our beginner’s group is focusing on easier books, which help them develop their English vocabulary, while also developing their reading skills. We also continued to study specific phonics and blends, and to use them through games and various other activities.
All the ESL students participated in the competition ”It’s Speaking Time at IST”. They proved to be very courageous, hard-working and knowledgeable; most of all learned their poems by heart and all of them recited their poems confidently in front of their classmates and teachers. Well done! I especially want to congratulate Alice, who has been chosen to be one of the 4 Grade 1 representatives going to the next phase of the competition. Keep up the great work, Alice! We are very proud of you!
I want to end by congratulating Alice, A Jin and Young Ju for all their hard work throughout this year. While they haven’t officially exited the ESL register yet, they will only receive in class support from now on and will not join us in the pull-out sessions any more. Well done, all of you!
We have been busy learning, having fun and making new friends in Grade 1 ESL over the last few days, as we welcomed Han Ah and Cheol Gyu to our group. They both come from Korea and we are very happy to have them at IST.
In Writing, we continued to focus on narratives and on creative writing. Our students have proven to be creative, courageous and very reflective while writing their first narratives in English, going through the whole writing process, from talking and planning, to drafting, editing and publishing. On Friday, we met with the whole Grade 1 and we shared our narrative in a read-aloud session. All teachers were really proud of the Grade 1 writers!
In Reading, we continued our journey through various books, such as “My Snowman”, “My New Room”, “Frogs in the Pond”, “Puddles” etc. Ha Nah and Cheol Gyu are working on different books, at an easier level, such as “Toys”, “Clothes”, “I Am Playing”, which help them become familiar with new vocabulary while developing their reading skills as well.
We also continue our study of phonics and blends, and we practise them through various activities and games. We are looking forward to sharing more with you during the Student Led Conferences on Thursday.
Please find below a couple of pictures taken during these past few days in Grade 1 ESL.
During our lessons in Grade 1 ESL, we continued to work on developing our students’ reading and writing skills through guided sessions targeting specific skills and strategies, as well as their phonemic awareness, listening and speaking ability, through games, songs and various activities.
We published our recounts, after we went through the whole writing process, from talking and planning, to drafting, editing and publishing. Also, we explored the narrative, a new genre, during the Guided Writing lessons. Our students had to move from writing about themselves to writing about imaginary characters in imaginary settings, which was an interesting challenge. They proved to be very creative and engaged wholeheartedly in being the authors of their imaginary stories. We will continue to practice writing narratives using simple graphic organisers during this upcoming week as well.
Please find below a couple of pictures taken during our last ESL lessons.
We have been busy learning and working, while having fun in Grade 1 ESL. Over the past few weeks we have increased our focus on writing, while we explored other genres besides the recount. We also worked on specifically developing our vocabulary and word choice, in order to give new strength to our writing.
For 2 weeks we focused on procedure writing. We aimed to teach students how to sequence an activity, and to give instructions following a logical pattern. We made popcorn and then we wrote about it, step by step, in a shared writing session. The following week, we made and enjoyed sandwiches, and we explained the procedure in a more independent approach. We also focused on using adjectives, in order to increase the quality of our writing.
We continued our Guided Reading sessions, with increasingly challenging books. Students are constantly engaged in post-reading comprehension activities, which involve writing, drawing, colouring, matching etc.
A consistent focus during our classes is also the study of blends, such as: cl, gl, br, dr, pl etc, which are of high importance for our students, at this stage in their learning of the English language.
I am very pleased to see the enthusiasm that the children bring to class every day. It sets a strong basis for learning and growth!
Please find below a few pictures taken during our classes recently.
Welcome back to school, after what I hope was a wonderful Chinese New Year break. I am happy to share with you some news regarding our ESL classes:
* First of all, I want to commend all the ESL students for the hard work they applied during the “Human Body” unit. They were courageous, and tackled complex information with enthusiasm. They worked very diligently to research information about their preferred organ, and then they organised their findings, wrote their books, illustrated them and proudly presented them during the Parent Tea before the holiday. Thank you for all your support and for your presence at the Parent Tea.
* Last week, we welcomed a new student in 1M. Tom is coming from Germany and will join our small but joyful ESL group. He has already started to interact happily with his new classmates. I am sure he is going to have a lot of friends in no time. We are happy to have you here, Tom!
* In order to celebrate Chinese New Year in style, last week we focused on poetry and we each wrote a poem about our experience related to this beautiful celebration. The students were encouraged to use powerful adjectives in their writing and to think about how they perceived Chinese New Year through all their senses. You will soon be able to see their beautiful poems hanging on beautiful lanterns around the Grade 1 area.
* In our regular classes, we continued to practice reading and writing, we worked on phonics and blends and we used games to encourage students to ask and answer questions.
Please find below a couple of pictures taken during these past few weeks in Grade 1 ESL.
We love to read at IST!
The Elementary Student Council is organising a Read-A-Thon for Action the upcoming week, inviting all members of our community to Drop Everything And Read as often as possible, while also remembering those less fortunate than us.
The poster below will give you more info about this praiseworthy event.
Welcome back to school! I hope you had a great Winter vacation and you enjoyed this special time with your dear ones.
We have started our week with a recount of our holidays. I was very pleased to hear our students talk about their vacation with joy and many smiles and also to see them write with stamina about it. Their writing skills have greatly improved since the beginning of the year. They are now able to write a structured recount with less teacher support and they can organise their thoughts in a meaningful way in English, with guidance.
In reading we continued to look at books such as “The Big Kick“, ”Jake’s Big Goal“, “Little Teddies’ Picnic” and “Hello, Snow“. These books have a slightly higher degree of difficulty, an increased number of words and more challenging spelling patterns. It is a pleasure to watch our students’ engagement while reading and their delight while listening to books read-aloud.
This week we also spent some time working on sequencing events, as it helps us better plan and organise our recounts and our retelling. The students organised pictures in a logical sequence in order to create a meaningful story and then shared their stories with their classmates. We also practiced writing using white boards and we played Head Bandz, which is a great way to engage students in conversation and to help them ask and answer questions in a fun way. We also continued to practice English through songs, because we all love them!
Please find below a couple of pictures taken during our classes this week.
This week has been very special for the Grade 1 ESL students.
On Monday, we finished our LAS Links testing and I want to take this opportunity to commend our lovely students for their patience through this challenging test, for their hard work and for their determination to do their absolute best.
On Tuesday we went on a field trip to the SOS Clinic, where the kids got a chance to ask many (sometimes challenging) questions to Dr. Xavier and Nurse Ally, and then got their arm set in a cast, to see how doctors mend broken bones. They all had a great time on the field trip and had a lot to tell as we came back to school! We also continued to research and to ask questions related to specific organs in our bodies.
On Wednesday and Thursday we’ve been busy writing a recount about the field trip, which is also going to be their mid-year writing sample. I was very pleased to see the students’ hard work through all the steps of the writing process: talking, planning, drafting and editing.
On Friday, we had a special day, as we practiced for the upcoming Winter Show on the upcoming Wednesday.
But besides testing, writing and rehearsing, we also continued our Guided Reading sessions with books like: My School, My Play House or Zac and the Ducks. Our students are getting more and more confident while reading and they show great enthusiasm for each new book we discover together!
This week we also practiced creating sentences using the 4 W’s: Who?, What?, When?, and Where?. The students love experimenting with funny, unusual or challenging sentences.
Please find below a few pictures taken during our sessions this week. We have a busy and exciting week ahead, as we get ready for the Winter Show and for the upcoming Winter Holiday! Enjoy watching our kids in action!
This week we continued to work hard and to learn while having fun in Grade 1 ESL.
We continued the study of phonics using the Jolly Phonics program; this week we studied the phonemesqu, th, and ou. We used them in singing, reading and writing, as they are a great help for our students at this stage in their learning.
In Guided Reading we explored books such as: Sam’s Race, Little Teddy and Monkey, Ben’s Teddy Bearand Lilly’s Play House. The complexity level of our books continues to increase, as our students become more confident while reading and as their decoding and comprehension skills develop.
We wrote another recount during Guided Writing, and because we wrote about our long weekend, the students were challenged to move from writing one or two sentences to expanding their writing in order to tell about each of the 4 days of our weekend last week. The students were also encouraged to write with a stronger voice and to express their feelings when writing.
We played action games such as Simon Says, where students were encouraged to give direction to each other, and Headbandz, which offered our students the opportunity to ask and answer questions in order to guess what was on their secret card.
Please find below a few pictures taken in our class this week. Enjoy!