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Grade 1 Financial Literacy

Yes, there is no typo in the title you saw. :) I had a similar reaction when I saw the curriculum for Social Studies for grade 1 students. However, as time went by, I realized that children as young as they should already have basic financial literacy.

As per Google, Financial Literacy means “the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others.”

In CISM, my grade 1 students were very fortunate to have a parent volunteer to share with them the value of money and the benefits of saving and investing it.






Thank you to Mrs. Robrina Go-Barrera for sharing with our class her expertise and advice on sharing money.

Till our next adventure!

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Grade 1 Assembly

Last April 27, 2017, the grade 1 students led the monthly assembly for Early Years and Elementary Levels. The main focus of the assembly is the IB Learner Profile INQUIRER.

It was a meaningful presentation of how students, teacher and parents alike are encouraged to never cease from asking questions. From the description in the IB Learner Profile, INQUIRERS,

“We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.”

In line with this, Earth day was celebrated 22nd of April. The assembly anchored this theme in the presentation by asking a great question: What can you do for Mother Earth?”

The grade 1 students extended what they learned from Science and did a more extravagant shadow play showing what human are doing to Mother Earth. The message dramatically crossed the audience.







Till our next adventure!

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A Theatrical Finale for Science

After fun, investigative learning activities about light and sound, grade 1 students applied what they have learned using Art as a medium.

It is the first time in CISM that students performed a shadow play. Last March 27, 2017, Grade 1 DM used stick puppets with colored cellophane to present the story Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.

Here is a link to our presentation: https://youtu.be/uXfceeWx130


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Easter Celebration and Fire Drill

Before the Spring Break, the students took part of the traditional Easter Egg Hunt. It was a brief but egg-citing activity to remember Easter Day celebration.





Apart from that, the students also participated in a fire drill lead by Meralco to ensure knowledge and safety should such an incident occur. The main idea of the drill is on how to use the fire extinguisher.IMG_20170407_101743







Till our next adventure!

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Smart Shopping

School is like a training ground for our children to be somewhat equipped outside its confines. One of the most practical skill they could learn is buying from a store.

In Social Studies, as early as first grade, they are taught about some basic principles in Economics. Children should be able to distinguish NEEDS from WANTS, HEALTHY and UNHEALTHY snacks, the idea of scarcity and so one must be aware of his/her ALTERNATIVES.

What way would be more effective for the students to experience the reality of these concepts than buying the goods themselves. :) Although it may not be a new experience, (surely, these kids have bought so many goods prior this activity) the experience of “shopping” with a buddy creates a sense of independence and responsibility.



It was a very conscious effort to apply what they have learned. Even how they should behave in a store. Evidently, it was pure learning experience for the students. Here a specific learning moment: a student picked a snack without checking the tag. He only had Php 100. He had to go back to the aisle and check carefully which product he can consume.





Of course, as with every activity done in class, the students reflected on what happened in the grocery store. As was expected, it was a fun learning experience for them.






Surely, they will remember this experience and hopefully the lessons they have learned.

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Happy 115th birthday Dr. Seuss!

Who is not familiar with the Grinch? Lorax? Green eggs and ham? Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel certainly has continued to live in our time through his timeless stories.

Last March 2, the whole world continued to remember his contributions in our lives. In CISM, we started this celebration with a sharing of our favorite Dr. Seuss stories, picture-taking and movie-watching.




Till next year, Dr. Seuss!

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Invented Spelling

As important as learning how to speak, writing is an integral skill that students try to master in school. While the shift in a Communicative Approach has lighten the burden of producing writing sentences, paragraphs and pages of compositions, there is still a need to address spelling difficulties.

In our classroom, there are students who struggle with spelling. This hinders them from going a step forward in composing as they get stuck with that challenging word and lose their train of thoughts in the process.


One way to remove this hindrance is the use of Inventive Spelling or Phonetic Spelling. First graders are on the stage of learning letters and their sounds. This strategy will help them further in getting familiar with letters and their sounds and even the new sounds produced when they are combined to form blends.

From an article in education.com, here are some Do’s and Don’ts in Inventive Spelling:

Do have your child stretch out the words she is spelling to try and hear all the sounds in the word. For example, “cat” should be stretched out /c/ /a/ /t/. Have your child say the word slowly and listen to all the sounds that she hears. If he doesn’t hear a sound in a word (let’s say he writes “ct” for “cat”) gently push him to listen carefully to the word once more (going with the “ct” example, ask him what sound comes between the “c” and the “t”).


Don’t correct your child’s spelling. Children should feel like successful, independent writers. If children feel like they can’t write without perfect spelling, they will not think of themselves as writers. Children also may develop a tendency to rely on grown-ups to tell them if their spelling is “right.” Instead of focusing on correct spelling, encourage your first grader to write phonetically. If first graders are representing all the sounds they hear in words, they will be able to read their own writing. That’s what we want from young writers– standard spelling will come later.


Do find out what sight words/spelling words your child is learning in school. If your child’s teacher has taught the students the words “the” and “and”, then your child should be consistently spelling those two words correctly in his writing. You can hold your child accountable for words that he has spent a long time learning about and practicing in school.

Here is a link of sight words we use in the classroom: https://www.education.com/magazine/article/firstgradesightwords/

Don’t worry if you can’t read your child’s writing. Try to point out why it is important for your child to be able to read her writing. Talk with him/her about including all sounds in the words he/she’s writing and remind him/her to put spaces between words. Often kids will not be able to hear all the sounds in words– that’s okay. Usually kids start by representing beginning sounds, then beginning and ending sounds. The final stage of invented spelling comes when kids are able to include middle sounds. For example, if a child is asked to spell the word “cat” she might start by writing “c” then “ct” and finally “cat”.


In addition to these, I always remind the students to use words they already know. Sometimes, these words appear as “little words” inside longer ones.



I also emphasize at the beginning of class the development of words from a single letter to a syllable and finally words. This skill in identifying syllables can help them spell even longer words later.


As adults, we may have to keep ourselves from correcting their spelling right then and there. DO encourage them and praise them for the works they are able to finish. They are budding writers after all. Standard skills in spelling will develop and alongside this is a confident writer.

Till our next adventure!

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Reading Strategies in Class

As readers move from reading beginning readers to the next level, students need to learn strategies for reading longer words. Although some students have already begun to develop good reading habits, some students might find it a struggle to continue and understand what they are reading once they have encountered unfamiliar and longer words.

It can be a big factor for developing readers to lose motivation when they get stuck with these “difficult” word. Here are some strategies we adapted in class in order to empower them so they may continue their love for reading:


1. Look for parts you know at the BEGINNING of the word (prefixes). Some common prefixes need to unlocked using words that are already familiar to the students. Example: re- again –> Reread, rewrite

2. Look for parts you know at the END of the word (suffixes). Again, some common suffixes could be familiar to the students already. Examples are -er, -less, -ful.

3. Look for VOWEL PATTERNS that you know in the base word. Although vowel patterns and sounds can change when moving from single syllable words to longer words, a lot of them stay the same. Helping kids see the connection between the vowel patterns they already know and applying that knowledge to longer words is a good thing.

4. Divide the word into SYLLABLES. A good grasp of c-v-c pattern is very helpful here.

5. Make your BEST GUESS. Students are usually unaware of how familiar the word is to them until they have decoded it. When they say it, practice it and say it smoothly, they begin to realize that this word is not so unfamiliar after all.

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Tis the season to be merry. Christmas truly is one of the most awaited time of the year for children. The most exciting thing about it, of, course, receiving lots of gifts. It is a great opportunity as well to remind our children that while it’s a tradition to receive gifts during Christmas, it is also a time to give and share to others.

Parol making is a sercvice learning project that aimed to give the children an opportunity to work hard on something for the sake of others. 1-DM, along with the other grade level, designed a parol that would be placed in auction. The proceeds of which will be donated to MovEd, and organization that helps the less-fortunate preschool children.





1-DM students were breifed about who will benefit when the parents buy the parols. And the spirit of Christmas was truly felt as I witness how they worked hard on it.

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Science is Fun

I can say that Science is one of the most exciting subjects the students look forward to every day. In grade 1, Science follows the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

In the first quarter, we covered Life Sciences. We talked about animals— their life cycles and adaptive nature. We discussed plants as well covering the same topics. For our final project, we did a diorama of their chosen animals in its natural habitat. For plants, they grew and took take of their own plants and wrote a diary of its daily progress.






In the second quarter, we tackled Universe and Patterns. We talked about night and day and weather and seasons. The students learned about why there is night and day. To show their learning, they made sky bottles to show what they see during the day and at night time.





We also talked about weather and seasons. We discussed why weather and seasons change and the pattern that they follow. Their final project for this topic is the Four Seasons Book.


Science is an ever evolving field as there is still much to discover in our universe. Apart from the topics we discuss in class, the students are subtly developing this curiosity to explore the world around them and to take note and put these information in an organized media.

Keep on learning, 1-DM. Until our next adventure!

  • http://www.deped.gov.ph/