Grade 1 MR

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Financial Literacy with Ms. Felicia Atienza

“It’s not your salary that makes you rich; it’s your spending habits.”        -  Charles Jaffe


On May 26, we were very thankful to have our very own school president, Ms. Felicia H. Atienza, as our resource speaker for Social Studies. For this quarter, we are focusing on basic economic principles. Her presentation about saving, spending, and making choices  hit the mark!


She started by engaging the students to make and design their own piggy bank. The kids loved it!




Then, she discussed the basic economic principles: saving, spending, and investing. Delaying consumption today in order to save for tomorrow is a choice that requires discipline and self control. The kids learned this valuable lesson through The Marshmallow Test. It was a Stanford experiment on delayed gratification in the early 1960s led by psychologist Walter Mischel. Like with this experiment, our resource speaker gave children marshmallows.


They were told to save them so they could grow (invest), for which they would have to wait for a few minutes. Afterwards, she left the room. The struggle was so real! i saw some kids’ faces contorted with concentration while others got satisfaction by smelling and licking the marshmallow.


But at the end, they were rewarded with s’mores. It was a blast! Thank you, Ms. Feli! =)

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Grade 1 Assembly: Inquirer

“The world is but a school of inquiry”    -  Michel de Montaigne


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On April 27, Grades 1-MR and 1-DM presented the IB Learner Profile: Inquirer to Early Years and Lower School students. The grade 1 assembly was hosted by Charlotte Catane of 1-MR and Alyssa Janine Khar of 1-DM.




These presenters raised one question to the audience: “What do great inventors, scientist, and philosophers have in common?” And the answer is they all ask questions. One thing that these innovators share with children is they learn through asking questions.  “Asking questions is the single most important habit for innovative thinkers,” says Paul Sloane, the UK’s top leadership speaker on innovation. It’s the simplest and most effective way of learning. 

Grade 1 students pondered on questions through a choral recitation which was received with applause from the audience. They recited Zebra Questions and Asking Questions.


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Have you ever wondered how many questions do you ask in a day? The video “What Questions Did You Ask Today?” by Chic Thompson Production addressed that question. According to the video, the average five-year-old asks 65 questions per day, most of them starting with “why.” The average 44-year-old manager only asks six questions per day; most of them starting with “when,” “where,” or “how much.” Whoa! Look at that huge gap! Here’s the link to this video to fully appreciate its lesson.


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Asking questions is a practice that we should use every day. Yet somehow we have forgotten this lesson as we get older. People are afraid that by asking questions they will look weak, ignorant or unsure. This video aims to enlighten people to continue to ask the right questions because we can learn and understand more if we ask the right questions.

Grade 1 students related the IB Learner Profile: Inquirer to an international celebration on April 22: The Earth Day. One great question that they ask is “How can you help Mother Earth?” To answer that question, they presented a shadow play using the “Earth Song” popularized by Michael Jackson. The song highlighted environmental issues such as deforestation and human destruction through questions. It was very informative and inspiring.



This picture shows that people get food from trees.


Nature is helpless and powerless against human destruction.


Garbage is disposed on land and sea


which lead to flood and destruction.


People hunt and kill animals so some animals become endangered.


So if we want to have a better world, we should take care of the Mother Earth.


One way is to plant trees and clean our surroundings.


Indeed, the shadow play was thought-provoking and encouraged every one to love the Mother Earth. Before the assembly was ended, grade 1 students left an inspiring message to the audience by dancing The Planet Earth Dance. “We all live in this world together and we can help to make it better.”


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The assembly performance was both inspiring and educational. The audience gave these students a round of applause for their amazing performance and hard work.


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Math Meets Science: Building Towers with Snap Cubes

“Mathematics is the gate and key to the sciences.”       –   Roger Bacon


Grade 1 MR students have been practicing adding and subtracting two digit numbers. During math work stations, I let students practice adding two digit numbers using snap cubes. To connect this topic to Science - Engineering, students play a race game to build the tallest tower using snap cubes. For Math, they need to add all the snap cubes each member used for this challenge.

Students are grouped into 3 teams of 4 members each. Each group has a supply of snap cubes with at least four different colors. They sort the cubes into piles of the same color. Each member of the team chooses a specific color and stacks them to form the tallest free-standing structure.


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Engineering Challenge

The kids thought this activity is great because they get to “play” with snap cubes and build awesome towers. But throughout the process, we talk about what features make a sturdy tower. Students learn that as they continue to stack cubes higher, the more difficult for the tower to become stable. One student is able to build a tall tower with 20 cubes. Another student is challenged by it and add more snap cubes. Unfortunately, the tower begins to bend before it falls.

The kids apply what they had learned in Building Bridges to this challenge because I kept hearing things like, “we need a more solid base!” They figure out that a wider base is needed to make their towers sturdier.





After the towers are built, we measured to see which tower is ultimately the tallest. The group is declared winner if their towers are the tallest and remain standing for a minute.

Snap Cubes are wonderful tools that help children learn about number sense, measurement, and building structures.


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Social Studies: Trip to the Grocery Store

“Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.”  - Albert Einstein

In Social Studies, we  discussed about wants and needs, goods and services, consumers and producers, and healthy and non-healthy food. As a culminating activity for our Marketplaces Unit, Grade 1 students went on a trip to the grocery store on March 27, Monday.  We visited Wellcome Supermarket which is located at the ground floor of Stamford Executive Residences, a few blocks away from the school. They checked out different sections and areas of the store, identified the types of food found, understood the concept of scarcity and making choices, and experienced buying healthy snacks. They enhanced their knowledge about money, its use, and purpose when they actually paid for the things they bought. They also made good choices in picking healthy snacks.


Boys having fun at the store


Feels proud to buy the snacks by himself


Students understand the unspoken rule at a grocery store


Teachers are having fun, too!


Some students check for prices


Students behaved so well at the grocery store!


After the trip, we talked about their experiences in choosing and buying their snacks. Then the much awaited event is the snack time. Students happily ate the snacks that they bought. Most of them bought healthy snacks: yogurt drink, fruits, and cookies.


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Learning should not be limited inside the classroom. By connecting the students’ school life to their life outside of school, students get a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. This trip to the grocery store s very meaningful for them because they get a better understanding of the subject and apply to their own life.



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Mons-TERRIFIC Adjectives

“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”     –   Mark Twain


To help my students be more descriptive in their writing, I let them do some monster-filled activities. They make a monster poem, design their own monster, and write a descriptive paragraph of their monster. This project is fun and engaging for students, and these activities help them use better word choices in writing detailed and descriptive paragraphs. 

Monster Poem 

This monster-poem activity motivates students to think and use various examples of adjectives. It is easy and interesting way to introduce poetry and very helpful in teaching the power of adjectives. 

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To explore and evaluate the use of adjectives in writing, students build and color their monster creation. They are given different parts of the body and create a monster of their choice. These activities are fun and engaging for students and the writing activities help them make better word choices and write detailed sentences.

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Monster Descriptive Writing

Students are asked to write a descriptive paragraph about their monster. They need to describe it from head to foot and use as many sensory details as possible. After describing, they write about super powers or special abilities of their monster. They end their descriptive writing by evaluating their monster whether it’s a friendly, scary, funny, or evil monster.

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monster paragraph writing - Mikee

monster paragraph writing - Julia

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100 Days of School

In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”      -   Tom Bodett


On February 7, 2017, the Elementary Department celebrated the 100 Days of School. There were so many fun activities that students enjoyed.

How long is 100 cm?

Students were given the 100 cm string to find objects in the room that are longer than, smaller than, and equal to 100 cm. Then they drew a picture of these objects and labeled them.



100 is a lot!

In this activity, students completed sentences about things that they can eat 100, do 100, write 100, and want to own 100!

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Where would 100 steps take you?

For this activity, students made a prediction on where would 100 steps take them. Then they compared it with the actual place. Next, they drew their predicted and actual location inside the boxes. Finally, they wrote something about it on the paper.

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T-shirt Making 

Students designed their own shirt about 100 days of school. Some students wrote 100 days smarter, wiser, braver, kinder, happier, cleverer, better, nicer, cuter, more energetic, and more awesome.

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They were more than halfway through the school year, and it’s time to celebrate them with those fun-filled learning activities.

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The Art of Persuasion

Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.”      -  William Bernbach


In our English and Language Arts (ELA) mini-lesson, students learn that opinion writers have a purpose when writing. They also learn that there are different ways writers use opinion texts. To help first-graders appreciate the power and purposes of writing, we look at a letter, a poem, a book review, and even cereal packaging!

First, I show to them 3 different cereal boxes. I let them look closely at the packaging.

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Then, I ask them which cereal would they buy and why. Their answers vary. They choose based on shape, color, wording, or picture. They infer that these breakfast cereals are aimed at kids and parents.  A number of students choose Kellogg’s Froot Loops because it has lots of bright colors and bold letters which attract the audience’s attention.

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Some students choose Sun Harvest’s Cocoa Balls because of the game at the back of the box and the slogan “Go Go Goal!”


This persuasive language makes it sound like it would taste good and give you lots of energy. As expected, nobody chooses the third cereal box. When I ask them who they think will buy it? They all shout, “my mom!” The description, “Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal,” and the heart shape make the young audience think that this cereal is healthy for you but may not taste good. They think that this fact would be aimed at parents.


This activity helps them learn about persuasive techniques and persuasive language and those are important components in persuasive writing.

For their active involvement and differentiated learning, I group them into three:

Group 1 – They read a poem.


Group 2 – They read a book review.


Group 3 – They read a letter.



Each group discusses how the writer is trying to convince someone about something that is important to them. They answer the following questions:

  • What is important to the writer?
  • What does the writer want?
  • What facts does the writer use to convince someone?
  • What opinions does the writer use to persuade someone?

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After completing the worksheet, Our Noticings, each group talks about their piece of writing. They report out to the rest of the class what they noticed.

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The students are fully engaged in their task. They observe, evaluate, justify, and explain. When a few students are having difficulty grasping a concept, pulling them together as a group for guided practice can be very effective.


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Harnessing Creativity in the Classroom

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”        -   Albert Einstein


There are many innovative alternatives to traditional book reports that will increase enthusiasm for reading while creating opportunities for them to practice reading comprehension skills and build language arts skills.

Bookmark Making

Writing doesn’t have to be boring. To provide fun and inspire Grade 1 – MR students to write, they are asked to choose a “Just Right” book that they like to read and create a bookmark. They make their own design in front and write something at the back. They could either write a summary, review, reflection, or  cool facts about the book they read.

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Cereal Box Making

Built on the premise that any reading is good reading, this activity Cereal Box Scavenger Hunt allows our younger readers scour a cereal box for specific information and then respond to questions and creative writing prompts about what they find.




They learn that there are different ways writers use opinion text. But why would a cereal box be an example of text that convinces? With this question in mind, they find ways to arrive at the correct answer. They make a list of effective words that are used on the box. Then they identify who would buy that cereal – adults or children – and explain why. With this simple activity, students reveal that they are capable of inferring, drawing conclusions, and making connections. Next, students are asked to create their own cereal box. They come up with a name, logo, design, and images or special offers.


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In speaking, they talk about their creation and explain how they will ‘sell’ their cereal to their target audience. Finally, they get to vote whose cereal box is the best.



Indeed, there are many ways teachers can incorporate creative thinking and learning into their classrooms. By introducing more unconventional learning materials, students will think outside the box and engage more deeply with the lesson.



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Light and Shadow

 “Light and shadow are opposite sides of the same coin. We can illuminate our paths or darken our way. It is a matter of choice.”                                                                                        -     Maya Angelou


For third quarter in Science, students will explore sources of light and how it is important to us. They will investigate how shadows are made and that shape and size of shadows can be changed. In the experiment below, students investigate the interaction of light with different materials.

Materials: clear plastic or bottle, wax paper, aluminum foil, light beams or flashlights, How much light can pass through worksheet


First, the class is divided into 3 groups. Using their flashlight, they observe how big/bright the light reflection on the wall as they point the light against each material.

Then, they draw and describe these on their activity sheet. Finally, we discuss their observations in class. They observe that the amount of light that some objects absorb depends on the material of the object.

Transparent objects let light pass through without scattering the rays. This means that almost all of the light that falls on a transparent object passes through it so that we can see through the object. An example of this is cling wrap.

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A translucent object lets some light through but it scatters the rest of the light so much that whatever is on the other side cannot be seen clearly. Wax paper is an example of this material.


Materials that do not allow light to pass through are called opaque materials. Some of the light is absorbed by the material and some is reflected. They observe that when light hits an opaque object, it forms a shadow. Most metals, wood and animals are made of opaque material. Another example is aluminum foil.


By doing these investigations, they learn that light can pass through some materials but not others.

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When Santa Came to Town

“The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness.”     –   Thomas S. Monson


‘Tis the time to be jolly! For many people, the holidays are a time for giving back. This year, CISM and parents celebrate the season by making children extremely happy, rewarding them with gifts and making Santa come alive.


Christmas Cheer

On December 9, 2016, around 45 preschool children and some parents and teachers from MovEd Foundation’s Pasig Learning Lab celebrated early Christmas with the CISM Early Years and Elementary Department, as part of the School Service Learning project entitled Christmas Cheer. Nursery to Grade 1 students partnered with kids from MovEd as they tried fun activities together prepared by Grades 2-5 students. Some of these activities were storytelling, sandwich and Christmas tree making, and Science art projects. They also received gifts from CISM students.

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Christmas Party

On December 15, 2016, the Elementary Department celebrated Christmas Party in each class. Grade 1 students ended this year with a bang as they had a blast with party games, dance, and festive snacks. Imagine the surprise and happiness on their faces when Santa suddenly appeared in the classroom. They were all so good this year that Santa paid a visit. The classroom came alive with the spirit of Christmas!

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