Classroom Highlights (Learning in Action!)

Mr Junior UELS (January 2021)


Countable and Uncountable Nouns


Look around you. Everything you see is a noun. A noun is a word that names things, people, animals, and places. Nouns also name concepts, ideas, or feelings. It's important to distinguish between countable and uncountable nouns in English. By not distinguishing both you are likely to make basic grammar mistakes.

The class was given a brief Introduction to uncountable and countable nouns. Students are already familiar with most nouns, however this year we are focusing on the different kinds of nouns and the proper way to use them. We first looked at what exactly are countable and uncountable nouns and the differences between them. We discussed how countable nouns have a singular and plural form, and uncountable nouns have only one form (no plural) and always use a singular verb. Students also learned that uncountable nouns cannot use a, an, or a number before them. Students were shown physical samples of countable and uncountable items to get a better understanding. We used some fruits, and a bag of sugar, and a jar of coffee as physical samples.

Next, the students were introduced to quantifiable words and how we use them to express a quantity of an uncountable noun. Some examples of quantifiable words: a lot of, much, a bit of, a great deal of. We can also use an exact measurement like a cup of, a bag of, 1kg of, 1L of, a handful of, a pinch of, an hour of, a day of. If you want to ask about the quantity of an uncountable noun, you ask "How much?" and for the quantity of a countable noun "How many?". Students learned that some nouns can be both countable and uncountable. We learned several examples of those nouns. After the students learned different nouns and their characteristics they took turns in front of the class and practiced with different lists of examples. Finally, the students engaged in two class activities. They completed two worksheets where they were able to put into practice what they learned in class.

 Mr T LELS (January 2021)


Speaking and Listening


Speaking and Listening are 2 essential skills that all ELS students should try to master. In order to speak effectively one must have a clear voice and speak at an appropriate volume so that others can hear you.

Too often in our class students have very small voices but we work on speaking in a strong voice!

Students should also be active listeners so they can learn about what is being said and clarify anything they don’t understand by asking follow-up questions.

In the LELS classroom students practice speaking by doing a reading exercise each week in front of the class.

Students are encouraged to speak in a big strong voice so that others can hear them even if they are sitting at the back of the room.

To be a good listener, student should sit quietly and pay attention to the speaker. This means they should be looking at the person who is speaking.

It can be challenging for students to speak loud enough, and they often are very shy. But with practice they become more comfortable with this speaking exercise.

Over time students will be encouraged to memorize their speeches so that they can do it from memory. They will also be asked to use their own ideas so they can talk about things which are interesting for them.

This activity is something which the students enjoy very much and it is always good to see happy students speaking English in the classroom – so the teacher is happy too!

Great work LELS!

Ms R Grade 1 (January 2021) 


We know our numbers!


This week during our math lesson we focused on number words eleven to twenty. Students were introduced to the words by songs and singing the words out loud. Then they were shown a PPT which allowed them to say each number word. Every table had the opportunity to stand up and say the numbers as a group.

Next the students used what they learned to play a recognition game with boom cards. These are digital cards that allow the students to listen for the numeral or number word then find the matching answer. Each student had the chance to go at least once.

The students finished the lesson with a competition. The students were placed into two teams and given puzzle pieces to match the numeral with the correct number word. Starting with eleven and ending with twenty, each student would race to the board to find the matching number. The rules were, only one student from each team was allowed at the board. Once that student was done and sat down then the next student could go to the board. The team that finished first could hit the buzzer. It was a friendly competition filled with teamwork and lots of learning.

Later in the week to review the students completed number practice worksheets that consisted of writing the numeral and number words. At the end of the week the students were able to recognize these number words and had a fun time learning.

Ms Megan Grade One (December 2020)


Doing Nice Things for Others


In Grade 1 most of the students know about getting and receiving gifts, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and snowmen. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is doing nice things for others and expecting nothing in return. As a class we talked about nice things we can do for people without telling them.  After learning this, the students were challenged to do nice things for other people.

They started by coloring Christmas tree ornaments. The classroom bulletin board was then decorated with a Christmas tree for each class and some of the student’s Christmas ornaments. Each day in December, every student got the opportunity to stand up in front of the class and share with the class what nice deed they did. This is great speaking practice for Grade 1 students. They love to do nice things for others and get so excited to share what they did. Many students who often are nervous to talk in front of others still want to take the opportunity to practice English and share what they did. After they share the nice things they did for others, the students get to choose from the ornaments they colored. Then they get to put the ornament on the class tree. 

It is so fun to see how generous these children are and how they love to help others. After ten days each class tree was filled with ornaments and the students had many speaking practice opportunities.

Ms Jan Grade One (December 2020)


1.4 Getting Ready for Writing


     In G1 the students are beginning to write sentences. To write well, each child needs to have developed strong writing readiness skills. These skills help the child hold and use a pencil, and be able to draw, write, copy, and colour.These skills include: hand and finger strength; holding and moving the pencil with the dominant hand while the other hand helps by holding the writing  paper: shoulder strength to allow controlled hand movement for good pencil control; ability to skillfully manipulate tools, including holding and moving pencils, crayons and scissors.

Many children begin G1 with strong writing readiness skills, but some are still developing their writing skills. So G1 activities often include activities designed to help the children improve their writing readiness skills.

During the Winter theme week, the students made paper snowflakes. This activity requires them to fold paper in a specific way and then to use scissors to cut patterns into the paper. It’s a fun activity that also helps them improve their hand and finger strength.

Because some children are still developing their hand strength, there are two ways to complete the activity. The first one requires less strength than the second one, but both are fun and result in great snowflake patterns. The harder snowflake has 2 more folds than the easier one and so is harder to cut.

It’s a fun way to help the students increase their writing readiness skills. The children were very eager to create and cut the patterns, and then open the paper to see the wonderful results.

Mr. A Grade 1 (December 2020)


The rooms in my house


In December, students covered the theme “My house and the rooms in it.” At the beginning of the week, students were taught new vocabulary words.  Conversations were held where students told each other about the rooms in their houses and what they usually do in them to help them memorize the newly covered words and to learn how to use them in sentences. To name a few examples, students learned to say that they do homework or sleep in their bedroom, cook or eat in the kitchen; in the living room they watch TV, play with the toys or read books; while in the bathroom, they wash their faces and brush their teeth. Students were not only taught with PowerPoint slides, but were also shown educational videos where students tried to name the different types of furniture and home appliances located in specific rooms. In addition, the class read a short story called “Mr. Stretch’s House.” The story was first read by the teacher and then the students tried to answer questions about Mr. Stretch’s house, rooms and what he does in them. To finalize the week, students were divided in five groups for the following big project. For the big project, students were given the opportunity to showcase the new vocabulary they learned during the week, by preparing a presentation about the five rooms of a house; one room for each group. The house had a bathroom, a living room, a kitchen and a couple of bedrooms. Each group was tasked to make a model of the room assigned by cutting out pieces of paper and arranging the room the way they wanted. Then they hosted a tour for their classmates in which they talked about what is placed where, why it is there, and how it’s used. This was one of the most fun and interesting themes covered in the first semester!

Mrs. Jenna Grade 1 (December 2020)


My Family


Students of Grade One enjoyed showcasing the photos of their family they recently brought into class. Each student had the opportunity to answer the question: “Who is she?” or “Who is he?” in accordance with their lessons dialogue. Each student answered by stating, “She is my mother.” or “He is my father.” Many students pointed out their siblings, grandparents, and extended family members. They also were asked questions in regards to their photo’s locations. Some students were on rollercoaster rides with their family, while others were with Santa Clause himself!

As a group, they would simultaneously point out their fathers, mothers, or other members of our family. During their break, the teachers would catch them with their friends fawning over the photos they brought in. Many of their conversations were about their friend’s family. Class G1E would point out how they knew some of the students in the photos of G1F and vis versa.

They also took some time to draw and write about their family.  Students would write about what they liked to do together with their family. Some liked to eat food while others liked to exercise. Some students talked about their pets or siblings, while others exclaimed how much their family enjoyed playing together. One student was quite emphatic about his mother’s hair being shaped like a mushroom.

This was a very fulfilling lesson for the students. They truly enjoyed showing everyone who was in their family as well as talking about the activities they like to do with them.

Mr. A Grade 5 ( November 2020)


Declaring Declarative Sentences


Expressing yourself with facts and opinions is at the hallmark of any English conversation. One of these ways is by declaring what you like, what you dislike, facts, and observations. In English, there are four types of sentences; declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative. In this lesson, we looked at declarative sentences and what they do for us. A declarative sentence makes a statement and is then punctuated by a period. An example would be “I like the cat.” or “He is very tall.” These sentences will tell you facts, opinions and other statements and will end with a period. Students began the class by writing the notes down from the board and the example sentences. This helped them by giving them a framework to build upon as the class progressed.

Students then practiced declarative sentences by declaring their likes and dislikes to each other. They would first tell each other their favourite things such as; the kind of food they like and what restaurants they frequent, the coolest car, what they see in front of them, and what students look like. Then we practiced declarative sentences by writing our own sentences in our notebooks or white boards and declaring them to the entire class. The class discussed how these sentences could be expanded by creating a complete idea first and then to write down the best possible sentence by using the 5Ws and adding adjectives. The students came up with some very detailed declarative sentences.

Special Events

Craig Smith (Author/Songwriter) Visit - May 19, 2016

On Thursday, Craig Smith, a children’s author and songwriter from New Zealand, came to visit Clifford Elementary Bilingual's Grade 2 and 3 students. Around 600 students went to the auditorium for the performance. Craig sang many of his famous books for us. He sang “Wonky Donkey”, “My Daddy Ate an Apple”, “Willie Bee the Bumble Bee” and others. The two favorites among the students were “Wonkey Donkey” and “My Daddy Ate an Apple”. Craig is famous for his funny stories, puppets and songs, as well as making funny noises, like his “drip, drip, drip” sound. The students sang, danced and had a terrific time. We hope many other famous overseas authors and songwriters can visit us in the future!