skip to Main Content

Friday, December 6th, 2019


On Wednesday, December 11th at 2:30 p.m., the Elementary Science Fair will be held in the Gym. K5 will have a table at the science fair providing opportunities for visitors to explore some of the same concepts we have been exploring in the classroom related to force and motion, and parents are invited to attend.

On Tuesday, December 17th, the children will be taking part in the Elementary Winter Concert. The performance begins at 6:00 p.m. However, students need to be in their assigned seats by 5:45 p.m., so please plan accordingly. Students should wear their ‘Christmas Best’ or their ‘Favorite Christmas Outfit’. Some Christmas-y colors to consider having your child wear include red, green, gold, white, etc. The children have been working hard at school to prepare, and it will be so helpful for you to provide reinforcement at home. Copies have been sent home of what they will be singing, so could you please review with your child at home the words of the songs so they can sing as confidently as possible on the evening of the performance? If you have any questions about preparations for the program, you may contact Mrs. Pochon, their music teacher, at .

On Thursday, December 19th, families of all EC students are invited to come to school to build gingerbread houses with their children. In advance of this, we are looking for candy item donations for decorating. There is no obligation to contribute, but if you are willing and able, we would appreciate your help. Candies needed include M and Ms, gumdrops, peppermints, sprinkles, etc. 



  • These are some of the things we have been focusing on this week in reading:
  • Noticing digraphs (two letters that make one sound) in the words we read helps us identify and use the appropriate sounds in the words we read.
  • Some of the consonant digraphs we encounter frequently in words we read include <ch>, <sh>, <th> and <ck>. Double letters like <pp>, <ss> and <tt> are another kind of consonant digraph.
  • There are many different digraphs that represent vowel sounds, like <ea>, <oa> and <ou>, and as with the consonants there are ‘double letter’ vowel digraphs, such as <ee> and <oo>.
  • The children have been ‘digraph detectives’ this week searching for digraphs in words in their books, and we have been collecting words with digraphs in them on our ‘big board’ in the room.
  • The children have even found trigraphs (three letters that represent one sound) like <igh> in the word ‘night’ (which is very interesting because letters that are ordinarily consonants – ‘g’ and ‘h’ – work together with the ‘i’ to represent the ‘long i’ sound).
  • And there are even quadraphs (four letters that represent one sound) like <eigh> for the ‘long a’ sound in the word ‘eight’ and <aigh> for the ‘long a’ sound in the word ‘straight’.
  • We also had an emphasis this week on punctuation. Focusing on the punctuation in text helps us to bring our reading to life. By noticing the punctuation in the sentences we read, we can see the ‘secret code’ the author is using to show us how to read the words. We noticed that when we read sentences that end in a question mark the pitch of our voice rises in the final word, whereas for sentences ending in a period the pitch of our voice lowers slightly in the final word in the sentence. We also have noticed that for sentences with an exclamation mark, we usually speak them with greater emphasis.
  • The children did a wonderful job on Friday of sharing the reader responses they wrote at home during the week.


  • This week one of our emphases in writing has been to be teachers to each other, or as one of the students put it, be ‘student teachers’. :-) In partner time during reading we read each other’s work out loud and help each other figure out what is missing or what makes something difficult to read so we can work together to improve it.
  • When reviewing our work independently, we continue to work with these questions:
  • “Can I read what I’ve written?” (This is the most important thing we are checking for.)
  • “Did I make sure my words have letters in them for all the sounds I heard in them?”
  • “Did I capitalize each sentence and put spaces between words and put in punctuation?”
  • “Did I try to write more than one sentence on each page?”
  • Since the children are now writing their reader responses at home I wanted to make sure they have the same tools they use at school, so in their reading pouches this past week I sent home copies of their personal dictionaries and letter-sound correspondence charts to keep at home and use there.
  • I also sent home a letter formation chart for each child so you can help your child in developing good habits with letter formation.
  • This week the children continued our letter studies by taking part in an ‘Ff’ puppet show and then making the ‘Ff’ page for their picture dictionaries.

Word Work:

  • This week we worked on: identifying which of two words said aloud rhyme with a third word said aloud; developing fluency in identifying the beginning sound of a set of three words; blending the main part of a word (body) with its final sound (coda); identifying the final sound in a set of words given; breaking a word apart into its initial sound (onset) and the rest of the word (rime); adding an initial phoneme (individual sound) to a rime to create a word; deleting the initial phoneme from the rime in a word; and substituting the initial phoneme in a word with another phoneme.


  • In our module ‘Comparison of Length, Weight, Capacity, and Numbers to 10’, we continued working in the classroom this week on comparing things and using comparison words like ‘bigger’, ‘smaller’, ’longer’, ‘shorter’, ‘taller’, ‘shorter’, ‘wider’, ‘narrower’, etc. In particular we have been working with 5-sticks (made of 5 unifix cubes) and comparing the lengths of other unifix cube sticks, using these 5-sticks as reference points.


  • In science we have been exploring force and motion.
  • We have introduced the following vocabulary
  • speed (how fast things move)
  • direction (a route shown by words like up, down, right and left)
  • push (what you do to move something away from you)
  • pull (what you do to move something towards you)
  • We also started exploring different factors that affect how quickly or slowly something rolls down a ramp.



December 09


‘Take-Home Reader’ Books Sent home
(Four books your child is already familiar reading will be brought home to share and reinforce reading skills.)Morning Special:Library

Afternoon Special:Language


10 December


Children should wear P.E. uniforms today, since they have P.E.

Morning Special:P.E.

Afternoon Special:Music


11 December

Day B

Morning Special: Computer Science

Afternoon Special:Music

Elementary Science Fair at 2:30 p.m. in the Gym


12 December


Please have your child return her/his ‘library book’ pouch today with the books he/she previously checked out from the library.

Morning Special:Library

Afternoon Special:Art

School Uniform Provider Visit


13 November


Return your child’s ‘Take-Homer Reader’ Pouch

Children should wear P.E. uniforms today, since they have P.E.

Morning Special:P.E.

Afternoon Special:Art

Tue 17 Dec

Thu 19 Dec

Fri 20 Dec

Sat 21 Dec

Elementary Winter Concert & K5-Grade 8 Fine Arts Showcase
   6:00 p.m. |  BFS GymnasiumGingerbread House Building with EC Families

Showing of the movie ‘The Polar Express’ to students from PK3 through Grade 5 at 9 a.m. in the Auditorium.
Pajama Day: Children are welcome to wear ‘school appropriate’ pajamas for the occasion. (However, please keep in mind that the children will be going outside for recess later in the day in those same pajamas.)

Quarter 2 Ends

Winter Break Begins

Dear K-5 Families, 

Welcome to K-5 at Busan Foreign School! I am excited to be joining BFS as your child’s Kindergarten teacher this coming school year. 

I am very much looking forward to working with your child this coming school year. I want to foster a love of learning in your child. My goal is to provide the most enriching and nurturing environment that I can. 

I just moved to Korea from China, where I have been teaching at the International School of Beijing for the past fifteen years. I taught Kindergarten for most of my time in Beijing, but also taught Grade 1 there. Before Beijing I lived and taught in San Jose, California; Vancouver, Canada; Singapore; and St. Paul, Minnesota. I am originally from Minnesota, where as a child I lived on a dairy farm which supplied milk to a local cheese-maker. My interests, in addition to education, include cooking, computers, books, music, and swimming. 

My teaching assistant is Ms. Im. She is a native of Busan and is a graduate of BFS. She is also very much looking forward to working with our class. 

I will be involving your child in many different learning experiences aimed at developing language, reading, writing, and mathematical skills. In addition your child will work regularly with other teachers at BFS in library/media arts, performing arts, technology, and visual arts. It promises to be a stimulating and fun-filled year! 

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me: 

School E-Mail: 

The student information form attached will help me get acquainted with your child and will help me understand your child’s individual needs and personality. Please complete the form at your earliest convenience and return it to me in your child’s take-home folder. 

Ms. Im and I are looking forward to a wonderful year together with you and your child! 


Mark Ehrke

Mr. Ehrke’s email:

No items.