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Monday, February 17th, 2020



  • We continued with our new reading unit ‘Bigger Books, Bigger Reading Muscles’ to help us to continue to develop reading skills.
  • The children have been taking up the challenge of learning the ‘Magic Words’. With each set of words they master they receive a certificate of recognition for learning that set of words, and the kids are already keen to work learn more words so they can receive more certificates. Here is a recap of what I shared last week about ‘magic words’.
    MAGIC WORDS: “In English there are 100 frequently occurring words that make up, on average, half the words found in reading and writing, … the ‘Magic 100 Words’ (Magic Words®) … Mastering half the words used in reading and writing makes the task of reading and writing “magically” easier.”
  • ‘Magic 100 Words’ breaks these 100 words into seven groups of words organized by color. We endeavor for each child in Kindergarten to know all 42 words in the first three color groups by the end of the year. The sooner they know them the greater advantage it is to them in their reading development, as knowing these words supports them greatly in development of their reading skills
    a  and  be  I  in  is
    it  of  that  the  to  was

    These 12 words make up on average ONE-FOURTH of all words encountered when reading.
    all  are  as  at  but  for  had  have  he  her
    his  not  on  one  said  so  they  we  with  you

    These 20 words, together with the 12 Golden Words, make up on average ONE-THIRD of all words encountered when reading.
    an  by  do  go  if
    me  my  no  or  up
  • Children naturally pick up many of these words from repeated exposure. But if they haven’t yet learned them from exposure, now is the time of year we need to start targeted work at home and at school to make sure they learn them as soon as they can.
  • We have made up a word ring for each child that was sent home with words for your child to work on at home. Each word ring is tailored to the individual child. Words your child already knows are be on the word ring, only the words that he or she needs to be working on learning, based on what she or he already know.
  • Work with your child at home on learning the words on your child’s word ring. Just 5 minutes a day of playing flash card games, matching games or concentration games — or even just practicing writing them — can yield big payoffs. I am happy to hear from some of the children that they are already working a little bit every day at learning more words.
  • In addition to ideas shared on the word ring for learning the words, you can also just tape them up around the house – refrigerator door, bathroom mirror, bedside table, etc. – and have your child read them whenever he or she sees them.
  • Once your child knows all the words on the word ring set sent home, please send the word ring back to school with your child so we can recognize him or her for what she or he has learned.
  • Children who already knows all the words in the first three color groups are supported in learning more of the 100 magic words:
    big  can  did  get  has  him  new  now
    off  old  our  out  see  she  two  wh
    back  been  came  down  from  into  just  like
    made  much  over  them  this  well  went when
    call  come  here  make  must  only
    some  then  were  what  will  your
    about  before  could  first  little  look  more
    other  right  their  there  want  where  which


  • This past week we have continued writing ‘how-to’ books. We continue to work on writing in the form of giving instructions instead of writing a narrative.
  • Instead of writing:
  • “I put toothpaste on my toothbrush.”
  • in a ‘how-to’ we write:
  • “Put toothpaste on your toothbrush.”
  • We have also been talking about that fact that we get to be better writers by writing more, so the challenge each day is to write more during our ‘Writing Workshop’ time than we have been writing before.

Word Work:

  • This week we worked on: generating words in families of rhyming words — -ub, -uck, -ug, -um, and -un; developing fluency in identifying the beginning sound in a given word; blending three individual phonemes together to make a word; identifying the medial (middle) sound in a given word; breaking apart words into individual phonemes; 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 math this past week the big focus was on the number 100. It was great to see all the wonderful collections the children brought in which are now on display outside our room.
  • If the items were too large or awkward to attach to the wall, I took photos of them and printed them up for the display. And if children brought in 100 items that were not organized in any particular way for skip counting, we helped them do that at school.
  • My favorite quote of the week was when I asked a student if he was sure there were 100 of his item and how he knew, and he answered, “Yes. My mom counted them three times!” I told him HE needed to prove to me how many there were by organizing them somehow (generally by 5s or 10s) and then counting them using skip counting (by 5s, 10s, 20s or 25s) to get to 100.
  • Many of the students discovered that once they organized them into groups of 5s or 10s, they could then further organize them into groups of 20 or 25 for easy counting by 20s or 25s. Even the way we arrange 5 or 10 items can help us recognize that it is a group of 5 or 10.
  • If children forgot to bring a collection or if they were not organized for counting, we helped them at school to make their collections and prepare them to display.



17  February


Morning Special:Library

Afternoon Special:Art


18 February


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

Morning Special: P.E.

Afternoon Special:Art


19 February

Day E

Morning Special:Computer Science

Afternoon Special:Language


20 February


Morning Special:Library

Afternoon Special:Language


21 February

Day A

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

Morning Special: P.E.

Afternoon Special:Music

Thu 05 Mar
Fri 06 MarThu 12 Mar

Fri 20 Mar

Sat 21 Mar
– Sun 29 Mar

Mon 30 Mar

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Visit by School Uniform Provider

Quarter 3 Ends

Spring Break

Quarter 4 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:

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