Our last week together

It’s hard to believe that Grade 2 is almost at an end! The students have come so far and grown so much this year – it is going to be hard to say goodbye.

Next week we will be wrapping up our learning and the school year. We have some fun things planned to enjoy the last few days together.

  • Wednesday – we will have an ‘Active Afternoon.’ All of the Grade 2 students will be involved in various physical activities in the gym and in the swimming pool. Students will need to bring their swimming things and bags.  (There will be no swimming lesson on Monday)
  • Thursday is our Class Party. We will be trying something new and having a ‘End of Year Breakfast’. The students can wear their pj’s to school and also bring along a teddy bear or stuffie. The students can also bring their PE uniforms to change into afterwards.
  • Friday  is a half day. Students will be dismissed at 11:00. Those on the buses will be treated to the CDNIS good-bye wave.

As a class, we have brainstormed a few other things we’d like to do as a class.

These include:

  • a dance party
  • cooking
  • watching a movie together
  • playing team games in the Gym
  • playing on the 9th floor playground
  • free time on iPads
  • Authoring time

We’ll be doing these over the course of the week.

As we will be packing up the classroom and taking everything home – students will need to bring a strong and sturdy bag in on Tuesday to bring exercise books and folders home.

I look forward to seeing everyone at some stage next week!


Audience Reactions when Viewing

We’ve been taking on the perspective of an audience lately, with respect to viewing texts.

For the last week or so, we have been examining picture books and identifying the devices that authors and illustrators use. Some of the literary ones we have uncovered are – rhyme, rhythm, repetition, alliteration, assonance, similes and metaphors.  Many of these have already been applied into their own writing!

This week, we started looking at what makes a text captivating, and what better way to start than looking at some animations that are targeted towards children!

First we started with ‘Miniscule’, animated shorts that were created for Disney. As there is no dialogue or written text to explain what is going on, the students had to concentrate and use their powers of prediction and inference.

We focussed on ‘What made it captivating?’ to us as an audience and noted the use of

  • sound effects
  • sudden actions
  • saw from the character’s perspective
  • unexpected events
  • humour
  • having to think for ourselves – to imagine and predict

Today we watched ‘The Wrong Trousers’ with Wallace and Gromit, to identify what emotional reactions we had. Many of the students really enjoyed viewing it, and experienced a whole range of emotions from amusement, to being frightened or scared, to mad, to joy and then back to normal.

We will be revisiting this so we can also map or graph the tension or excitement in the story. The resulting line graph often shows a curve or ‘story arc’, which shows rising tension, the climax, and the resolution.

Many of the students also recognised that the animation team also used music, sound effects, closeups and movements to make us, as the audience, to feel a particular way.

When viewing TV shows or movies feel free to ask your child about what emotional reactions they are having  – and to consider why this is happening. It will come in handy for them as authors and creators!

Our Assembly

Last Friday we had our Assembly – and we were very proud of how it went.

It was our first Grade 2 assembly, but Ms Dora’s last assembly.

We would like to thank Ms Lee from 2D who recorded our assembly for us, as well as the OneDoor team for LiveStreaming it.

Here is the closer view of our Assembly.

And also the little tribute we did for Ms Dora.


Bring extra clothes for swimming this Monday

Here is a special message from our Swim Teachers
We are currently doing Water Safety in our PE Aquatic Programme with Lower School students.  So far this term, we have covered Lifejackets, Safe Entries to Water and Survival Swimming skills along with practicing improvement of swimming strokes and technique correction.
A big emphasis for this age group is on safety – in and around water.
Next week, we would like students to bring some spare old clothing with them to experience what it feels like to be in, thread and / or swim in water with clothes on.
For next lesson, can you please pack some spare old clothing for your son/daughter and preferably white/ bash colours that won’t come off in water – A top and pants are enough.
Also bring a bag to put the clothes in after.
Teachers are aware that some students may be nervous or anxious on the thought of going into water with clothes on and will act accordingly.
Teachers will also be helping students rinse out the excess water from clothing after their class.
Finally, from next term all swimmers will need to wear a swim hat uniform in the pool. This is common practice in all pools for hygienic reasons and to stop hair getting caught in the drains and filters. There are a limited number of CDNIS swim hats still available in our stock. The hats cost $20 each. If you would like to purchase a hat, please see a member of staff at swimming pool office.

Our learning for the rest of the year.

This week, we started inquiring into our last unit of the year, which comes under the theme of ‘How we express ourselves.’

Here is the unit overview which shows a snapshot of what we are aiming to achieve with this unit. This can also be found on the “How we express ourselves” section under the Programme of Inquiry tab.

We’ve also made a start with division and multiplication this week, by uncovering what the students already know using word problems. If you are interested in the curriculum outcomes you can find them in our Maths Memo #6.


2C Assembly – Next Week

The excitement is building! If your child has been secretly humming away to youtube, then all will soon be revealed!

We have begun preparations for our 2C Assembly, which will be next Friday 18 May at 9:30am. We are going to showcase some of the big ideas and learning from our previous unit – Where we are in time and place, with reference to how the actions and contributions of individuals make a difference.

We would love to see you all there – if you can’t make it, it will be livestreamed. Let us know and we’ll send you the link in advance.



Problems without numbers

During the Student Led Learning Reviews, your child may have shown you ‘Numberless Word Problems’, something we’ve been exploring recently in mathematics.

At first this may not make sense and  sounds counter-intuitive, as in order to solve problems mathematically, we need numbers to work with!

Here’s an example:

As you can see, the word problem is numberless – but only at the beginning. The problem gets revealed slowly – after the context is set.

But why would we do this???

  • “They just add all the numbers! It doesn’t matter what the problem says.”
  • “They don’t stop to think! They just start computing as soon as they’re done reading the problem.”
  • “They don’t even realize this is exactly the same type of situation as the problem we did yesterday!”

Word problems have been a staple of mathematics in classrooms for generations – but still some students find them challenging. Some students just ‘plug and play’ the numbers they see with little regard for what is required. Some use key words as a trick to guess the operation to be used. These tricks don’t always work. Especially when there are many different types of word problems.

In Grade 2, our focus this year in maths has been on sense-making and reasoning.

By gradually revealing the information in the word problem, firstly students can picture what is happening and think about what is required and what further information is needed.

Understanding context and reasoning is important, as is demonstrated in the following video.

Luckily – we haven’t had too many of these situations in Grade 2.

Slowing down and thoughtfully considering the problem is a good first step – especially for  algebraic thinking.


Student Led Learning Reviews – Tomorrow!

Can you spot who is the ‘student’ and who is the ‘parent’?  Today we had a chance to practice our SLLR’s with a partner.

Students are very much looking forward to sharing their personal learning journey with you. Over the past few weeks the children have been reflecting on themselves as learners. They have been purposefully selecting different learning engagements, classroom tools or games, etc. to use during the SLLR. These selections were chosen independently and are totally student initiated. They feel these selections will best provide evidence for you to see their approaches to learning through various conceptual lenses.

It is very important that you understand that SLLRs are totally student led.  Your child will be fully in charge, take the lead, and I will not be part of the discussion that takes place. Knowing that every child is different, and we want all students to feel very comfortable and confident with this process, there are tools available for you and your child to use. Attached below are a variety of questions and prompts that you may choose to use during your discussions. These will be available in the classroom tomorrow.

Please note it is NOT necessary to ask every question. There may be times that your child will benefit from being asked questions to focus their discussion, and other times when they initiate an open detailed dialogue that requires no prompting at all. The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is not about finding out facts they’ve learned, and what your child knows, but about seeing how they approach learning and are developing skills that will help them be the best learners they can be today and in the future.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Green Week

On Monday students can wear ‘green’ to school in commemoration of Green Week.

This week at school is ‘Green Week’ following Earth Day which falls on April 22.  In our previous Sharing the Planet inquiry, we began to identify ways of being more ‘green’ and  and this week we will continue the conversation, as it bridges both our previous and current units. 

Last Friday some students listened to one of our guest speakers,  Ms Calanchini, and how she changed her  own habits after reading one of Jane Goodall’s books.

 Jane Goodall is one of the significant people being investigated by our  ‘expert groups’ as she has made an impact on the global level as a result of her passion in observing and working with animals. It is very fitting that her passion and life’s work is recognised for the Earth Day Google Doodle.

For the last few weeks, we have discussed various ways people have made a significant impact on the world and on the lives of others, as a result of circumstances and personal qualities.  This week we will be discussing action and the myriad of ways people, including the students themselves, can take action at a global and local level.

On Thursday afternoon, we will be visiting the PYP Exhibition to see firsthand how the grade 6 students have engaged with an issue and what inspired them to take action, with a focus on creative solutions. 

If you are interested in visiting the PYP Exhibition – parents are more than welcome to visit before lunchtime (11:00)  this Friday. The PYP Exhibition is the culminating event of the PYP – a process your child will be experiencing in a few years time!

Bullying Prevention at CDNIS

Lately, Ms C has been talking to our class about Bullying. So far we’ve learned how to recognise bullying and how to report it to a trusted adult.  We use the  ‘Three R’s – Recognise, Report and Refuse’ to do this. The programme integrates well with our current unit of inquiry, as we are investigating different ways of taking action – which also includes being an up-stander.

Below is a letter about the Second Steps programme that we’ve been using at CDNIS – for you to find out more. In order to have a consistent whole school approach, teachers and Education Assistants have also had training with this programme.