May 22nd – 26th 2017

by jackierendina on May 26, 2017

Each summer students lose some of the skills and competencies they gained throughout the year.  So, what can we do about it?  We certainly don’t want to take over the entire summer with tedious work that will make our children resent us and think negatively of learning.  After all, they have worked very very hard this year and have earned themselves a break!  However, there are a couple of things that we can do and make a part of daily routines which are proven to help kids keep their skills up while having time for fun, adventure and exploration this summer!  See my best recommendations below!

MATH FACTS – 5 minutes per day
Students are invited to continue their journey toward mastery of addition and subtraction math facts using the program  Some students have demonstrated a certain level of mastery with the facts but regular summer practice can help to solidify and maintain this important knowledge.  Students will bring home a summer login letter for parents on Monday.
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MATH PROBLEM SOLVING – 5 minutes per day
Problem solving is a vital future-ready learning skill and luckily there are awesome, fun resources for student practice.  My favorite by far is BedTime Math.  To find out more about this exciting app, which is updated daily, check out my previous post HERE.
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READING – 10 to 20 minutes per day
Parents reading TO students is still very important at this age.  In fact, the importance can not be underestimated.  Reading to your child allows him/her to increase vocabulary and access higher levels of comprehension which would not otherwise be possible for the level of his/her decoding.  Finally, and possibly most importantly, reading TO your child allows you to build a stronger relationship through shared experience and deep discussion.  This is one of the best opportunities to have discussions about feelings, beliefs and family values.  And, yes, your child should also read to you at least 5 minutes each day to keep up his or her accuracy and fluency skills.  To read books that are at a “just right” level your child is welcome to continue accessing his/her Raz-kids account throughout the summer.  All data collected about his/her progress will move forward with your child to grade 3.
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Although we are coming to the end of the school year, our learning is not slowing down one bit!! 2A have been hard at work this week representing complex multiplication, learning about probability, using adjectives in new and exciting ways, discussing human impact on plants around the world and making suggestions for lowering that impact.  On top of all this we made some graphs with data we collected, continued to work on our spelling sorts and had a very fun and exciting sports day!  Take time to ask your child about some of their highlights from this week.

This week 2A continued our study of the brain and learned 3 new ways to practice mindfulness.  Ask your child to explain about the part of the brain called the hippocampus and what it helps us to do.  You can also ask them to teach you about our three new ways to practice: Pause be, Torchlight of Attention and Mindful Eating.


May 15th – 19th 2017

by jackierendina on May 19, 2017


This week 2A students continued sharpening our observation skills as we followed the progress of the many plants we are looking after in our green roof garden and the seeds we are growing in the classroom.  We have begun looking at ways that we harm plants as well.  Students began to learn about deforestation and also how air pollution causes acid rain.  A learning share took place earlier in the week where students watched a variety of videos and shared their new knowledge with one another.  You can check out 3 of the videos on the links below.  Finally, inspired by our close work with plants students completed an art project involving app smashing (or the use of several apps for one project.)  Students photographed a plant, traced the outline of that plant, removed the photo and used digital watercolor tools to paint their plant outline in complimentary colors.  You can check out your child’s art in his/her iFolio.
Deforestation Video
Responsible Consumption Video
How Trees Clean the Air Video

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Over the past several weeks 2A students have been learning to take apart multiplication story problems, draw pictures to represent the problems, transfer this understanding to number sentences and solve the problems correctly.  This week students made a Doodlecast video to walk you through how they solve a problem.  You can watch your child’s video on his/her iFolio.  Further details and individualized teacher feedback will be posted on the iFolios shortly.


To improve our descriptive writing, we have been learning about how adjectives are words that describe nouns.  In addition, we have started to learn how to use adjectives in interesting ways, instead of just in a list.  We engaged in several experiences this week, including a mindful eating activity with mandarins, to help us focus, engage and gather ideas for our descriptive writing.  Finally, on Friday we had a guest lesson with Mr. V. who helped us to learn about comparatives or words which can help us to describe better using comparisons.  To watch an adjectives video that is a throwback to the my own days at school, check out Unpack your Adjectives by SchoolHouse Rock!

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During our last unit of inquiry I found myself wondering how I would be significant in the lives of the 2A students.  I wondered what would be my legacy, what I could leave with them as they move on to grade 3 and beyond.  That’s when I decided that I should teach them about Paws b.  Paws b. is a mindfulness program for 7-11 year olds that I have been trained to teach.  Students began this week by learning about the difference between the brain and the mind.  They also learned the names of several parts of the brain and focused particularly on the prefrontal cortex.  Students now know 3 ways the prefrontal cortex helps us in our lives and 1 breathing practice that can help to train the mind and develop that very important part of the brain.  Ask your child what he or she learned and have them teach you as well! Parents who want to know more about Paws b. can check out the Mindfulness in Schools Project website.

Wednesday MAY 24 – Grade 2 Sports Day 12:15 – 2:00
Friday MAY 26 – Dress Down Day
Wednesday JUNE 7 – 2A & 2E End of Year Celebration at Ryze
Thursday JUNE 8 – Last day of school for students


May 8th – 12th 2017

by jackierendina on May 12, 2017


This week 2A spent some time on the green roof.  We have been working to better understand plants and how they grow by looking after some of the garden beds.  Most of our time we have spent weeding and transplanting to make sure all of the plants have enough space.  Plants need space to acquire enough sunlight, nutrients and water.  Students learned just how tenacious weeds can be and worked hard to remove all of the roots in order to prevent them growing again.  We also planted many seeds in the classroom this week and hope to eventually plant the seedlings in our garden.  If you would like to see more photos from this week, check out our Google Album.


We really put our scientist hats on this week as we have learned to design our own experiments.  We learned the scientific method from one of our favorite GoNoodle raps, “Think Like a Scientist.”  You can sign up for a free GoNoodle account at home and watch fun and short educational videos that can help you get moving, learn mindfulness or a wide variety of other fun lessons.
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2A began looking at linear measurement which we will be using in a hands on way throughout this unit to measure the progress of the plants we are growing.  The most important thing that most of the students needed to learn this week was that when using a ruler, you MUST begin at zero.  Many students did not know how to do this and were not comfortable using a ruler.  We will continue to practice this.

Students continued to build deeper understanding of multiplication this week by analyzing multiplication story problems, drawing pictures to represent the problems and identifying which part of the number sentence was missing.  We will soon be moving on to connecting the concept of division to multiplication through our look at multiplication problems with missing factors.  See an example of two of the problems we solved below.
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All primary students took part in an incredible experience called Make, Create, Collaborate this week.  A big shout out to the performing and visual arts departments who organized such a fun and inspiring event.  2A students learned about drumming, strumming, sewing, playing spoons, knitting, green screen tricks and much more.  Check out our photos from the event in our Google Album.


All the best to the dedicated moms of 2A.  You help your kids learn everyday and support them with your love and guidance.  Thank you!  Enjoy a great weekend!
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Wednesday May 23rd – 12:15 – Grade 2 Sports Day
Tuesday May 30th – No School
Wednesday June 7th – 9:30 – 12:30 Grade 2A & 2E Class party
Thursday June 8th – Last day of classes for students


May 2nd – 5th 2017

by jackierendina on May 5, 2017

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Just as with the last writing unit on persuasive writing, you can view your child’s progress through their entire recount writing learning journey on his/her iFolio.  You can view this as an iBook with samples of work, learning engagements, student reflections, teacher comments and checklists.  This is a valuable resource to review with your child and we encourage you to take 5 minutes and go through it together.


This week we continued to look at ways of representing multiplication and did an art project to show how we can represent multiplication as repeated addition.  Next week we will focus on our fourth and final way to represent multiplication as well as analysing, solving and writing our own multiplication story problems.  Students in grade 2 are not expected to memorise all multiplication facts.  Many students are still consolidating addition and subtraction facts.  Benchmarks for grade 2 include knowing the multiplication facts for times 0, times 1, times 2, times 5 and times 10.   More important than memorisation of facts is developing a solid understanding of and ability to verbalise what multiplication means.


This week we wrapped up the last loose ends of our unit about significant people.  Students used their research and presentation skills to teach the class about one significant person.  You can view your child’s presentation on his/her iFolio, along with a checklist of the presentation skills we have been working on.  Also on the iFolio you can find an end of unit mind map showing what your child has learned and remembers at the end of the unit.  Please take time to give closure to this unit by reviewing these items with your child and having your own discussion about their learning at home.


It seems the world has been taken over by the latest fad, fidget spinners.  I myself was swept up into thinking, “Wow this could be great for some of my students who have trouble listening, some of my students who seem to NEED to fidget.”  However, after reading some preliminary research and reviews of fidget spinners online I have changed my mind.  Today I spoke to the students about the importance of our brains having down time.  This is time without constant stimulation.  This “down time” helps our brains to develop important executive function skills.  We need to practice these skills to be successful in life.  To find out more about this you can check out this article: Fidget Spinners: Is it Really What your Child Needs? by Occupational Therapist Victoria Prooday.

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April 24th – 28th 2017

by jackierendina on April 28, 2017


Congratulations to the students of 2A for doing an amazing job on their Student-Led Learning Reviews.  The children confidently guided their parents through a close look at their learning through the lens of our PYP concepts.  2A focused on CHANGE, FUNCTION, CONNECTION and RESPONSIBILITY.  An extra thank you to the parents who took the time to communicate their reflections on the process.  Overall, parents found the experience to be informative and fun.  If you have any further questions about the SLLR or your child’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Over the next few weeks we will be beginning a new unit of inquiry.  To learn more about the unit and to see how you can support your child at home, have a look at the parent overview below.
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Thank you to all of the parents that have already completed the Endicott Survey. This 15 minute online survey is a valuable way for parents to share their perspective on many different aspects of our school. Your feedback provides an opportunity to identify areas that are strengths of CDNIS and where we can improve. While both parents are welcome to take the survey, we ask that at least one parent per household participate in the survey which will be open until Wednesday, May 3. You may find the survey at  and the code is CNP2017205. For more information, please see the letter sent by Jon Adams last week. If you have any questions about the CIS/WASC Accreditation process, please email Jon Adams.

MON – May 1: Public Holiday (Labour Day)
TUE – May 2: 2A Swimming
WED – May 3: Public Holiday (Happy Birthday Buddha)
FRI – May 12: Lower School House Day


SLLR Info for Parents

April 27, 2017

Dear Parents, Tomorrow is the Student-Led Learning Review! 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 […]

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April 19th – 21st 2017

April 21, 2017

STUDENT-LED LEARNING REVIEWS Please watch this video to learn about the purpose, structure and roles of the parents and students at a Student Led Learning Review.  SLLRs will take place next Friday, April 28th. LITERACY Recount writing remained a big focus for 2A this week as we began our final independent recounts to show all that we […]

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April 3rd – 7th 2017

April 7, 2017

BEDTIME MATH APP This week I had an amazing discovery and it was Bedtime Math!! “A new study led by University of Chicago psychologists and published in Science shows Bedtime Math significantly boosts kids’ math performance. Within just one school year, kids who did Bedtime Math improved their math achievement on average by three months […]

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March 27th – 31st

March 31, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS 2A 2A inspired everyone to make a change in the world with their assembly today! The performance was a great success and the audience loved it. If you missed the show you can check out the video below. Also, visit your child’s iFolio for a closer look at his/her self-reflection. 3 ACT MATH A […]

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March 20th – 24th 2017

March 24, 2017

IMPORTANT DATES: Tuesday MARCH 28 – 2A returns to swimming Thursday MARCH 30 – Lower Primary Book Swap Friday MARCH 31 – 2A Assembly (9:30 – Alan Dick Forum) Tuesday APRIL 4 – No School Public Holiday APRIL 10 – 18 – No school – Spring Break Friday APRIL 28 – Student Led Learning Reviews […]

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