2A had the most wonderful fancy breakfast this morning! Thank you to all of the parents who helped out and who came along to celebrate with us.  It was a beautiful gathering filled with tasty food, joyful conversation, Christmas karoke, gifts of kind words and a surprise dance extravaganza.  Check out some more photos on our Google Photos Page by clicking any of the photos here.
This week students had the opportunity to think deeply about what is valuable to them.  Children brought in special or valuable objects and shared their stories with the class.  Later in the week, we worked in small groups to sort pictures and come to a consensus about what things in life are more valuable.  There were a wide variety of opinions and we talked about why people have different perspectives.  We also used some of our reasoning skills to give facts or evidence to support our ideas in discussions.  This is a great philosophical discussion to carry on over the dinner table.
Students expanded their understanding of part-part-whole thinking this week.  As we advance further into our study of addition and subtraction, students are beginning to view them as more than just plus and minus calculations.  Addition and subtraction are big concepts that are directly related to one another.  By modelling this with a whole and two parts, students are able to discover the relationship and deepen understanding about adding and subtracting.  Take a moment to ask your child to explain part-part-whole thinking to you.  2A students used this thinking to successfully make up their own story problems this week and I’m sure they would love to make up some tricky problems for you as well.
New research out this year argues that students will benefit by making mistakes (and correcting them) rather than avoiding them at all costs.  I think great teachers have long known this and we work daily to build a classroom culture that appreciates mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth.  For more information about embracing mistakes, and how this can help your child, check out the following article: Why We Should Embrace Mistakes in School, from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine.
Link to presentation on Kelso’s Choices and Importance of Resilience
Thank you for attending the workshop on ‘Importance of Resilience’ and the two programmes we use in Lower School to build the skills- Kelso’s Choices and Zones of Regulation. Here is the link to slides from the presentation.


New Math Memo – HWOO

by jackierendina on November 27, 2017

Parents please check out the Math Memo for our new unit.  You will find all of the upcoming expectations for math development as well as math vocabulary and ways to support your child at home.


A New Unit, Sharing Opinions and Gratitude

by jackierendina on November 24, 2017

2A dove into a new unit this week and spent some time exploring the concept of opinion and persuasion.  We will be learning about how to give our opinion and support it with evidence or reason, particularly through our writing.  We will be looking at persuasive texts during this unit.  For more information about our new unit and tips on how to extend learning at home, check out the Parent Overview below.

As this week saw the passing of American Thanksgiving I thought I would share some news about helping your child to become more grateful.  Gratitude is highly correlated with happiness in life, and what parent doesn’t wish their child happiness? New research shows that there are four distinct parts of gratitude and that parents can teach them explicitly to their children, helping them to be more grateful in their lives.  The four parts include: Notice, Think, Feel and Do. With children who are as privileged as ours, gratitude is key to building a more grounded character.  To read more about the four parts and how to help your child learn them, check out the links below.
What Parents Neglect to Teach about Gratitude
Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude in Kids

Students completed an open-ended task to assess understanding so far with 2D shapes.  Students were asked to choose a shape, either pentagon, octagon, hexagon or quadrilateral.  They were then asked to draw 5 examples of that shape and the examples all needed to look a LOT different from one another.  Many students found this challenging as they possess one set way that a hexagon looks.  Being open-minded about shapes and taking risks will help learners to expand their understanding of shape.  Students also had a go at measuring correctly using standard units of measure, specifically centimeters.  Many young learners make mistakes when using rulers as they do not begin measuring from 0; this is an important learning goal for them.  Finally, students continued to refine their skills with representational drawing in order to show understanding of tricky story problems.  Beginning next week we will attempt to write our own story problems.  Please be sure to help your child with a small home learning task (Price Tags) in preparation for this learning next week.  For more information about what will be coming up in mathematics, keep a lookout for our new Maths Memo next week.

“Let’s Talk About Mindfulness” a presentation on Tuesday, November 28 from 8am-9:30am in the LLAC by Cathy Ziengs MBSR Teacher, Mindfulness Facilitator. Learn why mindfulness concepts and practices are being introduced to enhance well-being for students and teachers, and how can parents engage too. Please wear something comfortable. RSVP here.


Math, Math, More Math….and a whole lot of iFolio

by jackierendina on November 17, 2017

This week 2A continued with quick daily mental math practice.  Some of the questions can be seen above.  A change from other weeks, we challenged ourselves to go much more quickly.  Students should be recognizing, recalling and computing small amounts much more quickly now.  Related to this, we have been discussing how we can visualize and represent different numbers through representational math drawings.  Consider the two examples below: In the example on the left (the only way some students think of the number 16) these two representations do not tell you very much about the number 16.  In contrast the representations on the right can tell you a LOT about the number 16.  For example: 16 is not made up from equal groups of 5, but it IS one more than 3 fives, 16 is like 1 ten and 6 ones, 16 is the same as four groups of 4 or two sets of 8 and finally 16 is quite close to 14, 15, 17 and 18.

2A were challenged this week with some rather difficult story problems, requiring lots of comprehension, thinking, perseverance and some representational drawing skills.  Most students are beginning to understand the need for drawing what they know already from a story problem and making it represent the numbers in a useful way.  These students are then able to see what is “happening” in the problem and then move on to choosing an appropriate way to solve it.  Some students are still struggling to grasp the idea of drawing as a tool to help them with understanding the problems.  These students who struggle to understand the story are often those who simply take the numbers from the text and apply some algorithm, sometimes arriving at the correct answer, but sometimes not.  Ask your child how they felt about doing these challenging problems and see if they can explain to you what they have been learning about representational drawing.

Over these last few weeks, students have posted and reflected on a math game they created, their spotlight performance and some narrative writing as well as several other posts.  Please make sure to have a look at your child’s iFolio with him/her and discuss the valuable learning they are doing in school.

Students arrived at school today to find they had been evicted from their cubbies and were not allowed to use their chairs or desks! They hadn’t paid their rent!  This provocation was the beginning of our next unit of inquiry in which we hope students will be learning the value of goods and services as well as what affects the value.  It was interesting to see how appreciative the students were of their regular old chairs, upon being allowed to use them again! I guess it is true that we don’t know what we’ve got, until it’s gone!  Students should bring in an old wallet next week which they can keep at school for the remainder of this unit.  It will be used to store their class allowance, from which they will pay their fees and save money for buying special items.


Above you can see a successful example of a Rube Goldberg machine!  The students in the photo decided to dedicate their machine to Remembrance Day and decorated it with poppies.  Throughout the current unit, students studied how things move and ways forces can be transferred.  After much experimentation and lots of perseverance students completed working Rube Goldberg machines to demonstrate their learning.  Check out a video of one of the machines below and look out for your child’s video and reflections coming soon to his/her iFolio.

2A did an amazing job this week with their spotlight performance.  They really are to be commended on their professionalism and outstanding performance skills.  Students worked together beautifully to create a wonderful performance, showcasing all they have been learning so far this year in performing arts lessons.  A great big thank you to Ms. Benusa for all of her hard work.  To view a video of the performance, check you CDNIS email for instructions about watching on our uStream channel.

Further exploration of 2D and 3D shapes took place this week.  Students had the opportunity to study the features of 3D shapes, create 3D shapes with modelling clay and also to construct 3D shapes using cardboard and tape.  Many of these skills carried over to constructing and creating their Rube Goldberg machines as well as building flying machines in Visual Arts.  Check out some of the photos below and click any of the photos to view our entire Google Album for this week.

Does your child find everyday tasks challenging? Are they distracted by touch/sounds/lights? Do they find it challenging to sit still for a short while? These are just some of the symptoms which might stand out to you. In this parenting talk on November 15 from 8am-9:30 am in the LLAC, Lorena Kastner will provide an understanding of SPD and strategies for you to understand and assist your child. RSVP here.


Halloween, WHY we Create and Which one Doesn’t Belong

November 3, 2017

(There are a TON of photos from this week, including great Halloween shots, so click the photos to view our entire Google Photos Album) IMAGINING, CONSTRUCTING AND INVENTING FOR HALLOWEEN Learning didn’t stop in 2A for Halloween! Tuesday students built on their design and creation skills through some fun challenges in which they had to […]

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Rube Goldberg, 2D shapes and 3rd Person Narratives

October 27, 2017

SCIENCE MUSEUM, RUBE GOLDBERG & SIMPLE MACHINES 2A students were inspired by the many awesome installations at the HK Science Museum.  When asked about how they will use the inspiration, some students said they would like to learn more about electricity and motors while others want to investigate Rube Goldberg machines and how air can […]

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Design Project, 2D Shape Challenges and Goal Setting

October 20, 2017

DESIGN PROJECT This week has been an epic design week in 2A.  Students spent over 6 hours working through the Stanford design thinking process to create a fun video game for their peers.  From empathizing to designing, ideating, prototyping and testing, children used a wide array of transdiciplinary skills as well as intense organizational and […]

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A New Unit, SCIENCE! and Parent Overviews

October 13, 2017

TUNING IN This week 2A spent some time tuning in to our next unit of inquiry.  We drew pictures of what scientists and inventors look like in our imagination and examined them to reveal some of our generalizations.  Check out our drawings and the generalizations in this week’s Google photo album.  By watching 2 videos on […]

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Smoothies, Confidentiality and Student iFolios

September 29, 2017

SMOOTHIES This week we wrapped up our unit about health and well-being and students had a chance to innovate on our banana smoothie recipe.  Teams of kids worked together to make a different kind of smoothie that would be both super healthy and tasty!  Students were very excited about this opportunity to create.  This is […]

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