Thursday, September 29, 2016

Growth Mindset and Goal Setting

Learning Intention:
I am learning to explore personal abilities.

Success Criteria:
1) Identify a personal strength
2) Outline a range of personal strengths, giving examples to support claims
3) Classify personal strengths based on selected transdisciplinary skills

Students used checklists to assess their juggling abilities. They practiced until they could improve and continued to record their progress.

After the juggling session, students reflected with a partner. They talked about what their next steps are and how they know that these are their next steps. Grade 2 students understand the importance of taking charge of their own learning.

Why do we take a Mathletics Pre-Assessment?

Students take the Mathletics Pre-Assessment to inform their teachers of their Mathematics skills. The data collected is laid out in a way that helps students visually identify areas they have done well in and areas where they can work to improve. This data is used to create Math goals throughout the school year. Examples of questions that students answered incorrectly were provided. This was useful because the students could see the kinds of questions that they need to practice and spend more time with.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ms. Mitsui Visits the 2A Class

Since the 2A class is working on narrative writing,  today Ms. Mitsui talked to them about the past tense of some irregular verbs. The students looked at the spelling patterns and discussed how they can remember that caught and taught have an "aught" spelling rather than "ought." Ms. Mitsui shared a tune to sing the spelling of the past tense verbs to help them remember how spell the verbs in the photo below.

Now, when the students reflect while they are editing their narrative writing, hopefully they will remember to use the past tense verbs.  Please ask 2A to sing the spelling of the past tense verbs in the photo, if you are interested in hearing the tune!

Learning to Write in Powerful Ways: 
Trying Out Craft Moves Learned from Mentor Authors

2A's new student writes about moving to Japan from Singapore. Here she is adding a detail about her dad buying her an English book.

2A student working on a 'small moment' narrative about our school fire drill. 'Rrrrrrrr went the fire alarm!'

During writers' workshop, grade two students are studying the stories written by master authors. When reading a story, we think about what the author has done that we could try out in our own writing. Today in 2A we looked at comparisons like this one in the book 'Owl Moon' by Jane Yolen.

Somewhere behind us a train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad sad song.

We asked ourselves the questions  'Why did Jane Yolen decide to use this comparison?' and 'What was the main thing she wanted to get across to the reader?'

Then as a class we revised a paragraph written by the teacher while asking ourselves the same questions.  

"This kind of purposeful, thoughtful decision making not only supports high-level thinking skills, it also conveys to children that they are no longer the little kid writers they once were."

 -Amanda Hartman and Julia Mooney, Lessons from the Masters

2A student chose a quiet spot to read this book about a cute penguin friend. She says she wants to read Cool Friend "again and again and again."

Reading Clark the Shark, a fun book connected to our unit of inquiry. In the story, Clark is trying to calm himself down like the other students because they (fish) don't want to play with him.

At the beginning of the school year, grade two students are reviewing strategies for decoding new words. Like detectives, the students learn to try out more than one strategy to "solve" a word using clues inside a word, in the sentence, and in the pictures.

Here are the 7 strategies we use in grade to read tricky words:

1) Look at the pictures for clues.

2) Get your lips ready for the first sound.

3) Find chunks in the word.

4) S-t-r-e-t-c-h the word out.

5) Try to read the sentence again and think about what makes sense.

6) Skip the word, read the sentence, and go back and try again.

7) Flip the sound for the vowel. Try the short and long vowel sounds.

Grade Two building their reading staminas with a good book

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Parents' Day 2016

We would like to thank everyone who attended our annual Parents' Day on Monday 19th September. Below are the slides from 2A and 2B.

You can now also download all the Grade 2 learning outcomes by visiting the curriculum page of our website here



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Japanese Summer Reading Challenge

Mio is the Champion of the Japanese Summer Reading Challenge!
She read the most Japanese books over the summer.  よくできました!


Grade Two students have been challenging themselves to improve their dancing this year.  We have been focusing on three different parts of creative movement.

1)  Fantastic Shapes

Dancing is all about moving and stopping. When a dancer stops, she wants to make an interesting shape.  How do dancers make a fantastic shape?  How can a dancer express her own personality?

-Move your feet.
-Move your arms.
-Move your torso.
-Move your head and change your expression.

Your daughter should feel confident creating these poses.

2)  Axiel Movement

When dancers move on one spot, it is called an "axial movement."  Students have learned a lot of new words, such as explode, compress, inflate, sway, etc.

3) Locomotor Movement
Locomotor Movement goes from one place to another.  Grade Two students are skipping, leaping, jumping, galloping, and more!
Finally, students put these three ideas together into a partner dance with a Fantastic Shape, Axiel Movement, and Locomotor Movement.  It has ABCBA form.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

2B PE- What does Cooperation look like with others? Feelings and Steps of Action

We are inquiring about what cooperation looks like while being on a team and involved inactivity or being on the sidelines as an encourager. 

Unit of inquiry: Relationships and digging deeper into ways we can build good relationships within team settings 

Emotions that were felt while on a team and completion a challenge: Action you can take when you feel this way 

Feeling proud ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------> Stay humble 

Feeling awesome----------------------------------------------------------------------------> Give a high five! 

Feeling frustrated---------------------------------->Take 3 deep breathes, timeout, think before you speak

Feeling of difficulty------------------------------------------------------------------------------> Ask for help  

Monday, September 12, 2016

Inquiry into skills used for Addition & Subtraction

Central Idea: 
Addition and subtraction are connected to each other and can be used to solve problems

Lines of Inquiry:
- Modelling and calculating addition
- Modelling and calculating subtraction
- Problem solving strategies 

Students had to imagine that there was a broken key on their calculator. They needed to arrive at a particular number without using one of the keys.

Learning Intention: 
We are learning that we can form a chosen number through a variety of number stories.

Success Criteria:
- Practice the broken calculator game in your table group
- On your sheet, show the number it asks for in several ways
- Make sure you do not use the "broken key" 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Grade Two's first Unit of Inquiry at a Glance

Central Idea: Awareness of our characteristics, abilities, and interests informs our learning and development.

Lines of Inquiry: 

  • Exploring physical, social, and emotional characteristics
  • Exploring personal abilities and interests
  • Using self-awareness to set learning goals
During this unit, grade two students gain self-awareness of their strengths and areas for improvement. We focus on social and communication transdiciplinary skills.

Social Skills: 1. Accepting responsibility 2. Respecting Others 3. Cooperating 4. Resolving Conflict 5. Group decision making 6. Adopting a variety of roles

Communication Skills: 1. Listening 2. Speaking 3. Reading 4. Writer 5. Non-verbal communications

New Directions a poem by Doris Warshay

I want to travel as far as I can go,
I want to reach the joy that's in my soul,
And change the limitations that I know,
And feel my mind and spirit grow;
I want to live, exist, "to be"
And hear the truths inside of me.

Inquiry into our Emotions

This week Ms. Carnright, the elementary school counselor at Seisen, visited grade two and taught us about emotions.

Ms. Carnright gave examples of what our feelings look like, feels like, and some strategies to control our feelings. Here are two 5-point scales from mild emotional states to extreme. To support your daughter's learning you can ask her what she learned about the scales below. You could ask what strategies your daughter uses when she feels sad, angry, or worried.

    Grade two girls learned about self talk. Here is an example positive and negative self talk.

Grade two students made their own 5-point feeling scale.

2A students sharing their scales with Ms. Carnright and the class.

Ms. Carnright shows what a "5" angry face looks like.
This is what a "5" angry face really looks like. Watch out! ;-)

This is what a "1" happy face looks like.