Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Japanese Advance class 2A 大きなさつまいも

To celebrate their learning in Storytelling Unit, Grade 2 students in Advanced Japanese class performed their own version of ”O-kina Kabu” (The big turnip).

Thursday, December 8, 2016

How We Organise Ourselves - Transportation Systems

We have now finished the 'Getting Started' phase of our current unit of inquiry and will continue to investigate, make connections and go further after the Christmas holidays. You can click on the link, below, to see the evidence of student understanding we will be looking for at each stage of the unit of inquiry.
The Inquiry process students engage with at Seisen Elementary School during their units of inquiry
Click here for the Grade 2 - How We Organise Ourselves Learning Intentions (Central Idea - Communities make efforts to create transportation systems to meet their needs.) 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Getting Ready To Travel Around The World On Carol Night

Elementary students are busily preparing to share their music and dance performances at Carol Night.  This year's focus on global-mindedness will take parents and students on a journey around the globe.

One of the celebrations that Grade Two has been focusing on is Hanukkah.  Students have learned a few songs about Hanukkah. Students in 2B watched various dances linked to Hanukkah and created their own dance ideas.  Small groups created dances, then we gathered these ideas into a group dance. Here's a sneak peak of the Hanukkah dance.  If you watch carefully, you can see that there are two different dances happening simultaneously.

Students in 2A have been preparing the music for this piece.

Students are also collaborating to create a magical performance for the Japanese song "Yuki." You'll see students playing instruments, students creating small group dances, and a large group on stage moving like snowflakes.
We're ready to dance "Yuki."  Look how we're in our ready position.

Students working on Yuki dance

We know that making mistakes is an important part of learning.  Most students are now feeling confident with their learning and ready to be expressive on stage.

How can I help my child prepare for the performance?

*Ask your child to sing the songs and dances at home.
*Be an audience member and applaud!
*Ask your child how she should act on stage.
*Make sure that your child knows what she needs to prepare for Friday's performance.

Carol Night is on Friday, Dec. 9th from 6:30 p.m. in our Seisen Gym.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Writing Workshop - To Write Like a Scientist

This week in grade two we were writing and thinking like scientists: asking questions, posing hypotheses, testing our ideas, and recording our findings. The last two weeks during Writers' Workshop, the girls were introduced to a lab report format. This week we continued to use mentor texts, lab reports written by other children, as models along with success criteria to help us write like real scientists.

"Modeling is the pathway to excellence." Tony Robbins Unlimited Power 

To Write Like a Scientist, We ...
(Success criteria for writing a lab report)

1. Ask a question about how the world works.
2. Record a hypothesis, a guess.
3. How will you test it? Record your procedure.
4. Conduct multiple trials, and record your results.
5. Analyze your results, and write a conclusion.

"Just as children need to participate in the writing process, they need to participate in the scientific method, working as professional scientists do." Lucy Calkins Lab Reports and Science Books

This morning Class 2A wrote step-by-step procedures before conducting their experiments. 2A scientists wanted to find out whether a ping pong ball or a yarn ball (hand-crafted by Ms. Mai) would go farther when catapulted. We made catapults out of plastic spoons, rubberbands, and rulers.

In Procedures... 
(Success criteria)
  • Make a "You will need" section.
  • Draw pictures that teach with labels, details.
  • Number the steps.
  • Include detailed measurements (2 1/2 in)
  • Tell not only what to do, but how to do it.
Here are some examples of 2A's lab reports:

page 1: scientific question and hypothesis

page 2: procedure

2A scientists wrote their procedures with a parter

Thinking, Talking, Exploring

As we began to tackle our new unit, the grade two girls tuned-in with a pre-assessment task. This activity directed their background knowledge and to began to challenge their understanding of what exactly is the form and function of a transportation system. Working in their table groups, each group had several cards with various objects on them. The students were asked to decide if each card was part of transportation system or not. Some were quite obvious, but others were more difficult to discern. As they discussed in their groups, conversations developed about the nature of transportation systems. 

 What is a transportation system? What is not?
Some girls speculated a transportation system had wheels, others disagreed. Some said that transportation systems carried objects, while others stated that transportation systems are things that move. If they were unsure of a card, they were encouraged to post their questions on the wonder wall.

Next Steps
Students enjoyed taking part in a silent debate. The question was, "Is this part of a transportation system?" They could ask questions, agree, disagree with comments and add their own thoughts to the examples around the room. They had to do this without talking to that all the conversations were "captured" on paper. Where there were disagreements, Ms. Ciara asked, "How can we find out?" Students had several answers! 2B is currently investigating further to come with with criteria for what defines a transportation system.