Wednesday, June 7, 2017

2B PE Last lesson!

Head into the summer with a few useful tips:
1). Stay active! Get outside and move!
2). Rest and relax! 
3). Have fun!! 

Have a great summer everyone and great job this year! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017








Advanced Japanese class had a blast playing shops!

Summer Reading

      Summer Reading Lists

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Fraction Games and Creations!

Grade 2 students are learning about the importance of fractions in our everyday lives. Have you ever had to share a treat between your family members? Well, you know the first thing there is to know about fractions - each part must be equal!  
Jane, Jillian, Yua, Karen and Yui ordered fractions from largest (whole) to smallest (1/12)

Hanna, Sayako, Himeka and Sae worked together to create fraction wheels!

Luna, Julie and Mio are learning how to match equivalent fractions.

After these activities, students were eager to create their own fraction stories and questions!

Learning Intention: We are learning to create eye-catching fraction questions using Pic Collage.

Success Criteria
1) Think of items you would like to include in your fraction question 
2) Find images with Pic Collage 
3) Write a fraction question that matches the picture 
4) Design and share with your friends!

Here are just a few of the fraction questions created. If you would like to see your daughter's creation, please e-mail Ms. Ciara and she will happily send it to you!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dance in Japan

What are the qualities of Japanese dance?  What do people wear?  What kind of movements do they do?  Do people dance alone, or in a group?  What inspires Japanese dance?

Grade Two students reflected on what they know about Japanese dance.  Many know that people often wear kimonos.  Students said that it's usually delicate and performed to Japanese students.  We're off to a good start!  But there's a lot more to learn . . . .

We began by learning a version of Bon Odori from Hokkaido.  Here you can see a video of your daughters performing it.  If you're familiar with our SOLO Taxonomy, you can see how they progressed through the various stages, gaining more confidence with each repetition.

Now students are learning a popular fishing dance from Hokkaido called "Soran Bushi."  Here's the link to the videos we watched.  They may enjoy practicing this dance at home.  This dance changed some of their thinking about what Japanese dance is like.  This dance is powerful and sharp.  It mimics the movements of the fisherman pulling in the nets and collecting the fish.  They dance a smooth wave movement along with a funny monkey dance.

Jenni explains how to do Soran Bushi.

Do you know how to do a Japanese dance?  Please come and share one with our students. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Who We Are In Place in Time - JAPAN

This week 2A students have been identifying 'human' and 'physical' features in Japan along with Mr. E.'s roommate, Raymond. Raymond is a curious and very fashionable French bulldog who was featured on a French bangumi for NHK-E two years ago.

With his backpack and magnifying glass, Raymond explores on his own to discover the uniqueness of Japan. Along his path, he compares the 'Japanese way' to his home country. In this episode, Raymond discover 'komainu' in front of a Shinto shrine.

He's not sure if he's just met a very large dog or a monster!

To see Raymond, click the link below:

Nowadays, Raymond mostly stays at home and takes naps.

We tuned into the unit by identifying human and physical features in two of Mr. E.'s favorite Japan videos online.

If you love Japan, you'll like watching these!

Next, the students used Kidsweb Japan and other kid-friendly websites to inquire into the Japanese features that interested them the most: kimono, sushi, manga, and traditional Japanese scary stories to name a few.

Here are some examples of facts students learned and questions to guide their next inquiry.

Over the long weekend, your daughter can continue to find out more about specials features of Japan. On Tuesday, she can present her new knowledge to the class!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Japan: Where We Live

Learning Intention:
We are learning to identify 'physical' and 'human' features.

Success Criteria
I can...
* Define 'physical' and 'human' features
* Give an example of physical and human features from the local environment
* Identify a variety of physical features in the local environment
* Identify a variety of human features of the local environment

Learner ProfileThinker
Transdisciplinary Skill: Observation

After defining physical and human features, 2A and 2B students watched videos of various places in Japan. While enjoying the videos, students thoughtfully considered the images and categorised them as either human or physical features.

On a blank map of Japan, students drew and labelled physical and human features.

In lessons to come, Grade 2 students will investigate features of places around the world! They have already started to bring in pictures showing the differences between human and physical features.
In groups, students used this map to identify human and physical features of Japan. They gave reasons for their choices.

We love Japan!

Students use a Wonder Wall to track their progress. We are currently Connecting Ideas in our 1st line of inquiry.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Yokoso Japan

Our Next Unit of Inquiry... 

Transdisciplinary Theme -- Where We Are in Place and Time

Central Idea: People's lives are influenced by the time and place in which they live.

Lines of Inquiry:
1. Physical and human features of the places we live
2. Lifestyles in different places (homes, schooling, entertainment, food, sport)
3. Ways in which our host country has changed over time

2A students at music class a long, long time ago

Hello Grade Two Parents! 
Are you interested in sharing your passions, interests, knowledge, or childhood stories with us? We are learning all about our host country, Japan, but we would like to learn about life in other countries as well.

Please let us know if you are interested.
Thank you!

And thank you very much to those of you who were able to attend our learning celebration last week! Also, thank you to the families that supported our class Easter parties. (-:

Inquiring into Oceans, Seas, and Rivers

Students in 2A have been learning how to use dichotomous and branching keys to identify marine animals. Using a dichotomous key as a tool and making their own, the students are developing the necessary skills for organizing data.

Success Criteria for Dichotomous Keys:

I can...
  • Use a branching key to identify objects.
  • Sort objects into two groups (this, not that).
  • Create a branching chart that is neat and organized so that others can use it.
  • Write directions how to use your branching chart.
First, the girls were introduced to the concept with "Monster Classification" with a dichotomous key.

"Some friendly monsters from a nearby planet have recently been discovered. A team of scientists were assigned the task of classifying and identifying them."


Following this activity, the students were introduced to a second kind of dichotomous keys called branching keys. Provided with pictures of warm-blooded and cold-blooded vertebrates, the students looked carefully at the animals' physical features to classify them according the to branching key.

Next was the fun part. Students were able to practice using dichotomous keys to classify and identify Jelly Belly jellybeans. Here is the dichotomous key we used.

After practice using dichotomous and branching keys, student made their own keys to help others identify marine animals. First the students cut out these fish and other marine animals and sorted them into two categories.

All these marine animals are served at sushi restaurants in Japan? At home, your daughter can use a key to identify them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Learning Celebration: Sharing Opinion Pieces

2B students have created Google Slides presentations that address this Central Idea: 

Maintaining clean and healthy rivers, seas and oceans can help sustain life

We all have different opinions about how we can best keep our rivers, seas and oceans healthy. Students thought of a variety of different ways that can help protect sea life. They are moving on to their third line of inquiry - People's efforts to conserve seas and oceans.  Students are learning more each day about the direct impact that unhealthy oceans have on not only marine life, but human life as well.

With confidence and enthusiasm, 2B performed an opinion writing song and invited their parents to our classroom to share their writing. These students have persuaded their parents and friends to take action in saving our rivers, seas and oceans! Please enjoy these pictures and slides of a few of 2B's opinion pieces.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Something Fishy About This Blog Post

This week grade two students observed different kinds of fish and squid as part of our unit of inquiry.

Curiously checking out the inside
Learning Intention: I am learning to identify and classify marine animals.

Success Criteria:
Draw marine animals with detail.
Use an identification key to name different marine animals.
Label the different parts of ocean animals.
Compare marine animals according to what they look like (observable features)

Skill Focus: Observation 

Caring: Students learned about treating animals with respect. 

Not afraid to handle a squid! Students could touch the marine animals gently

2B girls using their observation skills and drawing sketches

2A scientists cooperating

Looking eye to eye with a squid

She was ready to turn the fish over to observe the other side

Observing the pectoral fin

Interesting way to draw a detailed sketch

We were surprised how wide the mouth could open. Also the girls noticed how the mouth was connected to the gills.

2A and 2B students asked lots and lots of questions during this activity. Your daughter could extend her learning by identifying these fish using an identification key or a trip to the local supermarket. Then she can start researching on the internet or using non-fiction books to answer her questions and find out more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Understanding Marine Life and Connecting Ideas

Grade 2 is diving into the world of rivers, seas and oceans. In this lesson and activity led by Ms. Mai, students showed enthusiasm while sorting pictures of marine life into the categories of sunlight, twilight and midnight ocean zones.

Learning Intention:
I am learning to classify marine animals and plants according to what they look like.

Success Criteria: I am successful if I can...
Give reasons for why certain marine animals live where they do
Work cooperatively with my group members
Sort at least 2 different marine animals in each of the zones

Mio, Himeka and Julie position their work to make it look the ocean zones we are learning about!

Ms. Mai's example of what success looks like

Saki, Mirai, Jillian and Joan worked cooperatively and each contributed to the task

Luna, Yui and Yura decided to compare these 2 fish by using a Venn Diagram

2B loves learning about ocean life!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Building Structures

Grade two students have been learning about structures. For their summative assessment, the students' task was to build a structure that withstands forces. They first chose an environment (building site) and had the task of designing and building a model structure. For example, they could design a small house on the beach of a tropical island. In this case, their structure should be built to withstand the forces of typhoon winds, strong rains, strong sun rays, sand, palm trees, and possible falling coconut. Sounds like a nice place to be! As long as your beach hut is built strong and stable like ours!

These were the materials that were available to use:

reusable paper, unifix cubes, pattern blocks, sticky tack, and tape

The Success Criteria:

Structure has to withstand the force of wind from a fan

Structure has to withstand the force of a shaking table

Structure has to withstand the weight of one PET bottle

Children have the ability to focus for long periods of time-- if what they're doing is engaging and interesting. What are your daughter's passions and interests? When does your daughter focus the most-- what is she doing?

During the unit, grade two students learned hands on about the different forces that affect materials: compression, tension, bending, torsion, and sheer. The girls were introduced to the scientific vocabulary as well as simpler verbs that make it easier for children to conceptualize: push, pull, twist, squeeze. You could ask your daughter to teach you about different forces using the diagram below.

When we injure ourselves, one of these forces are at play. Ouch! For example, because of the force of compression while jogging, Mr. E.'s ankle became sore. (Please don't worry about him-- he ate plenty of bananas to make his body strong and healthy again).

Hands-on learning activities are important for developing fine-motor skills

When a structure is strong and stable it has the ability to hold a load without breaking or shaking. Strong structures can hold a lot of weight, withstand the pushing and pulling of forces, and are not easily broken or scratched. Stable structures can maintain balance, withstanding the pushing and pulling from forces, and do not shake, wiggle, or tip over. Since we live in Japan, living in a building that is both strong and stable is especially important to us!

By experimenting and trial and error, students learned that structures that have a wide base and a low center of gravity are more stable.

One factor that affects the strength and stability of a structure is its shape. Some shapes are more stable than other shapes. During the unit, the students experimented with different shapes (square, triangle, and a square with a cross inside) to find which one is more stable.

Would you like to learn more about what our class learned about buildings and structures? Please ask us questions in the comment section below!