Japanese Culture Day & next Writing Unit

Dear Parents,

Thank you very much for all of your contributions to the Japanese Culture Day. We all had a lot of hands on, amazing experiences!

Next Writer’s Workshop

We will start a new Writer’s Workshop unit Writing about Reading. The students will learn to write about books in ways that form opinions about books they read, thinking deeply about characters within and across a book series. Students will learn to state clear opinions and to support these ideas with evidence. In first grade, your child might have learned about opinion writing. Now in second grade, in addition to introducing the topic they are writing about, we will also introduce the book they are writing about (rather than only name it), supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words to connect opinion and reasons and provide a concluding statement or section.

Students will begin this unit writing letters. They will draft letters about the characters they have met in their books, formulating opinions and supporting their ideas, providing reasons and using details and examples from the text to support their claims. They will learn to state opinions clearly, retell their stories so that their opinions make sense to readers and revise their letters before sending them out into the world.

Then, they will focus on raising the level of their letter writing. They will engage in some close reading as a way to spark new ideas and to push themselves to deepen their thinking.

Finally, they will move on from persuasive letters into more of an essay format as we write to persuade others that their favourite books are worthy of awards.

New Maths Unit (Mar 20)

Dear Parents,

After the spring break, we will start a new unit, which is the third unit in the Grade Two: Number and Operations strand. The mathematical focus of this unit is on developing students’ understanding of place value with specific emphasis on the structure of 100.


This unit focuses on five key mathematical ideas:

  • Making sense of and developing  strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems with totals up to 100
    1. Developing efficient methods for adding and subtracting two digit numbers
    2. Adding two digit numbers by keeping one number whole
    3. Naming and comparing strategies for adding  and subtracting two digit numbers
    4. Adding coin amounts, up to $1
    5. Determining the difference between a given amount and $1

Central to the development of accurate and efficient computation strategies is the ability to break apart numbers in useful and efficient ways. In this unit, students also solve story problems which involve finding a missing part.


  • Developing an understanding of the magnitude and sequence of numbers up to 100
  1. Becoming familiar with the structure of a 100 chart
  2. Finding  and using patterns in the sequence of numbers
  3. Using a 100 chart to reason about and keep track of information about the magnitude and relationship of numbers

Work with counting and quantity is primarily focused on the sequence and patterns of numbers to 100 e.g., counting by groups of 2s, 5s, and 10s, recognising the patterns that exist in these counting sequences


  • Counting by equal groups
  1. Skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s
  2. Thinking about the structure of 100 in terms of groups of 5 and 10
  3. Identifying patterns in the multiples of 2, 5, and 10
  4. Using the relationship between 5 and 10, and between nickels and dimes, to solve problems

The students think about 100 from a place value perspective–and  they think about 100 as being composed of equal groups if 2, 5, 10 and 25. They begin to build a basis for the work they will do in the upper grades with factors and multiples as they consider the relationship between problems such as these: How many groups of 5 are in 100?


  • Understanding the equivalence of one group and the discrete units that comprise it
  1. Using a place value model to represent a number as 10s and 1s
  2. Using coin equivalencies
  3. Working with the relationship between 1, 10, and 100

An important part of students’ mathematical work in the elementary grades is building an understanding of the base ten number system. In this unit, the context is extended to work with 100. The students apply their growing knowledge of place value and number composition as they develop strategies for solving addition and subtraction problems by decomposing one of both numbers into tens and ones.


  • Using manipulatives, drawings, tools, and notation to show strategies and solutions
  1. Writing an equation that represents a problem
  2. Developing efficient methods for notating addition and subtraction strategies
  3. Using the 100 chart and the number line to model addition

Although these materials may be used by some students to solve a problem, all students are encouraged to use materials to explain and model their strategies and solutions to problems.

Please refer to the family letter(M1-M2  M25-M26) for more information. 


Thank you.

March 18

Dear Parents,

I hope you and your family had a lovely weekend! Here is some information about our learning.


International Primary Curriculum (IPC): Footprints

We have started a new unit named Footprint. We aim to discover that we learn about the past from evidence that is left behind. We will use these inquiry questions to guide our investigation:

  • How do we know what happened in the past?
  • Where do we find this information?
  • What form can information take?

Today, we undertook a provocation activity, called Garbage Archaeology.


I hope you have had a chance to read the mail regarding this unit that I sent to you on March 13 (titled ‘about the next IPC unit’). If not please could you do so. I appreciate your support at home.



We are coming to the end of the unit. We have practiced reading, creating and describing data from a line plot, table and the representation of pictures and concrete materials. Data handling requires precision. We have been reminded to be careful when counting data and drawing neatly when creating a representation of our data. Also, we conducted some surveys visiting some other classes in different grades! Your children did a wonderful job and also reflected on the way they conducted the surveys and discussed what we can do to make it more efficient and accurate next time.



We have explored three main things in this unit: what literary language is, making my reading more fluent, and keeping track of longer books. For each, we have learned some strategies and practiced. We have self check/self identified which category we need to work on the most and formed ‘literary language club’, ‘fluency club’ and ‘keeping track of longer books club’. Each group work together to improve their reading skills. This week we will focus on giving feedback to club members and set a new reading goal, using the feedback given for the next day.


We are publishing some of our best poems, using strategies learned. It’s not easy to show emotions indirectly by: comparing a feeling to something else, something that remind us of the feeling. But we are enjoying the challenge, using our imagination! I think you may be impressed with your child’s results!


  • Ms. Santos has started her maternity leave and Mrs. Pentland  has taken over her role till the end of the school year. Please welcome Mrs. Pentland.
  • This coming Friday is Japanese Culture Day.

February 23

Dear Parents,

I hope you and your family are enjoying the long weekend! Here is some information about our learning.


International Primary Curriculum (IPC): Bright Sparks
We had circuit stations to discover what a circuit is and to explore how they work. Each station required us to do a task or a challenge. We recorded the data we discovered in our investigation sheet.

Field trip to TEPCO Kawasaki Thermal Power Station: We learned how the power plant generates electricity. We had a tour around the power plant and got to ask questions to the guides after the tour. Thank you to Saori and Yuka for helping us out during the field trip.

We gathered a variety of objects that are made from different materials. We tested each object if it was a conductor or insulator by using a circuit. To wrap up our unit, we are working individually or in pairs to come up with a public service announcement about electrical safety.

We learned how to sort data and put them in different categories using a Venn diagram. Each one of us also came up with a survey question and conducted a survey in 2F. We were challenged to think of meaningful categories to sort the data in and we also learned that data have to be presented and understood in a way everyone can understand without taking too long.


 We learned how to notice the literary language that authors use when they write stories. They use comparisons and play with words. We also learned that it is important to read at our just right pace so that we are more likely to comprehend texts fully. We practiced scooping up more words at a time by noticing punctuation. We also read a text thinking which words would make sense and sound right when scooped up together, when a part is extra long and doesn’t have punctuation.

We have been reading and writing a lot of poems lately. We discovered that poets use poets’ eyes to describe an object in an unusual or different way. This makes their poem more interesting. We have learned some strategies to make poems look and sound more poem-like e.g., comparative language, creating moods, repetition, precise words, line breaks, white spaces. We have also learned how to choose a topic to write a good poem.

About our new Maths unit (Feb 8)

Dear Parents,

Next week, we will start a new Maths unit: Data Analysis. This unit is about data analysis and probability. The students will develop skills collecting, representing, describing, and interpreting data.

This unit has five mathematical foci:

  1. Sorting and classifying data
  • Grouping data into categories based on similar attributes
  • Sorting the same set of data in different ways
  • Sorting a set of data by two attributes at one time

The students will look at similarities and differences among individuals in a group and decide which of many attributes to attend to as they engage in sorting. Then they will apply these ideas to work with categorical data. By classifying these data they will use the same data to see a variety of information.

  1. Representing data
  • Representing data sorted into categories
  • Comparing representations of a set of data
  • Using equation to show how the sum of the responses in each category equals the total responses collected
  • Using Venn diagrams
  • Ordering, representing and describing a set of numerical data
  • Representing data on a line plot

The students will use a variety of representations. They will pay attention to what the data mean and how to organise the data so that they can describe them. The students will also be introduced to line plots and other frequency distributions in which each piece of data is represented by one symbol e.g., an X, a square.

  1. Describing data
  • Describing what the data show
  • Interpreting a data
  • Describing important features of a data set
  • Comparing two sets of data
  • Developing a hypothesis based on a set of data

Second graders will begin to describe the data set as a whole rather than only the counts at each value. They are encouraged to notice what is going on in a data set overall.

  1. Designing and carrying out a data investigation
  • Making a plan for collecting data
  • Making predictions about data to be collected
  • Collecting and recording data from a survey
  • Interpreting and sharing results from a data investigation

Data are collected in context and with authentic purpose – to learn how maths applies to the real  world. By making predictions and then collecting their own data, the students see how data are used – to answer a question or to cite evidence about an issue.

  1. Knowing addition combinations to 10+10
  • Achieving fluency with the Plus 10 combinations

To develop efficient computation strategies the students need to become fluent with the addition combinations up to 10+10 and the plus 10 Combinations e.g., 10+3, 10+4

For further information please see the attached family letters: M49-M50 and M1-M2.


Thank you!

January 31


Dear Parents,

First of all, we have got a new addition to 2F! Ethan joined us this week and we are very happy to have him! Please also welcome his parents Scott and Becky.



Here is some information about our new unit of study.

You are more than welcome to have a look at and take photos of your child’s progress through notebooks after school (except Monday and Friday). We have a ‘No Notebook to Go Home’ policy in G2. Thank you for your support.


Overview of our Poetry Unit (Writer’s Workshop)

We just started poetry unit this week. The early part of the unit introduces the students to the sounds and feelings of poetry by having them read poems aloud. The brevity and music of poetry invites repeated readings and by reading poems again and again children will begin to internalise the varied rhythms of this genre. They will experiment with line breaks as they come to understand that a poem is different from a story.

As the unit progress, children will recognise that in a poem, choice and placement of words matter more than ever. They will experiment with metaphors, deepening their ability to see like poets. We will focus on meaning and crafting through repetition, metaphor, white space, and language (how poets choose precise words and convey feelings). Lastly, children will explore various natural structures of poems: story poems, poems with a back and forth structure and list poems.

Overview of this unit (Reader’s Workshop)

We are now focusing on improving our fluency. Fluency leads to overall improvements in reading. We have learned that rereading-especially out loud- is the best way to change the voice inside our heads. Reading with a clear, smoother voice inside one’s head is a key to reading better, stronger, longer and with more understanding. Scooping up more words, noticing punctuation and checking if words make sense is another key.

Later on, we will work on figurative language. We will learn when authors write with especially playful language, they are hoping the reader will notice what they have done and pay special attention to the language and the meaning. When this happens, we will stop and think, “Wait a minute, that’s not what it really means!” then they use whats’ happening th the story to think about what would make sense.

We will also learn to keep track of longer books. Often students are reading with their eyes but nothing registers in their brains. With longer books, it’s easy to lose the story and sometimes students don’t even realise it’s happening. As the books second graders read are much longer than those read by younger readers, we will learn strategies to use when this happens, such as post it notes to keep themselves accountable for understanding what is happening and slowing down to reread.


January 18

Dear parents,

Happy new year ! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are energised for the latter half of the semester! We will have another busy, yet exciting semester. Your support is much appreciated!


New friends

Grade Two has welcomed two new friends, Macyn (2F) and Adam (2S). We are very excited to have them in G2!


International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

We started our new inquiry unit Bright Sparks this week. We will aim to understand that electricity is a kind of energy that must be used responsibly or there will be consequences through questions such as:

  • What is electricity and how does it work?
  • How has electricity changed our lives?
  • What is our responsibility when using electricity?

This unit will involve scientific experiments and it will be exciting! This week, we heard a lot of sounds that electricity creates and then guessed what create those sounds. Then, we started thinking about electricity deeply.

Structured Word Inquiry (SWI)

This week, we looked at the keywords from the IPC, then we looked for affixes by reasoning. We also investigated the words: electricity, conductor and insulator, using a Frayer Diagram. We looked into the meaning, word sum, words that share the same root as well as trying to make sentences with the words.



For the past two weeks, we have been working on addition and subtraction with 2 and 3 addends. We have been trying to choose the best strategy available to solve problems efficiently. The students are encouraged to read questions carefully and multiple times before asking for help and also to avoid errors. We also investigated into odd and even numbers. Next week, we will work on counting by 2s and 5s and utilise this when solving story problems with efficieciency.


We have been working to find out the main idea and important details that go with it from an information book. In addition, we have been challenged to find important details that go with a subtopic from two, books about the same topic. We have also been trying to retell/summarise in our own words. We have also learned to find keywords and unknown words and to figure out the meaning, using the strategies taught.



We have been working on our information book with some chapters. It is very important to keep referring to our writing plan to write a lot and not to sidetrack. We are also using the checklist to self-assess our writing to improve it. Next week, we will continue working on it to publish.



We learned what warm and cold colours are. Then, we traced a fallen leaf and drew many straight lines inside to create sharp shapes. Finally, we coloured in the shapes with water colours, trying to make gradation.

Social Thinking and Others

Bullying or teasing? What is the difference ? What does bullying sound and look like? We discussed and role-played to deepen our understanding. We have been learning to consider other people’s perspectives.

Upcoming Events

  • Fun Day (Jan 25, details to be announced later)
  • Field trip to TEPCO (2F and French 1,2 to go on Jan 30, and 2S to go on Jan 31)

December 14

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your support during the first semester (it passed so quickly!). I really enjoyed working with you and your children. I wish you merry Christmas and happy new year!


We learned the different features of a nonfiction text during the past weeks. We read a lot of nonfiction texts during our reading workshops which helped us to identify the text features. We also compared the similarities and differences between  the texts we read.

We spent a lot of time figuring out unknown words, utilising a range of strategies. It is easy to skip an unknown word and read on, but a hint to work out the word may be around the word itself. By figuring out unfamiliar words, we can better understand the text and deepen our knowledge about the topic. During the winter break, please encourage your child to read everyday for at least twenty minutes.


We have finished learning about a lab report, which is a type of information writing. We had several experiments which helped us to understand the parts of a lab report namely: question, hypothesis, materials and procedure, recording results, analysing data and conclusion. We are currently working on our nonfiction text. We chose our own topic and writing, applying strategies learned from Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop to help us write our own. Our information text will have at least three chapters and we are following the writing process to not sidetrack and to make sure our writing is organised and effective.

We have so far learned explicitly:

  • What makes a good introduction
  • Some good ways to start each chapter
  • How to use apostrophes
  • How to use quotation marks
  • How to use connective/transition words such as and, also, first, second, third, finally
  • Text features


We have started a new unit: Addition and Subtraction Part 2. Basically this unit is about adding and subtracting  multiple numbers accurately and quickly. In order to make it possible, we need to utilise strategies like ‘make 10’, ‘doubles’, ‘near doubles’ and a mix of those mentioned here. The students are challenged to come up with many ways to solve problems quickly and accurately. After the holiday, we will start addition story problems and subtraction problems with multiple addends.

International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

We are about to end our Brain unit. We learned about different parts of the brain and how the brain function, but most importantly, we identified ways we can make our brain and body healthier and stronger. To gain more facts and knowledge, we read books and watched videos. We also posed our own question about the topic. We researched for answers and presented our findings to our classmates.


We worked on our fine motor skills by cutting out different shapes. We tried our best to make symmetrical snowflakes just in time for the Christmas!

Last day of first semester

We had a lot of fun activities!
Thank you very much Class Mom Saori and Kaoru for organising the fun, sweet doughnut activity!

November 23

Dear Parents,


I hope you had a nice rest today! I would like to share with you some information about our Brain unit. We have so far learned that food, exercise and sleep play an important role to keep our brain and body healthy. We also reflected on our lifestyle by referring to our health journal.

Please ask your child what she/he has learned. We had a lot of burning questions and discussion!

Thank you and have a nice weekend!