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!

Reading

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.

Writing

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

Maths

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.

Arts

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,

IPC

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!

November 16

Dear Parents,   

I hope you enjoyed your child’s writing and reviewed it with him/her. Reflecting on his/her own learning is a very important part of learning process and yes, your child needs to be praised for his/her effort, too!

Here is some learning information and some photos. Enjoy!

 

Reading

This week we started our new nonfiction unit. There are three bends and the first one focuses on growing knowledge by reading nonfiction books. We can grow knowledge about a topic by reading books but we will learn much more if we put details, for instance, a little details on a diagram, which we could easily overlook, together (e.g., l notice the castle has a lot of high walls with holes. I notice there are many moats. I notice there are some people with spiky spears) , and come up with a big idea and develop knowledge (e.g., castles are built to protect people.) We will learn even more if we raise a question from the idea (e.g., Why were the people inside in such danger? Who was trying to get inside?) as we can find out the answer from other books and grow more knowledge about the topic!

We will read a lot of nonfiction books and do the big work to figure out what the book will teach us. We will be also constantly thinking ‘What is this text about?’  to set ourselves up to understand the structure of our nonfiction texts and to gather knowledge in effective and efficient ways.

Writing

Last year, the students probably wrote about topics on which they were experts. This year, we are learning a whole new kind of info writing. We are learning to write in a way that scientists write. We will come up with a question, then design and conduct multiple trials of  a simple science experiment! Our Lab Report has to be written in a way that everyone can understand and follow easily. So far, we have learned to write a question, a hypothesis, materials, procedures, which should be clear and precise so that everyone will get the same or very similar/reliable results. Next week, we will also learn how to write our conclusion in a clear, convincing manner. We will study other scientists lab reports and writings and try to elaborate our lab reports. We will also self assess our writing against the checklist and set a goal to improve our writing.

IPC

We started our new unit of study this week. It is about brain and our enduring understanding for this unit is: What I do and how I live affects my brain and learning. Please refer to the email I sent to you on Tue, 13th November.

It is important that your child understand the concept of the words listed in the letter. We will discuss around the words so please explain the meaning of the words in your home language.

This week, the students thought about what our brain need to stay healthy, what things affect our learning and how we can make our brain stronger. We also guessed what our brain does to our body and compared and observed a healthy brain and unhealthy one. The students have started to log their health journal. Please support your child to record it everyday. This will help us understand how our lifestyle could affect our brain.

Next week, We will inquire into these questions more deeply.

If your child has not returned his/her writing yet, please return it together with the plastic folder as soon as possible. Thank you.

 

Maths

This week, we investigated 2D shapes, especially rectangles and other quadrilaterals.

  • describing rectangles (4 sides and 4 right angles)
  • describing quadrilaterals (4 sides but not 4 right angles)
  • Area, angle, vertex
  • difference between rectangles and parallelograms
  • describing/making rectangular arrays of tiles, using the words: column, row
  • investigating how many different rectangles can be made from a given number of tiles
  • recognising that rectangular prisms have rectangular faces
  • recognising which faces of a rectangular prism are the same size and shape

Next week, we will be focusing on symmetry.

  • Describing and identifying objects and designs that have mirror symmetry
  • Constructing 2D and 3D symmetrical designs with mirror symmetry
  • Identifying lines of symmetry

Structured Word Inquiry

We learned how to investigate the meaning of a word by asking four investigation questions:

We used these questions to find out why the word <sign> is spelled with a <g>. We came up with a hypothesis. We explored words that are related to <sign> like design, signal, signature and we figured out that they belong to the same word family because they share the same root.

Field Trip

I am sorry , not a lot…

 

Upcoming Event

Christmas Concert: Friday, November 30th. Please read the mail I have sent you.

 

Thank you.

 

Sports Day

Dear Parents,

Here are some photos from Sports Day. Enjoy!

 

International Day & Reading Fun Day

A busy but super fun week has past. I hope you and your family are relaxing and enjoying time together.

Thank you so much for your support in making our International Day and Reading Fun Day a success and special. Here are some photos to share with you. Have a lovely week!

October 14

Dear Parents,      

Thank you for coming to the conference last Monday. I appreciate your open mindedness and support. Here is some learning information and some photos. Enjoy!

 

Reading

Children are used to the routine of book shopping. I am reinforcing to use the Five Finger Rule and to read everyday. They are also working hard to set a new reading goal every week for stamina according to how many minutes they read every week. Thank you for helping your child to monitor his/her reading time!

For the past few weeks, children worked on fluency, stamina, and comprehension. They also worked hard to solve tricky words.

Learning includes:

  • good readers ask questions and wonder about stories
  • take a ‘sneak peek’ before starting reading a book
  • read a book in the way that the author wants me to read
  • read in bigger scoops
  • read, pausing at times, and retell big events in order
  • come up with a thought or an idea about a book
  • work out a tricky word using more than one strategy
  • read prefixes and suffixes as snap words
  • read vowel teams in the middle of words in different ways
  • figure out the meaning of words
  • check our reading by ourselves

From the next week, children are scheduled to learn to use what they have learned in writing to help them think deeply while reading. They will pay close attention to authors’ intentions, for example, by asking themselves ‘What is powerful?’, ‘Why did the author do that?’ and ‘How did the author do it?’

Example (Those Darn Squirrels! By Adam Rubin)

‘What is powerful?’ : the description of Old Man Fookwire and his name
‘Why did the author do that?’: makes the reader laugh
‘ How did the author do it?’: creates a ridiculous character, includes surprising descriptions

Writing

Children are revising and editing their small moment story, using: strategies learned, the checklist and teacher/peer feedback. They are aiming to publish their work by the end of October so that they can write about one more small moment at the beginning of November.

Learning includes:

  • come up with small, meaningful moments to tell
  • write about just one moment (thing) in one story
  • write exactly what happened in each part bit by bit
  • revise the beginning and the end of a story
  • use correct end punctuation
  • add appropriate connective words and transition words
  • check writing against a checklist
  • revise writing according to the checklist
  • revise in a way readers REALLY feel the way we want them to feel
  • include what the character sees, hears and feels
  • make the reader wonder what will happen next
  • writers use rich vocabulary (use different words for say)
  • describe emotions and objects using precise words
  • edit, using the editing checklist
  • come up with a title for a story
  • give and use feedback
  • fix up spelling

Maths

Next week, children will undertake a post assessment of unit 1 and a pre assessment of unit 2. After the break, they will start unit 2 study: Shapes, Blocks, and Symmetry.

 

Unit 2 has three mathematical foci: Features of 2D and 3D Shapes, Rectangle and Symmetry.

Focus points of Features of 2D and 3D Shapes will be:

  • Identifying and describing names and attributes of 2D and 3D shapes
  • Attending to features of 3D shapes, particularly the number and shape of faces
  • Naming, notating, and telling time to the hour, half hour, and quarter hour on digital and analog clocks
  • Also developing fluency with the doubles combinations to 10 + 10

Focus points of Rectangle will be:

  • Examining the angles of quadrilaterals and sort these shapes into two categories—shapes with 4 sides and 4 right angles and shapes with 4 sides, but not 4 right angles
  • Arranging square tiles in rectangular arrays
  • Describing rectangular arrays of tiles
  • Drawing rectangles by attending to the lengths of the sides
  • investigating how many different rectangles can be made from a given number of tiles
  • Recognizing that rectangular prisms have rectangular faces
  • Recognizing which faces of a rectangular prism are the same size and shape
  • Constructing a rectangular prism from rectangles
  • Comparing rectangular prisms

Focus points of Symmetry will be:

  • Describing and identifying objects and designs that have mirror symmetry
  • Constructing 2D and 3D symmetrical designs with mirror symmetry
  • Identifying lines of symmetry

Please refer to the Family Letter #1  #2 for more information.

The pre and post assessment of unit 1 will be sent back home at earliest time possible.

Structured Word Inquiry

Children inquired into and learned about prefixes, suffixes and base words. They also looked at some words that start with pre and made a hypothesis of the meaning of the prefix pre. They now know the prefix pre means ‘before’. They can apply this knowledge when they encounter with unknown words that start with pre such as preset (although this can only work when pre in the word is the prefix; for example, pre in pretty is not a suffix so this knowledge cannot be applied. This requires deeper understanding of what a base word is and children will continue working on this.)

IPC

About half of 2F children have presented their skills. The audience (2F children) also practiced what the presenters taught them, receiving advice from each presenter. The presenters took charge of the responsibility and practiced at home; they really were teachers! Thank you for your support, parents! This unit will continue for another week. After this, we will be focusing on Structured Word Inquiry (word study + inquiry skills) for three weeks. More information to come later.

 

Upcoming Events

  • International Day (October 16)

*Students are welcome to dress up, however, it is optional.

  • Reading Fun Day (October 19)

*Students are welcome to dress up, however, it is optional.

  • Halloween (treat donation and accessories day)

http://blogs.stmaur.ac.jp/es-sc/2018/10/12/halloween/

  • Sports Day (November 2)

September 22

(this is the same as the one emailed to you last Saturday.)

Dear Parents,

It’s been a month since the new school year started. The children are happy and excited about the new school year. They are now familiar with most of the class routines, especially in the morning when they arrive at school. They are very quick learners! They are currently working hard to listen attentively when necessary and to stay on task. Self regulation is not easy at this age, however, it is a very important skill.

Here is a short video to show the recent weeks of the students’ learning. Enjoy!

Five Finger Rule

This week has been a week to familiarise ourselves with our reader’s workshop routines and our class library.  Grade 2 readers make lots of decisions to become stronger readers. Having new sets of routines is not easy, but 2F readers are persevering and trying hard.

Please ask (with enthusiasm) what your child has learned about and enjoy family a conversation:

 

  • What are Good Fit Books ?
  • What is the Five Finger Rule?
  • How should we treat our books?
  • Who is your reading partner? How do you work with him/her?
  • How can we choose home readers?

 

Please do not worry if your child does not remember every detail. It’s a lot of information! We will practice this all over and over again.

 

Week 1

Welcome to the 2F Blog!

.

This week, we worked hard to adapt to our new environment, build a sense of community and to learn new routines. The children adjusted to their new routines quickly! We introduced ourselves to one another through speaking, writing and some fun games, which developed organisation, communication and collaboration skills.