Feb 18: maths new unit

Dear Parents,

We will start a new mathematics unit this week: Repeating Patterns and Number Sequences.

There are three mathematical foci:

Linear relationship (describing and representing ratios)

Situations that look very different may have the same underlying constant ratio.

We will learn how different situations can have the same underlying relationship between quantities.

We will also learn to 

  • Describe the relationship between two quantities in a constant ratio situation 
  • Use tables to represent the ratio relationship between two quantities 
  • Find the value of one quantity in a constant ratio situation, given the value of the order


Using tables and graphs to represent change 

Tables are introduced as a powerful representation to show how one quantity changes in relation to another. Organising data in a table can help us uncover a rule that governs that relationship.


Our focus points include:

  • Describing the pattern in the numbers in a column and interpreting the pattern in terms of the situation the table represents
  • Describing what is the same about the situations that look different but can be represented by the same table 
  • Using information in a table to determine the relationship between two quantities 

Number sequences

Associating the counting numbers with the elements of a repeating pattern reveals important characteristics of the pattern and also provides an avenue into studying the number sequences themselves.

                       Using the counting numbers in this way gives us a language to talk about the pattern.

Much of the work on repeating patterns in this unit is focused on multiples of 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Our focus points include:

  • Triangles are on the ‘counting by three’ numbers, or the multiples of three. To find the position of the next triangle, count on or add on three to the last triangle.
  • The squares land on the numbers 1, 4, 7, 10 and so forth. Where will the next square be? 

An important part of our work throughout the unit is to consider how and why different situations generate the same number sequence.

Please refer to the family letter for more information. 


Thank you.

February 11

Dear Parents, 

Thank you for coming to the Student led Conferences. I hope you enjoyed seeing your child progress! Here are some learning updates.


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. We were challenged to think of meaningful categories by which to sort the data and we also learned that data have to be presented and understood in a way everyone can understand without taking too long. 

We have also 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 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.


We inquired into how the world has changed physically and looked at how dinosaurs lived. Students are researching collaboratively about a particular dinosaur and putting their discoveries onto a shared Google Slide. Working together in group is not easy but everyone is enjoying the challenge! We also ‘excavated’ fossils carefully removing stones (removing chocolate chips from the remainder of the biscuits) to scaffold paleontologists’ work. Children enjoyed this a lot!

Photos from Fun Day 

Sorry not many…

Assembly related photos


  • Valentine’s Day: please see the link


p.s. I have uploaded some photos provided by Mrs. Fishburn in the last blog post. Thank you!

Have a nice weekend!

January 25

Dear Parents,

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



Our new unit has started, to develop the understanding  that ‘We learn about the past from evidence that is left behind’. We looked at our own personal history using our parents and artefacts as resources. We also watched videos about paleontologists and archaeologists and discussed the difference, as well as how they contribute to find out interesting facts from the past. We also visited the National Museum of Nature & Science. We had the opportunity to see a lot of artefacts and fossils and made connections to what we had learned. Thank you very much for coming with us Mrs. Fishburn, Ms. Lecybil and Mrs. Godwin!

Overview of our Poetry Unit 

We have started our poetry unit. 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 such as story poems, poems with a back and forth structure and list poems.


This week, we learned the word ‘attribute’ and described attributes of objects and sorted objects by attributes. We also deepened our understanding through games.


  • Jan 31: Fun day (and Bake Sale)
  • Feb 7: 2F assembly (You are of course invited!)

unit4 family letter

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 more information, please refer to the family letter 1 and 2.

Thank you.

January 10

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 friend

Grade Two has welcomed a new friend, Pauline (2F). We are very excited to have her in G2! 

International Primary Curriculum (IPC) 

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?

We have undertaken 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 January 7 (titled ‘IPC Unit 3 Footprints from the past’). If not please could you do so. I appreciate your support at home. 



This week, we worked on addition and subtraction with 2 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 tackled story problems trying not to misunderstand the questions. Next week, we are scheduled to start a new unit: Data Analysis. 


We have started our poetry unit. Poetry is a type of writing that expresses ideas, imagination or emotions. Poets do this by carefully choosing and arranging words for its meaning, sound, and rhythm. We tried to understand this by investigating some example poems. We also played with rhyming words to understand that rhyming is a great tool utilising repeating patterns that bring rhythm or musicality to poems (fun!) We experimented with line breaks to hear different ‘music.’ 


We have been working on our information books with two chapters including a lot of information. It is essential to plan carefully to make sure there will be enough to write about for each chapter before starting to write. It is also very important to keep referring to our writing plan to write a lot and not to sidetrack. We are also using a checklist to self-assess our writing to improve it. Next week, we will continue working on our information books to publish. 

We have also started a poetry unit as well and have learned that poets look at objects in fresh, new ways and make comparisons. We tried to describe what an object looks like, what the object might do and what the object  sounds like (we used classroom objects). Then, we thought about what the object reminds us of reminds us of e.g., scissors… a fish with a big eye? butterfly? Or hungry shark!? It’s sneaking up on its prey and then… snap!

Upcoming Events

  • Field trip to Ueno Science Museum on Wednesday, January 22. For more details, please refer to the field trip form. 
  • Assembly from 8: 20 (scheduled) on February 7 (Parents are welcomed!)
  • Student-led conference on February 11 (details to be announced later)

Thank you!

December 13

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 a 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. 

During the winter break, please encourage your child to read everyday for at least twenty minutes. 


We have each chosen a topic for our own information book and have been working on it, applying strategies learned from Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. 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. Since information text should be based on facts, we have also 

identified and utilised some ways to access facts we need for our own information books, which is fun! We are practice writing, focusing on the writing procedures and applying strategies. In January, we will start writing another piece and publish ti .



We are working hard to try to find ways to add and subtract even more efficiently and then, to practice applying the strategies quickly–and without an error. After the holiday, we will start addition story problems and subtraction problems with multiple addends. During holiday, your child may revise what she/he has learned (unit 1 and 2; workbooks have been returned). You can keep the workbooks at home.


We finished the Freeze it! unit. We investigated freezing point of ice, juice, milk, honey mixture and etc. this experiment also reinforced our understanding of the three states of matter: liquid, solid and gas. As a closing activity, we made lollies and enjoyed them!


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

Last day of first semester

We had a lot of fun activities this week! 

Thank you very much Class Mom Mrs. Godwin and Mrs.Fishburn for organising the fun, delicious Potluck Party! Thank you also all parents for your support throughout the semester! I will enjoy a big cup of coffee over the holiday.

November 22

Dear parents, 

We are practicing for the Christmas Concert everyday. It is coming up very soon and we are all very excited! 


We started our new unit of study this week. It is about solids, liquids and gases and our enduring understanding for this unit is: Matter exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas and these states change by heating and cooling. Please also refer to the information I sent to you earlier. It is important that your child understands the concept of the words listed in the letter. We will discuss the words so please explain the meaning of the words in your home language. 

This week, we tried to understand what solid, liquid and gas are. We understood that solids have molecules crammed together in a fixed shape, that liquids have molecules that are freer to move and that gases are free to move. We did this  by acting as ice, water and steam. Ice cube molecules were packed tightly and closely to one another so they could only make tiny movements! On the other hand, gas was able to move quickly and freely!


This week, Grade Two started unit 3: Addition, Subtraction, and the Number System 2.

Unit 3 consists of four parts. 

Adding more than two numbers
Students will work on a variety of activities that involve solving problems with multiple addends. It is important to know that numbers can be added in any order. 

Addition and subtraction
This part of the unit will focus on story problems. Students will practice modelling the situations and recording solution strategies with standard notation. 

Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s
Students will use the context of partners (groups of two) and teams (two equal groups) to investigate what makes numbers even and odd. They will come to define even numbers as those that make two equal teams, or groups of two, with no one left over. Students will be challenged to think about whether these definitions apply to all numbers. 

Place value
Students will be introduced to place value as they investigate numbers grouped into 10s and 1s. For more information, please refer to the family letter attached: M27-28, M1-2.



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. We also read some same topic books to gain more knowledge about the same topic. We ‘sneak peeked’ a few books of the same topic books and tried to find sections that give us the same or similar information.



We have finished learning about a scientific writing, which is a type of information writing. We had several experiments which helped us to understand the parts of a scientific writing namely: question, hypothesis, materials and procedure, recording results, analysing data and our conclusion. We are currently working on a different type of nonfiction text. We have chosen our own topic by thinking about things that we can talk a lot about. Next week, we will be writing about it, applying strategies that we have learned as well as ones that we will learn next week and onwards.

PDP (social thinking)

This week, we learned about self talk. Self talk means talking to yourself in a quiet voice or in your head. This helps you focus, stay on task, handle distractions and manage your emotions so you can make better decisions in stressful situations. Please click here for follow up materials.




Thank  you!

November 15

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 the learning process and yes, your child needs to be praised for his/her effort, too! (Please return your child’s writing, maths assessments and PDP worksheets x2 if you haven’t returned yet-thank you!) Here is some learning information and some photos. Enjoy! 



We have started our new unit: Nonfiction. 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 notice details in those books, for instance, little details on a diagram, which we could easily overlook (e.g., l notice the castle has a lot of high walls with holes. I notice there are many moats). We learned to come up with a big idea about our books and to develop our knowledge (e.g., castles are built to protect people). We will learn even more if we raise questions about the big idea (e.g. Why were the people inside in danger? Who was trying to get inside?). As we answer our questions by reading other books about the same topic, we develop our knowledge. 

We will read a lot of nonfiction books and practice this sophisticated work to figure out what the book will teach us. We will be 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.  



Last year, the students probably wrote about topics on which they were experts. This year, we are learning a whole new kind of information writing. We are learning to write in a way that scientists write. We came up with a question, then designed and conducted 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, 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. Next week, we will also study other scientists’ lab reports and writing and try to elaborate our own lab reports. We will also self assess our writing against the checklist and set a goal to improve our writing. 


To wrap up our unit, we worked in pairs or in groups to come up with a public service announcement about electrical safety. We planned and practiced our presentation against the rubric. We also looked at our recorded presentation and reflected on our performance in order to perform better next time. Next week, we will start our new unit: Freeze it!


We love IT lessons! We have been practicing logging into the school system and our own Google account. We have learned how to create our own Google Doc as well as how to download a picture. Last week, we took a picture of our small moment story and uploaded it to Seesaw, which is our learning/reflection site. Then, we left a comment on a friend’s small moment story.



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

We also explored symmetry.

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


This week, we practiced drawing perfect, straight lines, connecting one pointy end of a leaf template with another. Then we connected those straight lines by randomly drawing lines in ways that made many 2D shapes such as trapezoid and rhombus. We also coloured in each shape with water colours in an effort to make gradation. We thought about the effects of colours (warm and cold colours) and how we want our leaves to look like.


Upcoming Event

Children’s Day: Wednesday, November 20th. Please refer to the mail the principal has sent to you.

Christmas Concert: Friday, December 6th. 


See you soon!


October 18

Dear Parents,

Thank you very much for coming to the Parents Teacher Conference the other day. I am always available when you have a concern or question; please just drop me a line!



Children have been working on fluency, stamina, and comprehension.
Learning includes:

  • 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 (stop when it doesn’t sound right→ reread → use different strategies)
  • tell a short retell, leaving out little details 
  • figure out what the author wants to teach us (lessons we can learn the story)
  • make good predictions based on back blurbs and picture on the front page
  • How do we know if an author’s writing is powerful? (writing that gets readers to gasp, cry, laugh or sigh)

Children learned to use what they have learned in writing to help them think deeply while reading. They paid 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 

After the break, we will scaffold what we have learned by quickly revising and tackling challenging tasks. I will also continue conducting reading assessment on each child.        


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:

  • 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


This week, children undertook a post assessment of unit 1 and a pre assessment of unit 2. Please play the maths games with your child at home; it will help your child develop his/her number sense. 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 attached(M17-18 ) (M5-6) for more information. 

International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

After understanding static and current electricity, 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. 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.

We also investigated and recorded how electricity is produced.

Fun Day

One of the activities children enjoyed is to draw a self portrait inspired by the film Wonder. Children were encouraged to think: ‘Who am I?’ ‘What are my important qualities?’


  • October 21-25: School Holiday
  • October 31: Halloween event led by Student Council. Click here for more info.
  • October 28: please return maths unit 1 assessment.

September 27

Dear Parents,

Here is some learning information and some photos – enjoy! 



Children are used to the routine of book shopping. They are using the Five Finger Rule when choosing just right books. 

They are also setting personal reading stamina goals. Thank you for helping your child to monitor his/her own reading! 

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 question or an idea about a book
  • work out a tricky word using more than one strategy


Children are revising and editing their small moment stories, using strategies taught and teacher  feedback. Next week, they will learn to self assess and improve their writing using a checklist. 

Learning includes:

  • come up with small, meaningful moments to tell
  • write about just one moment/event 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


This week, we practiced adding and subtracting through fun games. We learned ‘Make 10’. We watched graphics, fun videos and used manipulatives to visualise 10 in many ways. This promotes number sense. You may refer to the family letter for more information.


This week, our work was again connected with our current writing unit: small moment story. We thought about a moment (story) and identified associated emotion(s). Then, we expressed the emotion(s) by selecting lines and colours that fit best. 

Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) 

The past couple of weeks, we focused on Structured Word Inquiry (word study + inquiry skills). We inquired into prefixes, suffixes, base words and ‘word sums’. We also looked at some words and made hypotheses of the meaning of the affixes. Students are encouraged to apply this knowledge when they encounter with unknown words.

International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

This week, we started our new inquiry unit; It’s Shocking! This unit will involve scientific experiment and it will be exciting! We set out to understand that electricity is a kind of energy that must be used responsibly or there will be consequences. We investigate these and other questions:

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

This week, we heard a lot of sounds associated with electricity and then guessed what the source of each sound was. A reminder to please review the Unit Letter (vocabulary) and send to your email address on September 19 with your child.



  • Please make sure your child only brings what is necessary for learning. Fancy  stationery and accessories can become a distraction.
  • Thursday, October 3 is our Yearbook Photo-Shooting Day. Please make sure your child is wearing his/her full winter uniform.