Feeding Our Inquiring Minds

Join us as we continue to develop our skills for research and inquiry this month. We have been doing a lot of engagements across all subjects that allow us to learn and gather information.

International Primary Curriculum (IPC): Bright Sparks

We had Circuit Stations to know what a circuit is and to explore how it works. 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 Mrs. Kugawa, Mrs. Liggins and Mrs. Garcia 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 worked individually, in pairs or in a small group to come up with a public service announcement about electrical safety.

Maths

We are learning to sort data and put them in different categories using a venn diagram.

We learned how to notice the literary language that authors use when they write stories. They use comparisons and play with words.

Writing

We have been reading and writing a lot of poems. We discovered that poets us poets’ eyes to describe an object in an unusual or different way. This makes their poem more interesting.

Welcoming the New Year

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 and word sum. In the coming days, we will look for words that share the same root as well as trying to make sentences with the words.

Maths

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 efficiency.

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.

Writing

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.

Art

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.

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)

2S is still looking for a parent chaperone who can speak both in English and Japanese. The staff in TEPCO communicate in Japanese so we would appreciate it if we can have one more parent volunteer who can help us out. Please send an email if you want to volunteer.

Happy Holidays

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

Writing

We started writing our lab reports for our information text. We had several experiments which helped us understand the parts of a lab report namely: question, hypothesis, materials and procedure, recording results, analyzing data and conclusion. We are also currently editing and revising our nonfiction text. We chose our own topic for this nonfiction text and we are applying what we learned from our readers and writers workshop to help us write our own.

Maths

In Maths, we continued learning about 2D and 3D shapes using different manipulatives. We also deepened our knowledge about the features of the shapes by learning about their number of faces, vertices and right angles. We used pattern blocks to make symmetrical shapes.

We started unit 3 this week. We are learning about number strings.  Looking for doubles and numbers that make 10 help us solve addition equations faster. We played a game called “Beat the Calculator” to help us improve our speed and accuracy when adding numbers.

IPC

We are about to end our Brain unit in IPC. We learned different parts of the brain and how it functions but most importantly, we identified ways on how we can make our brain and body healthier and stronger. To gain more facts and knowledge, we read books and watched videos. We also asked our own question about the unit. We researched for the answers and will be presenting our findings to our classmates.

Arts

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

Thank you for watching us during our Christmas concert and assembly! -From 2S

Thank you Mr. Sho Uehara for taking a video of the assembly and for sharing it with us. Please click on this link: https://www.icloud.com/photos/#0HxQwVTCPeM4WXbXnbt7omh9w . You can view this video until January 7, 2019.

Doughnut Time

Thank you for taking time to buy doughnuts for us! We really enjoyed it.

Secret Santa

2S, 2F and French School exchanged their presents today. They were thankful and excited for the gifts they got from their Secret Santa.

Secret Santa videos:

Hello November!

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!

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.

We also shared our published narrative story with our classmates and we read our stories to them.

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.

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 tile
• recognising that rectangular prisms have rectangular face
• 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.

Mandarin Picking Field Trip

Upcoming Event

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

Structured Word Inquiry

We started to explore base words, prefixes and suffixes. This will help us understand how spelling works as we will be able to understand the meaning of a word through inquiry. We had a sorting out activity wherein we grouped words together according to what makes sense to us. Then we identified the base word for each word and realized that the words that were given can be sorted out in two groups: words with prefixes and words with suffixes.

We will learn about word sums, word families and investigating the the meaning of words in SWI. We will use this process to help us understand the key vocabulary needed in IPC.

IPC

We worked hard to prepare for our Teach the Teacher unit wherein we shared our skill, talents and interests. We had fun learning from our classmates. We learned goal keeping, shooting and dribbling in football from Hemaksh, Sena and Ryo. Mile, Lily and Sarah taught us drawing and painting techniques.  Georgia taught us how to sing. We learned simple Irish dance steps from Erika. Karen and Danielle shared their knowledge in tennis. Shun showed us how to swing a club. We got our hands dirty by making slime care of Aanya. William and Yosuke shared their skills in building different lego pieces. Jeanee taught us how to count in French and we learned hanbok origami from Ha-rin.

Here are some photos of the presentation:

Math

We are learning strategies that we can use for adding and subtracting: using or fingers, using a number line, using blocks, making tally marks or drawings. We are also working on our comprehension so we can easily solve word problems.

Literacy

We are currently revising and editing our first narrative writing piece. We will be ready to publish after the break. We also learned about proofreading marks. This is important for us to know so we know how we can make our writing better.

In reading we are still working on our stamina and also learning how to read tricky words with team vowels.

Events

Thank you very much to Hemaksh’s mom, Krutika, for being our Mystery Reader last week. This week, Ryo’s dad, Steve also surprised  2S and read a story for us too.

International Day

Thank you to the parents who presented. We definitely learned a lot about various countries and their culture. Thank you also for preparing food for us. It was delicious!

We dressed up as our favorite book character. We had a lot of activities. We decorated our door, we had a book cover tour, storytelling and workshops in the afternoon. It was a great activity to end our week and celebrate our love for reading.

Writing

We spent a lot of time exploring ways on how we can gather ideas before we write a story. We can use a mind map or a list and jot them down in our notebook. We are also learning how to create small moments by choosing scenarios that are memorable to us and trying to add details to it.

Exciting week 1

We were all excited to be back in school! At the beginning, we were still a bit shy but after recess it was evident that we had a looottt of stories to tell. The first week was spent on getting to know our classmates and talking about what we did during our summer break.

WRITING

We wrote about our favorite food, game, cartoon, information about our family etc. We also wrote our names on our All About Me sheet and we designed it too!

Last Summer

Our first writing piece is about the places we visited during our summer vacation

Interview

We also had a chance to get to know our classmates by interviewing them and asking questions.

We learned about the 5 finger rule to help us choose best fit books. We had quiet reading time in the classroom. We will have readers workshop and talk about reading with partners next week.

Book Shopping Tuesdays!

Starting next week, we will borrow 5 classroom library books.

• Tues 1 : beginning of P3, a 15 minute book shopping activity
• Tues 2:  beginning of P3, a 15 minute book shopping activity
• Teachers record the number of books borrowed per child
• Students record the titles of their books in their reading log
• Students them in their zippy bag
• BRING all  of the books to school at once on the following Tuesday
• Students return books in the right bin.

MATH

We had our pre- test for the first unit. We will be learn to tell time by the hour and we will recall our number sense next week.  We will be using different tools during our Math workshops.

IPC : Teach the teacher (1st unit)

Our first unit in IPC is about identifying our skills and talents. Throughout the unit, we will think of ways on how we can share our skills and talents with others. We had our tuning-in activity in IPC. We watched videos of kids playing musical instruments, skimmed some books about painting and art and analyzed photos of different athletes . We then filled out a see-think-wonder chart.

Next week, we will discover our own skills and talents. We will also start planning on how we can share our skills and talents to our classmates.

Information Technology

We had our first IT class this week. We were given our own school e-mail address. It took a while for us to log in to our e-mail because this is the first time we have done it. We also started practicing our typing skills this period. We will continue with our typing activities during IT and we will also learn about digital citizenship.

MUSIC AND PE

We used xylophones  and other music instruments during our first Music class.

We enjoyed our PE class! We played different games and had lots of fun. It was a bit hot in the gym so it’s important to bring our water bottles every time so we can keep ourselves hydrated.

CLASSROOM ICEBREAKERS

We play Achi-Pachi and Pink Toes when we want to get our wiggles out! Hopefully we get to play fun classroom games in the next weeks to come.