Wrapping up the Community Unit

As the unit on community comes to an end, we worked on the final project to showcase our learnings. We had to show a) what community means b) examples of our community leaders and their leadership qualities c) what leadership qualities do we have and why.

Some children chose to represent their ideas on a poster or using apps like Popplet and Book Creator. Here are some of the final projects.


For reading, we learned a new word called “schema”. You will hear Ms. Cheung say ,”Activate your schema for _____!” That means that we are accessing our prior knowledge about a particular topic before reading so that when we make connections to the text, they become more relevant and stronger. Activating prior knowledge on a topic will strengthen our ability to visualize settings and empathize with characters in the story.

New (but somewhat traditional) math strategies for addition. We started subtraction this week!


During other times this week, we had Mr. Bywater come in and talk about several strategies to solve conflicts between friends. Ms. B also shared one of her favorite books with us and taught us how to become better planners for our writing. We also did word sorts and took our first spelling test! For next week’s homework, we will start to send home lists of words to study.


Lastly, here is Grade 2’s newsletter for the next unit. If you can, please start collecting recyclable materials to donate to our class.


Twin/Triplets Day!

Here are some cute pictures of those who participated in Twin/Triplets Day hosted by STUCO.


This week we focused on “publishing” our personal stories. We discussed that the “publishing” stage means that we have edited, conferenced with a buddy, and revised our stories. That means this published piece should be perfect! Another aspect we are working on is being good self-reflectors. This skill takes time to master–and in class, we have been using tools like our writing checklist to think about our writing. Metacognition is hard stuff! 🙂


For maths, we learned one more addition strategy:

And, if you’ve been hearing us talk about Ms. Cheung’s dog, Haley, here are a couple of pictures of her!


Analyzing our Writing

This week we dove into revising our personal stories about a special small moment. We are fortunate to be able to confer with several teachers in small groups to discuss our progress with the stories. We focused on identifying adding details and stretching out endings in stories. Mrs. Madonna also came and taught a lesson about identifying different parts of a story. It was a nice visible thinking activity.


Here are also some new writing strategies we are beginning to use.

In reading, we have also been analyzing story structure and pulling out only the main information such as main characters, problem, and solution. It is difficult to summarize it in a condensed way, so we are using this re-telling strategy.

For our unit on communities, Mr. K popped into our class and taught us a new way to show our learnings. We used a new app called Book Creator. We used the notes we took on leaders at SIS and made it into digital books! This was also a nice way to practice our note-taking and summarizing skills.


Here’s a quick new math strategy for word problems! Ms. Cheung is trying to trick us with unnecessary information!

Lastly, congratulations to Rebecca, Bitchan, Madeline, and Ann for trying out STUCO Class Representative. It was a tight race and in the end Madeline was chosen this year. Congrats to all!

Trying new Math Strategies

This week, we started to elaborate on different addition strategies. Many of us know how to add two and three digits so the focus is on showing our thinking in a clear way to demonstrate we understand place value. The strategies below will soon help us with trickier addition problems that require regrouping (borrowing).


Besides that, we compared numbers using mathematical language. We also looked at good ways to remember quick addition facts.


Mr. Bywater came in today to start our first meeting with the counsellor. We talked about sharing nicely with others, how to use a kind voice, and taking turns. We also were lucky to get a chance to go to Level 5 and enjoy a photography exhibition–many of the photographers are teachers at SIS!


For Writer’s Workshop, we analyzed our stories to see if we were writing good beginnings, making good transitions, and elaborating on endings. Many of us worked in small groups this week with different teachers.


Here are some of the reading strategies we are currently using in class.



Adding Details

For writing this week, we focused on making a good lead, or beginning to our personal stories. As we start to write more and more, we need to remember to stop, re-read, and add more details to our sentences. We learned that in a good beginning, there needs to be some sort of action, dialogue, and setting. We’ve worked in small groups every day with different teachers to focus on those points. When we do find a place where we can expand our story, we add in a post it note to “magnify” that moment. This strategy is one tool to use during the editing process.


In reading, we practiced two more strategies to help us with comprehension skills. We learned to match the characters’ feelings and actions by noticing the characters’ expressions in the pictures and different fonts (i.e. bold letters, all caps, italicized words, etc.). By “acting” it out (not too dramatically), it will help us with following the stories and noticing details. The other strategy we learned is to “scoop” or chunk words together to read more fluently. No more reading like robots!


Lastly, Mr. K, our Learning Innovation Coach came in to teach us how to organize our thoughts using a new app, called Popplet. This will relate to our community unit in the coming weeks!

To end the week, our Head of School, Mr. Stearns, read us a very nice book called, Whoever We Are. We all liked the message.

Our Roles in the SIS Community.

As we start to look further into our inquiry about communities, we are narrowing our focus on specific roles community members have at SIS. We analyzed what “Caring Community” means to us–something SIS strongly emphasizes on its website. Then, we took some time to explore the school’s website and took notes of some community members and their roles. Next week, we may interview some leaders here and inquire about leadership qualities.


For math, we learned what “expanded form” and “standard form” means. We quickly related this to place value and unit blocks–math tools we use in the classroom. At the end of the week, we had a little fun being creative with math!


For writing, we learned the beginning parts of The Writing Process.  Students chose a special moment in their lives and planned out an outline. Next week, we’ll learn how to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out our small moment and write colorfully!


Our Community

This week we showed major improvement in getting used the routine of going to the school the whole day. Although the weather is hot, we learned how to calm down quickly after recess by practicing mindful breathing and listening techniques. This helps us get ready for the next lesson.

For math, we focused on “Math Talk” skills, such as repeating and reasoning. We started showing some of our thinking skills in our math journals and then practiced verbalizing our through process. On Friday, we had fun by learning a new addition game called, Watch Out, Addition!


For writing, we discussed the need to practice our “writing stamina”, meaning we exercise our brains to think harder to write more colorful sentences. Of course, we will learn more writing strategies very soon! Many of us enjoyed sharing our personal stories or fictional stories in front of the class. We had many giggles.


We enjoyed our first Library session with Mrs. Livingston on Thursday. We were so excited to learn that in second grade, we can check out 4 books! Also, we need to practice these tips to choose a “just right” book!


Lastly for our unit on communities, we started to brainstorm who and what are in our communities by drawing a map. We learned that many of us live very close to SIS, while some of us live very far. We then discussed some key places and people who serve our communities. Next week, we will dive further into special community leaders and their roles/responsibilities.