Book Week & More!

It’s book week at SIS!  I’m sure that you have received plenty of information about the events of the week, so I won’t go into detail here. This morning we started our day in our pyjamas and with a read aloud by Mr. Kanabar. We brainstormed some ideas for decorating our door and the kids came up with a cute one.  Photos coming soon!  Please remember that Friday is “dress as your favourite book character” day.

Last week we began working on our summative activity for our Unit of Inquiry. The kids are working on demonstrating what they have learned about how a place (specifically Shenzhen) changes over time. Looking forward to seeing their finished projects this week!

In reading, we have been working on the skill of “inferring”.  This reading strategy is sometimes referred to as “reading between the lines”. See the attached anchor poster to get a further idea about inferring.

In writing, we have continued to practice writing about our opinions and supporting them with strong reasons and examples. You can support your child at home by discussing their opinions on different topics and having them share why they have this opinion.

March 2

This week in 2D we practiced identifying ‘literary language’ while we read.  The children learned all about idioms and comparisons (similes) and the importance of stopping to think about what the author’s meaning is when they use such special language.  Some comprehension questions we asked this week were:

  1.  What does the author mean when they say…
  2.  How did the character change throughout the story? How was the character the same or different from the beginning of the story to the end?
  3.  Can you give a quick retell of the story?  (See the 5 finger retell – emphasize that a retell should be quick and only include the important parts of the story).

In writing, we practiced the concept of cause & effect.  The children were given scenarios where they either identified the causes or effects. They then practiced their paragraph writing skills while sharing their thinking.  They also wrote paragraphs sharing about their amazing CNY break!  They focused on the skill of considering their audience – what type of details would the people who read their paragraph want to hear?

In math,  we learned about line plot graphs.  Similar to bar graphs, they are a handy way to collect and visually represent data.  We practiced our fact fluency skills and ability to regroup 1s, 10s, and 100s through some fun games. Next week, we will begin learning about time. Our goal will be to tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.

In our unit of inquiry we practiced our ‘historical research’ skills. The children selected a topic (school, children’s lives, or transportation) and looked at various sources to come to discover how these aspects of life were the same or different in the past. Our sources included: articles, pictures, videos, historical fiction, people.  Next week, students will begin their final projects. I will be sending home a short interview that your child should do with you early this week!




Jan. 29 – Feb. 2

Last week in reading, students practiced strategies that will help them become more fluent readers.    Some students have also been reviewing strategies for decoding difficult words.  Some fluency building and decoding strategies that we practiced can be seen in the photos below.


We also began thinking a little more about the characters in the books we read.  During read aloud and independent reading, we practiced identifying the traits of various characters and giving reasons to support our ideas.  As well, we discussed how characters can change throughout a story.

Questions you can ask your child at home:

  • Who is the main character in this book? Tell about him or her.
  • Tell about a character that you would (or would not!) like to meet from your book. Explain why (or why not!) you would like to meet this character.
  • How did the main character change during the story?  Ex. How did their feelings, actions, sayings, or thoughts change?

In writing, we have begun a new unit on opinion writing.  This week we reviewed what an opinion is and we practiced giving reasons for various opinions that we have.  Next week, we will practice letter writing skills as we write letters to classmates stating our opinions about the books we read and the characters within them.

In math, we have been working on reading and creating bar graphs and pictographs.  Next week, the kids will deepen their understanding of data collecting and graphs by creating their own survey question, collecting the data, and creating a graph for others to read their findings.

The focus of our unit of inquiry this week has been on inventions old and new.  The kids looked at pictures of old inventions and had to guess what their functions were, how they worked, and whether we still use anything like them.  They then compared and contrasted old inventions to their modern versions. Finally, we ended the week by visiting the Shenzhen Museum where students looked into Shenzhen’s past, discovering what types of jobs people used to have, when the city started, and how the city has changed over time.  Next week we will take a closer look at how Shenzhen has changed over time, comparing Shenzhen of the past to the Shenzhen of now.


Successful Assembly & The Week Ahead

After a lot of preparation, practice, and patience, 2D absolutely rocked their assembly!  Please be sure to give your child high praise. It’s not easy getting up in front of the whole school to speak.

Last week the children began compiling research they had done on a chosen habitat in order to begin writing a non fiction “all about” book.  Composing paragraphs out of notes is a new skill for 2nd Graders.  Now that the rough drafts of their books are complete, they will focus on the editing & revising process of writing as they begin to publish their books.  They will share their wonderful work during our Learning Comes Alive lesson on Thursday, January 25 from 9:35-10:30am.  Hope to see you there!


This week in reading, our main focus will be on developing fluency as we read. Strategies we will work on include:

  1. Reread aloud and in your head.
  2. Scoop words into longer phrases (rather than reading 2-3 words at a time, read a full sentence)
  3. Talk like the characters (adding expression to match the mood)

You can support your child by practicing and modelling these read aloud strategies at home.

In math last week, we looked at how to solve 2-step word problems. These can be tricky! We reviewed ways to approach word problems:

  1. Read the problem carefully. (Reread as many times as you need to)
  2. Identify and underline the problem you need to solve.
  3. Circle important information.
  4. Choose a strategy for solving (mental math, draw a picture, act it out)
  5. Don’t give up!

Here is a sample of a two-step word problem.

This week in math, we will focus on reading and creating bar graphs and pictographs.

A note about lunch time – It is asked that parents and ayis no longer wait outside the cafeteria to hand lunches to students. This is in order to foster the independence of all students and to reduce any obstructions of the cafeteria exit in case of emergency. If you would like to deliver lunch to your child, please deliver it to the front desk at Parkside before 10:15am so that your child can pick it up before going to specials classes. Please contact me if you have any concerns.

A Great Start to 2018

Happy New Years everyone!  We have just completed our first week back at school in 2018!  It took a bit for everyone to adjust to being back, but we’re ready to roll again!

This week during UOI, reading, and writing time we focused on building research skills to hunt down information for the non-fiction ecosystem books the kids will be writing next week.  We discussed how researchers use different sources. Some of the sources we used include: library books, Pebblesgo, BrainpopJr., Brainpop, and Britannica school.

The strategy we used for collecting information (and building reading comprehension) was taking “jot notes”.  Read one page or paragraph, cover it with your hand, and recount what you have read either verbally or by jotting it down.



In math we looked at how we can use our ability to skip count by 10s to help us add and subtract double and triple digit numbers.  We also gave our brains a workout and solved some tricky one and two-step word problems.

On Friday we took a field trip to Nanshan mountain to take a closer look at a forest ecosystem. The kids had fun exploring the habitat and being out in nature for a morning. Though we didn’t see many animals, we did find insects and evidence of other living creatures!


Also next week, on Friday, January 19, our class will be hosting the school assembly.  The kids have been working hard to prepare what they would like to share and we hope you will be able to attend!  The assembly is located in the SPAH (PE building) and takes place from 8:15-8:45.


International Week!

We had an awesome time celebrating international week last week. Thank you to all of the parents who made it out for our Grade 2 picnic. Also, a special thanks to Nathan and Luana’s moms who visited our class last week to help us try Batik art and to Ms. Rubinos for teaching us how to make parol (star lanterns), a Christmas craft from the Philippines!  Here are some pictures that highlight the week.