Looking for Information to Our Support Inquiries

We are inquiring into how different sources of information help people make healthy choices. This week, the students practiced gathering information from experts, parent surveys, and recipes, as well as collecting their own data to help them make informed choices that affect their health and the way they feel.

Our visit from the dental experts was an opportunity for students to learn more about how we care for our teeth. We learned from the dentists that not only is brushing and flossing our teeth important for good oral hygiene, but that what we eat and drink also has an effect on our teeth and gums.

Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in Flickr.

Here is a little bit about what the children learned.

“I didn’t know that you have to press into the gums a little bit, when I floss my teeth. Once I did it and then blood was coming out and I thought that isn”t how you floss.

The children were part of a little experiment.

“Cup A looked good, but it was bad. Cup B looked bad but it was better than A.”

Why was cup A better?

“Because the magic powder was lemon it tastes like CC Lemon. Sugar was a lot but the lemon powder was more stronger and it changed the taste.”

“We should only be eating four packets of sugar a day.”

We visited the ICJC to learn about the importance of nutrition and exercise with Miss Shirley. In preparation for our visit with the nutritionist, we have been reading about vitamins, minerals and nutrients, and we are learning to look at nutrition labels to help us understand what nutrients are in the different foods that we eat. Miss Shirley told us about different nutrients, like calcium, that aid in our linear growth. We learned that calcium can be found in milk, cheese, konbu, hijiki, and nori. We also did some burpees. Miss Shirley says that this is a great weight-bearing exercise for children to strengthen their bones and muscles.

After our visit with Miss Shirley, we decided to create our own healthy pasta recipe. We are going to be sure to include vegetables that have calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals.

We shared our present knowledge about what a recipe looks like and built off of each other’s knowledge. Then we shared the information we gained from each other as a class. We decided that the first thing we would do was to create a list of ingredients.

This is what we have so far…

red peppers
chile pepper
olive oil

For Math, the children had the opportunity to estimate and find the actual weight of some of the foods on the list. This gave them some information about how much of each ingredient we might want to use and what that will look like. We also looked at recipes with similar ingredients to what we had chosen.

Click on the photo below to see more pictures in Flickr.

For this week’s Home Learning, the children interviewed their parents to gather information about health. After all, their parents are experts about taking care of them and ensuring that they have a healthy lifestyle. On Friday, the children shared the information that they collected from their parents.

Afterwards, they were asked, “What did you notice about the answers to your questions, when you shared them with your classmates?”

“Some of the answers were different.”
“The parents didn’t think the same thing.”

“Why do you think this happened?”

“Because everyone’s parents are different.”
“Your mom and dad come from different places…like countries.”

“Were their answers similar?”


“Can you give me an example?”

“Most parents said that second graders should sleep 11 hours…but some said 10 or 8 or 9 or 12.”

Here is another example about how experts have different perspectives.
The children asked their parents, “Why do we need to sleep?”

Here are the parents answers. (The children recorded the answers in note form.)

-Rest and grow
-To help the body recover and to have energy
-Help our body grow and our brains work better
-Grow and repair
-Get ready for tomorrow to work hard
-Grow and get energy
-To rest your brain
-To relax
-To rest to improve memory and to restore energy

What did our high school visitor’s tell us about how sleep helps us?

-Help us grow
-Gives us energy

This led us to a discussion of how experts can help us gain information for our unit inquiries.

“We could go to the nurse to see how fast or slow our hearts are beating.”

“I could go to the science lab to learn about salt and sugar to learn from the teachers.”

“We can go to the canteen, and we could say what recipes are really healthy?

“If I want an answer for how many different types of lice there are, I could ask the nurse?”

A Taste of Switzerland

Last Friday afternoon, Teo’s dad, Alex, visited 2C to teach us about Switzerland. He shared the slideshow below with us to help us understand all about Switzerland. He told us that it is a tiny, peaceful country in central Europe. We also learned that it is famous for…a beautiful mountain called the Matterhorn, cows, cheese, watches, banks, and more.

One thing in particular that Switzerland is famous for is chocolate. Here is a video that shows how chocolate is made for Swiss Airlines.

WE LOVE CHOCOLATE, and we were very excited that Alex brought five different chocolate samples for us to try.

Number 1 was Toblerone.
Number 2 was Strawberry KitKat.
Number 3 was Lindt white chocolate.
Number 4 was Lindt dark chocolate made with 70% cocoa.
Number 5 was Lindt milk chocolate.

Everyone had their own favorites!

2C New Beginnings…

Thursday we looked at some dots arranged on a paper. The students were asked to count them, and then afterwards, explain how they counted them visually.

Here is the drawing of dots they looked at.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.48.26 PM

Here is how they counted them.


You may wonder why we did this. It is important for the children to think about their thinking and understand how people visualize things differently from one another. This helps us to be more open-minded and also to reflect on our learning.

This week, we talked about what we like and don’t like our classmates to do or say when we are working in Math groups or any group, even large groups.

Here is what the children had to say about what they like their classmates to do or say…

I like it when other smile. Bebe

I like it when we work as a team. Lime

I like it when my classmates say kind and helpful things to each other. Rene and Isa

I like people to share ideas with others. Louis

I like it when people are respectful. Kei and Vivi

I like it when others are patient. Andrew

I like people to help me when I need help. Lucas and Louie

I like it when we take turns. Sera

I like it when we listen to each other. Andrew

I like it when people play with other people. Lucas

I like it when people do their own work. Rene

I like to take care of my work and other’s work. Isa

Later we also decided that we like it when our classmates are honest and when we all focus.


2C has begun Unit 1, “People can be enriched by their own cultures and the cultures they connect with throughout their lives.” To begin, the children were asked, “What is culture?” First they took some thinking time, then they shared their ideas with a partner, and finally they shared with the class, building off each other’s ideas. Here is what they had to say…

I think in different places they do different stuff. Like in some places they don’t have buildings but here they have buildings. Teo


I think culture is eating different foods and using different languages. Isa

I think culture is something to do with art. Louis

I think culture is something that can break easily. Rene

I think culture is the things from other countries. Lime

I think culture is when people celebrate their country’s things. Yutika

I think culture is original Japanese… Justine

…like original stuff from each country. Kei

I think culture is something to build…something of art that is for building. Rene

Shoes… Yutika

Hairstyles… Isa

What are shoes and hairstyles part of? Miss C

Clothing… Kei

Toys Sera

Like in Africa they make balls out of hair and play with them… Isa

Yutika said that culture has to do with our celebrations. What do we do at a celebrations? Let’s think and then share with a partner and then share with the class.
Miss C

Fireworks Caren

Praying Lucas

Dancing Yukei


Pinata…games Louie

Parade… Louis

Music… Lime


Slide… Rene

Origami… Bebe

Balloons… Kouji

Lanterns… Justine


Colors… Teo

Colored lights… Louis

Drinks… Rene

Presents… Yukei

Cake… Kouji

Treats… Sera

Flowers… Vivi

Crafts like carving… Isa

Singing a song… Sera

Books… Yukei

Different kinds of beds… Lime

Talking in languages… Yutika


Clothes… Andrew

As the children continue to inquire into the central idea though the course of the unit, they will continue to build on their present understandings in relation to what culture looks like, what connections they make between cultures and what they think about different cultures.

Measuring Animals, Plants and Making Graphs

In Math, the children have been practicing linear measurement. Since we have been researching what our animals look like, we decided to use some of the information we collected to practice figuring out which tools to use and how to use them. The students were asked, “What tool do you think you should use to measure your animal?”

A ruler Mari
A ruler or meter stick Shunye
A trundle wheel Chanu
Other students said they would need a meter stick or a measuring tape.

On the playground, the children were asked to draw a line in chalk to represent the length of their animal. Next to the line, they wrote the measurement as well as the animal’s name. Ken took a picture of each student next to their measurement.


In Chanu’s case we needed students to help show how long his animal is, using their bodies. After all, the blue whale is the largest animal on Earth! Can you see how many Grade Two students it takes to measure a blue whale? Ken had to take two pictures to fit the whole animal in the frame! You might have to zoom in to count the little bodies laying on the playground!

During our measuring experience, some students had problems trying to figure out how to measure really long things with the tools they had. Kai’s measuring tape was only 150 centimeters long, but his animal, the Laysan albatross’s wingspan is about 3 meters. What could he do? With a little prompting, he was able to figure out that he could measure one meter at a time to make 3 meters. Chanu had an enormous predicament. He tried to measure the length of the blue whale and ran out of room. With some prompting, he started measuring where the yellow play area meets the rest of the playground. Unfortunately, he still ran out of room. He solve the problem by making a turn. After a quick chat, he realized that he it was okay to go outside the white lines, so he just extended his line toward the stairs. Other students had their measurements in feet, which they realized they couldn’t measure with metric tools. With a bit of help to convert to the metric system, they were able to measure easily.

Click on the photo below to see a slideshow in flicker.
2C Measuring Animal Length

2C also practiced measuring some potato plants over a two to three week period. They measured five plants and then six after one finally sprouted.


As scientists, they collected quite a bit of data in their charts. Several students realized that their charts were quite messy and hard to read. Since they have learned that scientists need to collect and record their data carefully, several students made their chart again. In the end, they all had at least five days worth of potato plant measurements.

Our next step was to learn about what type of graph is used for showing change over a period of time. We talked about different types of graphs, such as the pictograph and bar graphs. Next, we watched a video on Brainpopjr to learn about line graphs. We looked at our data about the toads to find our highest and lowest number of toads per day. This helped us to decide what type of scale we would use. Then we used the data we collected on our toads to create a line graph as a class.


Finally, each student used the data from one of the plants to create their own line graph, including title, subtitles, labeling, and scale. Here are a few examples.