Grade 2 Student-Led Conferences!

For the past few weeks of school, the Grade 2s have been preparing for their Student-Led Conferences. As a class, the children brainstormed a variety of learning experiences that they wanted to share with their parents during their conference time. They came up with a big list of ideas for Unit of Inquiry, Mathematics, and Language and then narrowed it down.

Above is our new student, Karen, who is teaching her parents about estimating and measuring water using milliliters. She has only been here for two weeks!

Here are some of their ideas:

The children who attend Japanese class presented their Japanese book reviews or how they are building their directional language. In addition, all the children chose one of their single subjects learning experiences to present. Students in Grade 2 chose one of the following activities: Art Sculpting with Clay, the Drama Hot Seat Interview, the Physical Education Activity Log, and Playing the Xylophone for Music.



All the learning experiences were activities that the children had done in class. The children spent a lot of time preparing for their conference and organizing their materials for the big day. During the conferences the children taught their parents what they learned and let the parents have a go. They explained their current understandings, answered questions and led them through the conference, even completing a reflection and Seesaw post for their Learning Journals.  They spoke in English as well as their mother tongue to explain to the best of their ability. The children did a wonderful job leading their parents through their conference with confidence and independence.




2C Reviews Chick-O-Saurus Rex

To inquire into Book Reviews, 2C investigated a site called Spaghetti Book Club. On this site, the children were able to read book reviews written by other children. After the students had a chance to read many reviews, we created a list of things we find in a book review.


-book title
-author’s name
-illustrator’s name
-a short summaryor teaser (but not too much)
-book genre (mystery, humor, fantasy, etc.)
-what we like about the book
-what age it is good for
-descriptive words
-reviewer’s name

We read the book called Chick-O-Saurus Rex and began writing a review as a class, being sure to include all the features of a good book review. Each and every student helped to write the review by adding their ideas and listening to other’s suggestions, so they could build upon each other’s ideas.

If we had to review our review, we would say, “It is a must read!” because we were sure to include all the features.

We recommend reading Chick-o-saurus Rex by Lenore and Daniel Jennewein because it is a REALLY funny story. It is a FUNtastic book for kids and grown ups! This story begins with a chicken who wanted to play in a tree house, but there were bullies guarding the tree house. They wouldn’t let him play until he could show how mighty his family was. The illustrations are also exciting and humorous! Read to find out how the chicken solves the problem with advice from his dad. WARNING: This book is so hilarious and silly you might cry or hurt your tummy from laughing too hard. When you read this book have fun, trying to use different voices for each character.

Here is a recording of our review!

The children are in the process of working with a partner to write their own book review for one of the Sakura Medal Books in the Library. They are using the model that we wrote together as a guide. When they finish, they will share their reviews, reflect on their learning and choose the three best ones to be published for the Library.

A Visit with Kathryn Claire

This week, we had a visit from musician and storyteller, Kathryn Claire, who has visited YIS several times.

Miss Claire began by teaching us the chorus for Inch by Inch. She played guitar and sang the verses, and then we all sang the chorus together and did the motions.

Inch by Inch – chorus:

Inch by inch
Row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch
Row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
Till the rain comes tumbling down

Next, we sang a fun song called Turkey in the Straw. Miss Claire sang the verses, and we joined in for the chorus and motions once again.

Turkey in the straw – ha ha ha!
Turkey in the hay – what did you say?
Bullfrog dance with his mother in law
Pick a little tune called turkey in the straw


Next, Miss Claire worked with us to reconstruct the well-known American folksong, “Oh, Susanna!” Miss Clair provided 2C with an alternate chorus.

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

As the alternate chorus states, the children took turns making suggestions for the new verses. When creating the verses, the had to pay special attention to the last word of each line to be sure they rhymed.

Come on! Come on! (to the Melody of “Oh, Susanna!”)

Well I come from England with an iPad in my hand
And I’m going to Japan to travel ‘round the land.

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Egypt with a ukulele on my head
And I’m going to India to dance on my bed

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Hawaii with a trumpet near my mouth
And I’m going to Indonesia to travel East and South

Come on! Come on!
Let’s write a song
You take a turn and I’ll take a turn
And we’ll all sing along!

Well I come from Canada with a hotdog in my belly
And I’m going to the USA to eat some cheese that’s smelly

For our last song, Miss Claire sang “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”, and we acted out the meaning of the song.

Grade 2 Creates!

We continue to create a variety of different stories and share our stories with classmates, parents and friends.

This week, we began to plan and create a new story. We used story spinners for the first time to give us ideas and details for our settings. Some students didn’t like the idea from the spinner, so they spun again or came up with their own ideas and details and then recorded them in a Telling Brainframe.

Next, we used the spinners to come up with characters for our stories. Once again, if the students didn’t like what they came up with using the spinners, they tried again or chose their own characters and details to describe them. To create our characters, we drew a simple picture and used a Categorizing Brainframe to show the character’s roles, likes/dislikes, appearance and emotions.

After we came up with one of the main characters and the setting, we shared our ideas with our classmates. This helped us to think more deeply about our stories and come up with more ideas and details.

Next came the planning of the sequence of events. The students used a Sequencing Brainframe to record their events including problems and solutions.

After sharing our sequence of events and reflecting on our plans carefully to make sure that our ideas flowed and connected, we made adjustments.

Before the break, Mr. Laing came in to brainstorm a list of time transition words with half the class while I worked with the students to reflect on some stories that they had already written.

Together we developed a great list of transitions we can use to make our stories more interesting to the reader! Here are some of our ideas for what we can write instead of “And then”:

Later that day…
In the afternoon…
A few seconds later…
Before he knew it…
That night…
After that….
That morning…
The next morning…
At sunset…
When the full moon came up…
A few minutes later…

When reflecting on one of our stories, we looked to see that we had included setting (time/place) as well as a problem and solution. If we discovered that we were missing the setting, problem or solution, we made a sticky note to remind ourselves to include them. Then we made notes of our ideas on additional sticky notes, so we could add the information later.

These skills will help us as we write, refine and share our stories.

See the links below for more photos from our week.

Candied Yuzu

Making Puppets With Our Buddies

Subtracting Using the 100 Chart

2C Thinks About Setting

We are learning to notice and appreciate descriptions in the settings we read about. To begin our lesson, we thought about the word “adjectives”. One student thought that maybe it was detail, which is pretty close to what it is. We decided that adjectives are words that describe or add detail.

Mr. Graham asked the children to close their eyes and picture a dog. Then he asked them what color the dog was and what did it look like. The children answered…brown, black, little and white with black spots and smelly, a black and white Dalmation, tiny and brown, and so on…

Next, we practiced using descriptive language to talk about settings. I described a photo to Mr. Laing, while Mr. Laing drew what I described. Then we showed the children both pictures.

We further explored the idea of adjectives and other ways to describe a place. Each student had a partner. One partner turned over a card with an interesting picture of a place. They then had to describe the setting so that their partner could draw it without seeing the picture. We practiced our speaking and listening skills and asked questions to find out more about what the setting looked like.

After we ran out of things to describe in the scene or questions to answer, we compared the drawing with the picture to see how well we described the setting.


Be sure to click on the following Flickr album to enjoy pictures from the week.

2C Week of Dec. 12-16