We are Authors!

It was incredible to see how much the students of 2M love to write!  We began our Writer’s Workshop this week and the students were eager to get started.  Everyone was keen add interesting details, use exciting language and revise and share their writing.

We are authors


During our indoor recesses due to the wet weather this week, many of the students asked if they could continue writing their stories instead of playing indoor games.  They are very serious authors, indeed!  They might want to share their ideas for their stories with you at home.



The students each chose a book from our unit of inquiry collection to become an “expert” on.  They took time to really get to know the book and its contents.  They recorded what they had learnt from the book on Doodle Cast Pro and then presented to their groups.


The groups were asked to record their wonderings, which will drive our inquires next week.

Some of the ideas we’d like to explore include:

How is breakfast similar or different in different parts of the world?

The different flavours of food in different countries.

They ways people around the world use water.

Poems around the world.

2M Wonderings

Looking for Patterns…


After noticing the patterns in pieces of Mexican and Indian art, the students were inspired to create their own art with patterns.

2M looking for patterns

Next, we used the thinking routine, Generate, Sort, Elaborate to come up with our own definition of what a pattern is.  Some of the students’ ideas included:

“A pattern is one, two, one, two.”

“A pattern is a drawing that has 2 or 3 colours in order and keeps going.”

“A patter is the same numbers again and again.”

“It is shapes and colour that repeat and repeat.”

“It could be like 123123.”


We are now thinking about the patterns we can find in number.  Some questions we are exploring include:

How is pattern connected to skip counting?

How is pattern connected to place value?

Do patterns help us with addition and subtraction?

2M Pattern in Numbers


2M Looks for Cultural Artefacts

What incredible cultural artefacts have brought in with their culture collections.  It is so interesting to share each of them and learne about the cultures the artefacts are connected to, and how they have enriched our lives.  The students have been presenting their artefacts to one another and to their Grade 4 Learning Buddies.  They have been writing about them as well. Please click on the photo below for more pictures of the students sharing their culture collections.

2M Cultural Artefacts

During our culture walk to Yamate shopping area, the students identified the images in the photos below as cultural artefacts and took pictures using their ipads.  Please click on the photo to see more. 

2M Culture Walk



Collecting and Representing Data

2M has been working together to create graphs in order to display information about ourselves.  So far, we have created bar graphs to represent our height and our birthdays. We have begun our bar graph to show how many teeth are lost in each month of this school year, as well.  It is now time for the students to begin asking questions, collecting data, and organising the data in a way that can be represented in a graph.


We began with questions we had about preferences for colour, types of food and nationalities.  The students came up with their own questions and interviewed each other as a means of collecting the data.  What we found was that questions such as “What is your favourite colour?” and “What is your favourite food?” did not give us data that was easily graphed.  We then thought of questions that would lead to information we could easily organise in a graph.  


In preparation for our culture walk, we looked at different ways of shopping around the world.  We noticed that there were differences in the places that people’s food and clothing comes from.  So we set up two questionnaires: 1. Where does your food come from? a) it is ordered online b) a market b) a supermarket c) a farm or garden

2. Where do your clothes come from? a) ordered online b) handmade c) department store or shopping mall c) small shop.

After interviewing each other, we then worked together to decided how best to display the information.


2M Experiences the Art of Ikebana

We loved learning about Ikebana at the ICJC this week.  We inquired into how this element of Japanese culture plays an important roles in the lives of those who practice it.  To connect to our central idea, we asked the students to explain how they felt when creating their flower arrangements. Here are a few of their ideas as to the effect Ikebana had on them:


“I feel happy.”

“It makes me calm and relaxed.”

Click on the picture below to see more photos of our Ikebana lesson.

Ikebana with 2M

Fun Around the World


Last week, one of the ways that the students practiced working together in Drama was by learning to dance the Kinder Polka. Back in the homeroom on Monday, the students taught me the dance, too.  Not only is the dance fun to perform, it also gave us a great excuse to get up and move!  After teaching me the dance, we saw an opportunity to practice writing to explain.  As a shared writing experience, the students and I wrote the direction for the dance:

How to Dance the Kinder Polka

Written by 2M

1. Make a large circle.

2. Put an object in the middle of the circle so that everyone knows where the middle is.

3. Turn to a partner and hold their hands.  Stretch your arms out to the side.

4.  Step twice towards the middle of the circle.   Step at the same time at the others.  Say: “Step together, and step together”.

5. Then take two steps out of the circle and say: “Step away, and step away.”

6. Do step 4 and 5 two times.

7.  Turn to you partner and tap your thighs twice, clap your hands twice, and clap you partner’s hands twice, saying “Slap, slap, clap, clap, tap, tap”. Do this twice.

8. Pretend to have a disagreement with you partner. Wag your finger and shake your foot towards them, first with one hand, and then with the other.

9. Clap your partner’s hands and draw a large circle in the air with both of your hands together.

10. Turn to a new partner.

11. Repeat the steps above with your new partner.




Together, we looked at our instructions for dancing the Kinder Polka and noticed that each step was numbered, the sentences were listed rather than written as a paragraph, and that each sentence began with a verb.  Next, the students set out to write the directions for making dango using the pictures of each of the steps we performed during our cooking session at ICJC, the week before.  As we wrote out the steps for making dango, we revised our writing to make sure that we used the characteristics we identified for written instructions.

During Free Inquiry, many of the 2M students inquired into games around the world, and wanted to practice explaining how to play these games to their classmates.  We are sure to find more opportunities for writing to explain as we teach each other how to play these games.  Click on the album below to see more picture of the students exploring games from around the world.

2M Games Around the World

2M looks for symbols in art

After learning about Australian Aboriginal art during this week’s Grade 2 Team Time, the students wanted to inquire further into how this art was connected to the artists’ culture.  Together, we looked at books with Australian Aboriginal art as well as images on line and recorded the similarities we noticed.  We then discovered that the images that were repeated in the art were actually symbols to represent animals, gathering spots, weather water, food and so on.


We then saw an opportunity to count the symbols.  The children practiced making tally marks to record the number of symbols the found and practiced counting by 5s as well.


As you visit the classroom in the weeks to come, be sure to take a look at the art the children have been inspired to create!


Homes Around the World

During our brainstorming sessions about the different elements of culture, we kept coming back to the idea that places are part of our culture and that where we live influences how we live.  Last week, Henry and Ophelia had wanted to look into different homes around the world and this week, we continued to look at how your home and where you live might influence your habits and your culture.

We began with this photo and used the thinking routine “I see…I think… I wonder…” to share our ideas about what we saw.



Next, the students worked in small groups to analyse photographs of other pictures of homes around the wold and share their thinking about them.

2M Looking at homes around the world