Writers and Storytellers in 2M

This was the first week of our new Unit of Inquiry, How we Express Ourselves. Our central idea is that stories can be constructed, retold and interpreted in different ways.  We began by sharing the stories that the students are reading for our weekly guided reading sessions.

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Everyone is used to our routine where one group works with me and the rest of the students work independently, reading their guided reading books, adding them to their reading logs, and writing a brief summary in their reading journals.  Up to this point, the summaries have been quite simple ones.  The students have used the writing prompts:  This book begins when….Then….Next ….In the end.  Now that we are looking more closely at what makes a good story, we will add a review element to our summaries.  This week, we started by adding what the students think about the book they are reading.  For example, in their opinion, is the  book a good book, or an interesting story, and why?  Next week, we will co-construct criteria for what makes a good story so that we can begin to be more detailed in our summaries, making them more like book reviews. Many students asked to share their summaries this week as they wanted the class to hear about the books they are reading.

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We then began to think more about the writing process. In our Writer’s Workshop sessions, the children are excellent at generating ideas and writing creative and original stories.  We are now looking more closely at the proof-reading or editing process. When we edit our writing, we look for part of writing that we are “Tickled Pink” about and areas where we have “Room to Grow”.  The students and I use green highlighter to highlight spelling mistakes, missing full-stops etc.  We use a pink highlighter to identify good writing habits. Together, we came up with this list of areas of check when we edit our writing:

1.  Correct spelling of “no-excuse” words.  

2.  Upper case letters at the beginning of sentences and full-stops at the end of sentences.

3.  Finger spaces between words and printing that is easy to read.

4.  Do my sentences make sense?

 Ms. M:  Why is it important to edit our writing?

Because we need to know what you think you did really well, and what you think you need to work on (Ali).

You need to know how you are doing and what is difficult. If you got lots of tickled pink for using capitals or finger spaces, you are really good at it (Ryu).

When you are tickled pink, you were really careful with that thing, and when you see some room to grow, you can watch for that next time (Seonyul).

Next time when you write you can remember to spell the word correctly, or you will always have upper case letter at the beginning of sentences (Vivian).

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We explored different ways to write stories this week and the students were very creative!  

2M Writers and Storytellers

Here are some more photos from our week…

More photos from November 20th-23rd in 2M

Watching the Weather

The students can feel a change in the weather and took this as an opportunity to see if there is in fact a change in temperature this week.  We noticed that using the thermometers to collect the data was often a little difficult.

“Each thermometer is a little bit different, so you have to use the same one each day.  Otherwise, you won’t know if the degrees are the same or different.”  (Vivian)

“Be very careful with the thermometer, it can break easily.” (Jingyi)

“You have to wait a couple of seconds for the liquid in the thermometer to go up or down.  To heat up.”  (Ali)

Watching the Temperature in 2M

One of our research groups is looking at how warm temperatures over oceans can cause storms and typhoons.  

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“The water is getting warm because the sun is on it.  Then the vapour goes up and makes the clouds.  That’s one part of it.”  (Seonyul)

Building Community in our Classroom

The children are very serious about the “Dragon Café” they created and play in during free inquiry time.  The students have written menus, made food using classroom materials, have prices, and are buying and selling the treats in the café.

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It is such a popular area in our classroom, and the students are so passionate about how the café should be run, that they asked for help to ensure that everyone who plays is happy and able to solve problems that arise.  During our weekly class meeting with Ms. Kumamoto, we discussed what it means to be supportive of each other, and mindful of each others’ needs.  The class decided that before we opened the café for the day, we needed to think about how we work and play together in the space.  First thing this morning, the students sat down to share their ideas.

Working on our Essential Agreement in 2M

We respect each other.  (Saneyuki)

We use nice words and actions and look for people who need help.  (Johnny)

We can help each other. (Henry)

We should use kind words. (Seonyul)

Use inside and friendly voices. (Thanina)

When we talk, we use nice tones. (Ophelia)

Talk with a quiet, kind voice. (Kane)

We have to agree with other people’s ideas sometimes. We are kind. We say things like, “That is nice”. (Ryu)

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With the ideas fresh in our minds, the students set off to play once again.  It was lovely to see the class working together on a project that they are all so excited about.

More photos from this week…

Other Photos from November 16-20 in 2M

Reading Together in 2M

Our first two weeks of Grade 2 Community Reading were very much enjoyed by all the students.  We will continue with our Community Reads throughout the year and look forward to the opportunity to share our love of reading with our families and friends.

The Grade 2 Community Reads

We also love to look for spelling patterns in words together as we do our word sorts.  We know that reading makes us better writers, helps us to relax, helps us to learn more about the world around us, and that we have fun when we read together!

Word sorts and guided reading in 2M

We are Knowledgeable

The students are researching various types of weather.  They each chose a type of weather to inquire into and they are looking for information to explain the following questions:

What is this type of weather like?

Where does this type of weather happen?

What causes this type of weather?

How does this type of weather affect people and how can people predict this type of weather?

We are Knowledgeable

The students who chose to research lightning shared some of the information they have gathered so far.

When asked what it means to be knowledgeable, the students replied:

It means that you know what you are doing. (Ophelia)

You are smart.  You have lots of ideas and you know lots of things. (Ali)

I am knowledgeable because I speak English and Korean. (Seonyul)

When you are knowledgeable you can learn even more. (Sam)

When you are knowledgeable, you feel like you have courage because you feel like you know what to do. (Ophelia)

 

More Experiments!

As we continue to inquire into the causes of weather, we are exploring the idea that new evidence can change our thinking.  We are scientists looking for evidence to explain the weather and the world around us.  The students are curious and watchful.  Last week, we participated in a demonstration alongside 2C to observe and discover more about how heat causes movement.

This week, we used our research skills to record what we observed in the experiment.  We are taking notes to describe the aim of the experiment, the materials needed, our method, observations, conclusions and further questions.

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Today, we performed an experiment to investigate what happens when we add cold air to water vapour in a plastic bottle.

The cold air makes a cloud when it mixed with the water in the warm air – Seonyul

The air was clear and hot before we added the ice cube on top of the warm water, then it was cloudy and cool – Ali

It’s like evaporation – Johnny.

Precipitation is when it rains afterwards – Saneyuki

2M Makes Water Vapour

Weather Experts!

Yesterday, we went to the weather experts at the meteorological center to learn more about the different methods used to predict and explain the weather.  Back in the classroom, the students shared their thinking about how the scientists who work there measure temperature, humidity, and wind speed and direction.

 

“I can see what shape raindrops are and I know that the air can hold raindrops up unless there is too much water and then they fall.”

“It is like the precipitation.”

“Wind can blow the raindrops around.”

“This is for measuring how much rain falls.  It is important to us because we need rain for so many things.”

“We need to know which way the wind is blowing and how fast it is blowing, because it can help us to know if there is a storm is coming.”

“…or the wind can bring cold air to us.”

2M visits the weather center