We are Communicators

We are Communicators

This week, we began our new Unit of Inquiry, How We Organize Ourselves.  Our Central idea is that Communication connects communities and individuals. We asked the students what communication means to them.

Johnny – You can explain clearly when you talk.

Henry – You should sit criss cross and not annoy others others when we have a meeting at the carpet so that you are letting other people think.

Ryu – It is whole body listening.

Ali – It means not talking over others.

Ophelia – You don’t argue because then you only use your words and you are not listening with your whole body.

As a provocation to the Unit, we played the game, Jarnga.  The students had to play without speaking and so, had to use different ways to communicate.  Here were some of their reflections on the experience:

2M Jarnga

Yoshna – You can show actions.

Ophelia – You don’t always use words when you communicate.

Seonyul- Talking with others (is communication).

Johnny- You can use communication without moving. You can use your facial expressions.

Ryu – Talking is one communication and you can have other communication like hand signals and writing about what you are thinking.

Thanina – You can write what you want to say if you can’t talk.

Valmik – Email (is one way to communicate).

Ali – Sometimes you can’t talk, you can always use sign language, facial expression, writing, to show what you want to say to other people.

Henry – Body language (is a type of communication).

Jingyi – You can talk on the phone.

Mary – You can send mail.

Vivian – You can move your body and tell what you want to say if you can’t talk.

Sam – Sometimes if you do something without talking, someone might think you are saying something else.

Hamish – It’s hard to communicate if you can’t talk and can’t write.  Sign language is not always easy to understand.

Kane – Sometimes communication is hard because if you use your hands it is a little bit hard for people to know what you mean. Like if you put your hands together to mean read a book, other people might think that you mean, butterfly.

Alex – Sometimes communication is difficult because if you can’t talk and you just use your hands, other people will think you mean something else.

Saneyuki- Sometimes communication is difficult because if you can’t learn hand signals, it will be hard to let other people know what you want to say.

IMG_2405Student-Led Conferences was another opportunity to communicate our thinking and learning. After Student-Led Conferences, the children reflected on the experience. They were asked to communicate two ideas about their SLC. When we reflect, we asked the students to focus on the following: an aspect of the a Learner Profile or PYP Attitude that they demonstrate (green), a skill they practice (blue), a wondering they have (pink), or something new they found out (orange).

Ryu – I practiced a new skill: how to explain.

Thanina – I practiced showing what I know and I was brave.

Alex – I practiced my English.

Yoshna – I was a communicator because I shared my thinking.

Sam – I was a risk taker.  I felt shy, but I still did it.

Kane – I was knowledgeable and it was a little bit hard to explain my work.

Henry – I was a risk taker because it was a little bit embarrassing with all the other kids’ parents in the room, but I still shared my learning.

Ali – I felt open minded because it was my first time doing this.

Ophelia – I was a thinker because I shared ideas of my own.

Seonyul – I found out that I could do it!

Mary – I felt proud that I taught my parents a lot.

Hamish – It was challenging to explain my thinking. But I did it.

Johnny – I felt that I was a risk taker, teaching my parents what I learned.

Valmik – I used the computer to help my parents find out how soccer affects your heart.

Jingyi – I practiced making a face with clay. I wonder why clay is made from.

Seonyul – I wonder how I could do better even though I did a good job.

Thank you all for sharing at the Student-Led Conferences.

The students started their own personal blogs as well this week.  We are inquiring into how we can best use these blogs to share our learning and thinking.  Watch this space for more on our student blogs.

2M Making Student Blog

Other photos from the week…

Word Work Photo Album

2M Word Splash

Community Reading Photo Album

2M Community Reading

Are We Brushing our Teeth Effectively Photo Album

2M Tooth Brushing

A Visit from the Dentist

On Tuesday morning, the Grade 2s had a visit from the dentist.


Before the visit, we asked the students what they already knew about caring for their teeth. Here are some of their ideas:

Johnny – Food gets stuck in your teeth and makes a bad cavity or infection.

Ophelia – Don’t eat too much candy because then you will get cavities.

Ali – You should always brush your teeth twice or three times a day.


We are learning about the choices we make and how they affect our health. The most surprising part of the visit was learning about how sugar affects our teeth. We learned that many of our favourite drinks have much more sugar than we thought they did.


Next week, the children will look more closely at exactly how much sugar is in the food they eat so that they can make informed and healthy choices.

Please click on the album below for more pictures from the visit.

Gr2 Dr.Kaku's Teeth Presentation


Mindful Meditation

This week, the children learned about meditation as part of our inquiry into how “Lifestyle choices that people make can affect their health.” We have been thinking a great deal about balance and also the many different ways we can relax. This experience was particularly important because we are inquiring into how our interactions with others affect our emotional well-being. We know that being mindful of others helps us build positive relationships. In this meditation session, we inquired into what it means to mindful…focused…thoughtful…present.


Miss Ethel was our teacher for the session. She brought flowers for harmony and candles for calm, and the room was dimly lit and quiet. She taught the children three different ways to meditate. Miss Ethel explained that her purpose for meditation was to “Calm our mind to make us present in the moment and to feel happy. Meditation can give us a calm heart, make us feel happy and in present in the mind.”


Ali – Meditation helps you calm down and is good for your emotional health.

Ophelia – For me, it clears my mind when I am angry so I don’t need to keep being angry.

Ryu – It means you are relaxed and have a good heart and a relaxed mind.

Saneyuki – You can be positive.  You can use your words with people (when your mind and heart is calm).

Johnny – When you meditate it is like clearing your thinking. You don’t  think about things that make you angry, but you might think about happy stuff.

First, Miss Ethel asked the children to lay down in a comfortable position and close their eyes. She then asked them to pay attention to their five senses one at a time. After each question, she rang a bell.

What do you hear?

What do you smell?

What do you taste?

What do you feel?

What do you see?


Next, we practice a meditation technique to calm our emotions and make us feel happy about ourselves. We closed our eyes and said to ourselves (without talking):

“I am a beautiful person.

I am a lovely person.

I love myself exactly as I am.”

We then imagined that:

“My toes are smiling.

My ankles are smiling.

My tummy is smiling.

My hair is smiling.

My forehead is smiling.”


Thanina – That made me feel happy.

Jingyi – It makes my heart calm down.  If I am worried, I can do that to feel better.

Ryu – It made my heart calm and relaxed.

Kane – I was relaxed and dizzy.

Seonyul- I felt calm.

Sam – I felt good.

Lara – I felt happy and relaxed.

The purpose of the next meditation exercise, Five Senses Snack, was to help us think about the food we eat. The children were given a raisin to hold. Miss Ethel asked them to use their 5 senses so that they could be mindful of what they were about to eat.  She asked the students:

“What do you feel?”

“What do you see?”

“What do you hear (after taking a bite of the raisin)?”

“What do you taste?”

“What do you smell?”



Afterwards, the children drew a picture to show how the meditation made them feel.


After our session we asked the children share what it means to me mindful:

Mary – To be nice (to other people and ourselves).

Vivian – To think deeply in your mind.

Lara – To be a thinker.

Hamish – Being mindful is when you help other people.

Please click on the albums below to see other photos from the week…

More Mindful Meditation Photos

2M Meditation

Our Second Visit to the HS Science Lab to See how our Germs Have Grown

2M Germ Observation

Working With Words to Find Spelling Patterns

2M Word Work

This Week’s Community Reading

2M Community Reading


Promoting Wellness

After much inquiry into the criteria needed for writing a menu, organizing our ideas and planning, the students were keen to get started on writing the menus for the healthy café they created in the classroom.  We have three groups, each working on a different menu for the café that was created in the classroom: the Weekday Menu, the Weekend menu and the Holiday menu.  Each person in the group is responsible for writing one section of their group’s menu.  The descriptive language and creative names they are using make for mouth-watering reads!

2M Menu Writing

With lots of talk about being active and fitness, the students wanted to know how many times they would have to run around the playground in order to run 1 kilometer.  This was an opportunity for us to practice measuring with standard units of measurement.  

2M Measuring Distance

After learning about flexibility, strength and balance with Ms. Leanne during an inquiry into dance in this week’s Drama session, the students came up with the idea of measuring how far each other is able to stretch.  A good opportunity to measure in centimeters!


In the HS lab, we were able to observe the gems we collected last week to see if they had grown at all.  It was interesting to see which surfaces had the most germs.  Some germs had grown into colonies, but some had not quite done so yet.  Next week, we will take another look and hopefully see more!  We had a visit from our school nurse today to show us how germs are spread when we forget to wash our hands or when we rush.  Not to worry , Nurse Michiko used hand lotion and glitter, not real germs, to help us see how easily germs are spread when we forget to lather, rinse and dry!

2M Observing Germs

2M Michiko's Lesson

Preparing for our visit to the senior’s home was serious work but also a lot of fun.  Below, the children are all learning to make origami frogs and learning to sing a song about frogs in Japanese.  The inspiration came from the toad eggs we have in our classroom and the tadpoles that are beginning to grow.  The students wanted to do something interactive with the seniors as our goal is to make a connections with them.  Before going to the senior’s home, the students came up with the following ideas about why we are going there and what we have to give to the seniors, as well as what we have to learn from them:

Jingyi and Mary: We are giving them joy because we can do origami with them.  We are learning about (life) a long time ago.

Henry and Kane:  We are spending time with them to make them feel cared for.  We can learn about how they grew up.

Ophelia and Lara: We can give them joy and entertainment by singing.  We are learning to care for others.

Saneyuki and Valmik:  We are giving them company.  We can maybe learn about life a long time ago.

Ali and Alex: We are giving them a fun thing to do (origami).  We can learn about the past.

Sam and Johnny: We hope we can help them.  We can learn about caring for people.

Hamish and Seonyul:  Singing makes people feel good, so hopefully they can sing along with us since this is a famous Japanese song.  We are learning about their life.

Ryu and Vivian:  We are having fun making origami and we can share the fun with them.  We can learn about Japanese culture.

The pictures below are of the children preparing for our visit but we are not able to post the pictures we took there as those are the rules at the senior’s home.


G2 Team Time Origami