Thinking about How We Communicate Messages Without Speaking

The students visited with a communications expert, Marie Asaoka, to inquire into non-verbal communication as well as culture and communication. Our communication expert works with customer service for Japan Airlines. She coaches employees on how to use their non-verbal communication to show respect and welcome others.  


The students made connections to their interactions with others and reflected on how they can use eye contact to show others that they are listening and care about what they are saying.

We also made the connection that we can use what we learned about bowing and eye contact when we meet with the seniors during our Service Learning visits to the retirement home. Even though communicating by speaking is often difficult, we can show respect and show that we care by bowing appropriately and by making eye contact( speaking with our eyes).

We have also been practicing using our eye contact in the mornings when we greet each other.  Our morning meetings are even more lovely, now!

The children were also asked to use their non-verbal communication skills to organize themselves by their birthdates. Some children automatically took the lead by using hand signals and facial gestures to communicate the the month and day of their birthday. The others followed. During the experience, the children modeled good eye contact, cooperation, respect and perseverance. In the end, the children realized how important it is to understand a variety of non-verbal skills.

We asked students to reflect on their learning and how they might use this to help them communicate with others. We asked them “Think about how you use non-verbal communication.” Here are some of their ideas:

I used to think…. Now I think…..
I didn’t know a lot about Japanese. I know how to bow and how to say some words.
That eye contact is not so important. Eye contact is very helpful. We can send a message with our eyes and we can make people feel good when we look at their eyes if we say “hello” or “I’m sorry”.
In Japan not everyone says “good morning”. Now I know you say” good morning” to show respect and you say lots of other things too.  You say “Let’s eat together”, and “Thank you for the food” and “I’m home from school!”
If I don’t speak Japanese then I cannot speak to the Seniors. I can speak with my eyes!


Please see the photo albums below for other highlights from our week:

Working with Number

2M working with numbers

Learning How to Use Google Slides

2M learning how to use google slide

Visiting the Grade 5 Exhibition



Comics as a Means of Communication

This week, Miss Srishti visited the Grade 2s to help us inquire into Comics. Miss Srishti told us that she has always loved comic strips. We talked about comics that we were familiar with or had read before and later looked at many different samples of comic strips. Next, we made a list of all the things that we noticed about them. The most important thing we noticed and realized was that comics send messages. Their main purpose is to entertain, and many of them teach us lessons about life. To help us learn about how to get ideas for comic strips, we watched a video.

From the video, we learned that comic strip writers get a lot of their ideas from things and events around them…problems we have at school, friendship, pranks, and more.

Finally, we got a chance to create our own comics!

On Thursday afternoon, our Grade 9 Buddies (Kenryo, Elena, Grace, Chloe, Kelly, James, Hana, Max, Pheobe, An, Jan, and Toma) visited us. We shared the comics that we made the other day with them. Then we had the chance to make another comic strip. Some of the groups worked together to make one comic and some worked individually. The Grade 9s helped us to think of ideas and gave us advice about how to draw. It was a lot of fun to share this time with them!

G2 HS BuddiesBelow are some of the reflections from our Grade 2 and HS buddies:

Something that worked well was:

  • We had fun sharing our comics!
  • Together, we made great stories.
  • We worked well together.  We listened to each other’s ideas and laughed together.
  • We worked together to improve our drawings.
  • We learned how to make bigger comics that are easier to see.
  • We learned that it is harder to make a comic on our own.  It is easier with friends.

Something we would like to try next time is:

  • We could add even more details to our drawings.
  • Maybe we could finish all the illustrations.
  • We know each other better now, so next time it will be easier to share our ideas together.

Please click on the albums below to see other highlights from our week:

International Flag Signals and Ancient Languages Workshops

G2 Workshop #3

Sharing our Writing

Sharing our Writing in 2M

Community Reading

Community Reading 2M


Looking for Messages in Art

The children have been building their communication and thinking skills. During one of our workshops the children were asked to share what they SEE, THINK, or WONDER about a selection of paintings. They were asked to choose from a variety of pictures and write their comments. When we write down our observations, thoughts and wonderings, others can see them as well, and as a class, we build a deeper understanding.

2M see, think, wonder

When the students reflected on their learning here, these were some of their ideas:

What we did… This was important for our learning because…. What we learned was… My next steps are…
  • Looked closely at the details in the paintings
  • Thought about the artists’ message
  • Shared our thinking
  • Listened to other people’s ideas
  • Enjoyed the art
  • We are learning when we share our ideas with other people and listen to other people
  • Sometimes you have a different idea about the message
  • Painting can share a message
  • Art can share feelings
  • I can send a message with art
  • We can tell a story with art
  • I wonder if all paintings have a message?
  • I can try to communicate by making a painting
  • I can ask other people what they think about art

Please click on the albums below to see other photo highlights from our week!

Our Visit to the Yokohama Communications Library

2M Yokohama Communication Library

Creating Criteria for our Book Reviews

Creating criteria for our book reivews

Working With Number

Working with Number

Building our Understanding of our Unit of Inquiry Vocabulary

Building our understanding of the UOI Vocabualry

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 to the ones they would teach their parents about during our Student-Led Conferences.

Student-Led Conferences 2017

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.