The last week of Grade 2 has been a busy one. We kicked off the week with our whole school Sports Day, where the students had signed up for various races and field events. Some of the children even challenged themselves to run the 400m race. The students enjoyed celebrating sportsmanship, physical activity and team-work.
Back in class, we celebrated our maths learning through our fraction and sharing picnic. The children each explained what they had brought and how they thought it would be best shared. Then they feasted!
The class party was a chance to dance and have fun together as a whole grade. Thank you to the parents for organising it.
As a final end to our year, the children each shared their learning or action for our last unit.
Isabelle, Ray, Charlie, Hugh, Maria, Yuma, Hyuga, Shoichi- The Garden Group
We wanted to make a new garden habitat to attract more insects and animals. Ms. Kate and Ms. Miriam gave us some of their plants from home and we planted them near the big tree, along with some we brought in ourselves. We will look after the garden and keep adding to it. We will also observe it carefully to see if more insects come to ISS.
Fedor- Alternative, Sustainable Food
When I was researching, I found out about edible plastic and the 50 Future Foods. If we eat more of these kinds of foods and less meat, we can help the Earth.
Evan, Yun Ho- Food Webs
We drew food webs from the different habitats. We learnt that all food webs must begin with the Sun and a plant. This means we all need plants to survive.
Jiahna- Habitat and Food chain model
I made a model of a River habitat. I included some of the problems like people polluting or building dams.
Sara- Habitat Poster
I made a poster about Rainforests and the problems they can face, like deforestation.
Yuuki- Pet Advice Booklet
I made a book telling people what pets need. We are responsible for all their needs because they are not wild animals with their own habitat.
Towards the end of the week, the children sketch-noted their memories of Grade 2 and wrote a final reflection for the year.
Finally, we said good-bye to our friends who are leaving ISS (Fedor, Hugh and Jiahna) and hope they will keep in touch with us all.
Hugh brought some donuts as a farewell treat before he moves back to the UK. We also said good-bye to Grade 2- thanks for a wonderful year!
This week the students took ownership of their learning and continued working on their chosen action individually and in groups.
We carried this student agency and responsibility into our Maths as the children reflected on which areas they wanted to improve and work on in the next few days. They chose to consolidate their understanding, accuracy or speed using online resources such as Mathletics, written calculations, hands-on practise with clocks or through writing and drawing. We also have a potential investigation into sun-dials.
In our writing we have been looking at comic strips and poetry. We used our unit of inquiry as inspiration. Here are a range of poems about habitats and animals. Their comic strips which illustrate the time sequenced flow of a food chain are a great example of trans-disciplinary learning.
During Daily 5, the children were asked to explore biographies of people connected to any of our units during Grade 2. They then chose one person who they found inspiring and shared details of this person.
We also found time to visit the annual Big Eyes, Big Minds Film Festival during which we watched eleven short films from around the world. On our return to school the children retold their favourite film using a comic strip format.
We also enjoyed the fantastic Art Exhibition and Middle School Performance of Once upon this island, which highlighted what talented students we have at ISS.
UN Sustainable Development Goals #4 Quality Education: This week has seen the students engage with multi-disciplinary learning and take action.
Hugh shared a video clip of a strange animal that he had seen with his family which we were all very curious about. Lots of great suggestions- Maybe it was laying eggs on land? Where you near a river or lake? How big was it? It looks like a worm. Maybe it had come up from the earth after the rain....
This week, on their return from the Vesak Day holiday, all Elementary students reflected on what they found calming. We also had three sessions with some Grade 4 students exploring the ISS value of being "open-minded". The students were encouraged to find a partner they didn't usually work with to: play a balloon game and share facts about their home country.
In our Maths, the children explored time in various ways. They practised reading and saying times (using the vocabulary: quarter past, half past and quarter to). They showed times using small clocks, some were also able to convert analogue time to digital time and many chose to write time comic strips.
In UOI, this week, we explored some of the consequences of imbalance within habitats. The students first came up with their own list of some of the things that they knew caused imbalance within habitats: deforestation, agriculture "taking land for farming", urbanisation "taking land for buildings", greenhouse gases, hunting, marine pollution.
Later they researched and suggested possible solutions or things we could do to help.
We ended the week by suggesting and selecting ways we could share our learning or take action.
Here are the children's ideas:
UN Sustainable Development Goals:
#13 Climate Change, #14 Life on Land, #15 Life Below Water
The student actions support these goals.
Student Voice: "We learnt from Grade 4 about how to be open-minded and I wrote that I will ask new people if I can play with them in the playground." Yuuki
"This week was very fun because Grade 4 came to teach us about being open-minded." Hyuga
Student Action: Some Grade 2 girls found an injured butterfly which they rescued and created a habitat for. They tried to save some of the eggs but the Tawny Coaster butterfly died. This led to some research about this animal and its habitat.
This week, Grade 2 visited Kent Ridge Park to conduct some local research. Beforehand, the students hypothesised what animals and habitats they might see and why they thought this.
For example: I think I will see frogs and birds because I know that they live in rainforests.
While there we identified habitats such as a pond, lake and rainforest. The children made observations and recorded any animals that they saw.
We reflected later on our data, working to interpret and go deeper with our thinking. Here are some comments:
Sara- "We saw fewer bigger animals. I think the animals might have been hidden because of the rain."
Ray- "I did not see many big animals maybe because there are fewer big animals that live there."
Maria- "There were fewer birds because of the rain."
Isabelle- "The construction noise scared the birds and bigger animals."
Hugh- "There were no monkeys or snakes because they were scared of the noise."
Yun Ho- "I think that there are more bugs in a rainforest. What I found is just bugs, bugs, bus and BUGS!"
Fedor- "There are more small animals than big because they don't need so much food or space."
Yuuki- "I saw ants. I will estimate 1,000,000 of them."
Hyuga- "We saw lots of insects. I think this is because there was lots of food for them."
Charlie- "I saw lots of ants because there is lots of food."
Shoichi- "There were lots of insects because there was lots of food."
Later in the week, Hugh's family brought in their pet cat, Bella. The children loved meeting her and tried hard to make our classroom a suitable habitat for her in the hope that she would decide to stay for the rest of the week.
They made sure she had FOOD, WATER, SPACE/SHELTER (turning off the lights in case she preferred darker places) and TOYS.
We found out that Bella was a rescue cat and that Hugh's family were interviewed before they could take Bella to make sure that they were responsible enough to take care of her properly. The children thought of what questions they would ask- Do you have a big enough space?, Do have a dog or other pets?, Are you rough?, Have looked after a cat before? We also learnt that owners should take pets to have vaccinations or to the vet to keep them healthy.
Afterwards, they extended their thinking to identify our responsibilities towards pets versus wild animals. Here are the ideas the children had.
In our writing, the children are experimenting with sharing their knowledge of animals and habitats through poetry. We revisited some of the styles of poetry from earlier in Grade 2. These will be shared on the blog next week.
In Maths, we applied our understanding of fractions to solve problems. We also asked the question "Are halves always the same?". The children explored this question through cutting and folding various shapes. They used scissors and rulers which helped their fine-motor and accuracy skills as well as "to be mindful" (Yuuki).
When they shared their creations, we concluded that the size of a half (or quarter, eighth, sixteenth etc) depends on the size of the whole. We all agreed that half of $100 is more than half of $10.
UN Sustainable Development Goal #15 Life on Land and #14Life below water: The children continue to make connections between the habitats and animals on Earth and recognise that we can impact these.
Student Action: Maria, Charlie and Yuuki will introduce their Earth Book in next week's Assembly and are taking steps to organise a fund-raising event for the WWF.
This week, we have been thinking about the different habitats of the world in more detail, using the concepts of Form, Function and Causation to guide us.
Form (What is it like?) What are the habitats like? How are they the same? How are they different? How can we describe them? What do they look like, sound like, feel like? What lives there?
Causation (Why is it like this?) How are the animals suited to living there? What can happen to change this habitat?
Function (How does it work?) How do the animals get what they need to survive? What are the food chains and food webs within this habitat? How do the animals and plants work together to maintain the habitat's balance?
The students realised that habitats can differ depending on TEMPERATURE and amount of WATER and that these factors would affect the kind of animals that live there.
They began noting down questions they had and researching using books and online resources.
We connected our Literacy and Daily 5 lessons by continuing to explore descriptive language. Using a thesaurus, the children searched for alternatives to hot, cold, wet and dry.
Later, using different parts of speech, we gradually built our sentences using rich and evocative words. Starting with a noun, we added adjectives, adverbs, verbs and time connectives.
For example: bird--- a small bird--- a small bird sits warming her eggs ---- in her nest, a small bird sits warming her fragile eggs--
In the early morning, deep in her nest, a small bird sits quietly warming her fragile eggs.
In Maths, we began looking at fractions. Many of the children were unfamiliar with what a fraction was.
After some discussion and hands-on practise, we defined fractions as "equal pieces of a larger whole". Then we explored when we might see or use fractions in our lives and decided that we often used fractions when we needed to SHARE. 10/14 of the children associated fractions with sharing food. We collected some more data about the class which we expressed as fractions.
Later we connected our maths and UOI thinking and estimated what fraction of the whole world was made up of the different habitats. The children explored maps and presented this data using symbols and colour.
We used a globe, our previous knowledge and some good thinking skills to make some decent estimates and then checked with some research.
UN Sustainable Development Goal #12 Responsible Consumption and Production
Many students took part in the Grade 3 Clothes Swap this week.
"PE was fun this week- we played Flag Tag." Jiahna
"I learnt that phytoplankton are plants that live in the sea." Yun Ho
"I enjoyed Listen to Read this week." Sara
"I learnt about habitats. My favourite habitat is the ocean." Evan
Maria and Charlie continue to work with other Grade 2 students on their book and video clips about "How to save the Earth".
Ray and Hugh began creating a food chain game, taking turns to be an eagle or snake.
During the thunderstorm on Wednesday, many children set up a little viewing area. They ate their snacks while watching the wind and rain outside.
We celebrated Fedor's birthday with some delicious donuts.
We also began our last unit of the year in which we will inquire into how "Animals and their habitats are connected".
The children have been excited to share their knowledge and observations about various animals and habitats. They started by drawing and sorting animals. We realised we could sort animals by the TYPE of animal it was or WHERE it lived and began creating lists for both.
Reptile, Mammal, Insect, Fish and Bird were the animal categories suggested by the children while Desert, Forest, Rainforest, Ocean/Sea, River, Pond , Arctic, Tundra and Grassland were habitats they named where different animals might be found. After this Evan, Yuma and Jiahna showed us the Habitat song that they had learnt with Mrs. Vaughan.
From this great base of existing knowledge we then explored what all animals had in common and Fedor quickly commented that they were all living things.
This led to the introduction of our first line of inquiry- the needs of animals. We remembered that NEEDS are things that are important and vital for us to survive and we created a list of animal needs. Food was identified as a need and this led to our second line of inquiry- Food chains and food webs.
The children loved the Planet Earth clip of a hatchling iguana escaping hungry snakes and identified the predator and the prey.
We gathered questions and then used the Library to find and select relevant books, which we sorted and labelled back in class. These will help us as we move into the Finding Out stage of our inquiry.
In Maths, we have been inquiring into maps and directions. To tune in, the children thought about where they were in the world and using atlases, globes and Google Earth gave examples of places North of them, South of them etc.
Later, the children investigated maps, compass directions and the symbols used on map keys. They worked in pairs or small groups to find North and created various compasses within class. They also discussed and drew maps and used compasses to give directions to different locations around school.
Over the last two weeks, the children have been bringing their learning together to share it in various ways.
Speaking and Listening
Writing and Presenting
This week, we also visited the National Museum which showcased many artefacts from Singapore's past and allowed us to begin to tune into our next unit from our last theme- Sharing the Planet, through their immersive art exhibit, "The Story of the Forest."
Comments about what "Sharing the Planet" means to the students included: kindness, caring, nature, cities, animals, people, jungles and mountains.
The students chose workshops and presentations led by the Grade 5 students as part of their Exhibition and inquiry into how "Following your passions can make a difference." The Grade 2 children came back inspired- how can they help prevent animal abuse, how can they be more mindful in their own lives, how can they learn more about their interests? Above all, they were able to see the enthusiasm of the Grade 5 students for their chosen inquiries- how could they too make a difference?
This week, the children have been developing their collaborative skills. They are working in groups to write and stage a short drama which will share some information they have learnt about an ancient civilisation.
They discussed what they needed to do and assigned roles. Later, they worked on their props. Next week, we will write our drama and collaborate with Mr. Tony in Performing Arts.
In Literacy we explored how we can tune into new words in our reading and use a thesaurus to expand our vocabulary. We focussed on antonyms (opposites) and then synonyms (words with similar meanings) to begin building a richer choice of descriptive words.
To help our spelling and comprehension we looked at the strategies of chunking and using word parts to determine meaning. The children applied this through Compound Words (playground, teapot, skateboard etc) and explored these in their independent reading and word work.
As we came to the end of our focus on Multiplication and Division, the children took ownership of their learning by choosing how they would best develop their skills and knowledge.
Some chose to consolidate their skills by playing games with others (bingo, multiplication cards etc..), while others preferred to work alone to build stamina or speed (online practise, creating books, practice questions...).
They reflected on what they felt confident about, as well as identifying an area to continue to develop.
UN Sustainable Development Goal #3 Good Health and Wellbeing:
As part of the Grade 5 Mindfulness group's inquiry we have been taking time this week to calm, focus and reset our minds. The children have experienced some guided meditation, calming music and visuals as well as mindful colouring. Fedor also commented that he found threading beads "mindful".
This week, we tuned back in to our unit inquiring into how "We learn about civilisations from what is left behind."
Grade 2 came together to role-play archaeologists. The students were each paired with someone from the other class. The sand-pit was used as our dig-site.
Step 1: It was sectioned using a grid and then excavated by pairs of archaeologists.
Step 2: Once they had found an artefact, they recorded its location, carefully brushed and washed it and took it for further examination.
Step 3: The pairs drew, measured and weighed the artefact.
Step 4: Next they analysed its materials, appearance and discussed what it could be used for and what it could tell us about the civilisation that left it behind.
Step 5: Back in class, the artefact was logged, labelled and bagged for storage.
Next we will use what we have found to consider what kind of place the dig-site might have originally been and create a drawing to illustrate this.
Earlier in the week, the children used various sources to research artefacts that they could be inspired by. They had each chosen a civilisation they are interested in and sketched and planned what they wanted to make.
We began creating our artefacts which we hope to use in a play we will write to share our learning.
In our Daily 5 and Literacy sessions, we examined past tense and adjectives. During Maths, the children consolidated their multiplication knowledge through independent practise and games and deepened their understanding of division as "sharing".
UN Sustainable Development Goals
#3 Good Health and Wellbeing
We will come together as a school community and spend time having fun with our family and friends at the event organised by the PTA.
#15 Life on Land
Some Grade 5 students organised "Dress as an Animal Day" to raise awareness and funds for the animal charity, SPCA.
Independent Student Action:
Ray and Yuuki both brought in things to share with the class. Ray brought back various snacks from Thailand which both Grade 2 classes enjoyed. Yuuki made tapioca pearls and used these to make bubble tea for the class. Thank you both for thinking of your classmates and sharing your treats.
Sara continues to monitor the K2 playground to make sure that the younger students are safe and that older students don't use the equipment there. Well done for being a responsible and caring member of our school community.
Jiahna: I liked to find some artefacts. Today I found a heart-shaped metal dish.
Isabelle: We were archaeologists! It was tiring!
Maria: We made artefacts. Charlie and I are making a jewellery box with some Ancient Egyptian jewellery.
Fedor: This week was fun because of the digging for artefacts.
Hyuga: It was so hard to find something but I didn't give up.
This week saw the Elementary School come together and perform for our friends and family at the ISS Spring into Music Concert. The children had been working hard with Mr. Tony during their Performing Arts classes and each grade sang and played an instrumental piece.
Back in class, we continued learning about what archaeologists do and began our group case-study into Pompeii and the Ancient Romans.
In Maths, we supported our inquiry through investigations and games involving grids and co-ordinates. The children also had practical and relevant experience of division as equal sharing when they worked out their Market Day earnings.
Grade 2.1 are a class of 7 and 8 year old students who attend ISS International School in Singapore. We learn together and play together and enjoy sharing our discoveries with you.