How amazing it is to be at the end of another school year. The time has gone so quickly. The second graders have grown and matured in so many ways. This blog entry will share with you, as parents, things to keep in mind and things to do over the summer. It will also include some links that I think are fun. Your children are becoming readers and in order to continue to grow as readers, reading over the summer is essential. Much has been written in North America about “summer slide.” It means that student reading levels actually go down if they do not read during the summer. You can read how to  Prevent Summer Slide in this article. It’s from Scholastic and has lots of ideas on student learning for parents. Here are some other links on summer reading: Summer Reading Fun from Colorin Colorado, RIF games and stories and Summer Learning. For more tips for parents and kids see the section on summer learning at Reading Rockets, check out the activities at Read, Write, Think and try KS 1 or KS2 at Crickweb Literacy.

For science fun remember National Geographic Kids and Discovery Kids and also have a look at Summer Science Fun and Science Kids NZ.

Here are some things to check out just for the fun of it. The first is a video of a bicycle-riding robot at Robot on Bike. On the same page you can find more robot links. The next is the website of a 9-year old boy who made his own arcade called Caine’s Arcade. There is video to describe his project.

I hope you read the newsletter to see the offer I made to students about emailing during the summer. If not, go back and check. They are also welcome to send, with parent help, messages or pieces or pieces of writing to the blog by posting a comment.

Have a wonderful summer. Check back now and then as I will be adding updates about every two weeks. I hope to hear from you.

More fun with poetry

Children have been immersed in reading, writing and enjoying poetry.  The best thing I heard all week was when a boy was asked if he wanted to try a different poetry book, he replied  “No, I want to read this one again and again and again.”  When someone has been learning and using English for less than a year, it is great to see him being able to enjoy and appreciate the language. The big hit this week has been poems for two voices and students beg to read these poems to the class. One favorite nonsense poem is Ning Nang Nong by Spike Milligan. You can watch a video clip at Ning Nang Nong.

Next week the blog will focus on favorite poems written by the children.  This week I’d like to share more poetry links and other good literacy websites. Have a go with InteractivePoetry Splatter from the RIF people. Check the headings at the top to try different things. Shel  Silverstein continues to be a favorite and you might enjoy a video clip of Crocodile’s Toothache.  Magnetic poetry is often used to create messages on fridges. We use them on the class whiteboard. You can also order your own on The following link lets you create your texts online by moving words around at Magnetic Poetry forKids. Click on either picture to open and then click and drag the words to create poems and sentences.  Look down in the lower right corner to see where you can add more words.  Have fun!

Here is a closing thought from a poet.

You don’t make a poem with ideas, but with words.

–Stephane Mallarme

Finishing a unit is a busy time

This has been a very busy week in all PYP 2 classes as they finished the Materials and Design unit. Students were finishing science experiments, trashion fashion, non-fiction writing and maths assessment and there was no time to write blog posts. My main role was helping children finish things and we all worked hard!

Some of the 2G girls wrote emails to Maria (see her comment at the end of an earlier post) telling her they missed her and about the new students in the class. Bendix, in 2B, replied to his mom’s blog comment in German. Three boys from 2M drafted and edited their goodbye messages to  Nicole on the computers and then rewrote the corrected version on her surprise card. Philantha, in 2B, finished her writing on animals:

         My Favorite Animals                           by Philantha

I love horses and cats and turtles and dolphins.  I have 4 male fish and 2 females. I have a lot of baby fish in my fish tank. There are snails too.  One day I would like to have a horse because I love horses and I do horse-riding.


I shared a fun video clip with all three classes because it connected to the Materials and Design unit.  I’ve decided to post it here because I think students will enjoy seeing it again with you.  It’s about a first grader and the monster trap  he made.  After the monster trap link  opens, scroll down until you see the video. There’s also a link to other examples of Rube Goldberg machines.  If you want to know where the name  came from check  Rube GoldbergMachines.

The next unit of inquiry is one of my favorites because it is full of language. It’s called Get the Message and the central idea is People everywhere want to be understood. We’ll be looking at different ways of creating, interpreting and receiving messages as we read and enjoy all kinds of poetry and explore other expressive forms.  I have collected many poetry books to share with students, but you can jump start poetry right away by checking out the funny poems on Giggle Poetry. You can also have fun at home by remembering and saying favorite poems and rhymes in your home languages. It could be fun to teach classmates poems and rhymes in different languages.

I never stop looking for good resources on reading and here’s one worth exploring:  Reading is Fun.

And a closing thought……..

It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.                   S.I. Hayakawa

Inquiring and presenting

As you read in an earlier post, this blog was started to give 2nd graders a real purpose and audience for their writing. Another reason for the blog is that the little box in the class newsletter is too small for me to write very much. You’ll be hearing a lot more from us on the blog during the next unit of inquiry called Get the Message.

One of the most exciting things I see during my time in grade 2 classrooms is the Inquirer of the Week presentation. Children present what they know and have learned about their own inquiry into something important to them. These are wonderful opportunities for English language learners at all levels to present in front of a larger audience. I have not seen all of them, but I am impressed by the creativity and individuality they show. I see proud, confident children giving oral presentations using various resources and media. I see proud parents letting their child “own” the inquiry but offering discreet support if needed.

Presentations may focus on travel experiences, pets, family interests, family cultural backgrounds or personal interests and wonderings. Effective inter-active presentations use a large font and child-friendly language. They are rehearsed in advance. There may be time for listener questions when the presenter gets to be the “expert”. If your child comes home and starts talking excitedly about something new, chances are the inquirer of the week has just shared that day.

Here are a few things to think about when using the internet. As a parent, help children find websites that are safe and child-friendly. I often add the words “for children” when doing a search. If a website is above the child’s reading level, read and paraphrase the text so they can understand and repeat the information in their own words. The internet is very accessible to everyone, but your child still needs help from you to find and choose suitable websites. Some websites meant for children are very confusing to use and some have inappropriate advertising. As teachers, we check the links we send you, but parents should still preview sites for their child.

This week’s writing includes two “how to” pieces and one personal description. Classes have been really busy on the Materials and Design unit and you can see some connections in student writing. When editing these pieces for publication there is a fine line between correcting all mistakes and preserving the child’s voice and style.

How to Make a Countries of the World Book by Astrid, 2B

You use:

  • A4 Paper
  • Markers
  • Stapler
  • Pencils

First, take a white piece of paper.

Then get another piece of paper that has lines on it.

Then choose a country and start to write about it.

You could write about anything that you like, know or find out.

You could also draw the flag or write about celebrations.


How to Make a Clock by  Priti, 2B

What you need:

  • scissors
  • wood
  • paint
  • pin

First, cut a square out of the wood.

Second, paint the wood any color you like.

Third, paint the numbers 1-12 around the edge of the clock in a different color.

Next, cut a long and a short hand for the clock.

Then, stick them in the middle of the clock with the pin.

Finally, the clock is finished.


Me, Malina

by  Malina, 2M

My name is Malina T A *.  I was born in Denmark in 2004. My mom’s name is Eri. My dad’s name is Lars.  My big sister’s name is Elena.  I can speak Japanese and Danish and English. My birthday is March 19 and I am 7. My BFF (best friends forever) are Maxine and Nicole and Vale.  My favorite foods are sushi and chocolate. My school is CIS. I am in 2nd grade.  My teacher is Miss Dawn.  I love Art and ICT and PE. My favorite time of the year is Christmas.  I am 24 kg but I am strong. I am really good at drawing. I like Playmobil and sleepovers and play-dates. Playmobil is really fun. I like to have fun. I like to play with water and I like to see movies I like to wear dresses.  Now you know a lot about ME.

*Malina’s full name was in her story but was omitted on the blog.


This blog post also includes a warm Hi! to Maria who left 2G and CIS several months ago. We are sending her the link and hope she will see the blog. She will be hearing from former classmates soon.


Welcome to our blog space!

Welcome to our new blog. In our blog we will write about what we are doing, wondering and thinking to share with our families and friends.  Our first blog entries come from the children I usually support in class .  As we get better at blogging, all 2nd graders will be welcome. Right now, we are all learning. And parents, I look forward to meeting with you at parent conferences in the coming week.

On Monday we celebrated Cultures Day all day. We send a very warm thank you to parents for working so hard to share special things from their countries. You can read below what students liked about Cultures Day.

I liked the food and doing the line dance. It was a fun day because I never had it in my old school.               Philantha

I liked the food and I liked making a dream catcher and watching the film with the lady showing how to make a dream catcher.                  Sachit

I liked the food and line dance.  It was fun because I learned how to dance line dancing and the food was yummy.   Malina

I liked the Viking runes and the food.   I liked the fire too and I want yesterday to happen again.   Quentin

I liked the line dancing and I liked the food and I really liked when  we went to the PAC because my mother was at the Dutch table.    Merit

I loved making a dream catcher and it was fun. I liked line dancing but I liked dream catcher more.      Liyah

I liked the food and the cultures in the PAC. I was so proud that my mother was at the Greek table.  I liked the Dutch game.  Marios

I really liked the food at Cultures Day and I loved making the dream catchers because I never had one.  Leo

I really liked the food on Cultures Day and I really liked the Vikings. And I was really surprised that my mom was at the German table.   Bendix

I liked Cultures Day because it was my first time. It was fun to make a dream catcher.    Priti

I  liked the food and I liked making dream catchers and it was my first time.  Katja

I liked the part when we danced and it was really tiring. I liked seeing my mom at the PAC telling how to do games from Italy and she gave me a free chocolate.  Margherita

I liked all the activities there were. It was fun to see my dad in the PAC telling about Germany and kids won some stuff from it. I made a stone tower and it was glued with hot glue. It was fun to make a dream catcher because every time I go to sleep the bad dreams get stuck on the dream catcher and good dreams go into a hole on the dream catcher.     Maya

I liked all the countries and the food. I liked line dancing because it was fun and it was my first time doing it.        Alexander

I really liked the songs at the assembly. I liked the food, making the dream catchers and the fun things we did all day.       Lucas

I like the food and making the dream catchers and the Viking alphabet and going to the PAC.                 Nicolas

I liked the food. I liked to be in the PAC to see all the different countries. I liked to do the stories because we made up our stories ourselves.       Astrid

That’s all for this time. See you again soon. We welcome your comments.

Ms. J