Given that we are quickly becoming experts on Canada here in 2B, and the fact that the royal family is visiting Canada this week, 2B set to work making a short video with important Canadian facts and places so that William, Kate, George, and Charlotte get the most out of their trip. We wish them the very best time in Canada this week!
In Science this week, we explored different magnets’ north and south poles, and examined magnetic fields. The students enjoyed testing what materials allowed the magnetic force to pass through them, and used various devices to view the effects of invisible magnetic fields. Stay tuned for our upcoming magnetic device project early next month!
We’ve completed our three “visits” to Meteghan, Saskatoon, and Iqaluit, and both the flight there and exploration of these three Canadian communities were very memorable. The students now have stamped “passports,” and they are such experts now that they served as travel agents this week and planned trips to a Canadian destination of their choosing. The class used their knowledge of these locations’ geography, climate, and people to envision the ideal trip and items required. Now if only our field trip budget could make those plans a reality!
PE this month has been focused on learning expectations for the gym and building teamwork skills by playing cooperative games! They especially enjoyed getting across the lava-like gym floor as a team using gym equipment, and playing Giants, Wizards, and Elves. Next in our PE learning will be soccer skills!
We are wrapping up our focus on increasing patterns in math this week. Increasing patterns are a brand new concept in grade two, and can often prove to be tricky, but the students in 2B have worked hard to describe, reproduce, extend, and create increasing patterns over the past couple of weeks. You can practice increasing patterns by taking the link to the game below!
We’ve started coding in our class, which means that we’re telling a computer, app, phone, or website what we want it to do. This week we used an app called Lightbot and a some robots named Dash and Dot to practice our skills in communicating, solving complex problems, and thinking logically and critically. The class found designing repeating patterns using Dash and Dot especially fun! As this CBC article reports,
Today, computing is involved in almost all aspects of our lives, from communications and education to social media, banking, information, security and shopping. Networked computers are capable of controlling our homes’ thermostats and lighting, our cars and our health records.
I am also leading a coding club for grade four students at Millgrove which has been a blast, and younger grades will have the opportunity to join later this year. You can read more about the thinking behind students being exposed to coding here, and we will keep you updated on our further adventures in coding!
Because of the timing, we missed out on watching the summer Olympics as a class, but we’ve had a blast checking out a few Canadian athletes in the Paralympics this month! Mr. Barker’s brother plays on a wheelchair rugby team with the incredibly talented Zak Madell, so we’ve had a great time cheering for Team Canada and sending/receiving messages from Zak. 2B felt that the Canadians were doing so well in the Paralympics that “they were stealing all the medals,” and expressed commendable sympathy for the other teams. What a sweet class we have!
This past Tuesday, we celebrated Dot Day in 2B. Dot Day is based on the book "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds about a girl named Vashti who initially believes she can't draw, but later discovers that everyone can make a mark in the world. 6 million people celebrated Dot Day this year, and we marked the occasion in 2B by dressing up in dots, making dots with aspirations of how we wanted to "make our mark," and even watching a livestream of the author Peter Reynolds reading his book and speaking about how we can all make a mark in the world. You can see the students' ideas and the book "The Dot" below!
The students are off to a great start in their writing this year! We began with a focus on ideas and how to come up with ideas and make them clear during writing time. Recently, we have been focusing on refining the conventions in our writing, especially with punctuation, precise use of capital letters, clear spaces, and “grade two” inventive spelling. They’ve really enjoyed editing each other’s work for conventions, and sharing their writing with the class during author’s chair. 2B also worked hard to craft poems that reflected some of their favourite things, which you can see below!
In our continuing work on repeating patterns, we enjoyed touring the school this week in search of repeating patterns around Millgrove. We found that repeating patterns are truly all over the place, and the students composed collages of some of their favourites. We also learned about the process of designing fabric, and used our knowledge of repeating patterns to design our very own fabrics and identifying their elements, rules, and cores. It’s neat to see that the concepts we learn about in Math time are visible all around us in real life!
Mrs. Barker is a grade two teacher at Millgrove School. She loves science and reading, and lives in a little brick house with Mr. Barker and her son Jack.