Week 10

Language Arts

Grade 2 did a lot of typing on the computer (with a few small revisions and edits) but the class has now finished their stories. All the students have also illustrated their pictures so we will put the stories up for display next week. Our next text type is just around the corner so watch this space for more details!


Fabulous Friday – Practising intonation, volume and presentation for our speaking parts


LA-02 word study

Word study activities


LA-03 stories

Completing our stories on the computer



We did a few different forms of math over the week. First we did revision activities. We worked with partners who gave each other subtraction problems to do and then we peer corrected the calculations. You may think that this is an easy task, but it tells the teacher a lot of information. “Which students understand the subtraction process well enough to explain it to a peer? Which students still need the benefit of using concrete materials to help them work out the answers? Which students require more challenging problems such as working in thousands or with regrouping?” Second, we also revised what we know about doubles and near-doubles. Once again it seems like a simple task until we start discussing the applications of doubles. Such discussions helps give the math rigor. For example, doubles can be used for addition and subtraction, it makes it easier to figure amounts in jobs of science, banking, population growth and so on. Third, we engaged in an activity that challenged the students. They had to use one piece of paper, stand it at least 8cm tall and see how many 100s blocks it could hold for at least 3 seconds (and yes, this was a UoI activity). There is a lot of problem-solving, estimating, calculations (students doubled or quadrupled the paper thickness with folding so there was a connection to our doubles lesson) and other thinking processes. Inquiry is also about investigation and math concepts come to the fore when the time necessitates their use. Last, we introduced a new concept to the students. We did activities to  find out what students already knew about shapes and we started to find out about polygons. Although it is the start of the unit the students have already given some information that will help guide the upcoming lessons. To sum, although there is a math curriculum to cover in Grade 2 there is also a balancing act of how the math concepts are covered. Teaching new concepts, revising and consolidating, applying knowledge and delving into math inquiries help balance the math the students cover over the year.


Measurement – adding our new understandings to the measurement poster




maths-02 subtraction

Subtraction – working with a peer on problems


maths-03 near doubles

Doubles and Near Doubles – visual representations of where we might see double and near doubles in real-life


maths-04 what polygons

Shapes – Sharing what we know about shapes and polygons


maths-05 sort shapes

Shapes – activity encouraging students to describe their current understandings about shapes



We finished up our UoI based on knowing social and cultural gestures help people to communicate. We also started a new Unit of Inquiry based on materials, their properties and their functions. We did the ‘Paper Challenge’ activity, created mindmaps to show what we already know about materials and we did an ‘I See, I Think, I Wonder’ sheet so we could share our understandings about materials and ask questions about what we want to learn.

Tour Office

Tour of new BIS building – very exciting!


UoI-01 practise skits

Practising our skits


UoI-02 practise speaking

Vocal practise outdoors


UoI-03 practise speaking

Script practise – “Can we hear your voices from across the room?”



UoI-05 what materials

Questions for our inquiry


UoI-06 what materials


UoI-07 materials

Paper structure challenge

UoI-08 materials

UoI-09 materials


UoI-10 materials

New UoI – What do we know about materials?


UoI-11 see think wonder

New UoI – completing the sheet, ‘I See, I Think, I Wonder’


Fabulous Friday

Some activities in Week 10 were geared towards the Grade 2 Fabulous Friday at the end of the week. We practised our speaking parts, skits, ‘What Am I?’ presentations and non-verbal gesture charades. We also practised our song using sign language. Below are some pictures of the Fabulous Friday.

V Fab Fri01

V Fab Fri061

V Fab Fri02 V Fab Fri03 V Fab Fri04 V Fab Fri05 V Fab Fri06 V Fab Fri07



Week 9

Language Arts

The Grade 2 students have finished creating their story drafts and all of the students are now typing out their stories onto computers. Although there are still some story revisions taking place most of the class students are well on the way to completing their stories. As well in Language Arts the class has been doing word study activities with digraphs. As usual the class also had opportunities to do speaking and listening activities in the morning and reading activities in the afternoons.


Word study activities



Story writing – typing out our stories onto the computers



The students did a recap lesson on bar graphs this week and had to answer questions relating to the graphs. We also did subtraction and addition activities throughout the week. The class also used two different attributes to help them measure in metres and objects smaller than a metre. The class also used a standard measure (a metre stick) to measure distances and the length of objects. It was a good opportunity for students to discuss why we need different measuring tools and the problems we come across when we measure with only one type of tool.


Graphing activities



Measurement – measuring length with a metre stick



Problem solving – Can you figure out the pattern?



Measurement – measuring items with an attribute



Measurement – some students taking measuring length further by measuring the perimeter of an object



Measurement – measuring the length of objects larger than a metre using an attribute length


Unit of Inquiry

The class reflected on the different activities we did over the last six weeks for the Unit of Inquiry -‘ Who We Are’. We filled in a reflection sheet and wrote about what we liked, the new things we have learned, what we would like to continue learning and so on. This week we have also been doing a few ‘tuning in’ activities. The ‘tuning in’ phase allows students to show their prior knowledge, misunderstandings, beliefs and queries they might have before starting a unit. Our new Unit of Inquiry is ‘How the World Works’ and the Central Idea is: ‘The properties of materials determine their function.’ We also went on a field trip to IPTEK Science Centre as  a lead-in to the unit. The students had a lot of fun trying out the various science exhibits and they also had a few questions about materials, their properties and functions.


UoI – practising our sign language song for an upcoming Fabulous Friday



UoI – filling in a reflection sheet for the UoI, ‘Who We Are’



UoI – Discussing artifacts we brought from home to help us tune in to our new unit


Field Trip – IPTEK Science Centre trip-01 trip-02 trip-03 trip-04 trip-05 trip-06 trip-07


trip-09 trip-10 trip-11 trip-12  UoI-01



UoI Tuning In – Explaining our understandings of materials through a mind map


In Library class this week the students also did some ‘tuning in’ activities to help them tune  in to the new unit, ‘How the World Works’. It was an interesting lesson filled with a variety of materials and opportunities for the students to explain their understandings.

vlibrary-01 vlibrary-02 vlibrary-03



Week 8

The Elementary teachers and some other BIS teachers went away at the end of Week 8 because we were attending IB workshops in Jakarta. The workshop I attended was on inquiry learning. Since inquiry learning allows people to see information from new perspectives and build on prior knowledge you could imagine that there were still a lot of times during the workshop when I had an ‘Aha!’ moment or I  learned how differently other teachers viewed the phases of inquiry learning. Basically, there are quite a number of models of inquiry processes, but the one I tend to use is the Kath Murdoch model. What I like about Kath Murdoch’s model is that the phases a learner goes through are defined and there are opportunities to go back to a phase if there is a need to check your own personal understanding. This checking of personal understanding, or need for reflection is ongoing throughout the process. If learners (and I include teachers in the overall term learners) did not check their understanding at each step then we would not know which direction to go next, or we would not have a clear understanding of the criteria we need to further our learning. Overall, I have learned a great deal more about inquiry-based learning and I am looking forward to implementing some new ideas into the next Unit of Inquiry!


Language Arts


Word study activities



Story writing – writing our drafts, revising, editing and conferencing with a teacher



Story writing activities with a teacher



Handwriting – writing letters on each other’s backs to get a tactile understanding of letter shape



Writing our stories on computers



Handwriting – tracing letter shapes on the board



Shared reading – listening, speaking and book comprehension



Activities to help develop sentence structure and grammar rules




Rounding place value amounts to the nearest ten



Grouping amounts to help with addition



Grouping amounts to help with subtraction



Grade 5 students presenting their ‘End of the Unit’ research and understandings



Week 7

It was a short week for Week 7, but here is the week that was.

LA_01 comicstrip

Writing – use of a comic strip for writing the ‘Weekend News’.


LA)4 storywriting

Working with separate teachers for story writing


LA-2 storywriting

Working with separate teachers for story writing


LA03 storywriting

Working with separate teachers for story writing


LA04 word cline

Coming up with time sequence words


LA05 word cline

Adding our time sequence words onto a word cline from specific to non-specific


LA06 story

Creating our story drafts


maths-1 doubles

Using manipulatives to practise our doubles


maths2 doubles sheet2

Working on a doubles sheet


maths-2 doubles work


Maths03-odd even

Doing activities with odd and even numbers



Working on our UoI nonverbal skits


Week 6

Hello Everyone,

In Language Arts in Week 7 Grade 2 continued their story drafts. They have been using their character and setting cards to help them create the story plot and form their first drafts. We will continue our story writing next week and aim to add details to our writing. We also did word study activities such as a word dash and the students used their spelling strategies to figure out the word patterns. We also discussed our Unit of Inquiry words and did a few spelling activities in class. The class also did a punctuation activity based on capital letters and appropriate end punctuation. Another activity we did this week was learn a few commonly known English similes. As always the class did some of their routine language arts activities such as reading, handwriting, oral talks and the end of the week spelling assessment.


Using drawings to help create our story plots



Drafting our stories



Word study dash activity



Hmm, using running and physical activity to help us do grammar



One of our reading comprehension activities this week



Working on our story drafts



Playing simile bingo after doing a few lessons on similes



A math activity that allows natural differentiation is giving students a pile of counters and giving them the challenge of sorting the counters so that anyone passing by can tell how many counters are on the table at a glance. As a teacher I always appreciate the conversations I have with students when they do this activity because many of the students go through a variety of thought processes to arrive at their answers. It also opens up discussions about place value (in tens, hundreds and other values) and why we need to place values on different amounts. The students also did a process-based activity on rounding in tens and we had some discussions on how we could make rounding work to the nearest ten. Some of the other main activities we covered this week included addition with maths strategies (number lines, counting on and using basic ten facts), data collecting and bar graphs, and patterning with numerals and algebra.


Problem solving and place value rolled into one



Figuring out how we can organise counters so that we can easily count the full amount




Class discussion and reflection on place value



Collecting data for our bar graphs



Figuring out how we round amounts to the nearest ten




Figuring out the elements, term and pattern for an AB pattern



Over the week the students completed a few posters. We created pictures on Indonesian gestures and wrote down why people use the gestures. We also created a poster on how to say thank you in different cultures and countries. We played charades and also made connections to different social/cultural examples we have researched. The students interviewed other people at school on social/cultural gestures they could share with Grade 2, and Grade 2 also interviewed people at home about social/cultural gestures as well. We are currently doing a summative task for this unit and we will soon develop a social/cultural skit which we will create on computers.


Creating our ‘Indonesian Gestures’ poster





Nonverbal communication – Playing charades


Showing nonverbal communication from different cultures



Conducting interviews to find out what other people can share about social/cultural gestures





Sharing what we have learned about nonverbal social/cultural gestures after interviewing people at home



Creating our ‘How to Say Thank You in Different Cultures’ gestures poster



Starting work on our nonverbal communication skits




Showing examples of cultural ways to say thank you



Week 5

A Philosophical Thought on Education at BIS (Well… at Least One Opinion Anyway!)

Next week our school is going to have visitors representing school accreditation groups. Such groups help us go through an evaluation process to ensure our school, BIS, is meeting particular international school benchmarks and going through continual improvement. Therefore, this week was an opportune time for Grade 2 to define and analyse the school’s strategic plan – the vision, mission and goals of the school. Now you may be saying to yourself “Aren’t Grade 2 students a little young to be analysing such documents?” To tell the truth, no (and yes, we did aim to discuss this topic at an early childhood level). Our school values the process of learning, and talking about how we learn, why we learn and the goals our school places on learning helps guides everyone in our school community. If parents, teachers, school administration, students and people connected to BIS have the same understanding of our vision for education we will maintain some common beliefs about learning and help support the long-term education goals set by our school. For example, the IB mission statement aims for ‘intercultural understanding and respect’ and the BIS mission statement also aims for students to be, “…empowered to participate… in a global community.” To help develop global citizens the IB utilises a ‘learner profile’ which emphasises characteristics and traits that all IB students should possess. So at our school’s Fabulous Friday this week the elementary students did activities, led by the the Grade 5 students that helped our elementary students to define what makes a learner in IB schools. To sum, it is best to leave you with this thought – imagine a world where everyone holds to being lifelong learners and are global citizens; people who are willing to understand perspectives from different cultures, aiming to go through a learning process to solve problems, working together to be knowledgeable problem-solvers. What would our world be like? This is what drives schools to continually improve, it is why school programs aim to be challenging and rigorous and it is what drives our community to maintain a school’s vision, mission and goals aimed to provide a community that values learning for everyone. We are all in this together with the same community vision and we are the instruments of change – everyone which includes you!


Grade 2 creating pictures to represent what they think learning means at our school. This activity was done after we read the BIS strategic plan and broke down the school’s mission statement.

Indonesian Studies

In Indonesian Studies this week the students have been learning about social and cultural gestures that people use in Indonesia. The class found out how people greet each other in different Indonesian cultures and how to show respect to other people. They learned some of the intricate gestures of greetings such as the salaman and the sontangan. The Grade 2 class will continue learning nonverbal communication of their host country next week.


Photos from the Indoensian Studies class

photo1 photo2 photo3 photo4



Exercise and brain gym to help stimulate brain function





Language Arts – creating a story map for the story, “The Three Little Pigs”




Word study – game on rime and spelling patterns




Language Arts – we created our story settings




Language Arts – grammar lesson on adjectives



Language Arts – whole class story reading




Language Arts – cut and paste activity to sequence a story plot



Maths – place value activity with concrete materials linked to symbolic representations



Maths – Algebra for Grade 2? Using letter to represent our patterns



Maths – painting our body traces showing our height measurements




Maths – collecting data



UoI – creating a poster on nonverbal communication on social and cultural gestures



UoI Class Visitor – Mr. Lane giving a talk and demonstrations on how people communicate with nonverbal language in baseball



Ms. Mardiya giving a presentation on Indonesian social/cultural gestures. This is also connected to activities conducted over the past few weeks in Indonesian Studies class.




UoI – Writing down what we understand about Indonesian social/cultural gestures









Week 4


The class is given daily homework tasks to complete at home from Monday to Thursday. So far, some extra time has been given to the students on Friday (or the last day before a weekend) so that all the students complete the tasks. It is hoped that students doing such tasks will help develop their level of responsibility in Grade 2 over the year and they will gradually develop their level of independence.



Language Arts

Venn diagrams are a great visual to represent how things are similar or dissimilar for students. We recently used one in class to compare two stories – ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’. In Week 5 we will also read another story related to, ‘The Three Little Pigs’, but more of that in the coming post. In Week 4 we also did word study activities. We had to find spelling patterns in different paragraphs and then we shared our findings. We did rotational activities to do individual reading, reading comprehension and handwriting tasks. We also had a guest come into one of our Language Arts class while we had a book reading. The details are under the UoI section.



Word Study – finding spelling patterns in paragraphs



Whole-class story reading



Language Arts – Grammar activity to find out how we use conjunctions in simple sentences



Narrative texts – comparing two stories using a Venn diagram




In class we try to add a variety of math activities over the week. So this week we did a mental math game, a body tracing and measured our heights (we will measure our heights and weights at the school clinic in Week 5) we did place value activities and games and did some lessons such as learned our rainbow addition facts to make ten. Some of the activities we also have been consolidating in our math homework. Please help your child to access the math homework so all tasks are completed by Friday when it is marked and collated by the homeroom teacher team.


Place value game to consolidate our understanding of  base-ten counting





Mental math adding game



Place value game to help students  understand the value of hundreds, tens and ones




Introducing a game called ‘Threes’



Body tracing our partners and later finding out our heights (measurement -length)



Lesson on  rainbow facts adding to ten



Since the students are learning about various nonverbal forms of communication they have also been learning how and where it can be used. Some students mentioned that flags are used to communicate, Morse code, and sign language. We have been comparing how people do a certain social task (greeting each other) in different ways depending on the country. We also did an activity on scuba diving sign language and some of the students commented on how similar the signs were to gestures people use in everyday life. During one of our Language Arts lessons we had Pak Arief visit our class as a special treat. He did a mime for two books we read in class – ‘David Gets in Trouble’ by David Shannon and ‘The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry and the Big, Hungry Bear’ by Don and Audrey Wood. The students also had the chance to display their miming skills in class and we also had the chance to act out emotions and play a game of charades.


Writing down the body language and facial features of different emotions



Scuba diving sign language activity




Pak Arief visiting our class to help tell stories as a mime



The students acting out part of a story



Pak Arief in action as a mime



A risk-taker playing charades

Week 3

Happy to See You!

So many people came to the Elementary Parent Information Session and that was a welcomed sight! There were parents, grandparents and a few other relatives who came to school for the elementary presentations. As a parent I also went to the Upper School and Early Childhood information sessions and saw a strong support of the BIS community at those sessions too. I hope the parents in Grade 2 found our class session had lots of useful information, and please feel free to email me if you have any other queries. At BIS we all want to support our school community and communication is one of the keys.



Tell Me a Story!

And you would have heard a few children’s stories if you happen to walk by Grade 2 this week. We continue to delve into our investigation of story writing and the key elements that help form this particular type of text. We read books to find out about characters – What does the character look like?; What are the character’s interests, dislikes and feelings?;  and What are the character’s motivations? We also read a story that had the author describe the setting. Our class then had a brainstorm and thought about what we could add to a setting poster with forms of place and time. Also this week the class read books on their own and with the teachers, did handwriting activities, word study sessions, writing and oral talks.


This week we have done a lot of shared book readings



Aiming to use correct pencil grip when we write



Reading with a teacher helps develop our reading skills



Word Study – sorting out words into their ‘Long e’ forms



Character analysis activities

LA05 LA07



Our complete poster on story stettings – place and time


The Long and the Short of It

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you needed to measure something and you do not have the tool to do it? Well guess what, you do it every day! Most of the time we measure things by estimating. Imagine if you had to use a tool to carefully measure out the amount of cereal you put in your bowl and the amount of milk. What would happen if you had to use a tool to measure how close you are to other drivers on the road? Less accidents I am sure, however; most people use estimation to do these tasks. When we do need to measure and we do not use a set tool we can use arbitrary units. In Grade 2’s case we used our own feet to measure distances around the school. After a discussion, though, we discovered that there were vast differences in the number of different-sized student feet we measured for the same distances (a difference of over 240 steps!) We decided to use one standard type of measure – the metre. We then did the same task and compared our findings. In all of the lengths we measured with the metre ruler we were only out by 1 and a half metres. We will keep investigating how we use tools, arbitrary and standard, to measure.


Writing down what we already know about measurement on a math poster



Arbitrary units – measuring with our steps



Place value sheets



Partner activity – telling time in 5 minute intervals



Measuring with a metre ruler

maths07 maths08 maths09



Are You Looking at Me?

It is interesting to have children interpret photos with emotions. Most children can interpret happy, sad or angry, but other facial expressions that show more complex feelings can be harder to interpret. We watched a few short videos this week that included facial expressions, social and cultural gestures and body language in different situations. We also analysed what people usually do to show these forms of nonverbal communication. As one of our activities we then had the students recreate some of the facial expressions to show a particular emotion. We also recorded some of our new findings on the UoI graffiti wall and we also made a poster on cultural gestures.


Can you guess what emotions Grade 2 students are showing with nonverbal communication?

UoI06 UoI05 UoI04 UoI03 UoI02

UoI07 UoI08



Adding our understandings and queries to the graffiti wall

Week 2

Hello Everyone!

Grade 2 started their very first Unit of Inquiry this week based on ‘Who We Are’. We have been doing activities to find out more about how understanding and developing our knowledge of social and cultural behaviours (mainly non-verbal communication) helps us to communicate to others. Please find the UoI overview below with some information about the unit and some ideas of what parents can do at home to help their child.



Language Arts

An activity the class did this week was the Morning Session message. Each student had a turn at finding spelling, punctuation and other grammatical errors in the text to correct. We used a coloured Smartboard  pen to add the students’ editing and later did a whole class edit using another pen. This activity to all learn the same editing system as well as develop their writing skills.

The class was introduced to the word study book earlier in the week. We call it word study because it involves activities other than spelling. For example, some students may need to practice how to use words in present or past tense, or need to consolidate his or her understanding of ‘I’ or ‘me’ in the sentence structure. Over time we will use a variety of word study and spelling techniques. The students also have a spelling test at the end of the week.

Finally in Language Arts, the class was introduced to their first text form of the year: prose. We first looked at a variety of text forms to help us distinguish which text form was a story. We discussed what the students already knew about stories and other forms of prose. Next we took a short story and analysed the text organisation and language features of the text. We will continue to do lessons and activities on story elements in the coming weeks.


Morning Message on the Smartboard – helps develop spelling, grammar usage and revising and editing skills



Recount writing – adding words to our ‘Have-a-go’ spelling books



Word study activities





Story time class reading



Pre-writing assessment – sorting out different text forms



Word study – developing our bank of word study activities



Prose writing – analysing the text organisation and language features of a story



Some of the math activities are conducted in the morning sessions. We do time measurement with days, weeks and months and this week we also did analogue clock activities based on O’clock and half past. We did measurement of length for one of our activities. The students were asked to estimate how many handkerchief lengths were needed to measure the boards. We then did estimates and measurements using our hands in the classroom. We did place value activities working in 1s, 2s, 5s and 10s using the number chart, pen and paper and computer tasks, and we also used thinkboards to represent basic addition facts in various ways.


Place Value – students choosing to count on using the same number pattern





Measurement – O’clock, A.M., P.M. and half past with an analogue clock



Thinkboards to display our thinking of addition problems





Measurement Inquiry – ‘How many handkerchief lengths do we need to measure our class boards?’



Measurement – estimating and then measuring with arbitrary units (our hands!)



Place value activities using Mathsonline




This week the students did a ‘tuning in’ activity for our ‘Who We Are’ UoI. We looked at a variety of pictures that represented non-verbal communication in different scenarios and from different cultures. After a class discussion we then went through the main features of the unit and completed an ‘I see, I think, I wonder’ sheet. We have also started finding out more about non-verbal usage and we have been adding our understandings to the class ‘Graffiti Wall’.


The class (including the teachers) signing the class agreement




Who We Are – Tuning in to our new unit



Who We Are – the class discussing what they think the UoI is all about



Who We Are – an information session on the UoI and summative assessment



Who We Are – the class adding their current knowledge of nonverbal communication to the class ‘Graffiti Wall’


Indonesia Independence Day School Activities

On Friday, the elementary students did a variety of activities on the school’s field as part of the Indonesian Independence Day festivities. It was also great to see many of the parents on the field in support of the school and having some fun along the way. Below are a few pictures of the events.

Unity_IndependenceDay_1 Unity_IndependenceDay_2 Unity_IndependenceDay_3 Unity_IndependenceDay_4 Unity_IndependenceDay_5 Unity_IndependenceDay_6