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Year 2 Update

In Year 2, we have had a mighty busy and exciting start to the year. The children are brimming with passion for learning and there is a wonderful energy in our room.

Inquiry

To begin the year, we have been delving into the transdisciplinary unit of inquiry, Who We Are, with the central idea that ‘Understanding and appreciating diversity can enrich our community’. In particular, we’ve explored personal strengths and differences and the ways that our actions can impact on our community.

The children have explored how they can take responsibility for their learning, how communities make and follow agreements and have delved into our shared values, discussing differences of perspective. Through a number of thinking routines, such as ‘Looks like, sounds like, feels like’, and whole-class discussions, we decided upon some things which we all valued and wanted our classroom to reflect. These include fun, being free, diversity, kindness, learning, other people and the roles they play, imagination and creativity, fairness and the environment. We decided that if these are the things we value, then our actions should reflect this – for example, if we value kindness, then we will ask ‘Are you ok?’ if someone seems sad. These have formed the core of our essential agreements – a vital component of the IB PYP. 

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English

In English, we’ve been inquiring into the question, ‘What makes good writing good?’. Through a class brainstorm, we have begun to develop a shared language to talk about our writing – to start with, we’re exploring ‘Word Choice’ – the idea that good writing includes carefully chosen words, appropriate to the purpose of the text. In imaginative texts, this might mean creating images in the reader’s mind through strong use of verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Each child has begun writing a five senses poem – an opportunity to explore powerful word choice. 

The children have also been introduced to the Writer’s Cycle – a process in which children use a Writer’s Notebook to gather and develop ideas, then draft, revise, edit and publish selected pieces of work. This process empowers the children to see themselves as writers and enables them to feel agency in the learning process. In other literacy, some children continue their progression through the Read Write Inc. program, and others have begun engaging with rich literature, working on developing comprehension strategies and their knowledge of grammar.

Maths 

In Maths, we have been learning about flexible and efficient strategies for addition. We have learnt several games such as Bean Battle, Dice Wars, Get Out of My House and Shake-Shake-Show, aimed at improving number fluency and addition facts. The children have engaged in a number of challenging tasks, which encourage them to both extend their understanding of addition strategies and to develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Have a look at Lottie and Max attempting to solve the ‘Skittles in the Light Globe’ problem below!

To ensure all children have access to challenging tasks like this, concrete materials are used, and prompts are prepared to make the task more accessible, or alternatively, to challenge them to extend their thinking further. 

We’re off to a flying start in Year 2 and are ready for an incredible year together! 

JAMES CLAPHAM
Year 2 Teacher