Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

A message from Year 2

Dear Families, 

The November long weekend is the first significant date on our calendar. Congratulations to everyone for surviving the first nine weeks of the school year! As we look forward to the six weeks before the winter break, we start a new inquiry unit, learn to solve math questions that involve multiple functions, and begin to apply our knowledge of adjectives and adverbs to our writing. 

In inquiry, the boys begin the “How the World Works” unit entitled Simple Machines. The Central Idea of the unit is that machines are designed to do work. The boys investigate inclined planes, wedges, wheels, axles, and levers. Much of their investigation includes hands-on investigation and building with lego and other materials. The culminating task of the unit is to design a simple machine to solve a problem. Real-world connections to machines that do work, including cranes, trucks, elevators, and other versions of simple machines are investigated. 

In math, the boys continue to apply the strategies of counting backwards, forwards and making tens to master two-digit by two-digit subtraction. Boys continue to explore borrowing while subtracting, as doing this will test their conceptual understanding of place value. Continued practice with one or two-digit subtraction ( 8 – 5 = __ or 13 – 6 = ___ ) helps the boys lock down their automaticity of basic subtraction facts and helps them tackle more complicated work ahead. 

I truly appreciated the research help provided to the boys in preparation for their oral presentations. The support provided the opportunity to increase student agency and enthusiasm in learning. They were all so proud to bring new ideas into the classroom and share them with their peers. Additionally, it provided an excellent opportunity for students to work on their oral presentation skills. One of the most memorable facts was why it is not safe to swallow toothpaste! 

We continue our focus on reading for homework. Please ensure that the boys fill out their minutes every night and return them each Monday. We use this data for practising addition as well as displaying data. The boys have a sense of ownership over these activities, and it helps if all minutes are logged. Additionally, on occasion some work is sent home to support their classroom learning.  Please do not return it to class unless specifically requested to do so. 

In their written language unit, the boys learn about retelling events and will bring home a retell every Friday instead of a gratitude journal entry. A significant focus is on sequencing, transition words, and describing specific details using adjectives (and soon, adverbs). 

With thanks, 

Mark Ferley  mferley@ucc.on.ca