The 2A Express

The Weekly Roundup

Week Twenty Four....

Greetings, Parents and Caregivers,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well.

This week has been full of wonderful learning experiences, opportunities to further strengthen our understanding regarding the areas we are currently learning and a chance to celebrate our classroom friendship with our Valentine's Celebration party at the beginning of the week as well as the annual 'Read for the Fun of It Week'.

Once more, a huge thank you to the parents who helped organize a great Valentine's Day celebration this week. A special mention to Clair and Joann for coordinating the party and making it an enjoyable time to celebrate friendship amongst the classroom. You can check out the pictures below.

Another highlight was our Grade Two field trip to Souq Waqif on Tuesday. This was a terrific way for the students to get a glimpse of what Qatar's past was like, while making connections to the importance the souq had when supplying the needs and wants of it's residents.

This trip also allowed the students to make connections to the past as they role played a souq trading simulation, assuming the roles of pearl divers, haulers, traders and merchants and the captain of a pearling dhow. This simulation opened many avenues of discussion which can be read in more detail in the Social Studies section of this newsletter.

We are also very close to performing at our annual second grade musical performance. 2A has been working tirelessly on this performance and I am sure that you would not want to miss this concert!

The 2A mathematicians have continued to strengthen their addition and subtraction strategies, providing evidence of their mathematical thinking, working closely on identifying their errors when solving equations and following a step by step guide when tackling multi step word problems, and how to best double check their answers.

As readers, 2A have finished taking an in depth look at the pieces that make a a realistic fiction story, applying these skills to a wide range of their writing. We now move to reading a range of folktales, looking at comparing and contrasting these stories.

As authors, most of us have moved into publishing using the iPad application BookCreator. We are moving towards looking at formulating our personal opinions and constructing reasons to justify our thinking. As you may have seen in this week's home learning, there was a letter with a set of writing prompts that asked for their opinions. So far, I have read some very compelling opinions on a range of matters.

This week in Social Studies we continued to look at Qatar's past, focussing on the art of pearl diving, the way of life it provided and how it integrated with the needs and wants of a community, and ultimately it's decline in the Arabian Gulf.

Please take the time to look through the newsletter as there is some important information regarding the next few weeks, click on the images of your child engaged in learning and feel free to contact me with any queries or issues that may arise.

2A's Valentine's Day Celebration

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The Twenty Fourth Week

The Subjects


This week the mathematicians of 2A continued to solidify their addition and subtraction strategies, taking the time to communicating why that particular strategy worked for them.

This week's lessons allowed us to apply our strategies to a range of single step and multi step word problems. It proved at times to be challenging, ensuring that we had work through our six steps that we needed to come to a solution.

We also had to be sure that when working on a multi step word problem, that our solution in Part A was accurate so that it allowed us the correct answer in Part B. This ensured the mathematicians double checked their chosen strategies process when solving and the accuracy of their answer.

Next week we look at reviewing our strategies, how we communicate the reasons why we chose such a strategy to solve an equation and how we can double check the accuracy of our answers.

Below is the unit link by Eureka Math housed on YouTube embedded in the newsletter. This is a cluster of short videos that provides parents, students and teachers with an overview of the strategies that are being taught this unit lesson by lesson, and how to solve some of the questions that students are exposed to.

IXL Second Grade Resources

Reader's Workshop

This week 2A started their new unit; Folktales and Role Playing.

The readers of 2A have been reading a range of folktales from around the world and are starting to compare and contrast these types of stories.

A folktale is a traditional story that has been handed down through the generations. Many folktales have a trickster as the main character. The trickster character tricks other characters to get what he or she wants. Sometimes, though, the trickster gets tricked. The theme of a folktale is often expressed as a moral, or lesson.

Writer's Workshop

There are a few students who are still in the publishing phase of the writer's model and when ready will share these with their classmates.

This past realistic fiction unit has really allowed the authors of 2A to take a wide range of crafting techniques and apply them to their own fiction story. These writing skills are foundational and will be built upon further as each author moves through each grade level.

This week 2A looks at formulating, justifying and sharing their opinions about a wide range of thoughts. We will take the time to differentiate facts from opinions, how the two can be mixed and what makes a solid item of opinion writing.

Sharing Our Final Edits

Social Studies

This unit has provided opportunities for the members of 2A to take the time to think about the nation that they are living in and ask themselves the questions "What was Qatar like in the past?" and "How did Qatar get to where it is now?".

This week we focused on the age of pearl diving, using Julia Johnson's book as an anchor text that shed light on a father, Abdullah and his son, Saeed's time on a dhow floating on the Arabian Gulf during the months of a pearl season. It allowed 2A the chance to discuss the life of a pearler, hauler and nakudha (captain) and the hardships they faced.

This was a great opportunity to then participate in a souq trading simulation. This role playing 'game' allowed the students to be either a pearler, hauler and souq trader, or for two lucky people, a nakudha or an Indian pearl merchant. The simulation demonstrated how hard the life of a hauler and pearler was in order for them to get money to own the basic needs of a person with a family during the time of pearl diving. It then provided opportunities for each to work for dates and fish that could be used to trade for other necessities, while highlighting the fact that the traders, nakudha and pearl merchant worked far less and earned far more than the others.

This simulation was also in conjunction with our trip to Souq Waqif, enabling the students to catch a glimpse of what life could have been like back then during the height of pearl diving.

We will be looking back 100 years and contrasting 1916 to 2016, and noticing the changes that have occurred within the decades.

If you, or you know someone who is familiar with Qatar's history, and would like to take the time to impart and share your knowledge with our class please contact me and we can organize a time to present. I feel it would be great for someone who has lived here longer than I have and who has developed a stronger relationship with the country than a person who has only lived here for seven months!

The Souq Trading Simulation

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The Souq Waqif Field Trip

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Exploratory Time

2A is very lucky to participate in a QSTec (Qatar Solar Technologies) initiative that will see the second grade students utilizing the power of solar energy, recycling and environmental awareness and the engineering design process.

The Shams Generation 2 project sees that QSTec provides a solar powered lamp piece for each child in the grade, and each student is to create a robust light installation out of recycled material.

2A will move through the engineering design process as we undertake phase one next week, designing on paper our ideas for shape and robustness, creating a list of recyclable materials that we can use and how these pieces come together.

If you would like a further insight into this exciting project please take the time to click on the link below.

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In Other News

The Best Way to Start the Lower Elementary Reading Week....Grab a Book and Read!

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Our Four 2A Track & Field Representatives at This Week's Meet

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Things To Know:

National Foreign Language Week, March 7 – 13, 2016

This week celebrates the rich culture of language and highlights the plethora of languages spoken at ASD.

Below are some of the activities that our language students will be involved in;

  • Pass it Forward: World language students will teach the community a word they have learned from their classes

  • Selected students will say hello in different languages each day over the intercom

Arab Mothers Association Fundraising Activities

The Arab Mothers Association fundraisers will be hosted every second Thursday of each month.

February Dates At A Glance

  • February 23 Grade Two Music Concert @ 11:30
  • February 26 Friendship Festival
  • February 28 LE Activity Day
  • March 6-7 Visiting Authors Fleming and Rohmann
  • March 6-10 Trimester 3 ASA Signups
  • March 7-13 World Language Week
  • March 10 Trimester 2 Ends