Welcome to Grade 2

Welcome to the International School of Tanganyika’s  Grade 2 information site. Here you will find what’s happening, student activities and much more. Please check back often and feel free to leave us a message with your ideas, links and good thoughts. Asante!

Week of May 16th – 20th

Grade 2 students have been busy exploring their unit ‘Sharing the Planet’. They have researched the six ecosystems finding out about the animal and plant life in each one. We created food chains in the IT Lab and are investigating the relationships between various animals. The children were amazed to discover that a shrimp helps to clean an eel’s teeth in exchange for food! We’ve also been having fascinating discussions about humans impact on the environment through looking at photographs and sharing our existing knowledge.

In Language, we have continued with small moments and wrote about a special person in our life. We are now in the process of editing our narrative stories before publishing them into a book. We have learned to read back our writing to see if our sentences make sense and check for capitalization and punctuation. By reading to a partner we have learned to accept suggestions they make and expand on our ideas. In guided reading we are really enjoying exploring the Atlas and Thesaurus…we feel very ‘grown up’ with these books!

In Maths, we continue to investigate money by adding amounts together, working out the change and finding the equivalent value in notes and coins. We are developing our place value skills through games with dice and reinforcing our fast facts with computer games.

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There has been great excitement in our classrooms this week as we have been researching various ecosystems such as, The Arctic, Rainforests, Forests, Oceans, Deserts and Freshwater. We have been developing our research skills by using computers, iPads and books to gather our information. We worked together in pairs or groups of three and cooperated well while becoming more knowledgeable. We had loads of fun sharing our findings!!


Animal Classification

This week Grade 2 started their new unit under the transdiciplinary theme Sharing The Planet.

Our central idea is Ecosystems depend upon relationships between animals.

To tune into our new unit we started with a Visible Thinking Routine called: Generate, Sort, Connect and Elaborate.

  • Generate: Individually students had to think of 6 different animals.
  • Sort: As group they collated their animals and sorted them into groups
  • Connect: The class watched a Brain Pop Jr video about Animal Classification and made connections to the animals they had sorted.
  • Elaborate: Students went back to their sorting and elaborated on their understanding by making changes to their groups.

Please watch the video to see the process.

Reading aloud in Grade 2

Currently, Grade 2 students are enjoying listening to books that are part of a series.

One such series is Tashi.

Tashi stories embody cheekiness, cleverness, a sense of adventure and a love of storytelling. Family and friendships are a running theme throughout the books. The books are inspired by different cultures and mythologies. The illustrations are detailed which captures the children’s imagination.

While in grade 2, students are asked to read every day, this does not mean that parents and teachers should stop reading aloud to children.
Being read aloud to gives them exposure to a variety of writing styles and structures. It provides children with an opportunity to discover authors, and writing styles that are new to them. Adults model fluency, with reading pace, tone and expression.

The school library has the Tashi collection. Please visit them and see, which adventure your child would like to discover next.

Kiswahili Restructuring Information


Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 12.27.18 PMThrough a process of consultation and discussion, the Kiswahili team has reorganized the structure of Kiswahili levels in grades 1 and 2  in order to best meet the needs of the students.  After the holidays, starting the week of April 4, students in grades 1 and 2 may be with a different Kiswahili teacher and/or class. We have tried to make the minimal number of changes possible during the process. If you have any questions, please contact the Team Leader for Modern Languages, Shona Sarkar at ssarkar@istafrica.com.

Where we are in place and time

Grade Two are now inquiring into the views people have held throughout history on the Earth Moon and Sun.

Our central idea is, “Over time people’s curiosity has led them to think beyond planet Earth”

During this unit we will be asking the children the think about
The relationship between the Sun, Moon and Earth
Why did ancient cultures feel the need to make up stories about the planets?
How do we know what we know now?

This is a unit in which the children usually ask a lot of questions. If your child has any resources at home, such as books, especially if they are in your child’s first language please encourage your child to read them and bring them into school.

At some point after the Easter Break, we will email you about a ‘Star Gazing Evening’, when you and your child we be able to come to school in the evening and view the stars and the moon, through very powerful telescopes.

Week of March 7th-11th

The Grade 2’s had a wonderful time performing in their Music Concert this morning. Lots of singing, dancing and instrument playing. Thank you to all the parents who were able to attend.

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We have started our new unit of inquiry, ‘Where We Are in Place and Time’ which is stimulating much curiosity and inquiring. Our central idea is, ‘Over time people’s curiosity has led them to think beyond our planet’. The children are reading non-fiction books about   the Earth, the Moon and the Sun and learning many new facts and making connections to their own knowledge.

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In Math, we have been exploring fractions and making equivalent fractions. The children enjoyed playing a fraction game to help develop their understanding. We continue to work on the concept of multiplication through math arrays, repeated addition and skip counting.

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….and finally some ‘Rocket Launching’ fun with our Grade 5 Book Buddies!


Grade 2 hunts for new books

Ms. Ashleigh’s Grade 2s** came to the library a week ago to find out how to look for new books independently. They started with a hunt, using index cards labeled with Fiction Call Numbers.

Successful hunters came back with a book that matched their index card.

Most grade 2s quickly found the shelf and book that matched.  Ms. Karen then talked about using Destiny Quest to look for new books, and searching for books of interest, outside the students’ usual habits.

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Today, during 2B’s independent checkout time, these same students searched Destiny …


Copied a call number …


Searched the shelves …


Tried the book …


And then checked out.  All on their own.  Great hunting!!

** Ditto Ms. Alefiyah’s, Ms. Lisa’s and Ms. Louise’s classes.