Monthly Archives: November 2015

New Math Unit

Shape and Space Math Unit

Next week we will be starting our “Shape and Space” math unit. Geometry is an important component of Everyday Mathematics. Studying geometry helps develop spatial sense and the ability to represent and describe the world.

During this unit, children will consider five basic kinds of 3-dimensional shapes: prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones, and spheres. To sort the shapes, children will explore similarities and differences among them. They will become familiar with both the names and the terms for parts of the shapes. These shapes include; spheres, pyramids, cylinders, cones and prisms.

Children will also study polygons, 2-dimensional shapes that form the flat surfaces of the prisms and pyramids, as they look for examples in real life.

Later in the unit, children will explore line symmetry as they experiment with folding 2-dimensional shapes and matching halves. Children will also cut out shapes and look for lines of symmetry in each shape. They will be asked to find symmetrical objects at home and in other places.


Together, look for 2D and 3D shapes in your home and neighborhood. Explore and name the shapes.

Use household items such as toothpicks and straws to create polygons.

Look for geometric patterns in the tile floors, quilts, buildings, and so on.


The history behind the IST symbol.

This week we have been focusing on printed symbols, the have been guiding the students with the questions: Who is the audience? What is the purpose? What is the message? Grade 2 invited Deb Backlund, our school Communication Manager, to explain the history behind the current IST logo. Students learned how the logo has evolved since 1963.IMG_6131 IMG_6133 IMG_6135

Students were asked to use the principals behind the designs of the current IST logos seen around school e.g. the twiga mascot, the Indian Ocean, and the Tanzanian colours to have a go at creating their own design.

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Number Sense Workshop For Parents

Number Sense

What is it?

Can you picture 10 pencils in your mind? How about 50 pencils? About how much water will fill one cup? Which is more: 43 marbles or 34 marbles?

We have a sort of intuition about numbers that we develop over time. This is called number sense. The more we work with objects–hold them, count them, manipulate them–the better idea we have of quantities. When we have measured a teaspoon of vanilla in 5 or 6 batches of cookies, we get a good idea of about how much a teaspoon is.

Number sense also has to do with an understanding of the written numbers themselves. Young children have to learn that the number “4” refers to a certain quantity of objects. Later, they learn the difference between numbers like 18 and 81, and get a sense of these quantities in their heads.

The best way to develop good number sense is to give kids lots of hands-on opportunities to play with quantities and numbers. Number sense is woven into the other math areas, and can’t be learned strictly on its own.

However, there are certain skills that are considered to be an important part of number sense, which can be learned and practiced individually.

How can I practice this at home?

  1. Naming Numbers and counting

Kids will learn the pattern of counting numbers (28, 29, 30 is like 88, 89, 90). They learn how numbers relate to each other (50 is ten more than 40). They also learn the names of numbers, and begin to have a sense of how many objects each number refers to.

  1. Comparing Numbers

Which number is greater: 181 or 179? Also known as “greater than, less than”, kids need to understand how numbers compare to each other, know what the words “greater than”, “less than” and “equal” mean, and to understand and use the symbols <, > and =.

  1. Odd and Even Numbers

Even numbers of objects can all be paired up; each number has a “friend”. Odd numbers, when put in pairs, have one left without a friend. Until kids have memorized patterns for which numbers are odd and which are even, they will need to physically count them to see if they can be paired up.

  1. Sequencing/ordering Numbers

If given the number 23, your child should be able to tell the next numbers that come in the sequence: 24, 25. Kids should also be able to count backwards from a number: 90, 89, 88. Second graders should be able to manipulate numbers up to 1,000 in this way.

  1. Rounding Numbers

First and second graders will learn to round 2-digit numbers to the nearest tens place using a number line or another visual. They will learn to tell which number in the tens place is closest to their number, and round to that number.

Would you like some more information or practical ideas on Number Sense? Then please attend our:

Number Sense Workshop

When: Thursday, November 12

Where: Elementary Staff room

Time: 1.00pm

Karibuni to all KG, Grade 1 and Grade 2 parents!