All posts by aadamjee

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.

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

Student Led Conferences

On Thursday, March 17th you will have the opportunity to participate in a conference led by your child.

Student Led Conferences at IST provide students with a powerful and authentic opportunity for sharing, celebrating and reflecting on their work. It is an opportunity for students to share their learning experiences across the curriculum and across subject areas. P1040627Each conference will include the following:

  • An active element where children demonstrate learning or understanding. This element might include a demonstration of a maths, literacy or unit task, explanation of a finished product, an interactive activity such as a game, or reading a selection from a book.
  • A time to share all or selected parts of the student’s portfolio
  • reflection time where students share their strengths and goals with their parents. Please note that this time is led by your child.

P1040624Student Led Conferences do not include a time for you to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher, as during Parent Teacher Conferences. If you wish to meet with your child’s teacher for this purpose, you should arrange an appointment to do this at another time.IMG_0173Conferences will be held in individual classrooms and will involve up to four student families exploring different stations. The full conference will be 40 minutes. IMG_9876There will also be opportunities to visit Art, Music, PE, Foreign Language, Library and ICT rooms and have a tour around some of the activities on offer. There is no scheduled time to visit these specialist areas, just an open house after or before your student led conference.

IMG_9949There will be no school for students on the day of the conferences and students should come with their parents at their allocated time. A conference time will be sent home with your child. It is not an appropriate time for siblings to attend or for any further issues to be brought to the attention of the individual teacher. Supervision of siblings will be available in the EC playground during this day but only for use during your child’s conference time.

We look forward to seeing you.

Making It Transdisciplinary

This week students’ learning incorporated three subject areas into one lesson. Students were scientists and had to follow the scientific method to investigate the best level to position an inclined plane to make a car move the greatest distance. They discussed how to make the test fair and made observations during their investigations. The students had to use their measuring skills to accurately measure the distance the car moved. They then had to use their writing skills to record their results and draw conclusions.

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Solving Word Problems

This week Grade 2 students have been working on solving one step addition and subtraction word problems. They were asked  to apply their math to solve and answer ‘real’ problems.

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Students have been taught to use a problem solving process to find the answer. One process has been to break a problem down by looking at:

  1. What do you know?
  2. What do you need to find out?
  3. How will you solve it?
  4. Check your answer.

This process allows the students to focus on the key parts of the problem and work out what they are looking for.  They then identify the operation and strategy they can use to solve the problem. In the end, it is important for the students to check their answers. Below are some examples of work.

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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!