FALL (O'KO) 2023
April was a busy month of learning. We were so lucky to see a performance of Napi and the Rock by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra at Arts Commons. We explored 2D and 3D shapes in our classroom, the school and in nature. We loved creating our own 3D shapes. We explored characters, settings and the plot in stories that we read together. Then we created our own characters and have been working on our own stories to share with others! We can't wait to share them with you! We have travelled to the East Coast to Lennox Island where Mi'kmaq people live. We are learning about the land, animals, homes, food, jobs and activities that people do on Lennox Island. The students have created their own islands and are adding to them as we learn.
Spring (Motoyi) is here! In March we explored the early signs of spring and spent time on the land to discover what we saw, felt, heard and smelt with the arrival of spring. We learned about and explored with magnets. We even made our own compasses and explored the four directions outside. Did you know that we have a rock formation in our school yard in the shape of an arrow and the arrowhead points north? We had lots of fun learning about and creating our own leprechauns and clovers. The students tried to their best to trap a leprechaun, but no luck this year!
February was a month full of love (aakomimmihtani) and kindness. We had a weekly kindness challenge and the students completed the challenge every week. We continued to explore the Arctic and learn about Inuit people and their way of life. We built igloos and inuksuks and explored sculptures and sculpture making. We have now returned home to Calgary (Mohkinstis) and have a lot of knowledge and information to share with our families.
We are looking forward the spring (moto) and the new beginnings that it will bring!
January was a short month for us, but we sure did have FUN and learned a lot. We walked back to Valley View Park and observed the changes winter (sstoyi) has brought to the land since our last visit in the fall (o'ko). We took an airplane (first class) to Iqaluit where we have been learning about Arctic animals, the land in the Arctic and Inuit people and their way of life in the past and present. We have been working on becoming experts at researching an animal, recording information and sharing it with others. We researched Narwhals and Polar Bears together and then students chose their own Arctic animal to research.
We are still in the Arctic as there is a lot to learn...so stay tuned!
We learned A LOT in November! We are experts at reading and writing many vowel team combinations, we analyzed, created and extended patterns with Metis symbols and weaving. We made bannock and loved reading and re-telling the story Awasis and the World Famous Bannock. We learned all about liquids and explored why water (oahkists) is so important and what we can do to protect it.
What an exciting month October was! We visited the Okotoks Erractic and listened to a story about Napi and the rock from our friend Gitz. We had visits with Elder Shirley and Elder Hal - both shared teachings that are dear to our hearts. Ayyy Shirley and Hal. Elder Shirley made a beautiful moss bag for our friend Iini! We dug for clay in our field with our friend Ewa and in the new year, when our clay is ready we will be creating with it! We had our first snowfall of the year and our first in-person assembly in a couple of years! The grade 2's did a wonderful job sharing their September and October poems and a boomwhacker song. We had the pleasure of watching some of our students and parents Pow Wow dance and it was incredible! And of course on October 31st we celebrated Halloween!
This month we learned all about BATS (maká’pipi’kss)! We learned what they can do, what they eat, what they have and what they are. We learned a lot of big words like: nocturnal, mammals, echolocation and hibernate. Ask your child to share what they know!
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER
What a beautiful start to the year we have had! We have been working so hard as mathematicians, readers, writers, artists, explorers, and researchers. Every morning we greet each other in our circle by saying hello in our families Indigenous language. It is so powerful to see the pride on the student's faces when their peers say hello in their language. We are learning to work together and care for one another and the land we are on. We all matter and our stories are important. The students each chose a stick, offered tobacco to Na'a to say thank you for the stick and added pictures, colours, and important things about themselves to their sticks. We explored our medicine garden and learned all about tobacco. We even created tobacco seed packages to share with other schools. We have been learning about Mohkinstis (Calgary) and comparing the land in the past and present. We are lucky to be able to walk to Valley View Park where we get a beautiful view of the downtown skyline.
May was a busy and exciting month!
We learned about Lennox Island - a first nation off the coast of Prince Edward Island. We learned about the land, their language, their homes, their culture, their food and explored similarities and differences between Lennox Island and Mohkinstsis (Calgary). We got a close up look of some creatures that live in the ocean and learned a lot about Lobsters!
We learned about the life cycle of plants and planted sunflowers for our mothers and guardians. We started to notice insects in our gardens and field and then our classroom caterpillars arrived! We have been watching them grow and discussing and recording our observations. We are excited for them to turn into butterflies!
During the month of April we explored the question: What does the land teach us about boats and buoyancy? We learned about water (oahkists), explored how it makes us feel and explored with water to learn about boats and buoyancy. Oahkists comes from the sky, is on the land, is in our bodies and kept us safe in our mother's tummies. We learned why things float and sink, including ducks, boats and many different materials. We created our own boats out of milk cartons and even made them propel through water!
We also explored 2D and 3D shapes. We can name and sort 2D and 3D shapes into groups. Shapes are all around us. We explored shapes in Na'a through photographs and in our school yard.
With 2 weeks of spring break, March flew by! We welcomed in a new season, Motoyi (spring) and observed the changes that this new season brings. We explored healthy eating and learned about Go, Slow and Woah foods - ask your child to teach you about those! We set a goal to use the recycling, garbage and compost bins in our school properly and learned about the impact our waste has on Na'a. Our school field needed a little garbage clean up and the students were proud to safely clean up garbage and take care of their school yard. The students were determined to capture a leprechaun on St. Patrick's day this year and did they ever try - but no luck!
We worked hard to become experts at adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers. Every day we stretch out big words and spell them using the letter sounds that we hear. The students are so proud of the big words they can spell!
February was a short and busy month! We celebrated the 100th day of school and Valentine's Day. The students learned about being kind to ourselves, each other and Na'a. We completed our Iqaluit projects and shared them with each other, the other grade 2 classroom and our administration. The students were so proud to show their hard work. We learned all about magnets and used our knowledge to make a paperclip levitate and design a car that we could "pull" and "push". We made connections to Na'a during our magnet exploration. Did you know that earth is a giant magnet? And that the Northern and Southern Lights occur because of magnetism? We have been exploring landscapes through art and the land. We even got to explore our school landscape in a new way - through snowshoeing! The students enjoyed learning about animals who have large feet that act like snowshoes - if you are looking to make an invention, look to Na'a for inspiration!
We have been learning about Iqaluit and it is so much fun! We took a first class flight to Iqaluit and since landing there, we have learned about the land, the Inuktitut language of the Inuit people, homes (past and present), inuksuks, igloos, the Northern Lights and arctic animals. Do you know how to say caribou in Inuktitut? "Took-too". And polar bear is "Na-nook". We still have so much to learn and will not be returning to Calgary (Mohkinstsis) for a couple of weeks.
In math, we explored numbers to 100, became experts at finding the missing number in fact families to 20 and practiced breaking apart numbers every day.
We read and write together every day. We love exploring sight words and rhyming words through songs. This month, we worked hard to become experts at re-telling familiar stories. One of the stories we loved was “Stellaluna”. It helped us to sequence events and learn even more about Bats!