Grade 2ML

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Welcome to Schoolyear 2018-2019!

August 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome to Second Grade! I hope you all had a wonderful and restful summer break.

I am Cristina Lagdameo, and I will be your child’s homeroom teacher this year. This is my fourth year at Chinese International School Manila, and my eleventh year in the profession, having taught at various schools in Manila, Philadelphia, and New York City. I hold a Master of Science in Education degree, with a major in Reading, Writing and Literacy, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In addition to this, I am also an AB English Literature graduate from Ateneo de Manila University.

I am very excited at the thought of a promising year ahead, and I look forward to working in partnership with you as we develop your child’s potential. This year will be filled with a multitude of fun activities aimed at helping your child become an independent, responsible, critical and eager learner.

On the following pages are a few general guidelines for the Grade 2-ML Class, as well as the class schedule.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You may email me at, send me a note via your child’s homework notebook, or set an appointment through the school office (at 02 7980011). I look forward to meeting you soon, and working with you in ensuring your child’s success in the coming year.

Warm regards,

Maria Cristina Pilar A. Lagdameo


  1. School Hours / Schedule
    • 7:30 am to 2:30 pm
    • 8:20 am late start on Wednesdays.
    • 3:30 pm dismissal on club days (some clubs may go on till later).
    • Punctuality is emphasized.
    • Library Day is on Fridays.
    • Attached is a copy of your child’s class schedule for your guidance.
  2. Personal Belongings
    • All items should be clearly labeled with your child’s name.
    • Please send a water bottle in with your child each day.
    • Gadgets and toys are to be kept at home unless required by the teacher for academic purposes.
    • Please send in an apron labeled with your child’s name for his/her use throughout the schoolyear by August 6, Monday.
  3. Personal Hygiene Kit

Each student is required to have a personal hygiene kit, which will be kept in their classroom cubbies for them to use when needed. Please use a container that is durable and compact. This kit should contain the following items, each clearly labeled with your child’s name:

ü  extra set of clothes (shirt, shorts/pants, underwear, socks)

ü  insect repellant

ü  cologne

ü  powder

ü  wet wipes

ü  alcohol

ü  tissue

ü  comb

ü  small face towel

  1. Notebooks
    • Please label and cover your child’s notebooks with plastic, and send them back to school by Monday, August 6.
  2. Snack and Lunch
    • Healthy food and drinks are encouraged.
    • Please refrain from sending junk food or soda.
  3. Uniform
    • P.E. days are Tuesdays and Fridays. As their P.E. class is during the first block, they may come to school in their uniform. Please ensure that you send their regular school uniform so that they may change after P.E. class.
    • Friday is casual dress day. We do not want to restrict your child in terms of their clothing choice for Fridays; however, for safety purposes, we encourage them to ensure their choice in footwear will enable them to participate in the day’s class activities.
  4. Medication
    • Should your child need any medication, please ensure that it is left with our School Nurse at the Clinic on the first floor. Only the School Nurse is allowed to administer medication.
  5. Home-School Communication
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Busy Bees in Second Grade


April has come and gone, and boy has it been an exciting month!  It’s amazing to think that we are at the final stretch of the schoolyear.  Where has the time gone?


Our second graders have definitely done a lot of growing these past months, and sometimes I can’t believe that the kids in front of me are the same ones I had back in August.  They’re more independent, more confident, and more inquisitive than ever.


Read on to see what the Grade 2ML kids have been busy with!


A Day at the Farm


For this schoolyear’s field trip, the Grade 2ML & Grade 2MP went to Holy Carabao Holistic Farms in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Holy Carabao Holistic Farms was put up by two moms who were concerned with where their produce was coming from, as they wanted to ensure that their children were eating safe and nutritious produce.


Our field trip started off with an introduction to what the farm was about, and what they did at the farm. This was given by none other than the two founders of Holy Carabao Holistic Farms — Hindy Weber and Melanie Teng-Go. They showed the children a video about “holistic farming inspired by organic, biodynamic, and permaculture principles,” as well as the importance of not using GMO’s.  The kids were also able to explore various types of soil, literally getting their hands dirty with these as they were able to see the difference between healthy and unhealthy soil.


The kids also played a game in which they were divided up into a few groups, and they had to harvest worms from the soil. The winner of the game is the group that had the most number of worms at the end of the time limit. Admittedly, a few of the kids were a little bit squeamish about having to touch the worms, but once they realized that the worms wouldn’t hurt them, they really got into it.


After our session indoors, the kids were led outside where they were able to feed the animals, explore the gardens, and play a reverse scavenger hunt in which they had to find all the harmful things (like fertilizers and GMO’s) scattered around the crops.  They also learned about the wonders of composting, and how compost helps grow healthy crops. They were able to visit a nursery, “harvest” vegetables they would want in their salads, and plant crops.


One of the other highlights for the kids was the carabao ride, in which they were able to ride a cart pulled by a carabao. The kids also played with the bunnies, chickens, and goats that roamed the property.


We left the farm happily talking about all the fun things we did that day, and about all the amazing things we learned. It was definitely a treat for our city kids! :)

Below are a few of the photos from our field trip. There are maaaaany more on our Flickr account :)


Here we are listening to the founders of Holy Carabao Holistic Farms


They taught us a lot of interesting things!


Time to get our hands dirty!!!



Worms are actually really good for the soil :)


Reverse scavenger hunt — take away from the garden the things that are harmful to the plants!


We also met some newborn baby piglets! :)


Carabao Ride!!! :)

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Carabao Ride! :)

Carabao Ride! :)

Show Me the Money!

Math class had us learning about money these past weeks.  We started with exploring barter trade, and branching out to the history of money, and learning about how money came about. We engaged in role-playing to understand barter trade, and how although it was a good idea, it wasn’t a perfect way to conduct business.

We then explored US currency and how to use it. We sang songs about pennies, nickels, quarters, and dimes. We played games that had us adding up coins to see how much money we had, and we role-played selling to understand how to make change.

Philippine currency, as the currency that we use everyday, featured in our lessons as well. We took a look at the new currency of the Philippines, as well as watched videos about the new coins that have just come out, or are about to come out.

To culminate our lessons in money, the Grade 2 classes took a mini-field trip to Wellcome Supermarket, around the corner from school, to get hands on experience in using currency. The children were given a budget, and were told they needed to evaluate whether what they wanted to buy would fit within their budget. They were also given parameters for what they could buy — they could get one drink, and one snack, both of which needed to be healthy, or at the very least, not junk. It was fun to see them exploring the aisles of the supermarket, mentally calculating whether they had enough money for their goods. After our trip to the supermarket, we went back to the classroom to take a look at the receipts we collected from our activity. The kids absolutely loved feeling all grown-up buying their own things, and they were happy to have had an extra snack for that afternoon as well :)

What's a healthy snack?

What’s a healthy snack?

Should we buy this?

Should we buy this?

Yogurt, of course! :)

Yogurt, of course! :)

Here are out picks!

Here are out picks!

Time to pay :)

Time to pay :)

Bagged and ready to go

Bagged and ready to go


We are Ready for Chapter Books!

This month, for Language Arts, the children were encouraged to pick a chapter book from the library that they wanted read. They were given time to read independently in class, and at the end of the week, they were given a poster they had to fill out about the books they read. We called these posters their Book Report Posters.

The aim of these posters is for them to be able to share what they read, as well as give their opinion — backed with detailed reasons — of the book they read. After they did their posters, they were asked to present their posters to the class. It was great to see the kids talk so animatedly about their books, particularly those who absolutely loved the stories they read. An added bonus is that some of the kids who felt they weren’t ready for chapter books realized that they could actually handle reading longer books, and were more inspired to read chapter books going forward!

Independent reading time to prepare for our book reports!

Independent reading time to prepare for our book reports!

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Presenting our Book Reports :)

Presenting our Book Reports :)



We take a lot of photos in class. As not everything is featured on our blog, I tend to just put them all into albums for perusal. Should you wish to see all the photos, they’re uploaded onto our Flickr account! :)

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The Splendor of Indonesia

The third quarter of the school year finds us continuing our exploration of the home countries and cultures of our friends.  The last country we learned about was Indonesia.

We learned a lot about Indonesia, such as their native language (Bahasa), their geographical make-up (an archipelago, just like the Philippines!), and even some cool inventions they’ve contributed to the world like Kopiko candy and the Polygon bike!

One interesting thing we learned about Indonesia is that it has an abundance of volcanoes.  One such volcano we learned about was Mt. Krakatoa, whose eruption in 1883 “was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history” (Wikipedia).  In relation to Mt. Krakatoa, we also learned about a festival celebrated in Lampung called the Lampung Krakatau Festival in which many various activities were held.  One of these activities had to do with children flying kites.  To join in the celebration of the Lampung Krakatau Festival, we made our own kites in the classroom, and took them out for a spin down along the empty driveway of school.

Here they are working hard on their kites :)



They wanted to decorate the kites as well :)

IMG_2494IMG_2492They had a great time making the kites, and were so excited when they heard that they would be able to fly them during outdoor play that day.

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It was amazing to watch the glee on their faces as they tried to get their kites up as high as they could.  I think they enjoyed the running part a lot as well :p

As a culminating activity to our exploration of the Indonesian culture, one of the parents of our Indonesian student came in to demonstrate an Indonesian ice dessert called es teler.  The kids were able to have a hand in preparing the dessert, and were able to have a bit of it as well once it was done :) They really enjoyed the dish!  A lot of them had commented that it is similar to our Filipino dish halo-halo.  It was great to see them drawing similarities and differences between the cultures we have been learning about these past months :)

Here are some photos as they prepared the dessert:

These fruits are so yummy!

These fruits are so yummy!

Pouring in the different ingredients! :)

Pouring in the different ingredients! :)




That looks really really good!!! :)

That looks really really good!!! :)

Now for the best part -- eating!!

Now for the best part — eating!!

Thank you for spending the morning with us and for teaching us how to make that yummy dessert! :)

Thank you for spending the morning with us and for teaching us how to make that yummy dessert! :)

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The Animal Kingdom

In Science class this month, we’ve started to learn all about the animal kingdom, as well as the habitats in which they live. As part of an introduction to the animal kingdom and its different groups, the children were asked to explore what certain groups of animals had in common.  From this observation, we were able to describe and differentiate the different animal groups.

A special treat for the children was also when both second grade classes were able to visit the Upper School laboratory of Ms. Madhu, in which she shared samples of preserved insects and animals that she had.  The children really enjoyed being inside an actual lab; they also found the preserved animals pretty cool to see.

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The children were also asked to differentiate the characteristics of the various groups of animals, learning to compare and contrast.  They worked in pairs to help hone their interpersonal skills; it also helps them to have someone to discuss their ideas with.

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As part of our study of the animal kingdom, the children also worked on identifying different examples of the various animal groups.  Their notebook work consisted in activities that had them cutting, drawing, coloring and writing — honing their fine motor skills and appealing to their creativity.

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