Friday, October 29, 2010

Castle Art

As part of our archaeology theme this term, we've been looking at castles. We found images online and studied the shapes of the buildings and the sorts of roofs, windows and doors they have. We then used rectangle shaped cards as templates to draw the towers, then added all the extra features like moats and flags. It was a really fun activity!

Check out our awesome castle paintings!
Today is our last day of swimming lessons, so next week should be back to normal again!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Swimming Lessons

The Smarties are busy with swimming lessons this week. We have two lessons daily, so we're at the pool for most of the day. We're doing a terrific job of listening to our instructors and doing our best. It's very important that we all learn how to swim well, because Summer is almost here and many of us will be spending a lot of time in swimming pools and at the beach.


Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bat Boxes

What a fantastic day we had! Mr Tonga, from Natsync Environmental, visited our classroom to help us make some bat boxes. He had cut out the pieces we needed and it was our job to glue and screw them together (we even got to use electric drills!). Mrs N was very impressed with how well we worked together. Mr Tonga took the boxes and installed them in trees close to the school. Some of them will have cameras installed, so the number of bats using the boxes can be monitored. It's very exciting to think that our handywork will benefit scientific study!

Here's our artwork from yesterday. We made it by drawing on sheets of foam, covering it with paint and pressing it onto paper. We think they look terrific!

Also, a very big CONGRATULATIONS to Taj and his family on the safe arrival of a new little sister, called Tanaia. She was born on Tuesday night and Taj is a very, very proud big brother.
Big Brother Taj
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Going Batty!

We have a very special activity planned for tomorrow. We'll be building nesting boxes for microbats and we can't wait! Today, we learned all about bats and even did some bat art.

We watched a video to see what they look like close up. They're very cute, but we weren't sure if we liked the look of the sharp little claws on their wings!

Mr Tonga is the man visiting our classroom tomorrow to help us make the boxes. Here he is in a video explaining all about them.

The Smarties are BIG fans of The Magic School Bus and luckily, there's an episode all about bats. We learned lots of interesting things, such as:
  • Bats are mammals, which mean they're warm-blooded, have fur and their babies drink milk from their mothers.
  • Baby bats are called "pups".
  • Bats use echo-location to see, which means they make sounds (that humans can't hear) which echo off objects around them so they can work out where they are.
  • They like to hang upside down from rough surfaces.
  • Bats are nocturnal, which means they come out to feed at night.
  • Bat poo is called guano.
  • Mother bats know the sound of their own baby.
  • Some bats like to eat insects and some like to eat fruit.

This afternoon in Art, we did print-making. First, we drew a picture on paper about bats. Next, we were given a piece of thin foam and we re-drew our picture onto the foam. Our pencils made an indent in the soft material. We used a roller and black paint to cover the drawing and then we turned it over onto a clean sheet of paper and pressed down hard. When we pulled off the foam sheet, our drawing was there! The lines we made with our pencils were white and the rest was black. It looks just like night-time!

We can't wait until tomorrow!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Our writing activity today was about finding something. We could choose to write about finding an object, an animal or anything we wanted. Here are three of our stories.

The Magical Potion
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted to find a magical potion that would turn her into a mermaid. The little girl had a friend that was a mermaid. The girl's friend said, "The potion is under a tree. Choose a tree and look under it." The little girl found the potion. 

One day the mermaid came and said, "Help, help! The queen has been kidnapped." The girl said, "I'll find her" and she jumped into the water and she saw a glow. She found the glow and there was a queen being held upside down over a basket of boiling lava. She called the police. The girl got the queen down and the evil octopus got put in jail.
By Meg

Connor and the Monster
Once there was a kid called Connor. He was going to bed. He was so tired that he fell asleep straight away. The next day, he was in a monster's ship. The monster was driving the ship. He found a button to get out of the ship. He jumped out of the ship and he had to find his way home. It was a long way from there. 

Connor was near a cave. He thought that was bad. He thought there were big animals in the cave, but there were no animals in the cave. Connor did not know where he was at all. He really had to find his way home. It was almost night time so Connor was getting scared. Connor was in the bush so he could not find his way home at all. 

Connor started to find his way home and he was almost out of the bush. He was getting closer and closer to some houses. He started to remember where he was. Connor was getting closer and closer to home. Connor had only five houses to go, then he would be home. Then, he was three houses away. He was getting very close to home. Then, Connor was only one house away. He got home and ran straight to his mum and gave her a hug.
By Alex

The Lost Shell
Once upon a time, I woke up and went outside. There was a shell on the road. There was no beach around. I was thinking about how the shell got there. Just at that moment, I thought that I should turn the shell over, so I did. There was a name on it. A name I couldn't understand. I asked my mum. My mum didn't know what it said either, so we went from house to house. At last, we found the right house.
By Catherine

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mystery Object

We tried to solve a mystery today! Mrs N was gardening on the weekend and found something interesting. It was a rock with a bird and some branches painted on it. It looks very old and we were excited to think about where it came from. We worked in groups to think of answers to some of the questions we had about the discovery.

Who made it?
  • A man or a lady in the olden days
  • An artist
  • Aborigines
  • The person who lived in the house before Mrs N

What is it for?
  • It could be some sort of decorative ornament for display.
  • Maybe it was for scaring bugs away (because they're scared of birds).
  • It might be a message to someone to tell them there are birds in the area.
  • It could have been used to tell a story.
  • Maybe it was for attracting other birds.

Why was it in Mrs N's garden?
  • The people who lived in her house before her might have left it there.
  • A dog might have found it somewhere else and dug a hole and put it in.
  • Aborigines might have lost it before the houses were built.
  • Aborigines might have buried it to keep it safe and so nobody would find it.
  • It might have been left as a message or a warning about birds.
  • Burglars might have dropped it and it got covered up by dirt.
  • It might have been left behind by someone who had no room to carry it.
Even though we probably won't find out for sure who made the object, it was still interesting to think about.

Mrs N's discovery on the weekend was well-timed, because we're learning about archaeology this term. We watched The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells and learned some very important words that will help us.

Archaeology - Finding out about people from the past based on the things they left behind.
Artifact - Items, or parts of items, made by people.
Fossil - The remains of things that used to be alive.
Hypothesis - A guess about how or why something happened, based on clues.

We have also been busy, busy, busy counting our Coles Sports for Schools vouchers. So far, we've counted over 8,000 of them and we still have quite a few to go!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We're Back!

We're back from our holidays and happy to be at school for our last term of Grade 2!

Mrs N had a very exciting holiday. She went to South Korea and she brought us back some Korean lollies to try. They were unusual flavours like pumpkin, cream jelly and sesame. We liked them! She also showed us what Korean money looks like. Their currency isn't called "dollars" like it is here in Australia. They use "won" (rhymes with "on"). 1000 won is about 1 Australian dollar.

The Smarties love to dance, so Mrs N showed us some Korean pop music (k-pop). We think they're really good dancers and we loved the catchy tunes.

Our school is participating in the Coles Sports for Schools programme. Each time we spend money at the supermarket, we get a voucher which we bring to school. The school can then use these vouchers to get sporting equipment for us. It's our class's job to count all the vouchers the school collects. This afternoon, we started sorting them into piles so that we can count them easily. It took us all afternoon, because we have SO many vouchers!

Tia, Kelsi and Allia busy sorting vouchers
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N