Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Gorgeous Babies!

Yesterday, we had a "guess-the-baby" competition! We each brought in a photo of us when we were a baby (even Mrs N and Mrs M brought one in) and we needed to guess who was who. Some of them were easy, because our faces hadn't changed very much, but some of them were very tricky because we don't look like we used to at all!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, November 29, 2010


We made oobleck today. You make it by mixing cornflour and water until you get a paste. It's very weird because it does some things you don't usually expect a paste to do. This is what we observed:
  • When you push on it fast, it's hard.
  • When you push on it slowly, it's soft.
  • It can drip off a spoon just like honey.
  • You can form it into shapes like cubes and spheres.
  • It goes crumbly if you keep rolling it between your hands.
We discovered that when you apply pressure to oobleck, it acts like a solid and when there is no pressure, it acts more like a liquid. We found it very interesting!

We finally finished our art activity from last week. We had painted two pieces of paper with brightly coloured circles. Then, we ruled lines on the back, cut them into strips and threaded them together. Don't they look amazing!?

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's be Sun Smart!

We have been discussing the idea of being "sun smart". This means that we are smart when we're in the sun! It gets very hot where we live and the sun can be very strong. It's almost Summer so we need to start thinking about how we can keep our bodies safe, but still enjoy being in the sunshine.

We wrote persuasive texts about the question "Should we be Sun Smart?" Mrs N is trying out a new way to publish stories, called Simple Booklet.

We did some painting this afternoon. There were lots of beautiful colours to choose from and we had to cover two sheets of paper, using circle patterns. We'll be making them into something special on Thursday!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Wanna Iguana!

We're learning about persuasive writing, or expositions. This is when we try to persuade someone to do, or agree to something. We watched a video of a book called I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff, which is about a boy called Alex, who really, really wants a pet iguana. He writes notes to his mum, trying to persuade her to agree.

Here are the arguments Alex used in the story to try to convince his mum to let him have the iguana his friend was giving away:
  • It might get eaten by Stinky's dog if we don't take him.
  • It's quiet and cute.
  • Its cage would stay in my room so you wouldn't even notice it's there.
  • By the time it gets too big, I would have moved out anyway.
  • I need a new friend.
  • I could teach it tricks.
  • I'd feed it every day.
  • I'd make sure it had enough water.
  • I'd clean its cage.
  • I'll pay for its food.
He did such a great job persuading his mum that she finally agreed to let him have it! We decided to write to our parents to see if they'd let us have a new pet.

Dear Mum,
I would really like a horse.
I would pay for its food.
I would clean its water every day.
I would clean its stable when it's done a poop.
It would give me exercise.
I hope you get me a horse, please.
Love Charlee

Dear Mum and Dad,
I really want a puppy as a pet.
I would buy it dog food with my pocket money.
I would train it two times a day.
I would take it for walks every day in the afternoons.
I would play with it and buy it some toys.
I think it would be a great pet.
Love Allia

Dear Mum,
I really want a shark.
I would buy it toys with my pocket money.
I would keep it in my room and you would not see it.
I would keep it healthy by giving it the right food.
I would keep the door shut.
I really want a shark.
Love Matthew

Earlier in the week, we started making paper mosaics in the shape of Christmas stockings. Most of us finished them today. We needed a lot of patience, especially as our little squares of paper were blowing around in the air-conditioning (it was way too hot to turn it off!).

Alex, Indi and Lachlan with their mosaic Christmas stockings

This term in Sport, we've been going to the local recreation centre to have gymnastics lessons. We do lots of running, jumping, hopping and skipping and it's great!

On Tuesday for news, Kiara brought in some photos of her as a baby. She was really cute! We decided it would be fun and interesting to see what all of The Smarties looked like when we were little, so we're having a Guess-the-Baby competition! We each need to bring in a photo of us when we were babies and give it to Mrs N. It's important that we don't show anyone else, or tell anybody about our photos, otherwise they'll know which is ours when it comes time to guess. Next week, Mrs N will put all the photos up and we're going to fill out a form to guess who-is-who. It's going to be so much fun!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

25,000 Hits!


The Smarties have reached another milestone. Our blog has had 25,000 hits since February this year! We're amazed and excited! Thankyou to everyone who reads our blog. We've learned a lot from the friends we've made around the world and we find it very useful to check back to see activities we've done, or things we've learned in the past as revision. Hopefully, we'll continue to blog with our Year 3 teacher next year!

We did some more practice with similes today. On strips of paper, we wrote some similes then cut them up so one part was the "as (something) as" part and the other piece was the answer. We put the first parts out on the desks, then we were given some of the second parts. We walked around the room, reading each of the similes to see if the part we had matched. We needed to make sure they made sense. Things like "as green as a clown", or "as brown as the sky" were silly, so we had to keep looking until we found the right one.

In Art this afternoon, we started making paper mosaics. We were given the outline of a Christmas stocking and some strips of coloured card. We needed to cut the strips into little squares and glue them onto the shape, leaving just a little gap in between each piece. It's a bit like the tiles in bathrooms and kitchens. We didn't have time to finish them, so we'll do them again on Thursday and they're going to look great!

Also, thankyou to Alex's mum who came to help us in our classroom this morning!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Our end-of-year concert is coming up, so we've been practising the song we'll be singing. It's called The 3 Rs, by Jack Johnson and it's all about reducing, reusing and recycling. Some of it's tricky to sing, but we're learning fast!

Today, we learned about similes. A simile is a figure of speech that explains how one thing is like another. We can use them to make our writing more interesting and to paint a mind-picture for the reader. They can help to explain things that are difficult to describe. We thought of lots of examples:
  • A tall as a giraffe
  • As soft as a pillow
  • As hard as concrete
  • As strong as my dad
  • As green as grass
  • As pretty as my mum
  • As cold as snow
  • As light as a butterfly
We chose our four favourite similes and made posters.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remembrance Day

Yesterday was Remembrance Day. At 11 o'clock, the whole school participated in a prayer service. Many of the children and teachers were wearing poppies, which have a special meaning. We made some in class and learned about some of the things we do on Remembrance Day and why we have it.

Remembrance Day - At 11am on the 11th day of the the 11th month, in 1918, the First World War ended. We now call this Remembrance Day as a way to remind us about how awful war is and how we should try to live peacefully so that people don't have to live through war again.

Poppies - We wear poppies as a sign of respect. The significance of poppies comes from a poem written by an army doctor called John McCrae, in 1915, called In Flanders' Field. His hospital was close to a field where they had been burying the soldiers who had died. Many poppies were growing between the graves, so he wrote a poem that starts like this:

In Flanders’ Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row

One Minute Silence - During the service, we have one minute silence. During this time, everyone thinks about the meaning of the day and about the people who have been killed or injured in wars.

Last Post -This is a tune played on a bugle at the start of the one minute silence. It was traditionally played at the end of the work day for soldiers, but now it's played at war memorial services to symbolise the end of the soldiers' duties.

The Flag - At the beginning of our prayer service, the Australian flag was at half-mast. This means that it was only half way up, which is a sign of respect or mourning. At the end of the service, it was raised to the top.

The Ode - The Ode is a special poem we say on Remembrance Day, as well as other days when we remember wars. It's from a longer poem, called For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon. It is about how the soldiers who have died will never get older, like we will.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

In the afternoon, we chose some of the things we'd been learning about during the day and made them into Remembrance Day posters.

Indi with her Remembrance Day poster

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


We've been learning about a new shape. It's called a rhombus, but sometimes it's also known as a diamond. It looks like a square that's been pushed over a bit.

A square
A rhombus
A rhombus has:
  • 4 sides of equal length
  • 4 corners
  • no right angles
For art this afternoon, we needed to make a rhombus with strips of paper and then make it into a picture. We made kites, fish, a dog, Christmas trees and even the Leaning Tower of Pisa! We think they look awesome!

Last week, Mrs N was contacted by a teacher in Canada. Her class wanted to ask us some questions about school in Australia. Today, we emailed them and told them everything they wanted to know. We also asked them some questions, so we can learn a little about Canadian schools. They live in the province of Saskatchewan in Canada. 

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Books and Vouchers

As we mentioned in our last post, our class won a commendation in a competition for our drawings of teachers from our school. We won some books for our school library. Our principal suggested that we choose two of the books to keep in our classroom reading boxes. Today, we had a good look at them and chose the books we wanted.
All the books we won for our school!
Mrs N narrowed our choices down by choosing the books most suitable for our age, so we had four to choose from. They were:

The Enormous Crocodile, by Roald Dahl

The Very Itchy Bear, by Nick Bland

Harry and Hopper, by Margaret Wild

Slithering Snakes, from the Ready-to-Read series

We noticed that they were all about animals! To vote, we each wrote down the two books (just the animal names) that we'd most like to keep. We created a graph to show our results. It's a new one for us, called a pie graph. It looks like a pie that's been sliced up. Some of the pieces are bigger than others, depending on the data we use. As you can see, the books we most wanted to keep were Slithering Snakes and Harry and Hooper.

We've finished counting all the vouchers for the Coles Sports for Schools programme. We have a grand total of 35 354 vouchers! What an amazing effort from our little school! We'll be able to choose lots of great equipment!

It's been a lot of work counting all those vouchers but it was a fantastic way to learn about tens, hundred and thousands. We learned that:
10 x 10 = 100
10 x 100 = 1 000
10 x 1 000 = 10 000

Our random daily writing topic was "apples". It needed to be a story that involved an apple in some way. We were very creative and wrote some great stories.
The Werewolf
Once upon a time, a princess named Elizabeth wanted to go on a walk to find flowers. "I am going on a walk to Mum's house," she said to her servants. She set off to go to her mum's house.
On the way, she got hungry and she needed a drink. She found an apple. She took a bite and she turned evil! It was getting late and the soldiers were getting worried, so they set off to find her. 

"Elizabeth," they called and out of the bushes came a big, hairy, scary werewolf. "Elizabeth, is that you?" asked one of the soldiers. "Yes, it's me, but I am more powerful," she yelled. She chased after the soldiers. "I'm going to eat you for my dinner." 

She howled and howled while she was chasing the soldiers. "Run," cried a soldier, "Come to me." The werewolf howled. The soldiers ran to the castle and shut the gate but the werewolf could jump over the electric fence. The soldiers pulled the drawbridge from the moat, but the soldiers forgot that the werewolf could jump, so they didn't lock it. 

The werewolf jumped over the moat and pushed the drawbridge down with the chain. "I'm going to get you," howled the werewolf. The werewolf smashed all the windows and found all the soldiers and ate them for dinner.
By Raquel

Once upon a time, there was an apple tree. It was about to grow an apple. Everyone fought over the apple. 

One day, it fell off. A little girl got it then went to show her mum and dad. They said, "Do you want to eat it now?" She said, "Yes, but first I want to keep the seeds so I can grow an apple tree for everyone."

So, she planted the seeds and everyone was happy.
By Ella

The Princess
Once upon a time, there was a princess who felt like eating an apple, but there were no apples in the kingdom. The princess asked the King if he could send out all his men to find an apple. The King said, "Yes."

The King went to tell his men that the princess felt like eating an apple. All the King's men got on their horses and started looking for an apple. They went to another kingdom and asked if they had any apples. Their king said, "No," so, all the knights kept searching for an apple.

The knights thought they saw an apple tree, but it was a pomegranate tree. The knights kept looking for an apple. 

They saw another kingdom, so they went to it and asked the King if they had any apples. The King said, "Yes," and the knights said, "Can you show up where they are?" The King showed the knights the apples and then one of the knights got an apple and they went back to the castle. 

When the knights got back to the castle, they gave the princess the apple.
By Alex

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Melbourne Cup

Today was Melbourne Cup day. It's a big horse race held in Melbourne on the first Tuesday in November every year. The race is very famous all over Australia and has been held for 150 years! It was shown live on television and the whole school watched it. Our class had a "sweep". This means that everyone picked out the name of one of the horses in the race (without looking) and if their horse came 1st, 2nd or 3rd, they won some Freddo Frogs. Indi, Charlee and Ella were the winners!

The Melbourne Cup is also a day for grown-ups to get dressed-up in fancy clothes. Ladies like to wear pretty, fancy hats. This morning, the girls made hats and the boys made neckties. There was a lot of card and paper for us to choose from, as well as feathers and sequins and other things we could glue on. Don't they look great? We were allowed to wear them all day.

Yesterday, we thought about the things we have been learning during our life. Today, we thought about the gifts we have that help us learn. They are memory, thinking and curiosity.

Memory - Our memory helps us remember how to do things, how things work and what things mean. To test our memory, we studied 15 objects for two minutes, then they were covered up and we went to our desks and wrote down as many as we could remember. Alex and Kiara remembered 10 objects each! It was actually a really tricky thing to do.

Thinking -Thinking means we use our brains to work things out. Our task was to make a horse puppet using a paper bag and some card. Mrs N gave us some instructions, then it was up to us to make them. We had to think about size and shape and what horses look like. We think they're pretty cool.

Curiosity - Being curious means to wonder about things. Wondering about things encourages us to look for answers and learn. We used bubble.us to brainstorm some of the things we wonder about.

We have exciting news! Mrs Mt, our principal, came to our room this morning with a big package. At the end of last term, we entered a competition for World Teacher's Day. We had to draw a picture of a teacher from our school and send it in. The judges loved our drawings and we won a commendation and a big pile of books for our school library! We were very excited and Mrs N and Mrs Mt were very proud of us. If you'd like to see our entries, they're in our Art Week post.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, November 1, 2010

Growing and Learning

Did you know that as we grow, we need to learn new things? We had a think about that today and came up with a list of things we learn at different stages of our lives.

As a baby, we learn:
  • how to suck on a dummy 
  • not to wake up in the middle of the night
  • how to go to sleep
  • how to drink from a bottle or from our mum
  • how to crawl
As a toddler, we learn:
  • how to crawl and then how to walk
  • that we shouldn't draw on walls
  • how to balance on one foot
  • how to ride a bike
When we're in pre-school, we learn:
  • to use scissors
  • how to glue things
  • how to sit still 
  • how to write our name
  • how to play nicely with other children
Now that we're in Grade 2, we're learning to:
  • write in paragraphs
  • use big and interesting words in our writing
  • be kind and gentle
  • rule up margins
  • do mental maths
We've learned so much!

Australia is a really, really big country and has many different environments. Aboriginal people lived (and some still live) in desert and coastal regions. We learned that "coastal" means near the ocean. Coastal areas are usually cool, moist and green. There is water available and fruit and fish to eat. Aborigines who lived in the desert live in a much hotter, drier place. There is little water and they need to rely on food such as plants, seeds and animals they can catch, such as kangaroos, goannas and emus.

We watched a video about some bush foods called Honey Ants and Witchetty Grubs. We're not sure we want to eat any of them, but they are very important and popular foods among aboriginal people.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N