Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of the Year

Well, the end of the school year arrived more quickly than I expected! We've now been on school holidays for a few weeks and have officially finished Year 2. The class is looking forward to being taught by Miss S next year.

I have a new job in a different school for next year. I'll be teaching Year 3/4 but won't be too far away, so I'll be back to visit. I'll be continuing this blog next year with my new class, and they'll be the Year 3/4 Smarties! I know they're very excited about the chance to learn about blogging and I can't wait to show them!

Not only have I got a new school and a new class, but I also have a new name. I am now Mrs G. 

Check back on February 1st for the first post from my new class.

Love from Mrs G (also known as Mrs N!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nativity Art

With just a few weeks of school left for the year, we've started thinking about Christmas! Our art activity today was to make a Nativity scene. We drew a star with oil pastel, then painted the sky and the ground. We tried to make the ground one third of the page and the sky two thirds. We also painted strips of paper to make the stable and Mrs N gave us pictures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to colour and cut out. Later, we got to draw extra things, like angels, donkeys, cows and sheep to add to our creations. Don't they look cute! We're really looking forward to doing more Christmas arts and crafts in the next few weeks.

Next week, we start swimming lessons. Living in Australia means that many of us spend a lot of time in swimming pools, or at the beach in the Sumner, so it's especially important that we all know how to swim. We are going to walk to the swimming pool and have one lesson after lunch each day for two weeks. It's lots of fun and we can't wait!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, November 14, 2011

Measuring Dinosaurs!

It's Week 5 of term already and time is flying by! Mrs N was away for three days last week. She hopped on a plane and flew to Brisbane, which is on the other side of Australia, in Queensland. She went to a conference there and met lots of others teachers from all over Australia. She told them about our blog and about how our school teaches writing. Lots of people came up to her afterwards to say they love our blog and that they might start their own. How exciting!

Today, we finished our Australian dinosaur fact book. We used information on the Natural History Museum's website to find out some facts about dinosaurs that used to live in Australia. In Maths, we checked the fact books we made to see how long each of the dinosaurs was, then in groups, we cut strips of paper to represent the length of each one so we could compare them. Some of them were HUGE and would barely have fitted into our undercover area!

This week, we're learning about contractions. The word "contract" has a few different meanings, but in this case, it means to make something smaller. A contraction is a word that's made up of two words, with some letters missed out. An apostrophe is used to represent the missing letters. Some examples of contractions are:
can't = can not
I'll = I will
she's = she is
I'm = I am

We love listening to stories and we've found a new website where stories are read to us! It's called Tumble Books and there are lots and lots of stories to listen to. Our favourites so far are Wait and See by Robert Munsch, which is about a girl whose birthday wishes always come true, and Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, which is about a green pea whose parents make him eat lollies for dinner every single day! They're really funny stories and we've listened to them both quite a few times already.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, November 4, 2011

Off to the Museum!

Wednesday was such an exciting day! We arrived at school with our lunches, hats and water bottles all packed and ready to go to the museum. There were so many exciting things to do there, we didn't want to leave at the end of the day! Brad, one of the people who works there, taught us some things about dinosaurs and then showed us how to do some activities. We were junior palaeontologists for the day and spent some time digging for fossils and investigating dinosaurs. It was a lot of fun and we learned lots!

We wrote about our trip to the museum and all the interesting things we did. Here is Samantha, Jay and Jenaya's writing.

We went to the museum. On the bus, I sat near Declan and when we got to Perth, we looked out of the window and looked at the city. We finally got to the museum. When we got off the bus, we had recess and the Pre-Primaries came with us too. After recess, we had photos then we had a lesson. We did dinosaur footprints, a bone puzzle and there were four more activities. Those two were my favourite ones. We had lunch. After lunch, we went in groups and my group went up the bridge. Then, we went on the bus back to school.
By Samantha

We went on a bus to the museum. It was getting very hot on the bus. I saw a lot of things. After the long trip, we finally got to Perth. We were waiting for a guy to come. Then, that guy led us to an activity. We did six activities. We did a puzzle, footprints of dinosaurs and a fossil finding game. Then we had to match fossils. We went into groups and looked around, then we went home.
By Jay

Yesterday, we went to the museum. We got on the bus. I was sitting next to Tatiana and Sam. It was so hot! When we got off the bus, we had recess. I had an apple and chips. It was yummy. Then, we took a photo on the stairs to put on the blog. Then, we had a lesson with a man named Brad. He talked about dinosaurs. We did activities like sifting sand, dinosaur footprints, fossil searching in rock, bone puzzles (it was hard!), a grid fossil search and a mystery fossil bag. Then, we had lunch. I had a sandwich and cake. Then, we grouped up with our friends. First, we went down the elevator and we looked at dinosaur bones and other things. Then, we went on the bus. I sat next to Makayla and Tatiana. It took an hour, then we got to schoo.
By Jenaya

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dinosaur Discoveries

Our finished dinosaur fossils
We're so excited about our excursion to the museum tomorrow. We could barely contain ourselves today!

We learned about some of the different types of dinosaurs today and we learned some new words.
Carnivores - animals that eat meat
Herbivores - animals that eat plants
Omnivores - animals that eat both meat and plants

We learned that most dinosaurs were herbivores, some were carnivores and just a few were omnivores. Of course, many herbivores accidentally ate insects and other small animals when they chomped the leaves from the trees!

Palaeontologists are scientists that study prehistoric life. They can work out what dinosaurs ate in a few different ways. One way is to look at tooth fossils. If the teeth are pointed and long, they were probably carnivores. If they were spoon or peg shaped, they were probably herbivores who used their teeth to strip leaves from branches. Herbivore dinosaurs didn't usually chew their food. They'd swallow the leaves whole, then digest them in their stomach, sometimes with the help of stones they had swallowed to help grind the food up inside them!

When we've been learning about non-fiction books, Mrs N told us that most non-fiction books contain photographs of the subject, while fiction books usually have drawings or paintings. Today, we noticed that non-fiction books about dinosaurs don't contain any photos of real dinosaurs and we wondered why. It's because there were no cameras (or people) when the dinosaurs were alive, which means that nobody really knows that they looked like. Palaeontologists can make guesses based on their bones and other little clues left behind but we don't really know about the colours or textures of their skin. So, we discovered that non-fiction books about dinosaurs are one of the subjects that won't contain real photographs.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, October 31, 2011

Catching Up!

This is a catch-up post about some of the things that have been happening lately! We'll get back to posting more regularly again now.

At the end of last term, we were sad to say goodbye to Miss J, our student teacher, who left us to go back to university. We had lots of fun with her and learned all sorts of great things! She has a job for next year already and we think her class will be very lucky to have her! Hopefully, she'll be back to visit us before the end of the year.

We've just had two weeks holiday. Most of us had lots of fun, except for Amy, who had to stay in hospital for part of it! She's all better now, so that's good news. Some of the things we did in the holidays were: going to the movies, riding bikes, going camping, having sleep-overs and playing computer games. This term, we only have eight and a half weeks of school before our time in Year 2 is up! That time is going to go so fast and soon it'll be Summer holidays.

This term, we're learning all about old things, like dinosaurs and fossils. On Wednesday, we're taking a trip in a bus to go and visit the museum. They have a display of all sorts of things to do with dinosaurs and we can't wait to see it!

We did some dinosaur art last week. We learned that some people think that the dinosaurs became extinct (which means they all died) because really big meteors (rocks from outer space) hit Earth. In our pictures, we drew a meteor with oil pastels, then painted the background with water colours. After tracing and cutting some dinosaur silhouettes in black, we glued them onto the background. They look fantastic hanging up in our classroom.

We also made some dinosaur fossils. Everyone received a piece of clay and then we picked out a little toy dinosaur. We made the clay into a flat circle shape, then pressed the dinosaur into it. When we pulled it out, we could see the imprint of the dinosaur. They look really cool! We painted them today with brown and black paints to make them look like they'd just been dug out of the ground. Maybe we'll see some real fossils at the museum!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Visit to the Park

We went on an excursion today! As we've been learning all about the Noongar seasons, we visited a special park that has a display all about them. Each season has a wooden pole and special things about the season, such as foods, or plants that are common at that time of year, are carved into the wood. There was also a really great playground too. We ate our morning tea on the grass, then had a play! It was a really fun visit.

The Smarties with Miss J, our practising teacher

At our school, every class has an Italian language lesson each week with Signora L. She taught us a song to help us learn the names of body parts. It's a song you might already know the English version of - Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Verbs, Pears, Shapes and Seasons

We've been learning about verbs. A verb is a word used to describe an action. Words like run, eat, play, sleep and bounce are all examples of verbs. During spelling groups today, some of us played an online verb game, which was really fun. We needed to read the words in the balloons and tap on them if they were verbs.

This week for Monday Munchies we tasted delicious, crunchy, sweet, juicy pears! They were absolutely yummy! When we cut them in half, we noticed small black seeds inside. Pears can be eaten like an apple, leaving the core and the seeds behind. Some people like to cook pears and have them as a dessert with ice-cream too.

We're really good at identifying two-dimensional shapes, like rectangles, rhombuses, hexagons and triangles, so now we're learning about three-dimensional shapes! 3D shapes are not flat if you put them on a table. They have three dimensions - length, width and height. We created cubes and learned that they have 8 corners and 6 faces. Some examples of cubes are dice and boxes with square faces. Here's a website that explains the difference between two and three dimensional shapes.

We all know about the seasons called Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, but we didn't know that the Noongar people have their own seasons too! With Miss J and Mrs P's help, we learned about them today. The aboriginal people in this area have six seasons, each lasting around two months. The food they hunt and gather and where they live are determined by the seasons. In a few weeks, we're going on an excursion to learn more about the Noongar seasons. Here are the names of the seasons and the months they cover. Sometimes, the spelling might be a little bit different.

Birak - December & January
Bunuru - February & March
Djeran - April & May
Makuru - June & July
Djilba - August & September
Kambarang - October & November

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Counting in Noongar

Our school is located in the south-west of Australia, where the aboriginal people are called Noongar. It is also the name of their language. We've started learning some Noongar words, with the help of our Aboriginal Teacher Assistant, Mrs P. So far, we've learned how to count to ten!

 Noongar Numbers by thesmarties

one - keyen
two - koodjal
three - dambart
four - koodjal koodjal
five - maar
six - maar-keyen
seven - maar-koodjal
eight - maar-dambart
nine - maar-koodjal koodjal
ten - maar-maar

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A New Smartie!

We have a brand new Smartie! His name is Cole and he started at our school this week. He already knew Taj from playing football, but he's making lots of friends with the other children in our class and is enjoying being at our school.

This week in spelling groups, we're revising the sounds we've been learning over the last four weeks. Today, we played games to give us some extra practice in a fun way! We were learning about short and long vowel sounds, words that have ch, sh or wh at the beginning, words with oar, ore, or and wor, and words ending with cher, ture, ure and cher. Here are some pictures of us practising our spelling.

Our school choir entered a competition today. Tatiana, Jenaya, Anastacia, Makayla, Paige and Cathy all hopped on a bus after recess and travelled to the competition. They're getting back after school finishes, so we're not sure how they went, but we bet they were great! Some of them were a bit nervous before they left, but maybe they were just really, really excited.

The Smarties members of the school choir
We did a fun little art activity today. We made elephants pictures. Mrs N gave us a line drawing of an elephant on a piece of paper. We needed to look through magazines and find pictures that we liked in nice bright colours. We glued them onto the back of the elephant, making sure we covered it all. To check whether we'd left any white spaces, we held our pictures up to the window and the sunlight made it really easy to see through. Once we'd covered the elephant, we cut it out, then added the ear, tusk and tail using the typed part of the magazines. We think they look really great hanging in a long row in our classroom, almost like they're walking in a line!

Creating our elephants
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Week Dress Ups!

What an exciting day we had at school today! It's Book Week and everyone got to dress up as their favourite book character. There are so many amazing characters in books, it was difficult to choose our favourites! It was lots and lots of fun, especially during assembly when we went up the front and told the whole school who we were dressed as. Thanks to our mums and dads for helping us with our costumes.

Our rain sticks are finished! They took a long time to get done, because we had to leave them to dry between each layer of paper mache and paint. We decorated them with feathers, beads, coloured string and metallic pens and we're really happy with them.

We are becoming experts on the water cycle. We understand that water is constantly moving around the cycle and it doesn't really have a beginning or an end point. We created water cycle collages to show how well we understand it. There were lots of big words for us to learn, but Mrs N says we did an excellent job remembering them all!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N