Monday, February 28, 2011

The Gingerbread Man

We read another version of The Gingerbread Man today. Mrs N explained that it's a very old story that has been retold many times and it was first published in 1875, which is 136 years ago! The version we read today was by Jim Aylesworth. It was a little different to the story we read online last week. The Gingerbread Man was still chased by a little old woman, a cow and a pig, but he never tried to cross a river. The fox took him by surprise and ate him up, instead of tricking him as he crossed the river.

We're starting to learn about writing narratives. We learned that a narrative is a made-up story and is usually written to entertain us. The Gingerbread Man is a narrative and we've decided to write our own version of the story, but it's going to be set in our school. We wrote the opening paragraph of it today. It's going to be fun!

Our Monday Munchies food today was snow pea shoots and we LOVED them! Every single person in the class thought they were delicious and would definitely like to eat them again.

Some of the words we came up with to describe snow pea shoots were:
  • delicious
  • crunchy
  • green
  • fantastic
  • outstanding
  • healthy
  • nutritious
  • leafy
We'll be asking our mums and dads to get us some so we can put them in our sandwiches, add them to salads, or just eat them on their own!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, February 25, 2011

A New Baby Brother!

Aodhán is a big brother! His mum had a baby last week and she brought him in for us to meet today. We thought he was soooooo cute! His name is Eiméad. Aodhán's parents chose celtic names for their children, as they're from the UK. The little line over the letters in their names is called a fada and you type it by holding alt, then typing 0225 for á and alt 0233 for the é. (Mrs N just learned that today!)

Congratulations to Aodhán and his family on the new arrival!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Parent Helpers

We were really lucky this morning because we had THREE parent helpers in our classroom! Danica's dad, Elise's mum and Renee's Aunty all came to help us. Instead of our usual reading groups, Mrs N decided to put our helpers to work and gave them each a hands-on group activity to supervise. We split up into groups and tried out each one.

The first activity was to find the letters that spell out our spelling words and then glue them into our scrapbooks. Danica's dad helped us with that. It made a big mess, but it was pretty fun!

The next task was supervised by Renee's aunty and we needed to find pictures of people, places and things for our noun posters. We've been learning all about nouns this week. Nouns are names of people, places or things. Anything we can see, is going to be a noun and if you can put the word "the" or "a" in front of a word, it's probably a noun too. We wrote the nouns on little stickers and stuck them next to each picture we found.

The other activity was painting with watercolour paints. We used watercolours to make our deskmats a few weeks ago, but Mrs N thought we needed to practice using more water on our brushes. Our task today was to paint stripes onto a piece of paper, making sure we used enough water to make the colours light. This will be the background for our current art project. Elise's mum is great at art, so she helped us with our painting.


Mrs N didn't get to sit around with her feet up while the parent helpers were hard at work. She had an activity to supervise too!  Elise's mum is very interested in insects, so she brought some in that she found in her garden. They were all dead, which meant that we could get up really close and have a good look at them. We could even touch them, if we were very gentle. Our task in Mrs N's group was to identify the parts of insect bodies and draw them. We discovered that insects have three main body parts - a head, a thorax and an abdomen. They also have eyes, 6 legs, wings, mouth parts for eating and antennae.


Thankyou to our parent helpers today (and also to Cathy's mum who came in last week to help). Lots of parent help means we get to do some extra great learning! (Plus, we love showing off how clever we are!)

We received a blog comment from Tanzania yesterday! Tanzania is in Africa and we thought it was pretty cool that people so far away like to read our blog. Their blog is called IST Grade 2 and they mentioned us in one of their blog posts. Mrs N and their teacher, Mr McKillip are going to organise a project for us to do together some time.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Uno, Due, Tre!

Our Italian teacher, Signora L showed us a song we can sing to practise counting in Italian. It even includes counting backwards!
Here's how you write those numbers:
1 - uno
2 - due
3 - tre
4 - quattro
5 - cinque
6 - sei
7 - sette
8 - otto
9 - nove
10 - dieci

We love learning Italian!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, February 21, 2011

An Action-Packed Day!

Jenaya, Mitchell and Makayla using the reading phones
Well it's now the fourth week of school and we're really in the swing of things. Mrs N has listened to us all reading and worked out what we need to learn and practice. We have reading groups called Lions, Tigers, Pandas and Unicorns and we each spend time with Mrs N during the literacy block. She helps us learn new words, improve our fluency (how smoothly we read) and teaches us ways we can work out words we don't know. While she's working with one of the groups, all the other groups are practising their reading on their own. We do things like independent reading, reading with a friend and reading the words that are all around our classroom. Being good readers helps us with all the other subjects we do at school, even Maths!
Jacinta, Renee & Jayden with their writing

One of the Smarties is in hospital for the next two weeks. Paige has cystic fibrosis, so she needs to go and have treatment sometimes. We missed her at school today, but she emailed us, which was very exciting! She told us about how she needs to have needles and  physiotherapy. She doesn't like those things, but she loves the delicious food, the arts and crafts and being able to lay around in bed! She thinks it's pretty fun to stay in hospital.

We decided to write back to Paige, so we got into groups of three and shared the job of writing. We each had a different coloured texta and took turns to write the words. We needed to work together to decide what we wanted our sentences and questions to say, then we wrote them out, helping each other with spelling and with remembering capital letters, fullstops and question marks. Mrs N has typed up all of our letters and emailed them to Paige to read. Hopefully, it'll make her happy!

Mrs N loves the story of The Gingerbread Man! We read it online today and thought it was great! We're going to be doing some more activities about the story in the next few weeks. Today, after we read it, we were each given a picture of a gingerbread man. Mrs N then read out some instructions and we needed to listen very carefully and do what she asked. There were things like "If you're a girl, colour his buttons pink, but if you're a boy, colour his buttons blue". Everyone's gingerbread man turned out differently!

After doing so much already today, it was finally time for Monday Munchies! Our healthy food this week was rockmelon. We learned that rockmelon:
  • is called canteloupe in some places
  • was originally grown in Italy
  • has a hard, rough skin that you don't eat
  • has lots of seeds inside that you don't eat
  • is a great source of vitamins A and C
  • is very juicy!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Yummy, Yummy!

Last week, we learned about writing descriptions and as part of that, we described our lunches and took photos of them. There is a class in Malaysia who is doing the same thing, so we can learn about what children in another country like to eat and how it is different and the same to ours. Finally, Mrs N has put all our writing together so we could post it on our blog. Now we just need to wait until our Malaysian friends get a chance to post theirs.

We hope you like our writing and photos!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's For Lunch?

What's for lunch today?
Today, we started a new lunch project with a class in Malaysia. We took photos of our lunches and wrote descriptions of them. We'll be posting them on our blog in the next few days for our new friends in Malaysia to see and read. They'll be doing the same soon too! It will be really interesting to find out what children there like to eat.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

Mrs N and the Tooth Fairy are great friends and they had lunch together on the weekend. We wanted to know what she looked like, but Mrs N didn't have any photos of her, so we looked online and found a description of her instead.

The Tooth Fairy has long, black hair that blows in the wind. She is smiling. She wears a long, pink dress with yellow stars on it and green slippers. She carries a black purse to keep the teeth in. She has two wings that look like butterfly wings. They are yellow, pink and green. Her wand has a green handle and a star at the end. It sparkles to help her see in the dark.

After we read the description together, we went back and looked for words that would help us draw a picture of the Tooth Fairy. The types of words we were looking for were nouns and adjectives. The nouns told us what we needed to include in our picture and the adjectives told us what they looked like. It made our drawings very easy to do!

As we were so good at reading a description to work out what something looks like, Mrs N showed us a picture of her lunch and asked us to write our own descriptions. We needed to think about the nouns and adjectives we could use to make our writing very clear. You can read some of them on our writing blog. Tomorrow, we'll be writing descriptions of our own lunches because we have a special project happening!

Our letters to our new Italian penpals are almost done! You can read some of them on our writing blog. At our school, everyone has an Italian lesson each week with Signora L and she teaches us about Italy and about the language they speak there. We wrote two sentences in Italian in our letters, as well as saying hello and goodbye.

Ciao! (Hello, or goodbye!)
Io mi chiamo Jessica. (My name is Jessica.)
Io ho sei anni. (I am six years old.)
Io ho sette anni. (I am seven years old).

This was our first try at writing letters. We learned about including an address, a date and a greeting. In the first part of our letter, we wrote a little bit about ourselves and in the second part, we asked our new friends some questions. We'll be posting our letters tomorrow and it will be very exciting waiting for the replies!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, February 14, 2011


It's Monday, which means Monday Munchies! This week, our healthy food was avocado. We looked at a fact sheet about them and learned some interesting things:
  • They originally came from Mexico.
  • They are one of the only fruits to contain fat, but it's a healthy type that helps to keep us healthy.
  • They are rich in vitamins.
  • Some people like to spread avocado on bread, instead of using butter.
  • They grow on trees.
  • There are different varieties and the one we tried is called Hass.
The outside of the avocado was rough and hard, but inside it was soft and smooth. There was a very large seed in there too!

Unfortunately, most of us didn't like avocados very much. There were only four of us who thought they tasted yummy. Mrs N didn't like them when she was younger either, but now that she's a grown-up, she eats them. Sometimes, our tastes change as we get older, so even though we don't like them now, we'll try them again when we're bigger. The important thing is to keep trying new, healthy foods so that we can grow up strong and healthy.

Sharni gives avocado a thumbs up!
We've been working on letters to our new pen pals. They live in Lecce, Italy, which is marked on the map below. If you look at a map of Italy, you'll see it looks a bit like a boot. Our new friends live in the heel part! We'll be putting some of our letters on our writing blog tomorrow.

We did some more activities about symmetry today and we searched our classroom for objects that are symmetrical. Mrs N made them into a quiz using Quiz Revolution. Be careful! There are some pictures of things that are not symmetrical in there too. Don't be tricked!


Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Sunday, February 13, 2011


We're learning about symmetry at the moment. We know that symmetrical shapes have a line of symmetry. This is an imaginary line that divides an object exactly in half and if you could fold the object on this line, each side would match exactly.

For example, these are all symmetrical shapes. The dotted lines are the lines of symmetry.

We used symmetry for our art project this week. After colouring in some shapes, we cut them along the line of symmetry and made a picture.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Laptop Fun

We had our first session with the laptops today and learned how to use Tux Paint. It was so much fun and we learned a lot about the programme. We worked in pairs and spent a lot of time exploring all the different tools and buttons we could use.

We learned:
  • there are different backgrounds we can choose and some are plain colours and some have scenes, like the beach
  • how to erase parts of our picture, or undo the last few things we did
  • how to change the size of things
  • how to make lines of arrows, stars and bricks
  • that there are pictures of animals, trucks, the sun and other objects we can add
  • how to save our work
Mrs N asked us to make a picture of ourselves. Here are some of them!

Taj, building a bug

This morning, we also took turns using the Smartboard to Build-a-Bug! We chose various insect and spider parts and created our own special bug. Mrs N said she's glad our bugs aren't real, because they looked pretty scary!

We've started using Tutpup for addition practice, because Mrs N wants us to become superstars at adding in our heads. On Tutpup, we have our own special login name and we get to have Maths races against children from other parts of the world. Today, some of us played against China, New Zealand and India. The more we practise, the better we'll get!

This afternoon, we went on a word hunt. We were each given three words on separate pieces of paper and we needed to find a set of three words that rhymed with each other. We had to ask the other Smarties if they had words that we needed. When we all had our three words, we glued them together (they fitted together like a jigsaw) in our scrapbooks and wrote as many other words as we could that rhymed with our set of words.

We discovered that sometimes words can sound similar, even though they are spelled very differently. For example, the words eight, wait and gate rhyme, and so do blue, you and zoo. Look how differently they're spelled!

There are also some words that look like they should rhyme because they have the same spelling pattern, but they don't when you read them aloud. For example, are and stare don't rhyme and neither do fear and wear.

On the hunt for rhyming words!
There is lots to learn in Year 2!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Munchies

In our class, every Monday is "Monday Munchies". Mrs N will be bringing in a food each week for us to try. She's hoping that we'll discover some healthy, new foods for our lunchboxes, or to eat at home.

Today, many of us DID discover a new food we liked. It's called broccolini and it's like broccoli, but has smaller stems. It's a great source of Vitamin C, which is important for keeping us healthy. Mrs N was very proud of us because everyone tried it, even if we thought we might not like it.

Some of the adjectives (describing words) we thought of to describe broccolini include: green, smelly, outstanding, delicious, nutritious, healthy and firm.

We also learned a new song about fruit and vegetables. It's from KidsSoup.

(to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Apples, pears and oranges too,
fruits are sweet for me and you.

Carrots, peas and broccoli,
vegetables are good for me.

Fruits and vegetables are good for you.
They keep you healthy and are yummy too!

Vertumnus by Guiseppe Arcimboldo

To decorate the front of our "Monday Munchies" scrapbook, we were inspired by the art of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who was an Italian artist who liked to create portraits using fruits and vegetables. Aren't our fruity faces cute?

This morning, we checked out the comments people have left on our blog and we were super-excited to see that not only did some of our mums, dads and grandparents leave messages, but we also got some from Canada and Russia! Thankyou to everyone who has taken the time to comment. We check them every morning in class.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Things

This week, we've been writing about something we did in the holidays. Mrs N has taught us about a new type of text, called a "recount". This is when we retell an event, or series of events that has happened in the past. There are three main parts of a recount:
  1. Introduction - we need to explain who, when, where and possibly why the event occurred.
  2. Events - we describe the parts of the events in the order they occurred.
  3. Conclusion - we write a closing statement to bring a close to our recount.
We used a recount planning sheet to work out what we wanted to say, then we wrote a draft and finally, we made good copies. They'll be going on display in our classroom, but some have been added to our writing blog. It would be great if you could read them and let us know what you think of our first attempt at writing recounts! Mrs N is especially proud of the way we used interesting sentence beginnings.

Today, we also tried a new type of art. We used watercolour paints for the first time. They are little circles of dried paint in containers and we needed to wet a brush really well and rub it on the colour we wanted. It colours the water on our brush and we can use it to paint on paper. On Tuesday, we ruled up a grid and wrote the upper case alphabet, one letter in each box (except for I, which shared a box with J). Today, we painted the boxes different colours and we'll be laminating them and using them as desk mats. We discovered that when you use only a little bit of water, the colour is dark, but when we use a lot, the colour is much lighter. We thought it was great fun!

Paige and Mitchell
Grade 2 is going great so far, but we all need to have a good rest on the weekend, so that we can get back to learning new things next week!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The New Smarties are Here!

The new Smarties have started school! We have had a super-busy two days showing Mrs N all the things we can do. She thinks we're fantastic and SO well behaved!

We're so busy that we don't have time to add anything to this post, except a couple of pictures of us hard at work. (We're very good-looking, don't you think?) We'll be posting a lot more next week when Mrs N has more time!

Jayden and Stephany
Danica and Jenaya
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N