Big Blue Whales!

In Year 2 we have been doing an information text unit linked to our topic all about the biggest creature on Earth…the blue whale!

Using the book Big Blue Whale, by Nicola Davies, we went through a process that helped us move from great readers into great writers. 

To begin with we were given key words and phrases from the text. We read them and teamed with some prior knowledge we made predictions about the information we were going to find. This was presented in a brainstorm diagram. Finally in this predicting stage we saw the front cover of the book and that helped us to make links (all good readers do that!).


Next we moved to careful reading of the language from the text to help us to clarify key vocabulary. We made glossary booklets to record this piece of work.

Now it was time for summarising. Summarising is finding the main point. We needed to read sections of the text carefully and closely and as a team we worked together to find the main point, give it a sub-heading and present back to the class.


Then it was time for planning. All good writers make plans they can follow to show off their skills. We changed the way we planned this time and worked as a whole group to collect and share our ideas and recorded them on a giant class plan.


We carried out a lot of writing skills work during the planning and writing stages so we could get it just right. Everyone made a first draft in our English books, we then made some improvements before creating our final copy for display.

This unit of work was a great success. Everyone showed commitment and enthusiasm to learning! This hard work and determination ensured lots of progress for all!

Fireman Sam’s Safety Talks

Year 2 were lucky enough to have a visit from a local fire officer, Sam this month. She came to tell us all about how to be fire safe aware! 
We learned what to do if ever there was a fire at home, the importance of smoke alarms and why we should NEVER go near matches! Can anyone remember the song Sam taught us? If you can, comment below and correct answers will be rewarded.
It was very exciting because Sam brought in a firefighters special uniform they use when going in to fight a fire! Only specially trained firefighters are able to tackle a fire safely.
Take a look at how engaged and enthusiastic we were about our learning:

  
  
  
  

Text map homework

We have just begun learning a new text, The Seven Chinese Sisters, to link in with our China topic.

As we are such great readers in Year 2 we followed the text map and picked up the story well! Some parts were challenging but because we work as a team we ended our lesson successful! 

We are looking at suspense in stories and this story has ended with ellipsis so far. I wonder what is going to happen next?!

Year 2’s homework task this week is to practise the text map. Everyone has been sent home with one but just in case it’s gone walk abouts…

  
See if you can perform the story to your family at home!

Chinese character writing

Look at this amazing topic work we did last week! It was a real challenge at first but practise makes perfect and soon we were making progress steps.

   
 At first, we discovered that Chinese writing does not follow an alphabet instead words are represented by characters. In English, we read and write from left to right but in Chinese you read and write the characters from top to bottom!

We carried out a variety of jobs such as matching the word to the character, drawing Chinese characters, writing number characters and making number sentences.

   
Throughout the afternoon we were engaged in learning and we all showed resilience to keep on going until we reached our personal best!

To display this learning we then made some Chinese hanging decorations by choosing three Chinese characters and drawing them clearly on red circles. 

Did you know? Red is a lucky colour in China.

Meerkat Mail

Year 2 have enjoyed studying Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett.

  
It’s a lovely story full of adventure and finding out that the grass isn’t always greener!

Firstly, we all worked as a team to create a class story map so we could learn the text. We challenged ourselves and added some key story language to the map. This is a class target at the minute to use a variety of sentence openers in story writing.

  
We used a key to identify different text features on the map.

Once we had learned the text, we were ready to innovate. Throughout the innovation process Year 2 showed outstanding engagement and commitment to their learning.

We created an innovated story called Meerkat Supermarket. Sunny the meerkat went on a trip around the supermarket to find the perfect place to live. Using our innovated map we then wrote the story.

  
It was so impressive to see Year 2 show determination and perseverance when writing their sustained story piece. The outcome was fabulous. Keep an eye out to see their terrific writing!

Measuring on a large scale!

After a busy week of learning how to measure accurately Year 2 wanted to get their heads around how big the dinosaurs really were and the classroom just wasn’t the place to do it!

First of all, we researched how long the dinosaurs were in metres, then recorded the measurements in a table. We all had to remember to record the unit of measurement used.

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Next, we shared our ideas about the best measuring tool we could use to help us measure such long lengths in metres and we were introduced to a trundle wheel! A trundle wheel is a measuring device which when the wheel completes a full turn it measures 1 metre.

We could not wait to test out the trundle wheels and find out how long the dinosaurs were! Once we were in teams we made our way onto the yard.

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During this task, we had to showcase good teamwork when measuring. One member of the team stood at the start position, one member used the trundle wheel to measure and the third member travelled alongside the measurer to ensure that they were counting the metres accurately. This task took a lot of patience.

It was amazing how long some of the dinosaurs used to be! The T-Rex was 12 metres long but the Apatosaurus measured in at a whopping 25metres! The shock of Year 2’s faces when they looked back to discover how long they were was an absolute treat!

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When we got back into class we became little Maths Masters and showed off our measurement skills by working out the difference between certain dinosaurs.

Did you know? The Spinosaurus is 6 metres longer than a T-Rex!

 

A visit from a four-legged friend

A very special visitor popped into Year 2 on Tuesday to introduce them to their new Literacy unit, Information texts.

Meet Lucifer the Great!

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As part of the Information Text unit that Year 2 are starting, they will learn all about tortoises and produce their very own information leaflet to share with other classes in school.

Everyone absolutely loved having a real tortoise in class. He was carefully shown around and we even got to touch him! Miss Gangel followed closely behind with the hand sanitiser!

It has given Year 2 a real enthusiasm to get started with this learning. Following on from the Lucifer’s visit Year 2 contributed to the planning of the unit by completing a ‘I see, I think, I wonder’ task.

This task involved sharing ideas with a partner and recording notes using bullet points. ‘I see’ asks you to record what you saw when Lucifer visited. ‘I think’ is making those links to think about using what I saw, what do I think I know? ‘I wonder’ is then generating a question you would like to answer by the end of the unit.

Some great examples from today’s lesson:

I see: Lucifer’s head can go inside his shell.

I think: Tortoises are flexible because their heads can move in and out of their shell.

I wonder: Why do tortoises have a hard shell?

Why don’t you have a try thinking of a question you would like Year 2 to answer all about tortoises? Comment below and we’ll get back to you!

Check back in with Year 2 to see if you can learn any interesting facts about tortoises.

Room on the Broom Celebrations

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, Year 2 celebrated in a day of all things magical.

They dressed up as witches and wizards and enjoyed a spellbinding day!

Year Two’s favourite part of the day was making a magical potion. Everyone wrote their ingredients out and each came up with a magical spell to say as bubbling potions were created! I was so impressed with all the children who were really determined and showed great independence to write out their potions.

This was a great session and we all had lots of laughs! We used some common household items to create our bubbling potions:

  1. A few drops of witch’s saliva AKA distilled vinegar
  2. A few drops of poison dart frog eye juice AKA blue food colouring and…
  3. A spoonful of powdered werewolf eyelashes AKA bicarbonate of soda

Say your magic words and with a ‘Hocus Pocus, everybody focus!’ Bang…Your potion is bubbling away!

As you can tell the potions didn’t smell too great!

Year 2 would love a comment from you! What would your magic words be?

Salt dough ammonites

Following on from our trip, we were very interested in ammonites and we decided to create some of our own using salt dough.

As a team we followed a set of instructions to make the dough.

To make the salt dough we used flour, salt and water. We mixed them altogether in a large bowl and gradually added water to the mixture until it was the right consistency. It got really tricky to mix once the water was added so Miss Collins and Miss Nevin had to get their hands in it!

Once the dough was ready we each were given an amount to roll into a cylinder ready to create our ammonite shape. After that, we then had to create fossil markings on the dough. This process was a challenge because you had to make sure the markings were deep enough in the dough without breaking through the bottom of the fossil.

Finally, the ammonites were placed in the oven to bake on a low heat.

They turned out great! What did you think of them when we brought them home?

Our Trip to Great North Museum

As part of our Land of the Dinosaurs topic Key Stage One and the ARC took a trip to the Great North Museum. When we were there we took a fossil workshop and explored the dinosaur discovery bags which were great fun!

We found out all about ammonites and some of us even took park in the role play of how ammonite fossils were discovered. They were very wriggly fossils! We even looked at T-Rex fossil poop!

After the workshop and discovery bags we went on a tour around the museum.

The trip made us all very enthusiastic about our learning and we couldn’t wait to get on with our topic learning back at school.

Thank you once again to our parent helpers who accompanied us on the trip too, we hope you had a great day too.