Zebras Blog (Y2)
Welcome to our blog! We hope to share all the wonderful things that we are learning about in Year 2.
Our Class Teachers are Mrs Rockey and Mrs Channon and our Teaching Assistant is Mrs Tilsley. Click here to see our topic bubbles for each term showing NC coverage.
Here is our exciting CURRICULUM MAP FOR 2018-19.
Gorgeous Georgia O'Keeffe flowers
Our artist this term with Mrs Newbury, has been the American artist, Georgia 'Keeffe. Zebra class have learnt all about her long life (she lived until she was 98!), her techniques and her art work. We began by using magnifying glasses to really observe the details of a flower, we then decided what part of the flower we were going to draw in detail and then made sure that we didn't draw the whole of the flower just like Georgia O'Keeffe. She didn't think people would pay to see her draw small whole flowers so she drew part of a flower on enormous canvases - they were amazing! We have also learnt some different pastel techniques like cross hatching and blending to make new or muted colours. We decided to add our own colour ideas to make them even more special!
This week, we went on a hunt around the school to find microhabitats. A habitat is where an animal lives and a microhabitat is a smaller, more localised version of the habitat. This could be something like a rock pool, under a log or even just a clump of grass. It has its own temperature and light conditions and certain animals prefer to live there for different reasons.
We split into small groups and explored the following microhabitats:
On tree bark
Under a stone
On the grass
Under a log
We used the iPads to photograph what we found in the microhabitat (e.g. spiders, snails, caterpillars, millipedes...and lots of worms!) and ticked off the minibeasts we saw on a special recording sheet. Some of us were brave enough to hold the minibeasts but we were very careful to return them exactly where we found them. We talked about how we would feel if a giant snatched us from our beds and dropped us in a completely different, brand new home!
Take a look at some of our best iPad photos, as well as our amazing writing about the microhabitats, what we found in them and suggestions as to why the minibeasts like to live there.
Under a stone. Can you see the worms?
Under a log
Here is some of our super writing, too:
This week, we have transformed ourselves into weather forecasters! We paid very close attention to the changes in weather outside and were especially excited by the drama of Storm Gareth. Who would have thought we could experience almost every kind of weather in a short space of time: heavy rain, light rain, wind, gales, hailstones and even snow! We looked at real weather reports online to inspire us to create our own written weather forecasts in our topic sessions.
We also looked closely at the kinds of weather symbols used by meteorologists and had a go at recording some of them in our books. We talked about how temperature and wind speed and direction are recorded. Have a look at the symbols below. Do you think you can identify what they mean?
World Book Day
Wow!! What a busy day we have had and what wonderful book character costumes we have enjoyed! They were absolutely amazing and clearly a huge amount of effort went into making them and putting them together, so thank you grown-ups. This has to be the best year yet!!
We have had a wonderful time celebrating World Book Day with many different book related activities. We were lucky enough to meet the author Mike Brownlow, who is famous for writing 'Ten Little Pirates', which is just one of the many books in his 'Ten Little....' series. He led a really interesting assembly about the inspiration behind his new book, 'Ten Little Cave Men' and then he delivered a workshop about the importance of mark-making and the use of drawing to represent an idea. He taught us how to draw pirates and robots based on the characters in his stories.
In Maths, we linked our learning to different book characters to help us solve problems involving money. We had some really tricky problems to solve!
In the afternoon, we spent some time talking about our favourite book characters and why we had chosen to come dressed as them. Overall we had a fantastic day!
We have had so much fun this week making our own pancakes to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. We not only made the batter by ordering and then following a set of instructions, but we also put our chopping skills to the test and chopped up banana, strawberries and wedges of lemon to ensure that we had plenty of delicious pancake toppings to choose from.
Take a look at our photographs to see us in action!
Exploring Westbury in Spring
Today we have been on an adventure around Westbury. We went for a walk to the 'secret sunken garden' behind the church and on the way observed all the wonderful signs of spring around us. We found trees in blossom and bud. We spotted bulbs emerging from the soil and some in full bloom. Even though we couldn't enter the garden itself today we were still able to look dawn and draw the landscape we could see. We even saw a squirrel and birds making their nests.
On our way back to school we stopped at the park to make collages of animals and flowers using the natural resources we could find in the park. We had a wonderful time.
In the afternoon a lady from the Wiltshire Wildlife trust came to visit and we learnt all about how to make compost and how we can make our own. We learnt how lots of the things we throw in the rubbish bin could actually be put in a compost which would help reduce waste and help our planet too. We have made our own compost containers and will add our used fruit peelings etc to it to make our own compost which should be ready to use by July. Just in time for us to use for growing our own plants.
Fantastic Frida Kahlo inspired self-portraits!
On Tuesday, Mrs Newbury explored our artist Friday Kahlo with Zebra Class. The children learnt about her (short) life and looked at many of her self portraits.
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who painted many self-portraits. She had a very bad accident when she was 18, which left her bedridden for most of her life. She loved painting nature, pets and things that meant a lot to her. In her paintings you can see all she things she loved the most.
Zebra Class used the rules of painting self-portraits to design their own Frida Khalo inspired piece of art. We chose leaves to frame the portraits, drawing them carefully and some of us included our loved pets and a flower just like Frida did in her portraits.
Mrs Newbury explained how to use oil pastels and pen to create these wonderful pictures. We are proud of them and we hope to include them in our Around the World Exhibition as we are learning about Asia and the wider world.
Chinese Food Tasting
We were very excited to have the opportunity to sample a variety of Chinese foods this week. We were given our own set of chopsticks to use and had great fun trying to use them to eat egg fried rice, egg noodles, rice noodles, seaweed, vegetable spring rolls and a range of prawn crackers and Chinese dips. Some of us surprised ourselves and really enjoyed some of the new tastes, such as the crispy, salty seaweed. We used a recording sheet to describe the flavours and then rate them out of 5.
We also made Asian sweets, called Barfi Snowballs. We mixed together condensed milk, icing sugar and desiccated coconut before rolling the mixture into 'snowballs'. We then placed them in the fridge to dry. They tasted delicious...and definitely very sweet!
Take a look at our photographs and please look carefully at our facial expressions to help you decide whether or not we are enjoying the tastes!
This week, we have been looking a different life cycles. First, we looked at the life cycle of a human and wrote about the changes that take place at each of the following stages of growth:
Baby Toddler Child Teenager (adolescent) Adult Elderly
We then compared the human life cycle to a panda's and discovered how these two mammalian life cycles are similar but also different.We were surprised to learn that when baby pandas are born, they are blind but are quickly able to crawl by the age of just 3 months. Pandas are fully weaned onto bamboo at 8 months. Female pandas become adults at 4 years old and male pandas become adults at 6 years old. This means, if we were pandas, we would already be grown ups!
This week, we have been thinking about some of the ways in which we can challenge ourselves to extend our writing. We have been using expanded noun phrases to make our sentences appealing and interesting to read. An expanded noun phrase includes at least two adjectives and a noun. For example:
The huge, fierce giant.
The terrifying, menacing, wicked witch cast a shocking spell.
We read the story, 'Each, Peach, Pear, Plum' and practised writing our own sentences to describe the final picture. We used some amazing expanded noun phrases , such as 'I spy the witch's cursed, green tea.' Some of us used some conjunctions, too, such as, 'because', 'but', 'if' and 'so'. Many of us have now received our pen license because our writing is neat, well-space, joined and well presented.
Take a look at a sample of our writing. How many expanded noun phrases can you spot?
Who would have thought there was so much to learn about Pandas!! This week we have been thinking about China and the special Panda bear that lives there. We have learnt lots of different facts about the Panda and I'm sure the children will fascinate you with their knowledge if you ask them some questions about them.
We have also been practising our Chinese dance which we started to learn with the dance specialist last week. It was a lot harder than we thought to remember all the steps but it is coming together and we cant wait to show you a snippet on screen at our parent event at the end of the term.
Keep up the excellent reading, we have a lot of children getting prizes for reaching their 30 reads so well done if that includes you.
Welcome to the Spring Term, 2019. We hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas break and enjoyed time with your families. Thank you for our lovely gifts and cards- we are incredibly grateful for your thoughtfulness.
This term, we are looking forward to a whole school topic called 'Around The World'. In Zebra Class, our study country will be China. In particular, we will be focusing on Chinese homes and how they differ to homes in the UK and in other parts of the world. This Friday, a dance specialist will be joining us to teach us some special movements linked to the Chinese New Year. We are very much looking forward to this!
We have kick started our topic by finding out what we know already about China. We have created 'mind maps' to share our existing knowledge and we have uploaded a sample to this blog post for you to see. We knew an impressive amount already, including information such as the name of the capital city (Beijing), examples of Chinese food and also facts about the Chinese New Year.
In our Computer session on Monday, we found out how to 'copy' and 'paste' an image from the Internet into a word processing document. We searched for images of China and added our own text. Please see some of our work below.
Also, we have been busy in English and have been comparing the stories of Cinderella and Prince Cinders. We retold the story of Cinderella, ensuring that our sentences were as detailed as possible and included conjunctions, such as 'and', 'but', 'because', 'so', 'if' and 'when'. Please have a look at some of our story retells.
Later in the week, we will be painting our names in Chinese writing, using careful brush strokes. We will share this work with you when it is finished :-)
The children have been fantastic this week and delivered 2 amazing performances of our Christmas show 'lights, camel, action'. The children loved learning the songs and dancing to the tunes. Considering we had fewer practises than we hoped the show went ahead and fun was had by all. Well done Year 2.
The Life bus
Today we have been extremely lucky to go on the Life Bus. Becky and Harold the giraffe came to visit us and we were able to sit on the life bus to learn about our feelings, body and how we can look after ourselves. We met Harold the Giraffe and he taught us about how our bodies work and the special parts that keep us alive. We then thought about what we can do to look after our bodies to keep us healthy and fit. We talked about the 5 things our body needs to be healthy and why spending a lot of time on just one thing like computer games can be bad for us because we are not experiencing the other areas of our life.
It was fun listening to Becky and having time to think about what we can do to keep ourselves healthy.
We have had a super week writing our own instructions this week. We have talked about why we need instructions and the main features we see in instruction writing. We wrote instructions for making a sandwich and thought carefully about the words we used. Once we wrote our instructions we got to make our sandwich. I have to say there were some very unusual combinations but there were lots of empty plates so they must have gone down well.
We the curious trip
We have had a wonderful trip today in Bristol visiting the science museum. We have explored lots of different things and had the opportunity to experiment with different materials and objects. We really enjoyed making the parachutes fly and experimenting with the different water ways. Thank you to all the parents who came along to help.
This term our topic is the Mr Men and in science we will be focusing on materials. To launch this exciting topic, we spent an afternoon exploring real materials and shared what we know already about them and what we would like to find out. We took the opportunity to record ourselves describing the different types of materials. Click play below to listen to our excellent science discussion:
Our weekly round-up
What have we been learning?
In English this week, we have continued to look at the features of recount writing and have tried hard to extend our sentences, using conjunctions such as, 'but' or 'because'. We have also been working hard to join our handwriting neatly. This is something you could practise at home if you would like to. We are aspiring to have a pen, so hopefully many of us will achieve this goal very soon!
In Maths, we have been comparing 2 digit numbers, deciding which number is greater and why. We have used the symbols, < > and = to write sentences such as, 67 > 32. We have even started to compare mathematical calculations with these symbols. For example:
39 + 4 > 12 + 4
In our Topic sessions, we have been looking at old photographs of Westbury and have talked about how Westbury was different a long time ago. We were very interested to see that the roads did not have painted markings, zebra crossings or cats eyes. In fact, there were not any cars at all and in some of the old photographs we spotted a horse and carriage instead. Next Tuesday afternoon, we have planned to go on a walk around the town to look more closely at some of the old buildings, such as Westbury Swimming Pool. We are also expecting a visit from somebody who works at Westbury Heritage Centre to tell us even more facts about what Westbury was like in the past. We have prepared questions for our visitor.
What a busy Week!!
We have had a very busy but knowledge filled week. It started off with our walk around Westbury town. We looked at lots of the buildings and talked about how they had changed compared to the old pictures we looked at in the classroom last week. It was really good to actually see the buildings in real life!! We thought the swimming pool was really interesting and we could still see the entrances to the old girls and boys changing rooms even though they are not used anymore.
later on in the week we got to carry out an investigation and use our scientific knowledge to answer questions. We were finding out what a bulb was and what it needed to grow. We have set up an experiment and will be observing our test pots to see if our predictions were right.
We have also been busy thinking about our parent event and cant wait for you to join us on the 23rd October at 2pm to come and see what we have been up to this term.
Library grand opening
This week we were really excited as it was the grand opening of our wonderful new library. We had a famous author come to open it and sign her book Handas Surprise. The library is amazing with incredible murals on the walls, a large wooden story chair, a tree house, outside Hansel and Gretel house and hundreds of exciting books to read.
We have spent some time exploring our new library and have enjoyed extra special story times sat on the soft cushions. We said a big thank you to Mrs Rylands for helping create such a lovely space, we are all really lucky!
We have also been finishing off our amazing art work with Mrs Newbury based on Lowry. We have spent the last few weeks learning about Lowry's love of painting industrial scenes with factories, houses and people. We began by painting our backgrounds and mixing colours to create the right effects. This was the first time we had used powder paints properly. While the backgrounds were drying we began the detailed drawings of houses and factories. We painted the buildings carefully making sure we didn't loose all the features we had drawn in - this was really difficult!! The final touch was to add the match stick people just like Lowry did to bring his pictures to life. We loved creating our pictures and hope you do too!
Our first week in Year 2
We have enjoyed settling into our new class and learning some of the Year 2 routines. We have practised finding our 'talk partners' first thing in the morning. This is the person that we need to sit next to during learning time to discuss our ideas with. We have also practised getting into our Maths groups and our English groups. We look forward to seeing you this Friday (14th September) at our 'Meet The Teacher' session, which begins at 2.30pm. We would like to share a little more information with you about the exciting year ahead.
Westbury White Horse Trip
The children have returned from a very windy trip to the White horse but still fun was had by all. The children were able to make observations from the top and look at the amazing view across Westbury. There were lots of discussions about where they lived and places they recognised from so far away. The children also went on a scavenger hunt and found lots of interesting things.
We returned to school early and had a picnic in our classrooms followed by a mass flying kite adventure on the playground. The kites were amazing and flew really well. I expect all the children will be sleeping well tonight!!
Author Visit to Year 2
Today has been really exciting as we had a real author in school reading us stories from her book. Karin Celestine writes books with themes of kindness and trust where she creates felt characters and then takes them out to the countryside where she takes photos of them to illustrate her stories. She brought in a range of the characters she has made o show the children. We all then made paper boats which we will take home to decorate and test in the bath.