What an amazing morning! Mrs Pearson treated us to a wonderfully clear explanation of a solar eclipse this morning and we then watched live television footage on the large screen in the hall. Each year group was lucky enough to join Mrs Pearson on the playground to view the eclipse using special solar viewers to keep our eyes safe. Mrs Pearson had explained how dangerous it is to look straight at the sun, whether there is an eclipse or not. We looked down at the ground then placed the viewer over our eyes before looking towards the sun and the sight we saw was simply incredible! We also viewed the sun through an ordinary kitchen colander – each hole projected a crescent onto a piece of paper!
Click here for more information about the eclipse!
We noticed that the birds stopped singing, the light outside was most peculiar and it got very, very cold.
We were , quite simply, overawed by the whole experience!
Year Two art has been very exciting over the last couple of weeks. As well as completing our Kenyan silhouette pictures, we have been preparing plain white t-shirts for tie dyeing. Instead of string we have used elastic bands to tie the material. We had a few ideas as to how we could create different patterns and were all very excited to see them begin to come to fruition today. We learned that we could create striped by rolling the t-shirt up and then positioning rubber bands all along at intervals. Marbles and dice have been secured with rubber bands to leave small circular patterns. Sunburst patterns have also been popular – to achieve this effect we had to pull the middle of the t-shirt up into a point and then put rubber bands all along the piece which was sticking up. Some of us found twisting th stunner bands into place quite hard. Unsurprisingly the girls, who have lots of practice with hair bobbles, generally found it easier than the boys!
The process of dyeing began today and we have had three colours to choose from – red, blue and yellow. Not the house colours, in case you were wondering, but rather colours which might be used for clothing in Kenya. First we had to place the tied t-shirts in the bucket of dye and stir it very carefully with a stick. As you can imagine, we were covered with aprons and wore protective gloves too… Just in case!
After stirring it for a few minutes, the t-shirts were rinsed thoroughly and then came the tricky job of removing allthose pesky rubber bands! The results were worth waiting for as you will see from the photos. We can’t wait to wear them!
Last Thursday Year Two were lucky enough to attend an Oundle Festival of Literature KidLit event with Alex Milway. Alex is an author and illustrator and he treated us by reading not just one but two of his books from the Pigsticks and Harold series. He also showed us how to draw both Pigsticks (a pig ego likes adventures) and Harold (a hamster who is Pigsticks’ ever-so-slightly reluctant assistant). We also saw a cartoon featuring the characters. Alex is hoping that it will be commissioned by a TV company so we will be looking out for the intrepid adventurers hitting our screens in the future. We have got signed drawings on our classroom doors – they are fantastic!
Huge thanks to our wonderful PFA who fund our trips to the festival each year.
Click here for more information about Alex Milway and his books.
What a treat we have had this afternoon in Year 2. As part of our Kenya topic, we were delighted that Mr Matthews found half an hour in his busy timetable to run an African drumming workshop. We all got to have a go with an African drum, actually called a djembe. Mr Matthews tapped out simple beat and we had to answer him with a specific rhythm. Some of us found it easier than others but we all really enjoyed ourselves. We noticed that the decoration on some of the drums was very colourful. Thank you, Mr Matthews!
What a way to spend a Wednesday! Year 2 had a wonderful time at the zoo this week. We were very lucky to start our day with an educational talk which wowed the children. First our senses were tricked by the marvels of camouflage and how it operates in our environment. The children were amazed by just how many stick insects can hide themselves in one very small area! We also had the pleasure of meeting Ebenezer who was a lovely friendly snake. She was happy to meet and greet and children and we took full advantage of the opportunity to say hello. We then spent some time touching, feeling and discussing a variety of exhibits. I have to say, the staff were most impressed with the insight and knowledge shown by the children. After lunch we explored the zoo on our own steam. Our Kenya topic was brought to life by the many African animals we saw. The Giraffes evoked the most ooohs and aahs and the very sweet baby hippo looked very content tucked in next to his mum.
Our journey into the world of computer coding continued today and we learned a few new tricks including designing our own backgrounds.
We found we could make objects and people disappear as well as move in different directions. Some of us found a slight flaw… it is very confusing if you assign a left movement to a right arrow! A quick reprogram soon sorted that out!
We were also very excited to think that we would be able to save our work to the school gallery and that we can view them from home. Some of the work is in progress or steps in a longer progress – we hope you enjoy taking a look here
Half term may be just a week away but we will be very busy in Year Two for the next 5 days. As well as our Andy Warhol-style bird’s eye view pictures to finish off, we also have sunset colour washes to finish before we can add silhouettes to represent a town or village. Not to mention more maths, grammar and writing to complete along the way!
On Friday we went out to see our brothers, sisters and friends in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 run in the House Cross Country competition. It all looked great fun – tiring but satisfying to cross that finishing line! There was quite a lot of mud too which looked more appealing to some of us than others! We loved shouting for our house although we’re not sure who won overall.
On Wednesday we were very exciting as we tried our hands at a new area of the ICT curriculum – coding. There has been a lot about coding in the newspapers and on television recently and we thought it was great! We really enjoyed being computer programmers and our first task was makings a fish move to the left or right of the screen. It was our choice and we were in control. We’ll let you know how we get on as it gets more complicated!
How have you been learning your times tables? There is no right or wrong way, whether you are working on your 2s, 5s, 10s or tricky 7s! Everyone learns in different ways. Some people find a song or rhyme helps them to remember – there are lots of times tables CDs for sale and there are songs on YouTube too. Other people find that simply learning them by rote is the best way for them. Writing them out may be the way that works best for you. There are also lots of apps and games available for tablets and computers. Some of the ones we like in Year Two are Squeebles Times Tables, Cloud Tables and Math Bingo. There are many more though, some free and some for a small charge.
Another way of learning and having fun is to play a game. One game that has been played in Mrs W’s house this weekend was Fairy Tables, a card game produced by Mathstraks Games. It was great fun and involves matching the multiples to the times table story but you can’t repeat the characters! It got a bit competitive between the 8 year old and the 14 year old and is not as girly as the packaging suggests as there are fire breathing dragons and handsome princes as well as princesses! Mathstraks Games are the brainchild of Lesley Higgin, a maths teacher who wanted to find a way of making maths more fun for her own children. (Maths fact – Mrs W went to primary and secondary school with Lesley’s sister!). There are other games called Mathical Creatures and Monster Maths which look fun and Mrs W plans to buy them soon to try out on her own unsuspecting children…
This afternoon Year 2 have had an afternoon full of art. We have carried on colouring in our bird’s eye view pictures, this time using oil pastels. Some of us needed to finish off the felt-tip pen versions and they are looking great! We are using colours to create pictures in the style of Andy Warhol, an American artist who was famous for his pop art. We have two more pictures to colour in two more art mediums. Take a look at the Tate Kids site for more information about Andy Warhol.
Some of us have also created a sunset colour wash ready for a silhouette picture of our own localities. We started with a pot of watered down yellow paint and, once we had used it for a couple of stripes at the top of the paper, we added a spoonful of red paint to create a graduating sunset effect. By the end of next week we will all have had a go.
Well, what a wonderful morning we had in Year 2! The children who took part did themselves proud! They were pretty nervous at the start but they all rooted and supported each other and had a great time. We were really impressed with the confidence, articulation and expression that was shown, not to mention, great use of props and bodies! A ParentMail announcing the finalists will be sent out early next week. Well done, everyone!