Friday, 26 April 2013

Spring Has Arrived in our Class

Last week we began to notice signs of spring.  Many flowers were beginning to bloom, butterflies were flying about,  the birds were chirping, worms were on the grass, the sun was shining more and we were able to play outside without our jackets.  We decided to create an art display showing all the things we have noticed.  First we made butterflies using paints, then we made tulips to put in our windows and finally we made ladybugs! Our classroom looks alive with the signs of spring!

Do you do anything special to celebrate the beginning of spring?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mongoose vs. King Cobras!

Today we read a post by Hudson in Ms. Macs class (she is one of the classes we connect with in our blogging community).  He told us about the mongoose and how it could kill a king cobra.  This got us very interested since our class name is the King Cobras  We really didn't know what a mongoose was so after many guesses we decided to "google" it.  We saw many pictures of a mongoose.  Then Henry said, "why don't we see if there is a video of a mongoose fighting a king cobra!"  So of course we did!  We saw an amazing video by the National Geographic Society of a mongoose and a king cobra fighting.  We were really engaged!  Nolan noticed that it was just like the "Who Would Win" books that we have in our class.  We wondered if Ms. Macs class has these books.  Of course after all this learning we just had to share it with Hudson who started the whole thing!  Thank you Hudson. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Subtraction in Progress!

Look at how we solve math problems!

Place value blocks to help us with our thinking, calculators to check our work and of course our brain to do the thinking!

Earth Week

Today to help celebrate Earth Week we went outside with our buddies and spent 10 minutes collecting garbage around our school.  We found so many things!  Leif found a sock.  Is anyone missing one?   After we finished we played a game of camouflage outside! ( Revisit our blog to see how to play camouflage). We played it inside last time because it was raining outside.  It was really fun to play in a small part of the forest!  It was much harder to see people. 

Learning through Art

Yesterday we went to the Surrey Art Gallery.  We had a tour of the gallery and saw lots of art by students from schools in our community.  The pictures were so good - very creative.  It gave us lots of ideas.  We even saw a picture that was similar to what we had done in the fall!  After our tour we went into the art studio where we got to do a project.  We learned about diversity - what it means and how we can express our diversity through art. Here is a collection of pictures that Mrs. Betts took.  She used the app PicCollage to make it.  Have you tried using that app before? 

Check out our individual blogs to hear how we made our prints!

Monday, 22 April 2013


Today in Science we learned what erosion means and how important roots are in preventing it.  We did an experiment outside with plants and soil.  Mrs. Metz brought in a plant that had roots and a bucket of just soil.  She took a pitcher of water and poured it over the plant with roots.  We noticed that there was no "erosion" of the soil.  The roots helped prevent the soil from eroding away.  The bucket of soil that had no roots had lots of erosion. 

Water being poured on the plant with roots

Very little soil was left on the white paper.  The roots held the soil together.  There was very little erosion.
When we poured water in the bucket with no roots lots of the soil came out of the bottom (lots of erosion!)

We went back into the classroom and had a discussion about what we learned.  We reviewed what erosion means and how important trees, plants and roots are in preventing this. This conversation led to us talking about trees and forests and why big forest companies don't log near river banks.  Most students said we shouldn't cut down trees but then we asked how would we build new houses? have pencils to write with? have paper to write on?  Then we talked about when trees are cut that it is important to replant which was called reforestation!  This led to us talking about renewable resources!  Oh I love how grade twos think!!!! 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

We Ate Dirt!

There was great excitement in our class on Friday.  We reviewed the layers of soil that we had learned about on Monday and then we made it!  The best thing was that it was edible!!!!  First we made the bottom layer (the bedrock) by breaking a cookie in half and putting the chunks in the bottom of a cup.  Next we crumbled the other half of the cookie to make the parent material (that's the layer that is made up of sand, clay, and rocks).  Then we used vanilla pudding for the subsoil and finally we used chocolate pudding for the topsoil.  We added sprinkles to represent the tree litter that sits on top of the topsoil.  We also added a gummy worm because we know there are worms in the topsoil.  Before we could eat our dirt we used either Skitch or Educreations to show our learning. 

Have you ever made dirt?  Have you ever eaten dirt?  It was pretty tasty!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Gymnastics Showcase

Today was our big show! We have been working on our gymnastics skills in gym for the past month. We started with movement positions - moving in a variety if ways - fast/slow, high/ low, light/ heavy etc. Then we were introduced to static positions, working on balance and different sit positions. Next we incorporated these movements using the mats and balance beams. We finished our unit by building a routine using all that we had learned. Our routine had to have the following components:
- a start position
- 2 static positions(balance, sit)
- 2 rolls (forward, pencil roll, log roll)
- and a finish position

We invited our parents in to watch our routines.

Here are some pictures and videos of us doing our routines. When you watch the videos notice how quiet it is - there are 45 students in the gym performing their routines!  What great gymnastic athletes we have!

Congratulations King Cobras and Coyotes - you were awesome!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Scientists At Work

This week in Science we started to explore soil.  On Monday we  did a walk and talk sharing what we knew about soil.  Some of us were "posts" and we stayed in one spot.  The rest of us were "walkers."  We moved from post to post sharing our ideas about soil.  We were exploring the following questions -
  • What is soil?  
  • Where do you find soil?
  • Why is soil important?
Once we had shared our information with each other we paired up with a partner and recorded our favourite fact on a sentence strip.  Below is a picture of our thinking!

 Today we looked a little closer at what lives in soil.  We read some information about soil and the creatures that live in it.  We also talked about composts.  Then we got to use magnifying glasses to look closely at some compost from Mrs. Betts compost bin.  You wouldn't believe what we saw!  Here are a few pictures but it was hard for Mrs. Betts to get pictures of all the creatures because they move very quickly!

Some of the other things we saw that Mrs. Betts couldn't get a picture of were:  centipedes, a baby snail (it was very tiny), some larvae, leaves, tiny pieces of wood.  We discovered that there were living and nonliving things in the compost!

Have you ever looked closely at soil and what lives in there?  You should!  It is amazing to see what is there!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Next Step

Last week we reviewed the features of nonfiction text.  Today, as a group, we brainstormed for the headings we would use if we were going to write a book about an animal (which we are going to do!).  The headings we came up with were:  Appearance, Habitat, Diet and Life Cycle.  Mrs. Betts added another heading called Interesting Facts - she said that is where we could record information that didn't fit in any of the other categories.   Next, we read a book about Giraffes.  As Mrs. Betts read we had to listen for the important facts about the appearance of a giraffe.  Then Mrs. Betts modeled how to take the information and put it in notes under the correct headings.  We made our own copy too. 

We are practicing how to do this because we are eventually going to write a book about a Canadian animal.  We plan to use the app Book Creator to make our books. 

Have you ever done something like this?  Have you used the app Book Creator?  It is a very fun app to use.  We each made a book about Matter in Science.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Making Words

We use a program called Making Words to practice our spelling.  Each week we get letters and we focus on certain spelling patterns.  The letters we used today to make words were - m  m  r  s  s  n  t  e  e  e  u and  a.  The patterns we are reviewing this week are:   ee   ea   ur   the magic e and ture says chur

We use the app Magnetic Letters.  Mrs. Betts gives us clues as to what the word is and then we try and spell it.  For example, she might say, "this words means the opposite of nice" and we would spell the word "mean"

Here are some examples of the words we spelled today. 

All the letters make a "wizard word."  Sometimes the wizard word is really easy to guess and sometimes it is really hard.
Can you figure out what the wizard word is this week?  How do you do spelling in your class?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Magical Measures!

Today we went outside to do our math!  We were measuring with meter sticks.  We worked with the Coyotes  (the other grade 2 class) in groups of four.  Each group had 2 meter sticks.  We had to measure the sandbox, the hopscotch frame, the bridge, the electrical box and the soccer goal.  Before we measured we had to estimate how long or wide we thought the items were.  Our guesses were much closer to the actual measure since we have had so much practice estimating and measuring things.  We had so much fun despite the little raindrops that made our page wet!

We have learned lots about measuring.  Here are some of the things we have learned
Alexa's learned that you must go slow; Melody's learned that you can use two meter sticks to measure things that are longer than a meter; Henry's learned that you should measure twice before recording your answer; Maxim, and Jenson said it's important to measure accurately;  Matt knows there are 1000 millimeters in a meter; Trevor knows that there are 100 centimeters in a meter. 

Do you use any type of measurement in your job? 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Beginning of our project

Today we looked again at nonfiction text.  Mrs. Betts was so impressed with what we remembered about the many features of this type of writing.  We were able to tell her that nonfiction text had:
  • a table of contents (and where you find it), 
  • an index (which is different than the table of contents - it has more information), 
  • a glossary and what it is and where you find it, 
  • pictures with captions, 
  • diagrams with labels and 
  • fact boxes.  
We also learned that nonfiction books have headings which tell us what information is on that page.

After we talked about the features we got to choose our own nonfiction book and do a features search.  We looked through the book to see how many features it had and recorded them on our paper.  We were given the challenge to record some of the information we learned on the back of our paper. We loved doing this!   

Some of the books we got to choose from!

Busy at work!

My book has a glossary!

Mrs. Betts said we are going to start our own research project on a Canadian animal.  First she is going to show us how to take notes from books and the internet.  Stay tuned for our next step!  Have you ever done a research project before?  How did you do it?