Monthly Archives: January 2016

Videos: Perseverance poems

This week in English we have been learning some poems off by heart. We learnt one which was from a long time ago and had some old English in called ‘How doth the little Crocodile’. We also learnt one called ‘Give yourself a hug’ which is by a very famous children’s author called Grace Nicholls. Our favourite one was called Your Best. We liked this one the most because it links to our value word of perseverance. We hope you enjoy our poems.

Sharing our Maths work with Year 1

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Today we ended our exciting Maths week by sharing our work with Year 1. We had a partner from Year 1 and told them all about the challenges we had completed this week. We explained some of the Maths we did and they explained theirs to us. It was very interesting to see what each other had been learning and how well we had to persevere. Well done Toucans and Puffins! You have all worked very hard this week and your teachers are proud of you.

Maths Mistake!

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This morning we decided to check the Maths we did to solve our polar bear problem because it didn’t look quite right. We worked out yesterday that the total for Year 2 was 587kg. Miss Williams did this quickly on the calculator at the end of the day so we decided to check it in Maths this morning and we discovered a great error had been made!

We worked together to split the row totals into hundreds, tens and ones. We added each looking for patterns in the numbers; 50 + 50 made another 100, double 2 was 4 which then gave us double 4 as 8. We added all the hundreds, tens and ones back together and found that the total was actually 767kg! Miss Williams double-checked it on the calculator and we cheered because we were right!

This really highlighted the importance of checking your work in Maths because actually Year Two ARE heavier than a polar bear! We were so proud that we didn’t give up. Yesterday we looked at the saying ‘If at first you don succeed, try, try again’. Well done Toucans!

Who weighs more?

Polar weight

Today Miss Williams told us that a male polar bear can weigh up to 700kg. We found it hard to imagine what this meant so Miss Williams challenged us to solve this problem:

Who weighs more: Year 2 or a polar bear?

About half of us predicted it would be Year 2 and the other half predicted it would be a polar bear. We had to think of how to go about solving the problem. We shared lots of different ideas but decided Ruby had the easiest idea. She said we could work out how much each row weighs first as it is easier to add 6 numbers together than 30. What a great idea! So we each stood on the scales to find out how much we weighed then worked as a group to find our row total. We then worked as a class to find that we weighed 587kg altogether. Therefore we weigh less than a polar bear. Sean suggested with Miss Williams and Mrs Green we might weigh more than a polar bear. We will let you know!

Conflict

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This afternoon we had our third session with Phil from Peacemakers. We focused more on conflict. He showed us some funny video clips to help us to understand how easy it is to get into conflict.

We then thought of some times when we had been involved in conflict. We thought of one situation for each of the four types of conflict we explored last week. We had to think about the sorts of behaviours that conflict makes us show. We talked about how these behaviours are linked to our feelings also. We shared some of our ideas together and started to think about the sort of things we could have done to sort out these conflicts.

Next week we are going to focus on more ideas for sorting out conflict.

Super Science

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In Science today we started thinking about materials. We began by sorting a collection of clothing into two piles – suitable for a polar explorer and unsuitable for a polar explorer. We had some excellent ideas. We found the warmest clothing was thick, had layers and was made of fleecy or furry material. We focused on coats. We decided Abigail’s coat was the warmest because it was made of thick padded material, had fur around the hood and was waterproof.

We then moved on to find out the answer to this question: Which material is the best for an umbrella? We decided we could do an experiment to find out the answer. We focused on the words waterproof and absorbent. We had 6 different materials to explore: paper towel, carrier bag, fabric, tissue paper, cardboard and plastic wallet.

First we made a prediction about which we thought would be waterproof and which we thought would be absorbent in our Topic books. We all guessed different things! Some of us were unsure so it was a good experiment for us to find out!

Then we talked about what would make it a fair test. We decided on these rules to keep it fair.
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We carried out our fair tests and we found out that plastic was the best material. All the others absorbed some of the water so would not be any good for an umbrella. The tissue paper was the worst – it went very soggy and ripped! We had fun today learning which materials are waterproof and which are absorbent.

Mixing colours

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In Art today we learnt all about mixing secondary and tertiary colours from the primary colours. We learnt that every colour can be made from the primary colours (red, blue and yellow) and black and white. White makes colours lighter and black makes them darker. We had great fun with experimenting for ourselves!

Conflict strategies

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Today we had our second lesson with Phil from Peacemakers. We started with our koosh ball challenge again. We haven’t solved it but we did get closer! We managed it in 14 seconds. Then we shared some ideas and tried it with one person running the ball around the circle instead of us passing it. Our best time using this strategy was 5 seconds! We were very impressed with ourselves.

Next we started to think about conflict. We shared some times when we have been involved in conflict, we focused on four different types:

Conflict with ourselves

  • Conflict with one other person
  • Conflict involving more than two people
  • Conflict with larger groups


  • We shared examples of when we have been involved in these different sorts of conflicts.

  • Miah said ‘I have argued with my sister about what to watch on the TV’
  • Luke said ‘I get into conflict with myself when I can’t win on my computer game’
  • Ava said ‘I have seen groups of people arguing in the playground over what to play’


  • We are looking forward to finding out some strategies for dealing with these conflicts next week. At the end of our lesson Ishmael and Isa sat on the carpet of appreciation while their classmates said some lovely things about them.

    Amazing Art

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    Today we continued to develop our drawing skills but we used different media today. We used chalk, charcoal and pastels to draw and focus on colouring in the lines. We did a fantastic job! Our classroom is going to look amazing – pop in and have a look!

    Video: Bod and Steven!

    Sometimes when we are concentrating on harder things in Maths, we forget the easier things. So today we learnt a song about Bod and Steven to help us to remember which numbers are odd and which numbers are even. We think we did such a good job that we would like to share it with you. We know it will help us to remember which numbers are odd and which are even so we can get back to concentrating on more difficult Maths work!

    Solving our own problems

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    Today we had our first session with Phil from Peacemakers. Over the next 8 weeks, he is going to teach us some strategies for solving our own problems at playtimes and lunchtimes. We started with playing some games to highlight these important skills:

    Looking
    Listening
    Speaking
    Thinking
    Concentrating

    We played a game where we had to pass the koosh ball around the circle as quickly as we could. Our first attempt took 23 seconds. After some practise and trying out different ideas we improved our best to 17 seconds. We were pretty pleased with ourselves! Then Phil told us a school he has worked in before managed it in just ONE second!! We are going to have a hard think over the next week about how this is possible and try out some new ways next Monday. We really enjoyed our first lesson and are looking forward to next week.

    Art and Computing

    This afternoon we split into two groups for Art with Miss Williams and Computing with Mrs Green.

    Miss Williams taught us how to draw a polar bear as our topic is Polar Adventures. She showed us how to use our pencils to shade and how to add texture by using dots and lines. We then had a try for ourselves. Have a look at our photos – we have some budding artists in class!

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    Mrs Green helped us to practise using the Bee-Bots. We are learning how to program them using an algorithm and de-bug when we make a mistake. We had a great time experimenting with them and are now ready to try a version on the computer next week.

    Speech bubble writing

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    Welcome back and Happy New Year! Since returning to school, Toucans have had a very busy time learning lots of different things.

    In Maths we are focusing on shape and time this week. We have learnt a 3-D shape can be made from a net. We each made a cube and are hoping to make different 3-D shapes also from nets. We have learnt a very jolly song to teach us about the months of the year. You can find it here if you want to practise at home: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/songs/time-another-year

    In English we have started a unit of work about Adventure stories. Over the next few weeks we will be reading lots of different stories by Hans de Beer about a little polar bear called Lars. We have enjoyed the ones we have read so far and are looking forward to finding out what adventures he will go on next. Today we had a go at some Drama and role-play using the characters from the book. We felt a little nervous and scared the first time but as we practised more we got more confident. Sean and Lucas were particularly brave as they came to the front of the class to perform their Drama – we were very impressed! We used this activity to help us to write speech bubbles. Have a look at the photos to see some great examples of our work.