Milecastle Class 2


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Seed dispersal

This week we have been looking at seeds inside fruits. Today we found out how seeds are dispersed. Some are blown by the wind, some are carried on the fur of animals, some burst and some are carried by water. We looked at two seeds that are carried by the wind, sycamore seeds and dandelion clocks. Sycamore seeds are sometimes called helicopters because of the way they move in the wind. We made a helicopter using paper. We threw them up in the air and watched them whirl down to the ground. We then made models of dandelion clocks using modelling clay, cotton buds and pipe cleaners.


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Lost Happy Endings!

Lots of the children told me this morning that a happy ending had reached their houses last night and that they had a lovely bedtime story which ended happily. We went outside to see if the endings had come back and were relieved to see that they had. They were hanging from the branches of the trees and the children really enjoyed collecting them in.

Unfortunately, just as we were about to go back inside, something terrible happened! A horrible witch arrived in the wildlife area and shouted, ‘What’s in the sack?’ She then snatched the sack from me and escaped with our lovely happy endings! As you can imagine, we were horrified!

Back inside, we continued to read the story of ‘The Lost Happy Endings’ only to discover that exactly the same thing happened to poor Jub! She too had her happy endings stolen by a nasty witch. The children worked in groups to think of ways that this story might end happily. They had some great suggestions. We wrote one possible happy ending as a class, trying hard to use lots of lovely language just like Carol Ann Duffy does in her story. Tomorrow, the children will try writing their own happy endings.

We are really hoping that our happy endings come back soon.


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An unusual walk

It was lovely to see the children this morning. We decided to begin the new term with a walk in the wildlife area to spot signs of spring. However, when we got there, we found a lot more than that! It seems that someone has set up home in there! We found someone’s washing drying on a line, some bunting, a pair of red wellies, an old wheel from a bike, a toy aeroplane, a lantern and two buckets. The children had some great ideas about who they might belong to. Then we discovered a book called, ‘The Lost Happy Endings.’

Back inside, we began to read the story. It is about a girl called Jub who lives in a hole in a tree which looks almost identical to the home we found in the wildlife area. Jub has a very important job. Each evening, she releases happy endings into the woods. They make their way to the homes of children and ensure that the children have a bedtime story with a happy ending. Then, in the morning, the happy endings make their way back to the woods where Jub collects them and keeps them safe until that night.

Since Jub was nowhere to be seen, the children thought that perhaps she needed our help. Back in the classroom, the children wrote happy endings on strips of paper.

 

At the end of the day, we released them into the wildlife area.

It would be lovely if all of the children could have a bedtime story tonight and then tell me in the morning whether it had a happy ending. After the register, we will find out whether the happy endings have arrived safely back to the wildlife area.


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Eggciting maths!

On Friday afternoon we had a maths lesson with a difference! We all went outside to do an Easter egg hunt but there was no chocolate in sight! Inside all of the eggs we found were maths questions! We loved finding the eggs and we loved solving the maths questions and puzzles. When we arrived back in the classroom the Easter bunny had filled our Easter basket with little treats.

Have a very happy Easter everyone!


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Symmetry

This morning, we watched a video clip to introduce the children to the concept of symmetry. We then looked at photographs showing where we can find symmetry in nature. Next the children worked in pairs to create symmetrical patterns using Numicon boards and pegs. One person made a pattern and their partner had to make the mirror image to create a symmetrical picture.


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Walking on the Moon!

In dance on Friday we were exploring the moon! We began the session inside a hoop so that we could feel what it was like being in a confined space, like in a rocket. We then stepped out onto the moon. We had to make our steps slow and bouncy reflecting the fact that there is no gravity on the moon. We then worked with a partner to create a sequence of movements. Some of us imagined collecting moon rocks, some of us planted the American flag in the ground and some of us even tried to play games with each other in slow motion.


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Making Lunar Landers

This afternoon, we read a book called, Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing. It was amazing to hear how just a normal little girl with an interest in space, maths and coding became the brain behind Apollo 11’s mission to the moon.

The children were then set the task of using just the equipment provided (a plastic cup, 6 straws, some tin foil and masking tape) to build their own lunar lander. They tried out their ideas then tested them by dropping them onto the moon to see if they would land the right way up. Like all good engineers, the children were not put off when their first attempts failed. They kept tweaking their designs and re-testing them. The task proved a lot more difficult than the children first thought!

 

The children have brought home their lunar landers so that they can keep amending their designs if they are not yet working correctly. Below, I have attached a photograph of one possible solution just in case anyone is desperate to find out!

Perhaps we have some budding scientists, engineers, mathematicians, software engineers or even astronauts in year 2!

solution


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What can astronauts eat in space?

This was the question we asked ourselves today. We watched some footage of Tim Peake in the space station in which he showed us how he drank water in space, how he cleaned his teeth in space and even how he went to the loo in space! We wondered what astronauts could eat in space. As they are in the space station for months at a time we knew that fresh fruit and vegetables would just go off. We found out that a lot of their food is freeze dried. We tried some dried banana, dried mango and dried grapes. We also found out that they could easily transport tortillas instead of bread.


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Craters Experiment

This afternoon, we watched some more footage of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. We also looked at some photographs showing craters where asteroids had landed on the moon’s surface. The children noticed that some craters were larger than others and they began to wonder why.

The children worked in groups to find out. They were given a bowl of flour and cocoa powder (the moon’s surface) and 4 different objects (the asteroids). They predicted which asteroid would make the largest crater and everyone predicted it would be the large marble which was the heaviest of the asteroids.

The children then dropped each of their asteroids onto the flour and cocoa mixture. They used a ruler to make sure that each asteroid was dropped from the same height to make it fair.

All of the asteroids made a crater in the surface but the children’s predictions were correct and the largest crater was made by the largest, heaviest asteroid.


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Tim Peake

The children are so excited about our science work on space at the moment and they could hardly believe their eyes this afternoon when they discovered that we had received an email from British astronaut, Tim Peake! He told the children that his space suit had a tear in it and that he needed their help in finding the best  tape to mend it.

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Class 2 jumped at the chance to help! Miss Todd helped them to plan an investigation. First they predicted which tape they thought would be the most suitable and then they carried out an experiment to test their predictions. As we didn’t have lots of spare space suits in school, we used rubber gloves with a tear in them! For each type of tape, the children tried rubbing it against a table, blowing into the glove and finally filling the glove with water to check whether it remained airtight and waterproof. Once they had found the perfect tape to repair Tim’s suit, we emailed him back.

 

We also spent some time tracking the International Space Station which is currently orbiting earth. If the children would like to look at this at home, here is the link: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/tracking_map.cfm

Another exciting afternoon, class 2 and there are lots more fun-filled space activities coming up throughout the week!