Monthly Archives: October 2018

Writing Instructions

How to trap a dragon!

This morning, Bluebirds devised a toolkit for how to write instructions:

Title
Include a “You will need” list of equipment
Number each step (or use bullet points)
Clear instructions in order
Use time openers
Include imperative (bossy) verbs
Use adverbs and adjectives where needed

Afterwards, they ordered and made a list of instructions for how to trap a dragon!

Spelling Investigation

Today, Bluebirds learnt about indefinite articles and when to use either “a” or “an.”

To start with we recapped on which letters of the alphabet were vowels and sang the chorus of an old 1980s pop song to memorise them! (A.E.I.O.U.). In addition, we found out that we needed to use “an” for words beginning with X such as “an X-ray.” As is often the case in English language, we discovered there were exceptions to the rule! We discovered words beginning a silent “h” also needed “an”. In a piece of writing, we found some words (unit and uniform) that needed an “a” rather than using “an”. Listening to the phoneme carefully, we realised that if the “u” is a long vowel sound, only “a” is required. That led us on to a spelling investigation to see if we could find any other words. We used a dictionary to help us.

Here are the list the class made:

Unicorn, university, unicycle, unanimous, unique, universe and Union Jack!

Testing solvents

Today, Bluebirds carried out an investigation to find the most effective solvent to remove nail varnish. They wore goggles and gloves and really looked like scientists! First, they predicted which solvents they thought would work. They tested water, bleach, hydrochloric acid, ethanol (meth spirits) and propanone (acetone). Each group of three, were given a tile and then painted 5 lines of nail varnish on to it. The group then dipped a cotton bud into one of the solvents, to try and remove the varnish.

Video: Experiment using air

This afternoon, Bluebirds had great fun experimenting with air today.

They watched Mrs Parry and Mrs Johnson knock down a pyramid of cups using an airzooka, which is a gadget that shoots out puffs of air. When they pulled back the tab on the airzooka, it sucked in some air and as they released the tab, it shot the air out very quickly! Some brave volunteers even balanced cups on their heads….Mrs Johnson was a very good aim!

As we couldn’t see the air, we used a smoke machine to understand (and see) how the airzooka created kinetic energy which made the smoke travel. It then began to lose kinetic energy as it travelled through air. The smoke began to dissolve as it travelled because it mixed with air particles.

Stone Age Cave Paintings

Today, Bluebirds looked at photos of real paintings from Stone Age Caves in Spain, France and Bulgaria. The children wondered whether the people used berries, animal blood or charcoal from their fires. Most of the paintings were of animals and in some cases, people.

Mrs Parry demonstrated how to draw and shade the pictures using different Art pencils. The children were keen to get started on their own pictures.

Spelling Homophones

This week, Bluebirds have been looking at homophones. These are words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings. Before looking at new homophones, the children recalled those they already know and could remember from Year 2. We had a matching game of matching up some new homophones with their definition and some of us extended this to a game of pairs too!

We thought of some ways to remember some of the homophones to remember how to spell them such as:
The word “ear” within hear
A male lion has a mane (ma_e) they are both spelt the same so the other spelling of these are spelt mai_)
Imagine the looo of the k is a knot for the word knot.

The children they applied their new spellings to write sentences with the correctly spelt homophone, used in the correct context.

Taking responsibility

What would it be like if no one cared for us or the world?
Mrs Parry asked Bluebirds to consider and talk about these questions together:

What do you do for others?
Esmay – I help cook
Ryan – I make the sandwiches
Jani – I tidy up for my Mum
Scarlette – I feed our snake
Oliver – I help Nanny with the cleaning

What do you do for the environment?
Kerris – School councillors help to keep playground litter free
Moharnab – Throw rubbish away in a bin
Nathan – We recycle rubbish
Callum – Walk instead of using the car
Taya – Don’t leave the tap running and waste water when you clean your teeth
Amelia – Don’t pollute the sea which kills and damages wildlife
Shona – Close the fridge/freezer when the alarm goes off
Esmay – People should not chop trees down
Oliver – We should turn off lights when we leave the room

The Rainbow Dragon – Talk for writing story maps

Today, Bluebirds were shown a picture of a Rainbow Dragon which they were eager to find out about! Together, the class were able to think of the five W words needed to start a question with. In talk partners they thought of questions to pose about this amazing creature.

What food does it eat?
Who Is he friends with?
When does he sleep?
Where does he live?
Why does he have horns?

Afterwards, the class were given a non-chronological report to read which was all about this dragon. They found the answers to lots of their questions and decided they could use some of these questions for subheadings in their report.

Next, the children all made their own story map for the report and practising orally reciting the poem to different partners. Bravely, Esmay and Taya recited theirs to the whole class.

Sarehole Mill – Studying the Stone Age!

Today, Bluebirds enjoyed an exciting trip to Sarehole Mill to learn more about the Stone Age.

To begin with, the children learned what types of food the Stone Age people ate and why they had to move around and stay in their family groups. Next they played a hunters and gatherers game on the field! After that, children created shelters using critical thinking, perserverance and team work! They learned that the animal skins were made waterproof by using wee! Interestingly, the children saw and held some real artefacts including a spear head, a hand axe and a scraper tool. The children had to handle these with care as the items were so old.

Afterwards, there was a short walk to Moseley Bog to examine a “burnt mound” where Bronze Age people had once lived. Archaeologists discovered lots of information about prehistoric life. Bluebirds played a tree identification game (to identify the pollen found in the mound) and also matched beetles to work out what people had eaten. They also discovered steam (from heated stones and water), was used to clean the skin. The dirt would rise to the skin surface which could then be scraped off. This was the first time a steam room was thought of!
Finally, the children heard about the Bronze Age and Iron Age and examined some Bronze Age tools.

The children really enjoyed their outdoor trip and were lucky with the sunshine too!