Mosaics Revisited

Last Wednesday, I went back to visit my old school. Tracey, my lovely ex-teaching partner and mosaic guru, invited me back to help teach some of the parents mosaicking techniques to create a mural for an outside planter box at the front of the school. We used pictures that the students created inspired by a beautiful Ngunnawal (local indigenous group) story. 

Here are some 'in progress' photos of three of the four panels we were working on. (I can't use some of my photos because they identify people.) 
There will eventually be twelve panels in all, telling the whole story around the planter box.

Before the evening started, I was taken to the wall where last year's mosaics were displayed. These mosaics were the ones that Tracey and I frantically finished in the last week of the year, and I unfortunately was not there when they were put up. Here's the original post about the mosaics.
Here are the pictures I quickly snapped while I was there.

Giant flowers, Toadstool House and the elf

The butterfly

The snail with more giant flowers (He's still my favourite!)

I was impressed with how fantastic the mosaics looked on the wall, as well as some of the little finishing touches on the paintings. It looks like the fantasy garden we envisioned last year!

This visit to my old school has re-inspired me to start my own mosaics at my new school. I'm thinking I'll start small, and work my way up to a larger project. Stay tuned for my first solo attempt at creating a mosaic with my students.

This term so far...

Let's face it: schools are busy places. We have just finished Week 7 of Term 3, with only 3 more weeks to go. It has been a hive of excitement in Year 2, with plenty more to come.

Literacy and Numeracy Week

Week 2 was Literacy and Numeracy Week. My school chose to celebrate this by having a 'Poem in our Pocket'. Each class chose a poem or wrote a poem to share with their buddy classes. We chose A.A. Milne's Sneezles to share with our buddies. I chose this poem because of the delightful made-up language, which linked to our novel study on The BFG by Roald Dahl. We studied and practised the poem, then read it aloud to students in Year 1 and Year 3. The loveliest part of this was the amount of students who came into school with more A.A. Milne poems to share with the class after our 'Poem in our Pocket' was shared.


This isn't really school related, but something else that kept me busy this term! At the end of Week 3, I was an exhibitor at  Canberra's Lego BrickExpo. It was on the 10th and 11th August this year, and was incredibly fun! As my first time as an exhibitor, I was nervous that no one would like my models, but it was thrilling to see children and adults alike enjoying all the interesting details. I was lucky enough to work with two other new exhibitors who are incredibly creative and talented. Here's a few pictures of our huge glow-in-the-dark Monster Mash model. Unfortunately, it was too hard to get good photos with the lights off...

My part of the model is the castle on top of the mountain. You can't really see the back, but in the base of the mountain is a secret laboratory where a crazy scientist is experimenting on a monster.)

Professional Development - Kath Murdoch

In Week 5, I was lucky enough to be chosen to go to a PD on inquiry based learning run by Kath Murdoch. I learnt so much about inquiry learning, and had a few misunderstandings corrected along the way. I'm planning to share more about the PD in a later post. I also have to share with my staff at a staff meeting (a prospect that terrifies me).

Book Week

We held Book Week celebrations in our school in Week 5. Along with a fantastic Book Week character parade, we had a Scholastic Book Fair. It was exciting to see everyone (even the teachers) dressed up and getting so enthused about reading and books. There was also a colouring-in competition for those artistically inclined students.

Grandfriends' Day

At my school, we hold a special morning for our grandfriends (grandparents and older relatives or friends). In Year 2, we invited the grandfriends in to draw a portrait of their grandchildren while the students drew a picture of their grandfriend. We also showed off our learning in our portfolios and gave them a tour around the school (making sure they visited the Scholastic Book Fair in the process). After a special morning tea in the gym, we invited the grandfriends to the hall where we had set up a concert to showcase all the amazing things the students do.  My teaching partner and I were the MCs for the concert (which I was incredibly nervous about) and introduced performances from the Year 5 and Year 6 bands, the junior and senior choirs, as well as some multimedia presentations of animated haiku poetry and claymations. It was a great day, and many of our grandfriends were raving about the students' creativity and talent.

Father's Day

In Australia, the first Sunday of September is Father's Day. This year it was September 1st. The Friday before Father's Day found us celebrating with a 'Snag your Dad' sausage sizzle breakfast. The dads were treated to sausages and an art gallery of dad pictures in the gym. The variety and creativity was incredible, considering we were all using the same theme! I sent my students home with their portraits to give to their dads on Father's Day.


Week 7 saw us walking around the school's oval to raise money for our Kitchen Garden program. It was a glorious day, the sun shining and everyone's spirits were high. I wore my pedometer and did as many laps as I could, walking with the students. We walked for over an hour, and by the end we had some very tired students!

Year 2 Assembly

Yesterday, the whole of Year 2 hosted our first assembly for the year. As there are about 75 students in total, we tried something a little bit different. Usually, students are given a script and speak their part using a microphone. As we wanted to give all of our students a chance to have their moment of fame, my teaching partner pre-recorded each student saying a word or phrase using his iPad. After all the recording was done, he then edited the whole lot together to create a movie. It certainly was a novel approach to making sure all students were presenters during our assembly!

That's our term so far... Next week we have a Year 2 excursion and Learning Journey. After that I'm hoping we'll have a quiet last two weeks of term!!

The BFG: Dream Jars, Dictionary and a FREEBIE

I'll start off with a warning: I love children's literature! One of my all time favourite authors is Roald Dahl. I just love the wonderful characters, the quirky made-up language and the tales of small children overcoming insurmountable odds. I really enjoy sharing my love of these tales with my classes. We started reading The BFG last term, and we are really enjoying hearing about snozzcumbers, frobscottle and the most amusing by far, whizzpoppers


If you have never read The BFG, here's a synopsis
We are up to the 14th chapter: Dreams. In this chapter, The BFG describes the dreams to Sophie. There are two main kinds of dreams, Golden Phizzwizards (good dreams) and Trogglehumpers (nightmares).

After reading this chapter, we created our own dream jars filled with either a Golden Phizzwizard or a Trogglehumper. Here's a photo of our dream jars all displayed on the window together.

The BFG Dream Jars by 2H
Some of the dream jars were filled with interesting dreams. 

A golden phizzwizard
A golden phizzwizard
A trogglehumper 
A trogglehumper

The class had fun creating dreams and writing them on the labels on the dream jar. Then they drew a picture of one part of the dream. My lovely LSA (Learning Support Assistant), Kaye, mounted the dream jars on coloured paper, and laminated them. She even gave the golden phizzwizards a little gold glitter!


I have uploaded the Dream Jar template to Google Docs and you can get it here. On the template is a 'label' for writing the dream, and a space for illustrating part of the dream underneath. I would love to see how others use it, so feel free to share a link to your blog with how you have used or displayed your dream jars. :)
(This is my very first freebie, all hand-drawn. I'm hoping I'll be able to create more to share at a later stage.)

Our BFG Dictionary

We also started our own BFG Dictionary. There are so many made-up words in The BFG that we needed a place to collect and define some of those words. Here it is:

Our BFG Dictionary with pictures from The BFG and some of the made-up words.

F is for frobscottle and flushbunking

W is for whizzpopper, winkles, Wigglish and wraprascal

Some of the definitions we inferred from the text, others we came up with by ourselves. We had fun making up the definitions of these words! Our dictionary is a work in progress, and we continue to add to it as we read through the book.

I hope you enjoy reading The BFG as much as I do, and create a few definitions or dreams for yourself!