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Y2 Topic ideas & Role play areas

Discussion in 'Primary' started by edu103, Aug 12, 2010.

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  2. This sounds intriguing. I know I'm being cheeky but as an unconfident Y2 teacher this year is there anything I could pinch?
  3. Hi,

    Im going for Year 6 to Year 2 and have the same worries! We were told our topics for the first term - all about me. I didnt like it as it didnt sound that exciting so I'm going to do Superheroes. Think I can find links for all areas of the curriculum, for example in science I have to cover: sense, staying alive, exercise etc. I plan to have a superhero den to begin with and then a superhero shop to link in with maths when we do money!
    I still dont have it all planned out yet but would be really interested to see what others have to say with regards activites and zoned areas in the classroom. As this is the first time I have taught KS1 I am very aprehensive about the jump from Year 6!

  4. Hi
    It is my first time teaching at all and I am in Year 2 and am very excited. It is two form entry, so we have been doing some brainstorming for themes etc as we are going creative curriculum. We will be doing Heroes and Superheroes looking at Heroes from the past (Florence N and MSeacole) and then Bob Geldof as a present day hero. We will be looking at how these people changed the world. I am excited about looking at BG in particular as the Live Aid stuff will bring in lots of links to geog, history, music, art,etc. We will compare with superheroes and whether they have superpowers etc and look at this in science.
    The next theme is going to be Weird Wacky and Wonderful where we will look at the silly poetry unit in literacy, changing materials through weird science experiments, look at the work on Hundertwasser (brilliant artist and crazy architect who didn't believe in using straight lines) and other surrealist artists, look at unusual dances from around the world etc.
    In my classroom I have squeezed in a role play area as they didn't have one. During Heroes and Superheroes it will be a Crimean war hospital, but I haven't planned beyond that. I am going to try and include the children in deciding the role play areas and what particular things we focus on (within reason!)
    I am building up a challenge box to go in the role play area, with little scenarios for them to take on, so it can be linked to the theme, but gives them freedom to do some role play too. Hopefully they would be able to access this during our work on the theme and if they finish work I have set.
    I am also making some maths and literacy challenge boxes for the children to go to if they finish their work early. I was thinking of two boxes for each subject, so they can choose to pick from the easy or hard box etc. What do people think about this? Do you think this would work?
    I also have a tuff spot which will change every few weeks. I don't really have room for a writing area, so I am to have a writing trolley that can go outside if the weather is good. I would like to use outside as much as possible.
    I'd love to hear other peoples ideas.

  5. Excuse my ignorance Singup, but what's a 'tuff spot'??
  6. Hi
    a 'tuff spot' is also know as a builders tray. Wonderful things! I'm a big fan.
  7. Yes, there is a great thread on it in Early Years if you put in tuff spot. You can put small world stuff in, so for the first two weeks we are doing a whole school fairytale theme and we are doing Hansel and Gretel so I will put in small world people with lots of craft things to make a little forest and gingerbread house. You could put anything you like in. My friend put soil and cress seeds in hers and plastic minibeasts. They watered it now and again and the cress seeds grew. The children loved investigating it. I have tried cornflower gloop (could be good for changing materials) and gloves full of frozen water, so they could see how quickly it melted etc. I would recommend it. Ours just sits on top of two tray cabinets. You can get them from builders yards, or most educational suppliers.
  8. Thanks for all your replies. I love the superhero topic idea. Does anyone else have any good KS1 topic ideas?

    Thanks so much
  9. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I haven't anything to add, but just wanted to say how lovely it is to read about enthusiastic teachers wanting to have role play in Y2. I speak as someone who has been working in education for over 20 years and used to work in an infant school that was wonderful. So often I see schools where even the Y1 classrooms don't have role play areas let alone Y2. I smiled reading your posts, it's really refreshing to see people who know and understand how young children learn, and I wish you all well during the next school year.
  10. Katycustard, what a lovely post!
  11. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    Thank you singup, after I posted it I did worry it might seem patronising which is not how I intended it at all.
  12. rosieandjim

    rosieandjim New commenter

    This is really great thread, especially as l am an NQT just about to start my first job in Year 2 (with 4 year 3s as well !!!!. At the moment l feel completely terrified and overwhelmed and just don't know where to begin. The school is a really lovely small village school, but all the staff have been there for ages and they have just not been very forth coming with much support. For my first topic l am going to do Katie Morag and l would really love to have a role play area, but l am not sure what as l don't have lots of room. A creative writing space would be great too as a big focus for the school is to improve it's writing.
    Sing Up, l really like the idea of your challenge boxes for maths and literacy, as l have a few children who are likely to be early finishers. Would you mind telling me what sort of thing you include in the boxes. I would be so grateful.

    Also would love to know how people structure their day ?
    Thank you in advance for your help and ideas.
  13. Rosieandjim I found these useful cards
    some of them are too wordy for my Year 2s so I have shortened some of the activities, but some of my better readers will be ok.
    I also found these for literacy
    https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6018076 Have a look at other of Superkings resources as they are very good.
    I have also googled guided reading follow up activities for ideas of what groups can be doing indpendently whilst I am doing guided reading with one group.
    I have very little space for a role play area, so it is small, but I think it is important so I have shuffled things around. I have put it in a corner so I can use the walls etc. I have a plastic wallet attached to the wall, so if they are accessing it when I would like them to do something focused they choose on of the activities from the wallet which will be in some way linked to the role play area. My first role play area is the gingerbread house from H&G, so the activities are all linked to H&G in some way.
    As I don't have space for a writing area I am hoping my writing trolley will be useful as it can go outside or inside. You could add some creative writing challenges in there too.
    I think my daily structure will be something like:
    8.45-9.00 busy work (a word challenge on board, listening to music of the week, or other little activities whilst I do register etc)
    after assembly funky wake and shake up, maths and then phonics. After play literacy linked to theme inclu access to role play area etc towards end. 1-1.30pm guided reading carousel, 1.30-2.30pm theme work (or PE etc) with access to role play area. 2.30-2.45pm story then five minutes of action songs.
    I would like to introduce Open Fridays or something similar where parents are encouraged to come and see what their children have been up to for a little bit before school. I was thinking of 8.30-8.50am. I did this when I was in reception and it worked really well and made the parents feel much more included. I used to shake a bell, call the children over and the parents would disappear. We are a two form entry school though, so I need to talk about this with the other Year 2 teacher as we would both need to do it.
    If you don't have room for a full on role play area you could have a role play box for the children to access instead.
    I'm scared too, so at least you aren't the only one!

  14. I've just finished my NQT year in Year 2 and in my role play I had...
    Seaside - had an icecream van and Punch and Judy puppet theatre
    Florence Nightingale's Scutari Hospital
    Bakery (linked to Great Fire of London)
    Pet Shop/Vets
    Garden Centre (linked to our mini beast topic)
    And probably others I can't remember!!
    Hope this helps x
  15. caryld I am planning a crimean war hospital. What did you put in yours? I am thinking of folded blankets for beds, torn sheets for bandages, things to use as splints, some lamps made by the children. What else did you have? I have just recorded a new drama about FN on BBC Four which is really good for bringing it all to life and a useful mine of information for me!
  16. I had pretty much what you are thinking of - pillow cases cut diagonally to make arm supports, lengths of bandages, blankets and pillows etc. Then had a nurses uniform and children's first aid box, and a 'nurse station' - so Literacy could be used. I had a lamp (from IKEA) with a tissue paper flame! They have some good posters, timeline and heading on **********.
    Horrible Histories also did a sketch with Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole, good as we look at both.
    Hope that helps!
  17. Carlyd, thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought of using pillow cases like that. Good idea and thanks for info about Horrible Histories!
  18. rosieandjim

    rosieandjim New commenter

    Thank You so much for your really helpful suggestions singup, l really appreciate it.
  19. Im starting in yr 2 and need help finding stories with familiar settings. Any ideas would be welcomed.

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