Blubber Experiment, Birthday “Minions”, and a Request!


Katie, Kiara, and Gabriel read the blubber experiment worksheet.

The children enjoyed conducting a science experiment on blubber and how it keeps Arctic and Antarctic animals warm in the frigid climates. They used a worksheet to help them form a question and create a hypothesis. Then they conducted the experiment. I had already prepared the “blubber glove” which was made by putting one smaller ziploc bag inside a larger bag. A thick layer of Crisco was put in the space between the two bags on each side and sealed.

First the children put their hands into ice water without the glove to experience how COLD it was. I believe that you can tell by their expressions how it felt!


I think that Kiara is enjoying Gabe’s expression!


Sal and Maggie were surprised at how cold it was!


Good friends, Kendra and Meah, share the experience together!


Fatima and Jayden enjoy the experiment despite the cold temperatures!


Oorjaa and Thomas check out the icy water!

Then the children slipped on the “blubber glove” and plunged their hands in the icy water a second time. The children learned that the layer of fat provided by the Crisco kept their hands quite warm. Thus they learned in an exciting “hands-on” way how blubber keep polar animals warm!


Cecily uses the blubber glove while Kendra observes.


Fatima tries the “blubber glove” too while Gabriel looks on!

Even though all the children had the opportunity to do the blubber glove experiment, I didn’t get photos of everyone because I grew a bit concerned that the water was getting dangerously close to my expensive camera. But they all got a turn and I think they all enjoyed the learning experience.

Check out these minion treats that invaded C8 to help Thomas celebrate his birthday with his classmates!  These minion cupcakes were adorable and yummy, but oh, what messy blue faces and hands we had when the invasion was finished! Thank you to Thomas and his family for the special treat.

DSC_0492Speaking of invasions, I would like to make a request. Now that cold and flu season is in full swing, we have had such a big demand for kleenex tissues that we are completely out of tissues in our classroom. I will bring in a box for tomorrow but if any families are willing to donate a box or two, it would be greatly appreciated. For the time being, we have enough hand sanitizer and clorox wipes but we are in need of tissues to keep everyone healthy.  Let’s try to keep those germs under control! Thank you in advance!


Penguins and More Penguins!


Jacob and Michael writing facts about the Emperor Penguin.

The C8 students are learning about penguins as part of their study of the habitats of Antarctica and the Arctic. The students reached into a bag and drew out a paper drawing of one of six species of penguins. Then they went to work on filling in graphic organizers with the information they gathered. They worked cooperatively with classmates who also drew the same species of penguin. They worked very hard learning details such as the height, weight, prey, predators, appearance, and habitat and then went to work recording this information. They will use these to write reports on their penguin next week.


Thomas and Katie hard at work learning about the Adelie Penguin.


Jayden, Fatima, and Cecily share resources on the Gentoo Penguin.


The King penguin was the penguin that Hailey and Oorjaa were lucky to get.


Miss Morning works with the Macaroni Penguin group of Gabriel, Gavin, and Tierra.


We made a rookery of penguins!



Kendra shared her penguin collage too!

They also made these awesome penguin collages in art with the art para, Ms. Ross. Aren’t they cute!

Lots to Celebrate in C-8 This Week!


Front of Postcard from Antarctica Back of Postcard from Antarctica Closeup of postmark



We got a wonderful surprise in the mail this week. We got this postcard from Ryan R’s cousin Neil Foley who is a PhD student/researcher working in Antarctica right now!



Here is the back of the postcard where Neil sends a personal message to the class. I especially got a kick out of his describing himself as a student in the “18th grade”!



It’s not everyday you see a postmark from Antarctica! Thank you to Ryan and his family for putting us in touch with Neil.


SSS ~ Smiling Superstar Sal!

We have our first Multiplication Extramath Superstar! Congratulations to Salvatore D. for completing the Multiplication Level of Extramath. He has moved on to division! Way to go Sal! We’re proud of you!

Tuesday was the 80th day of school and our math superhero friend, Zero the Hero, stopped by with an estimating challenge for the students. The children had to estimate the number of hard candies were in the jar. Then we counted the candies together….there were 144. Finally, the students had to figure out the difference between their estimate and the actual result.


We completed the challenge!


A New Math Challenge from Zero the Hero!

We Love Our Grandparents and Special Guests!

On Friday, January 10th, we welcomed our grandparents and special guests for a special visit. This was the culmination of a lot of hard work for the second grade. They learned a song called “Family Tree” and learned sign language to go along with it. Each second grade class learned a special poem too. Our class learned the poem “Our Family Comes from Around the World.” They also worked very hard writing about a special memory with their grandparent.


We are proud of our special grandparent memory writing pieces!


Writing about our special memories was hard work but it was worth it!

Mrs. Riordan started the morning by greeting everyone. Then the students got to give their grandparents a tour of our classroom, read a story with them, or just enjoy spending time with them. While this was going on, Mrs. Riordan had the opportunity to meet and take a special photograph of each set of grandparents and grandchild.


Second grade ready to perform!

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C8’s smiling second grade students want to make their grandparents proud.


The students did a great job singing and signing “Family Tree!”

Then the grandparents and special guests were invited to travel to the cafeteria for a yummy breakfast treat. The students then took the stage for their performance. They did a wonderful job singing, signing and reciting for the grandparents. Sadly it was time for the  event to end which was done with goodbyes and lots of hugs.

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On behalf of the second grade teachers and students, Mrs. Riordan thanks all the grandparents and special guests for attending.

We have lots of people to thank for making this visit possible. Thank you to Ms. Smith and the school department for providing the funds for the yummy breakfast food. Thank you to our custodians, Bill and Tony, and the cafeteria staff for all their assistance in setting up the cafeteria. A special thank you to Ms. Turnbow, the music teacher, for teaching the song and sign language during her music class. Special thanks to Mrs. Rhodes who came in to volunteer to help us during the event. Finally, thank you to ALL the grandparents and special guests who traveled through snowy weather and endured traffic and parking challenges to be present for their grandchild. You made it possible for your grandchild to add a new special memory to their young life. It was so nice to visit with you and I hope you will continue to follow all the second grade happenings on our classroom website/blog.

Making Ice Castles and Lots of Thanks!

Our students enjoyed creating ice castles on the day before Christmas break. Thank you to all the families for sending in sugar cubes, frosting, other yummy candies and supplies. Special thanks go out to Mrs. LeMasurier, Mrs. Hudzik, Mrs. Rhodes, and Ms. Suprenant for all their help with the project. Having so many hands made the work go much smoother and I really appreciated the help! While I am thanking people, I would like to thank ALL the families that gave me wonderful gifts for Christmas. It was very thoughtful of you! I am grateful for your generosity and for sharing your children with me this year!

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Here are a few examples of the finished projects!

I think we may have some future engineers and architects in C-8!


Cecily spells out a “merry” message for us all!


Fatima really gets into her work….wearing her frosting!


Kendra was very proud of herself!


Salvatore used his Italian heritage to create a “Colosseum” style ice castle.