100+ Days of Second Grade – Part 2

Our students joined the other second grade classes in the cafeteria for the culminating activity for our Traditions and Customs unit which was a special feast on the early release day before Thanksgiving. They shared food made from recipes that reflected their family heritage. It was a tasty way to celebrate the diversity of our classroom. Thank you to all the families that sent in food for the feast and to our parent volunteer, Ms. Hibbard who assisted with the set up/clean up. Individual photos of the foods can be seen under the Student Work 18-19 tab.

Ann Biese demonstrating a breathing technique.

Johnny the K was very engaging and entertaining.

We were fortunate to attend two assemblies with special guests. The first was Ann Biese, an author who wrote the book “Worry Bee” and spoke to us about how to handle our worries and emotions. The second was the performer, Johnny the K who played his guitar and wore crazy hats to teach us how to be kind and to get along with each other.

Safety is important so we practiced our bus evacuation drill. The upper grade students assisted us.

We have also had fire drills and Alice drills this year.

We had a visit from Zero the Hero who left a treat of latkes for completing his challenge.

We also did some stations where the students worked on math and literacy skills with a holiday theme.

Gabriella and Devin working on building holiday themed compound words.

At this station the students were measuring holiday images with inch and centimeter rulers.

Before we headed off for the December holiday break, we made Ice Castles out of mini-marshmallows, frosting and lots of candy. Thank you to all the families who sent in the supplies and donated extra candy. Thank you to Ms. Allore, Ms. Hibbard and my daughter Catie for helping with the Ice Castle projects. Here is Sabella with her Ice Castle. More examples of their Ice Castle creations can be seen under the Student Work 18-19 tab.

We also made special snow globe ornaments that we sent home to share with their families. Here is a photo of some of these snow globes.

More to follow in Part 3!

More December celebrations!

We made ice castles with marshmallows, frosting, and lots and lots of candy. Here are some photos of the students having fun making their creations .

Thank you to Mrs. Cowan and my daughters Catie and Molly who were finished college for helping prepare the candy and wrap the final masterpieces. Thank you also to all the families that donated candy to make this holiday activity so successful.

 If you would like to see the individual ice castles, head over to the student work page.

We were proud to have another student, Carter, become an Xtramath Superstar by completing his addition facts and moving on to subtraction!

Carter is a whiz at math!

We also celebrated good behavior with our lunch bunch!

Measuring Penguins….and Second Graders!

The second graders at Brookside integrated our study of living animals in science with measurement in math in December when they measured and drew penguins. The students were randomly assigned a type of penguin and they had to read a chart to learn the height of that species. Then they measured, drew, colored and cut their penguins which became part of a rookery in the C-Wing Hallway. Here are some photos of the students in the process of making their penguins. You can see individual photos of the students holding their penguins on the student work page. Thank you to Mrs. Anello for helping cut all those large sheets of paper!

Miranda starts drawing her penguin while Uriah is cutting his penguin.

The students needed lots of space to create their penguins. These children found a good spot to work near the cubbies.

Students who had smaller penguins chose to work with their desks like Alec.

The halls were filled with hard working second graders that afternoon.

Penguins, penguins being made everywhere….even at the top of the stairs.

Making penguins near our rainbow rug.

Measuring to make sure they are the right size!

Lots of hands on measuring happening here

 

The students also measured their own heights and then we plotted the heights on a line plot. Here are just a few of the students being measured with our giant measuring tape on the rug.

Ice Castles and Many Thanks!

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Tom being very precise building his ice castle.

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Nick really got into his work while Mia looked on.

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Some students got right to work while others needed some thinking and experimenting time.

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Brady enjoying making his ice castle.

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They were working so hard that they didn’t notice I was taking their photo.

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More hard workers!

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Gabriela discusses her ideas with Mrs. Volpe.

The second grade students in C8 really had a good time creating ice castles on the Monday before vacation. Thank you to all the parents who sent in sugar cubes, frosting and candy to make this fun activity so successful. Thanks also go out to Mrs. Joyce, Mrs. Volpe and Mrs. Ware for helping us out by preparing the supplies and wrapping the masterpieces when they were completed.

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Special thanks goes to Alyssa’s brother who gave up his first day of vacation from his school to help our second graders! The second grade boys especially liked having a big fifth grade boy helping them.  I will post photos of the ice castle masterpieces under the student work tab. I tried to get every child’s ice castle but I missed a few because they were absent, dismissed, or managed to slip past me to the wrapping station without getting their photo taken.

Thank you to the generous families who donated food for our holiday party on Tuesday. It was both healthy and yummy! Finally I would like to thank all the students and their families who gave me a gift or a card. It meant so much to me that you thought of me at such a busy time of the year and I truly appreciate all the gifts.

While I am sad that vacation is coming to a close,  I look forward to seeing all the children tomorrow along with a new student that will be joining our class. Happy 2015 to you all and tell the kids that I’ll see them bright and early tomorrow morning! (Don’t forget to bring back your reading bag and your completed reading log!)

December starts with a Special Visitor, another Xtramath Superstar, Scooterball and Kachina dolls!

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Mr. Berube shows the class the hood of his jacket which was rimmed with wolverine fur.

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Dominic tries on Mr. Berube’s glove that he used in Antarctica.

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Mr. Berube had a boot like this when he was in Antarctica but he had to return it to the Navy. (He bought this one on eBay!)

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Brady checks out the boot while Alyssa waits her turn.

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Hannah guessed that she could fit her foot, shoe and all, inside the boot…and she did!

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Mr. Berube shared two rock samples he brought from Antarctica.

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This rock was from the surface of the continent of Antarctica.

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This is a piece of lava from Antarctica’s active volcano, Mount Erebus.

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Brian and Victoria feel the weight of the two rocks from Antarctica. Ask your child which one was heavier!

On Tuesday, we were fortunate to have a special visitor, Mr. Berube, who came to talk to the children about Antarctica. Mr. Berube is a Dracut resident and a former Navy Seabee who spent time working and living in Antarctica when he was a young man. He showed the class a DVD about Antarctica. Then he showed photos that he took while he was in Antarctica and told the children about his experiences there. Then he brought out a number of artifacts from his time there from clothing to rock samples. He let the children touch these objects and patiently answered their questions. This was a great introduction to the next model curriculum unit on Animals and Habitats of Antarctica and the Arctic, which will combine social studies, science and language arts. Thank you Mr. Berube for visiting our second graders once again this year.

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Having a ball in the gym!

After our visit with Mr. Berube, our class went to physical education. When I went to pick them up after their class, I could hear them laughing and having a great time. I looked in the large doors and saw them playing a game I had never seen. Coach Rivers told me it is called scooter ball. They were having so much fun that I just had to take a photo to share with our C8 families. Physical education at its best! Nice job Coach Rivers!

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We have a new Xtramath Superstar! Congratulations to Ava S. for completing the Addition level of Xtramath and moving on to subtraction! We are all proud of you! I wonder who will be our next Xtramath award recipient.

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Mary and Mia proudly sharing their handmade kachina dolls.

Finally, as part of our Traditions and Customs unit, our class saw an educational video called Holidays for Children: Pow Wow. This video taught the children about Native Americans traditions and customs. One part of the video has a woman explaining step-by-step how to make a Hopi Native American kachina doll. Today, Mary and Mia surprised me by showing me that they had gone home and made their own kachina dolls. I was very impressed that these girls took the initiative to take what they had learned at school and make them at home.  I love it when students take ownership of their learning!  Proud of these creative young ladies! 

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!

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

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

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Kendra was very proud of herself!

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

 

A Special Visitor and Another Xtramath Superstar!

Today we had a special visitor, Mr. Berube who taught us about Antarctica. He is a Dracut resident who traveled as a Naval Seabee to Antarctica when he was 24 years old. DSC_0338_2 Mr. Berube was stationed for four months at McMurdo Station. He showed the class photos from his time there in the 1960’s. Mr. Berube told about his experiences there and answered all the children (and adults) questions. He also shared a National Science Foundation DVD about Antarctica with us.images DSC_0337_2

The children were attentive and seemed to enjoy learning about live on this faraway continent. Sal was so excited he kept saying “I am so going there!”

DSC_0341_2 He brought in some of the clothing that he used when he was stationed in Antarctica. Avery is holding the hood from his parka and the children got to feel the wolverine fur.Here the children are passing around the warm gloves he needed when he was there.

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Mr. Berube brought in some rubber boots like the ones he wore in Antarctica. Mr. Berube explaining that these are the actual boots he wore in the Navy because he had to return those.

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One of the favorite parts of the visit was when Mr. Berube pulled out two rocks from Antarctica and he let all the children touch them. How many people can say they have touched a rock from Antarctica?

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Thank you Mr. Berube for spending time with us and sharing your knowledge and experiences with our second grade class!

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We have another Xtramath Superstar! Gavin L. has mastered the addition level.  Congratulations Gavin! On to subtraction!

The children asked if I would extend the deadline for the Scholastic Book club order until tomorrow. Please have all orders sent in to me or online by tomorrow!

Xtramath Success Stories!

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Congratulations to Katie L. for completing the addition level of Xtramath! She completed it last week and received her certificate today. Xtramath is a valuable tool for increasing the students’ fluency with math facts which means knowing them instantly without having to stop to think about it or use a strategy (like counting on fingers) to get the answer. When the students know their math facts this well, it makes learning more challenging math concepts easier to learn.

I try to let every student have the opportunity to do Xtramath every day but that is not always possible for reasons such as the Internet access being unavailable or my needing the students to all be with me for certain lessons or tests. Some days we don’t get everyone finished or if the Internet was down, no one gets it done at school. But that didn’t stop Katie who would go on Xtramath at home instead…..even on the weekends! As you can see, all her hard work certainly paid off! On to subtraction for you Katie!!

But that’s not all….Gavin L. just completed the addition level in class today! Hooray Gavin! He’ll get his certificate tomorrow. I wonder who will be next!

Finally, a quick reminder before I end this post that the December Scholastic book orders are due on WEDNESDAY. You can order in with cash or check sent to school or online with a credit card.

Latkes and Applesauce

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I forgot to take a photo but this image looks like what they ate. I cheated a bit and fried crispy crowns to save time but they got the idea.

Today we made “latkes” and ate latkes and applesauce to help us learn about some Hanukkah traditions as part of our Traditions and Customs unit. The children all loved them and our classroom smelled wonderful for the rest of the day! Then the children wrote a paragraph about latkes as part of their writer’s workshop.  Later, the class brainstormed on a venn diagram things they knew (or thought they knew) about Hanukkah and Christmas. At first they thought the two holidays didn’t share much in common. But after we did a read-aloud of “Light the Lights : A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas”, they revised their venn diagram and realized that there are many things common to the two holidays.

Our Scholastic book order came in today and I distributed the books to the students who ordered books. A new order form went home with the children today and is due Wednesday, December 11th. Keep in mind that the books from this order will probably not be in before Christmas break. Our parent volunteer today thought it might be helpful to remind everyone that purchasing books through the classroom is not only a great deal for you, it has the added benefit of providing the classroom with bonus points which can be used to get “good stuff” for our classroom. I also want to point out something new this year with Scholastic. Each month they choose one book and if 5 students order that book, the classroom receives a free copy of that book. This month’s chosen book is about Polar Bears.