A Special Visitor and Pirates

The tenth day of second grade was mighty exciting! It started off in the morning with a surprise note from Zero the Hero. Zero is a Math Superhero who came to our classroom before the school day and left notes for me and the children. In the note, he asked me to read the book “Zero the Hero” to the children. He asked the children to draw a picture of what they thought he might look like. We have some very good artists in C8 with good imaginations! He also left a candy pumpkin treat for each child to help them get ready for the start of fall. 

But that wasn’t all the excitement today!  Today was “Talk Like a Pirate Day!” and the second grade teachers and some of the students dressed up like pirates to celebrate.

If ye wants to see these scurvy pirates up close, click on the photo, matey!

 

We read a pirate book and did some pirate themed papers. The children started writing their own adventure story. We also had an school-wide banking assembly.  Combined with yesterday’s fire drill practice and Curriculum Night scheduled for tomorrow night, this is turning out to be a busy week!

Celebrating Special C8 Students and Zero the Hero!

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Dracut Library Summer Readers!!

I can’t believe we’ve been in school for 40 days already! The first two months have seemed to fly by so fast! I want to share with you some of the students that have been recognized for their reading and math achievements. First, we had three students, Emma, Jesse and Mia, that received special certificates for their participation in the Dracut Library’s summer reading program! Great job to our three summer library readers!

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Dracut Public Schools Summer Reading!

Next, I’d like to recognize the five students who passed in their Dracut Public Schools summer reading logs. They were Sampson, Aubrey, Jesse, Shamus, and Emma! Summer reading is so important! Awesome job to you all!

Finally, three of our students have completed the addition level of Xtramath in record time! To do this, they had to be able successfully answer all 100 addition facts within 3 seconds for each fact! They are Kayden, Aubrey, and Jesse! They are officially Xtramath superstars and have moved to subtraction. Remember that the students can do Xtramath at home too if they have access to the Internet.  I wonder who will be our next Xtramath superstar?

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This year, a special math superhero called “Zero the Hero” has been visiting our classroom every tenth day of school. We’re not sure if Zero is a boy or girl superhero so I’ll just use the pronoun “he”.  He gives the students a note with math challenges and leaves them treats if they complete the challenge. The first time he came, he asked them to draw what they thought he looked like. Another time he came, there was a math book about Zero that he asked them to have me read. A third time he came, the students were challenged to write as many sentences as they could that had the answer of zero. On Friday, Day 40, he challenged them to estimate the number of eyeballs in the jar! The children love when Zero visits.

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Here is one of Zero’s notes with the book and treat he left!

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They had to estimate the number of Life Savors that Zero left as a treat. Cameron and Anthony were the best estimators that day!

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One of Zero’s treats were clementines because they were “round like a zero and looked like a fall pumpkin!”

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Some of our students working hard packing the food drive donations for the Dracut Food Pantry.

Before I end this post, I want to thank all the families that donated to the Great Penny Race and the Food Drive. The second grade students donated the most nonperishable food to our food drive. Our class helped to box up all the food and carry it out to the volunteers from the food pantry that came to collect it. This is teaching our students to not only think about and care about others but to DO for others!  Stay tuned for additional posts about our field trip, our dinosaur & fossils studies and more!

Where In the World Are We?, Dinosaurs and Fossils, Doubles Game, and One Awesome Mathematician!

Before we get to the photos, I would like to first try to clear up some confusion about the Fundations packet that still exists. Last week, the students should have just completed Tuesday’s 4 dictated words, Wednesday’s 5 dictated words and Thursday’s sentence on the Week 1 writing grid that is in the back of the packet. If your child did not do them last week, please catch up on them this week. The Week 1 words and sentence are located on the back of the parent letter page on the front of the packet. This week, the children will be doing the Week 2 words and sentence on Tuesday through Thursday. The children should write them on the Week 2 writing grid.

The students were told not to do the remaining worksheets last week because they had not had the in-class lessons they needed to properly understand and complete these worksheets yet. They have now learned about marking the digraphs and open and closed syllables. Tonight’s homework is to complete page 8. Tomorrow, they will be asked to complete page 9 in addition to the 4 dictated words. Wednesday, they will complete page 10 in addition to the 5 dictated words. If your child started these worksheets last week, please have your child go over them and fix any mistakes. The entire completed packet should be ready to pass in on Friday morning.

I hope our C-8 families have a better understanding about the expectations for the at-home packet. Now for some fun photos!

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Where in the world are we? Sharing our flipbooks!

The C-8 students completed a Social Studies unit about communities recently.  After reading the book, Me on the Map, we created flipbooks that started with our school, Brookside, and went from its street to Dracut, to Massachusetts, to the United States of America, to North America and finally to our planet Earth. Hopefully this hands-on activity helped the children to have a better concept of their place in the world.

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Here’s a closeup of one of our flipbooks.

After finishing our Social Studies unit, we moved into our Science unit on . . . DINOSAURS and FOSSILS!

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Our friendly dinosaur!!

 

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We are enjoying learning so much about these interesting extinct creatures by reading these fiction books and non-fiction books.

Check out our new doubles math game!

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We are learning our doubles math facts with this doubles math game. The students pair up and chant the doubles while holding up fingers representing the partners.

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When they reach 5+5, they “high five” and when they finish with 10 +10, they do a “high ten!” Lots of smiles and giggles disguised the fact that they were learning their facts!

Speaking of math facts, I am proud to announce that we have our first student to complete the Addition level of  Xtramath. This means that he was able to complete each of his 100 addition facts in under 3 seconds! He also managed to do this in just 14 days of practice. I think this is a new record! Congratulations Nicholas! I hope he is the first of many C-8 students this year!

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Nicholas, Addition Mathematician Extraordinaire!!

P.S. In case you didn’t know, clicking on the photo makes it larger! Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Welcoming a New Group of Second Grade Friends!

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I can’t believe that our first full week of school is over! We are getting to know each other and are learning how to work together. In addition to seeing our specialists we met last year (Mrs. Turnbow for music, Mrs. Sorbello for computers and Mrs. Costello for library), we’ve met our new art teacher, Ms. Mullins and our new physical education teacher, Mr. Rivers.  We also met other educators (Mrs. Nelson, Mrs. Marvin, Mrs. Charette, Mrs. Smolko, Mrs. Wagner, and Ms. Jacobs) who will be working with some of our C-8 students this school year. We did a lot of assessment this week so I can better know the students’ skill levels. We even had a fire drill!  I think my favorite activity was when they played a “Getting to Know You” game to help them learn more about each other! Here are some photos of the students enjoying this activity.

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T.J. and Shiwaum discussing their summer activities.

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Discovering how our friends spent their summers!

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Madison and Elizabeth sharing information.

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Look at all these second graders actively engaged in the task of getting to know each other.

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Mary and Brooklynn make new friends.

I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know my new C-8 parents at our Orientation Night on Tuesday night at 6 – 8 p.m.  Hope to see you then!

Interactive Writing Journals

I have started using Interactive Writing journals with the students. Basically it’s a two way journal in a notebook that the students and I write back and forth in. They write to me and I respond by asking questions and making comments. They then read what I wrote and write back again. It is a great way to strengthen both reading and writing in a meaningful way. I love how much I already know about your children after just a few entries. Here is one example that made my day! I hope this child will always feel that “math is so much fun” and “reading is the best thing in the world!”

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Needs and Wants!

Today in Social Studies we discussed needs vs. wants. This was challenging for some of the students to distinguish between the two.  They had trouble realizing that though they might really, REALLY want a video game, they didn’t actually NEED one to live. This might be an interesting discussion to have at home too. Speaking of Social Studies, I had a few children ask me if I was sending home another social studies tutor sheet. I do not want to waste paper and I told the children to just practice reviewing with the completed tutor sheet that was sent home last Friday. If you need a new copy because it was recycled or is missing, please let me know. Our first social studies test will be on Friday.

Thank you to the parents who had their children try out Xtramath yesterday or after school today! Those children will be getting a PAW tomorrow for trying out the site at home. I hope you will all find the time to check out this resource for your child.

Thank you to Mrs. Khera for being the first to post a comment on my blog. It is so helpful to me to know if this blog is useful for the families. Since we are learning about needs and wants, here is something I “want”. I want to know how many parents are reading my new blog.  if you read this blog entry tonight and post a reply, you child will receive a surprise tomorrow.

Xtra! Xtra! Xtramath! and a “Powerful” Community Social Studies Lesson

I would like to have our students use the math site Xtramath to improve their speed and accuracy with addition and subtraction facts. It is a free Internet-based program that was designed by teachers. I have used this website in the past and the children have enjoyed using it. Unfortunately at the present time, neither of the computers that I have in my classroom that are working can access the site due to browser issues. I have requested assistance from the tech department but until the issue is resolved, we can not do Xtramath in the classroom. I have printed up instructions to help you sign your child onto Xtramath to do it from a computer at home. I strongly encourage that you make it a part of your child’s routine. It only takes about 10 minutes and really strengthens their computation skills. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Today I showed the children a powerpoint about their community of Dracut and how the community has changed over the years. They saw that the original inhabitants were Native Americans and they lived in the part of Dracut where Brunswick Bowling is now in Pawtucketville in Lowell.  They also learned that Dracut used to have more than 20 dairy farms, an amusement park, a ballroom, a race track and even a stop on the Underground Railroad. Talk to your child to see what he or she remembers from the powerpoint!  Please continue to review the vocabulary on the social studies tutor sheet that went home last Friday. We will have our first social studies test on Friday. One last friendly reminder…the class has Physical Education tomorrow so they need to wear their sneakers!

 

 

Scholastic Book Club and Pirates!

A great many papers went home today with the children. In addition to the “Thursday Packet” materials from the office, I sent home the Scholastic Book Club order forms. I sent home both the 2nd and 1st grade forms because there are some great books on each form and many of the books on the first grade form are actually second grade reading level and of interest to second graders. I have a cover sheet detailing exactly what you need to do to order books either through me or online if you choose to participate this month. Please note that each form has one book that is only $1.00!  I will need all orders place by Thursday, Sept. 26th.

Today is International Pirate Day! We read a pirate story, answered questions about it, and the children even tried writing their own pirate adventure. Ask your child about it!!