Goodbye September…Hello October!

It’s hard to believe that we have finished our first month of school. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who attended Thursday’s Curriculum Night. It was nice to be able to meet you and tell you about our second grade classroom, the curriculum, and the expectations. If you were unable to attend, I sent home a copy of my presentation as well as other important papers and my contact information  with your child on Friday.

I look forward to meeting all the parents at our Parent-Teacher conferences on November 14th. We had signups for the Parent-Teacher conferences at Curriculum Night. Those who weren’t present will be assigned an afternoon conference time as all the evening time slots have been filled.

I also want to thank all the parents who sent in supplies for our classroom. Special thanks to the parents who hand-delivered supplies on Thursday night. Please let me know if you need the bag that you brought the supplies in back and I’ll send it back with your child.

A quick reminder that I will be collecting the September Behavior/Responsibility charts from your children tomorrow so please leave it in their homework folder. Also I’d like to remind you to please return the volunteer form if you are able to volunteer in our classroom. Volunteers are so helpful for providing extra support to our classroom.

 

A week in September…the serious and the silly!

We had a special visitor for Constitution Day, September 17th. State Representative Colleen Garry came to talk to Brookside’s second graders about the Constitution, government, the law, and so much more. The students listened, learned and asked lots of questions.

Our class also created our own class constitution and came up with five rules that we all agreed to follow!

The next day we had our first visit from Zero the Hero! Zero is a math superhero who gives the students math challenges and rewards them. Zero has been known to visit every 10 days. Zero challenged the students to use their imaginations to draw what they thought Zero looks like. The students did a great job on this challenge. Zero rewarded them by leaving a book about Zero the Hero for me to read to them and they also each got a life savor ….because it is shaped like a zero!

Here some “pirates” play the pirate reading game with Mrs. Nelson!

On Wednesday, September 19th, we joined the rest of Brookside’s second grade celebrating “Talk Like a Pirate Day”. Many of the students dressed like pirates. We read a pirate story and did some pirate worksheets.  Some of us got to play a pirate reading game. We had a jolly good time with our mates!

The Pirates of C8!

Another School Year Starts!

Welcome back to a new school year at Brookside Elementary School! 

I spent my last week’s of summer preparing the classroom for my new second graders.

I am sharing some photos of our C8 classroom with all of you!

The bulletin board that greeted the students on the first day!

Our word wall, seasonal bookshelves and computer center!

Our classroom library!!

Mrs. Riordan’s desk and our small group table.

Our three tables of desks and the rainbow rug.

I hope that you will come to see our classroom in person on Curriculum Night/Orientation on Thursday, September 27th! Looking forward to meeting you then!

September Lunch Bunch!

 

The September Lunch Bunch!

Elizabeth, Haylee, Kaylee, Miranda, Logan and Carter

Each month I try to hold a special lunch with the teacher called the “Lunch Bunch”. The students who get invited to the monthly lunch bunch have displayed exemplary behavior and responsibility that month. This is documented by the behavior/responsibility charts. If a child gets all stickers or has only clipped down one time that month (because everyone is entitled to a bad day), they will be a part of that month’s lunch bunch. Additionally, if they didn’t clip down even once, they earn a “paw”.  The September lunch bunch enjoyed a picnic lunch in the courtyard….until a yellow jacket decided to join us. (We moved indoors at that point!)  Congratulations to the September lunch bunch and I hope that in October I have even more!

Our Classroom Library Ribbon Cutting!

It’s official! We have opened our classroom library today. Each year, I wait a few days to get other classroom routines down before I allow the children to use our classroom library. I explained this to the children and Elizabeth, one of our students, asked if we would be having a ribbon cutting to open the library. I thought, “Why not?” So today, our captain, Maria did the honors and cut the ribbon to open our library! The children were very excited! They are taking turns filling their classroom book bags with wonderful books to read that are “just right” for their learning. Hopefully we will be finished shopping for books by tomorrow!

Thank you to all the parents who came to Curriculum Night (Orientation) last night. I was nice to meet so many of the families and to talk about learning in second grade in C8. If you were unable to attend last night, I sent written information home to you with your child today. The QR code needs a QR reader which is a free app you can download. It’s a quick way to get to our classroomwebsite/blog. I also sent home a blue sheet for signups for Parent-Teacher conferences in November.

I would like to briefly mention two things I spoke about last night but didn’t put in the handout. To cut down on the amount of homework, I do not want the children to do the remembering side of the math homework paper at home. They will do that side of the paper in class.  Also, please don’t write notes to me in your child’s assignment book (homework notebook). I would appreciate it if you have any notes or messages that you want to get to me, you can either email me at mriordan@dracutps.org or send in a note with your child on a piece of paper. We have a very short time before we go to special in the morning and I don’t have time to check 24 notebooks each morning. I’d hate to miss something important that you wrote in the notebook that your child didn’t show to me.

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!