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!

Welcome to Second Grade!

Welcome to our new C8 Second Grade families! I can’t believe that we have already been in school for almost two weeks now! The students and I have been getting to know each other and the routines of our C8 classroom. It has been a time of review, assessment, and exploring our new classroom. On Wednesday, we are holding our Curriculum Night which serves as an Orientation to our classroom.  Parents and guardians are invited to come see your child’s classroom. You have the opportunity to meet me and hear about our classroom procedures and expectations as well as the Second Grade curriculum. You will also have a chance to meet the specialists that work with your child and to visit the Book Fair in C10. I look forward to meeting you all on Wednesday night.

This bulletin board is not only greeting our new second graders but previewing our new focus this year district-wide on Writer’s Workshop!

Just a sneak peek at one part of our classroom! Reading is such an important part of my classroom and these are our shelves that highlight seasonal books or books that supplement whatever special topics we are studying.

A Look Back on our School Year!

As we get closer to the end of the year, I have been reflecting on all that we have done this year. Here is a review of some of the great learning experiences  and special visitors your children had.

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We saw a great performance by Johnny the K. He was a musician sponsored by the PTO and despite being silly and wearing lots of crazy hats, he had a important life lessons to share with the students.

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Claire’s grandmother, who is a librarian from Vermont, was a special visitor who came and read to the class one day.

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Our study of traditions and cultures culminated in our special international tasting party on the half day before Thanksgiving. We enjoyed all the delicious foods that the families shared with us that day.

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In December at the holidays, some parents came to assist the students in making their ice castles.

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Mr. Berube, a Dracut native and former SeaBee, came to school to share his experiences living and working at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

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On Groundhog Day, we went outside and did some science experiments with light and shadows.

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We had special guest readers on Read Across America Day in March. They were basketball players from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.

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Representative Colleen Garry came to school to read to the class and talk about government and her job at the State House in Boston.

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We had a crazy week when the leprechauns came to visit our classroom near St. Patrick’s Day. This is just one example of some of the shenanigans those tricky leprechauns did while they were in C8!

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We had a special presentation about rockets and space exploration!

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!

Welcome to My New C-8 Families!

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I am so excited to have your children as my students this year. Since we are having the curriculum night later this year on Tuesday, September 29th, I thought you might like a sneak preview of our classroom. Here are some photos I took of our classroom prior to school starting.

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This view shows our main teaching area with the smart projector, whiteboard, and our rainbow rug! Many of the students are sitting in a horseshoe around the rug.

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This is the view as we enter the classroom and shows our coat closet, sink, my desk and the large table used for many things like reading groups.

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In this corner, you can see our cozy classroom library and my vast collection of children’s books I’ve collected over 25 years.

This is just a taste of what our room looked like before the children arrived.  But the room really came to life when 23 second graders walked through the door. Here are two photos I managed to shoot on the first day of school during the “Getting to Know You” game.

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I will update the homework page nightly and periodically post blog updates on this page to help keep you informed and let you share the excitement that goes on in second grade.

The Second Graders Are Going Places!

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Learning how to cross in crosswalks safely.

Earlier in the month, we practiced pedestrian safety outside Brookside. Thank you to the parents who volunteered to help us learn how to travel safely along and across streets and in parking lots. We put this information into practice on our walk back from our Shaw Farm field trip at the end of the month.

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Parking lot safety is so important!

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We are so lucky to have wonderful volunteers! We were glad to have two fifth grade friends join us in the safety lessons.

We finished the month of May with a special field trip. We started by being bussed to Chelmsford High School to watch Tom Chapin and Friends in a music performance. We were the first school there and had fantastic front row seats!

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Waiting for the show to begin.

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Trying to patiently wait for the rest of the audience to arrive.

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Almost time for the show.

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Curious about the instruments.

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Tom and his friends performing on stage.

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When the show was over, Tom came into the audience with his autoharp.

The children had a great time singing along with Tom Chapin and his friends. Tom and his friends were impressed that they knew the sign language to Family Tree. The children were surprise that his goodbye song to the audience was the goodbye song we sing at the end of the day in our classroom! (I learned the song from him!)

After the concert, we got back on the bus and headed back to Dracut to Shaw Farm. When we arrived at the farm, the children got to take turns feeding the donkey and petting the baby calves.

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Meeting the donkey.

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They could only pet the adorable calf.

They also got to go into the barn and see the grown milk cows and learn all about how they care for the cows and get the milk.

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Wally Biedron taught the children about cows and answered all their questions.

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Waiting to go into the barn

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Everyone got a turn to feed the donkey.

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Brian feed the donkey.

After they saw the animals, the students got to eat a picnic lunch and have a short recess.

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We took the time for a class photo in front of the tractor with our fantastic chaperones!  Then we carefully crossed the street to the farm store where we met Lindy Shaw who gave them a special tour to see where the milk is processed and the ice cream is made.

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Learning how the milk going into the bottles.

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We were lucky we came on a day when they weren’t bottling the milk.

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Lindy explained how her brother Mark makes ice cream.

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The ice cream making machines!

After our tour, the students got their ice cream and quickly joined the other second graders to eat their yummy cups of ice cream. Before long, it was time to walk back. We were very fortunate to have our school resource officer, Officer Quealy, and another Dracut police officer escort our second graders with two police cars for our walk back to Brookside. Then they surprised us by letting the students climb into the police cars to see what they were like inside. They even turned on the lights and sirens for us! I think the children really enjoyed their field trip and I’ll take a guess that they probably slept pretty good that night!

Thank you to the parent chaperones, Lindy Shaw, Wally Biedron and everyone at Shaw Farm, and Officer Quealy and his fellow police officer for making our field trip such a success!