Boston Museum of Science Field Trip

After a long bus ride, we arrived just in time to attend a live animal show about how some animals mimic other animals. The live animals were a snake and an owl. Some of the students stayed after the show to see them up close and to ask questions.

Learning about how these two snakes look alike but are very different.

Another example of animal mimicry.

Then we went to the dinosaur exhibit and took some group photos!

Our class in front of an actual triceratops from Hell Creek, Montana. This is the same place that Mrs. Riordan, Mrs. Porcello and Mrs. Cooke went to DIG School to learn about paleontology and to dig for fossils.

How many students’ hands can fit in a T-Rex footprint?

Our class beneath the T-Rex!

Looking up at Mrs. Riordan taking the photo from above!

After breaking for lunch, we got to explore the museum to see many other exciting exhibits.

Maria balancing weights!

Checking out some info on this screen!

Learning the science of centrifugal force and having fun!

Swinging on the moon!

This playground gets the whole body involved while they are learning about science!

Science is AMAZING!

Arianna enjoying this hands on experience!

Miranda enjoyed balancing the weights too!

Thank you to Mrs. Anello, Mrs. Brandvold, Mrs. Cowan, Mrs. Horvath and Ms. Silva for being fantastic chaperones on this field trip! Special thanks to Mrs. Brandvold for taking many of these wonderful photos.

 

Important Information and Reminders!

This note was sent home today but in case it didn’t make it home, I am posting the information here as well.

Due to the recent school closures from the storm, the second grade team has decided to make the following changes :

The Unit 4 Fundations packet will be due on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

We are sending home the spelling words today but the spelling test on these words will also be on Thursday, November 9, 2017.

We would also like to remind you that the Halloween Party and Parade will now be held tomorrow, November 2, 2017.  If you signed up to send in treats for the Halloween Party, please send them in tomorrow.

Exploring the DIG Box!

Last summer Mrs. Riordan, Mrs. Porcello, and Mrs. Cooke all traveled to DIG Field School in Montana to learn more about science, specifically paleontology. The DIG Field School’s goal is to have educators bring these wonderful experiences back to their classrooms. To help to do this, they sent us the DIG box that was full of materials to share with the students. 

The students got a chance to “dig through” actual soil samples from the same site in Montana that we explored. They were given laminated guides to help them recognize fossils. It wasn’t easy at first but eventually they were able to identify fossils such as gar scales, fossilized teeth and bones. See if you can find YOUR paleontologist in the photos below.

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Another activity we shared from the DIG box was the “Ingredients of a Rock” activity. The students were given written descriptions of four minerals. They were then divided into groups and given a bag with 5 samples. They had to use the written descriptions to determine which mineral each sample was which would then show them that the final unused sample was the granite rock sample. This type of hands-on investigative activity promotes problem solving and critical thinking as well as teamwork and oral discussion. It was rewarding to see the children so engaged in this activity.  Search in the photos below to find YOUR future “geologist.”

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Thank you to the DIG Field School and the Burke Museum for the use of these materials! Thank you also to Greg Wilson, Lauren DeBey, and all the other DIG Field School instructors for the experience of a lifetime that I can now share with my students.

Two Special Visitors to Brookside!

This week has been an exciting week to be a second grader at Brookside! On Tuesday, October 7th, we had an in-school presentation by the Fossil Lady. She does an amazing presentation and she had the entire second grade spellbound!

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We’re wearing our pith helmets and we’re all ready to be junior paleontologists.

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She brought a giant book that taught the children about paleontology, dinosaurs, and fossils.

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She also brought “Oreo” a prehistoric mammal

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She chose Mary to hold a “dinosaur egg”.

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Then Mary got to put the egg in the nest in the book. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t which the children enjoyed more….Oreo or…….

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touching the coprolite….and finding out that it was dinosaur POOP!

Then the children got to go explore and examine three tables worth of fossils that the fossil lady brought with her.

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We loved our visit with the Fossil Lady!

Then on Thursday, October 9th, the entire school was very lucky to participate in a whole school assembly with Danielle Niles. Danielle Niles is the morning meteorologist for Channel 4 in Boston. She showed the students a video, taught them all kinds of things about meteorology and her job on television, and answered their questions. In the end, she videotaped the entire school sending out a message that will be broadcast on Friday morning.

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Danielle Niles explaining the water cycle and precipitation.

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She demonstrated how to make a tornado in a bottle and taught them about weather safety.

Thank you to the Brookside PTO for helping to make both of these enriching presentations possible!

 

 

Making and Looking at Fossils

 

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The C-8 students made simulated fossils as part of our dinosaur and fossil science unit out of a special salt dough clay I made at home. The recipe is very simple. You take 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup used coffee grounds and mix it with 1/2 cup of cold coffee. It makes a clay that looks like stone. The children took turns pressing tiny toy dinosaurs or turtles, or seashells into the clay to make the fossil. I took them home and baked their “fossils” for 30 minutes at 220 degrees. The students were very excited to create these masterpieces and share them with their families at home.

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Here are some closeups of a few of the “fossils” which included a fossil of some dinosaur tracks made by a larger toy dinosaur seen below.

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Thank you to Mrs. Ware for doing this hands-on activity with the students!!

After making their “fossils”, they had a special opportunity to view an actual fish fossil that was millions of years old! Mary brought in a fossil that her mother, a science teacher, allowed her to share with the class. It was so interesting to examine the specimen and see how much this ancient fish looks like today’s fish. Thank you to Mary and her mother for sharing the fish fossil with us! Can you find your scientist in the photos below?

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Can you find YOUR scientist in the photos below?
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The Fossil Lady Visits!

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The second graders listening attentively to the Fossil Lady.

The second grade had a wonderful treat on Friday. The fossil lady came and taught them about dinosaurs and paleontology. She brought a collection that included fossils of dinosaur bones and eggs, sharks teeth, fish and plants and even dinosaur poop (a favorite of the students!)

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Fossils of actual dinosaur footprints!

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This is “Oreo” a fossilized early mammal, not a dinosaur!

She taught them about the time when dinosaurs walked the Earth and how it was different today. She told them how the dragonflies were huge back then.

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One of our classmates was chosen to be the giant dragonfly!

In addition to bringing her wonderful collection of fossils, she let the children explore, examine and touch her fossil samples.

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Studying fossils up close is hands on learning at its best!

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Examining fossils like a true paleontologist!

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Working together and discussing what we are observing.

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Thank you to the Brookside PTO for funding this amazing experience for the entire second grade!