Making Learning fun in March!

If you looked at our March Madness post, you might think that March was all about fun and games. Well, we did have lots of fun in March and we did play some games. But they were learning games!

Here are some photos of our C8 students practicing telling time by matching analog and digital clocks.

We also worked with literacy matching puzzles on a full moon rainy Friday afternoon!

The students were fully engaged practicing and reviewing literacy skills like compound words, silent letters, digraphs and blends, irregular plurals, and more. (Some even worked on analogies!) Plus they got plenty of movement breaks as they moved from one station to another. 

We ended the month last Friday with a special buddy math time. Mrs. Messer’s third graders came to our classroom and used whiteboards to work with our class on subtraction with regrouping. They were expecting to have to tutor our students but they were surprised at how well they were doing and kept giving them harder problems to challenge them! It was nice seeing the two classes working so well together and rewarding to see how much my former students have grown and learned as third graders!

Thank you Third Grade math buddies!!
Finally thank you to the families who assisted their children in getting their World Map posters done and turned in on time! They came out great and were hung on the wall outside our room for all to see!

100+ Days of Second Grade – Part 3

We came back in 2019 ready to learn! We worked on money with some math games…”Roll to a Quarter” or “Roll to a Dollar.” Mrs. Nelson, Mr. Marion and I supervised and assisted the students in playing these learning games.

We have been studying the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica as well as matter in Science. That means hands-on experiments that we wrote up in writing as lab reports. The students got to experience what it was like for polar animals to survive in icy water habitats. They put their hands in ice water first. Then they did it again with a “blubber glove” and felt the difference. Below is just one photo of this experiment. You can see more under the Student work 18-19 tab.

Annesta demonstrating the “Blubber Glove”.

The students also did experiments with matter. We saw water change state of matter by putting ice cubes on our heater. We also did an experiment with making a chemical change by mixing vinegar and baking soda to make a gas. Here is the photo of this experiment.

Samil and Nathan assist in this experiment. The students were excited to see the balloon fill up with the gas created by the vinegar and baking soda.

We culminated our matter unit with matter projects that the students made at home and shared with us at school. Here are most of the matter projects. Individual photos can be found on the student work 18-19 tab.

Oops . . . I almost forgot to post the photos of these matter projects that came in late.

Although we haven’t had any snow days, there have been many days that have been too cold to go outside. Luckily we have lots of things to play with indoors. Here are some photos of some of the students creations at indoor recess.

On the 100th day of school we had another challenge from Zero the Hero. He brought 5 containers and the students had to estimate the amount in each container. They also had to decide if that number was greater than, equal to or less than 100.

When they were finished with the challenge, they were able to receive a baggie with three cookies from Zero that they had to use to build 100.

It’s been a busy 100 days of learning in C8 and the rest of the school year will be just as busy!

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!

100 + Days of Second Grade – Part 1

I want to share with you all the wonderful things we have been experiencing together in our first one hundred days of second grade.  We ended October with our Halloween Party and school-wide Halloween Parade. Unfortunately it was so busy, I didn’t get any photos of the students in their Halloween costumes but here is a photo of the watching a Halloween DVD waiting for dismissal after the parade.

Zero the Hero even got into the Halloween spirit by bringing clementines with “Jack-o-lantern” faces as a reward for solving his math challenge.

On November 9th, we finally got to go on our field trip to the Boston Museum of Science.

We arrived just in time to see the live animal show.

The live animal wasn’t just any snake. It was a python!

After the show, we were able to go to the stage and touch real snake skin.

We got to see and learn about  dinosaurs and lots of other interesting things!

Mrs. Riordan and C8 students in front of a giant T-Rex model.

State Rep. Garry was one of our chaperones. Here she and some of the students standing in front of an actual stegosaur fossil.

Davian and Jacob explore electricity!

Some of our C8 girls learning that a seesaw is more than just playground fun…learning about force, motion and simple machines.

Investigating a model of a one room schoolhouse.

C8 students learn about heat and energy.

The students had fun climbing inside this model of the waterways and found a statue of a river otter!

Thank you to all our chaperones!

The students got to be paleontologists themselves back in the classroom. They were given dirt from a dig site, magnifying glasses and identification charts to help them find fossils.

Quinton using the chart to identify the fossil he found.

Jayden identifies his fossil as Gabriella looks on.

Here are some more photos of students searching for fossils. Thank you to Ms. Allore and Mr. Santee for supervising our paleontologists during this hands-on science exploration.

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.

“Tasting Day”

The Brookside Second Graders celebrated our diversity on the half day before Thanksgiving by having a ” Tasting Day!”  Most of the students brought in ethnic dishes from home that came from the countries of their ancestors. They got to taste many foods that they may not be familiar with eating. This hands-on experience was a delicious culminating activity for our social studies Traditions and Customs unit. Thank you to all the families that contributed food to make our Tasting Day such a success!

Amber and Kaylee discuss what they are eating.

Some of the C8 boys couldn’t wait to fill their plates with all the yummy food.

The girls were exciting to try some new dishes too!

Zachary tries something new while Sam checks out the box filled with cannoli.

Elizabeth brought in an entire taco making station. She’s not from Mexico but she does love tacos! So do the other second graders!

Please head over to the student work page labeled “Student Work 17-18” of this blog to see closeup photos of the students’ dishes that are labeled with the name and country!

 

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.

 

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!