November Happenings!

November started with some storm postponed events. The morning of November 2nd, we had a special visitor named Chris Poulos. He is a champion BMX bike rider who demonstrated his tricks while he taught the students important lessons about listening, following directions, making friends and going for your dreams.

Haylee was chosen to help with a special demonstration about making friends.

The children were reminded that these tricks take lots of practice and shouldn’t be tried at home.

Chris told them that even he makes mistakes. I’m really glad he didn’t make a mistake when he was jumping his bike over me and Mrs. Cooke!

That afternoon we had our Halloween Party and Parade! Here’s a photo of our C8 friends in their fabulous costumes!

The next day, Zero the Hero visited on Day 40. He got in the holiday spirit by leaving these little cuties as a treat!

Private Logan!

Thank you Mrs. Fisher!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, Mrs. Fisher, a kindergarten paraprofessional, who is a veteran of the army asked for a volunteer to wear her army gear to show the kindergarteners. Logan was a willing volunteer and looked great in the army clothes! After they were done in kindergarten, they came to our classroom. Mrs. Fisher taught our class so much about life in the army and the things she learned as a soldier. It was a great way to get ready for Veteran’s Day! Thank you Logan for helping and special thanks to Mrs. Fisher for teaching us and for your service!

Uriah proudly showing off his Xtramath certificate!

Finally today, Uriah was the very first student to finish the addition program on Xtramath! Congratulations Uriah! On to subtraction!!

The Chromebooks Are Here!

C8 Students Learning with Technology!

The students on the Celtics table are working hard.

Today the students were excited to be able to use the new chromebooks to practice their math skills with a program called Prodigy. This video game based math program assesses the students and then provides practice that is individualized for each student. This highly motivating program is free for classroom use and kept the students engaged. We are fortunate that we now have these chromebooks available for this and other programs like Vocabulary/SpellingCity, Epic books, Xtramath, and more. Special thanks for Mrs. Bowie, the district’s technology integration specialist, for troubleshooting some problems we initially had with accessing the chromebooks. In the words of one of our second graders, “She is the best!”

Check out these students on the Red Sox table.

Students on the Patriots table helped each other signing in to the program.

The students on the Bruins table didn’t want to stop!

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!

February Finished With Lots of Learning Fun!

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We are 100 Days Smarter!

We celebrated the 100th Day of School on February 24th! The students did a 100th Day Estimating Jar hands-on math activity. They were asked to estimate the objects in the jar. Then we counted each of the jars. Finally the students figure the difference between their estimates and the actual amounts.

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Brian thinking hard about his estimate!

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Estimating is harder than it looks!

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We counted the unifix cubes and plastic animals by tens and ones.

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The sugar cubes were counted by hundreds, tens, and ones.

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The wooden color cubes were the easiest for most students to estimate.

Learning time was more fun when we used our bodies to make the clock. Kinesthetic learning is just another method to help the students make connections and understand. Twelve students were the numbers and two more were the hands.

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Brooklynn was the minute hand and Nick was the hour hand.

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The students are enjoying writing on the whiteboard with the smart projector pens.

We are getting more proficient at using the Epson smart projector that we are lucky enough to have in our classroom. I am learning along with the children. It has really enhanced our instruction and the students are very engaged in the lessons. We are using the technology in all subject areas from language arts, to math, to science and social studies.

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Here Mrs. Marvin is using the Ziggy document camera to flash our Fundations flashcards for our daily drill.

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The word web the students created in our grammar lesson on verbs.

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The students graphed their favorite Boston sports team in math. The data is more meaningful if it is personal to the children.

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I wish this photo was able to capture how impressive these students were.

Finally we had an assembly for Jump Rope for Heart! Students from Londonderry, NH did an amazing job demonstrating their unbelievable jump roping skills while they also taught the children about healthy food choices and exercise. 

Celebrating Special Children and Caring for Others in C-8!

We celebrate love and caring in the month of February. One of our classmates, Hannah, was recognized this quarter at the special PAWS recognition breakfast. Hannah was one of eleven children in the school to receive this recognition. She was nominated for her patience and kindness toward a fellow classmate when she helped him in their reading group. Hannah received her award from State Representative Colleen Garry. We are very proud of you Hannah!! You set a great example for the rest of the students!

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Hannah front and center after receiving her special PAWS recognition award.

 

We are also proud of two of our students who have completed the Addition level of Xtramath!

Way to go Brian and Victoria!

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Finally, as part of our Brookside Community of Caring, our class participated in the second grade Read-a-thon. They spent the entire day reading! This reading took the form of independent reading, buddy reading, listening to a book on CD or read aloud by a teacher. We even read math literature! The money we raised will enable us to create and donate book kits to the Dracut Library that can be used by the entire library system. Thank you to all the families and friends who generously donated to this special cause. What a great way to show that we care about reading and giving to others. I hope you enjoy looking at these photos of the Read-a-Thon.

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Comfy children reading on the rug!

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Snuggled up with their books!

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Gabriela and Alyssa….best buddies with their books!

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Reading is double the fun in C-8!

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Some of our boys took over the library!

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Gaige and Brian so deep into their stories they didn’t even see me capture this moment!

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Sharing a penguin book with a friend while istening to the CD at the listening center.

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Looks like a sleepover!

What’s New in November???? . . . Johnny the K, Special Stories, Xtramath Stars and more!

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Johnny the K kept the students singing and moving the entire show!

On November 7th, Brookside was treated to a special performance by Johnny the K. He was very entertaining, singing songs, playing guitar and wearing funny hats. He got the students and teachers actively involved in his show which taught the children the importance of kindness and respect. Alyssa and two other children were chosen to spin the giant Earth ball. 

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Alyssa and friends have the whole world in their hands.

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Turning the world is hard work!

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The students were “bananas” for his crazy hats!

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He never stayed still….moving right into the audience! And they loved it!

Then on November 10th, Mrs. Riordan had the chance to read a very special story called But No Candy to the students in C8 and C9. This realistic fiction story was written by Gloria Houston and takes place during World War II. The children learned what that time period was like and learned about the sacrifices that veterans and their families made during wartime. They also learned that Veterans’ Day honors all veterans, not just the ones who died in war.  I always enjoy sharing this story with the children. See if your child can retell the story to you.

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I love reading to students!

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Reminded me of my days as a children’s librarian!

We finished the week doing a hands-on math activity with number charts and numbered bottle caps. Who knew math could be so much fun? Speaking of math, we had two more students complete addition on Xtramath! Congratulations to our latest Xtramath Experts, Britany and Shiwaum! We are very proud of you!

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Hands-on math is a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon!

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Numbers bigger than 100 can be more challenging…at first!

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Congratulations Shiwaum! On to subtraction!

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You are a Math Superstar Britney! Up next….subtraction!

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!

A Few Eye-Popping Hands-On Activities in Second Grade!

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Second graders working hard on estimating and counting!

Mrs. Saucier invited our class to join them in a special popcorn hands-on learning activity. The students in the two classes were paired up and they were given a math worksheet that asked them to estimate how many pieces of popcorn would fill four different shapes. After making their estimates, they had to fill the shapes with popcorn kernels and count the actual amount that fit.

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Julian and a friend work on filling the shape with popcorn kernels.

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Mrs. Saucier showing off the freshly popped popcorn! It was amazing how many students had never seen popcorn being popped before!

The students estimated how many pieces of “popped” popcorn would fit the same shapes. Then they filled the shapes with the popped corn.

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Khushi, Gabe and a friend happily discuss their estimates.

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Cecily records her teams results.

After the worksheets were completed, everyone enjoyed some freshly popped popcorn! YUM!  Thank you to Mrs. Saucier for inviting us to share this activity with you and your students. It is fun to learn with friends from other classrooms!

Today we started an experiment where we are trying to see if the popcorn kernels, which we learned are seeds, will sprout. We put them in a ziploc bag with a wet paper towel and sealed it. We’ll let you know what happens in a few days. We will continue our popcorn themed activities by reading “The Popcorn Book” by Tomie dePaola.

We also did another states of matter experiment. This time we put the baking soda inside a balloon. Then we put the vinegar inside a water bottle. We tipped the baking soda up and it mixed the solid baking soda with the liquid vinegar which produced carbon dioxide, a gas, which rose out of the bottle. The carbon dioxide gas expanded and filled the balloon.

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Khushi holds up the experiment before we mixed the baking soda and the vinegar.

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The students are cheering…and hoping that the balloon would pop. Luckily it didn’t!

Finally, I want to congratulate our class for winning the weekly reading challenge again this week. This time our class received some outdoor playground supplies (a skip-it, some sidewalk chalk and two frisbies). Now all we need is some nice spring weather so we can use them! Thank you to the PTO for being so generous and encouraging reading. This reading program has been fun!

The Leprechauns Came! (and a couple of other “news items!”)

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Our rainbow was hanging from the ceiling. Chairs were all wrong.

Those tricky leprechauns came and played a lot of tricks on us this past week but they saved their best tricks for last! This is what the room looked like when we arrived after the weekend!

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They left us a message on the white board.

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I think they scared our stuffed dinosaur who was hanging or hiding from our flag.

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They left a message for Maggie inside her trap too!

The students thought we might have captured one or more of the leprechauns because Avery’s catcher was sealed shut. The children all breathlessly peaked inside to see what they had caught.

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Cautiously checking inside Avery’s catcher!

There were NO LEPRECHAUNS inside! But these two looked as if THEY were leprechauns!

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C8’s resident leprechauns….Katie and Gabe!

Although the students didn’t catch a leprechaun this time, they did get a special Lucky Charms breakfast treat from Mrs. Riordan. They also got to sample some wonderful homemade Irish soda bread made by Maggie’s grandmother and delivered by Maggie’s mom! It was so yummy again this year. And this year, many more children were brave and tried the Irish bread with raisins.  I couldn’t take a photo because it was gobbled up so fast!

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Lucky teacher, Lucky children, Green tongues!

We did a special writing project today where the children wrote about someone who was worth more than gold to them. It was interesting to read the wide variety of responses which ranged from parents and grandparents, siblings and cousins, to their dog and Tuukka Rask!

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St. Patrick’s Day Writing

We did some St. Patrick’s themed worksheets and read stories from Ireland by my favorite Irish writer, Eve Bunting. Then we practiced our reading comprehension by reading an article about St. Patrick and looking for key information in the article to answer the questions. At the end of the day, we were surprise to find that the leprechauns left a gift for us in the office.  A pot of gold….candy! Those tricky leprechauns also hid all the items they had stolen from our traps underneath the candy.

All in all, it was a pretty magical day in C-8!

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Yummy Gold!

If you would like to see all of the students’ awesome leprechaun catchers, you can see them on the student work page of this blog! Check them out!

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Lowell Sun Reporter John Collins visits second grade.

On another note, I forgot to post a couple photos from last week. We had a visit with the Lowell Sun Local News reporter, John Collins. The children went to Mrs. Porcello’s classroom and got to learn what it like to be a newspaper reporter. The children asked great questions and learned a lot.

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Second graders make a body clock!

One last photo of our students learning kinesthetically how to tell time….or in other words, with their bodies. Some children were the numbers on the clock and two students were the hands of the clock. They also used individual plastic clocks to record the time. They enjoyed this hands-on learning!