The Second Graders Are Going Places!

IMG_3544

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.

IMG_3550

Parking lot safety is so important!

Version 2

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!

IMG_3646

Waiting for the show to begin.

IMG_3647

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

IMG_3649

Almost time for the show.

IMG_3648

Curious about the instruments.

Version 2

Tom and his friends performing on stage.

IMG_3657

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.

IMG_3660

Meeting the donkey.

IMG_3661

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.

IMG_3665

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

IMG_3664

Waiting to go into the barn

IMG_3662

Everyone got a turn to feed the donkey.

IMG_3663

Brian feed the donkey.

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

IMG_3667 IMG_3666 IMG_3668 IMG_3671

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.

IMG_3675

Learning how the milk going into the bottles.

IMG_3676

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

IMG_3677

Lindy explained how her brother Mark makes ice cream.

IMG_3679

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!

Celebrating Reading, St. Patrick’s Day and Two Special Xtramath Stars in C-8

DSC_0238

This was the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s Fox In Socks!

We attended a school-wide celebration for the national Read Across America Day. The second grade performed wonderfully on stage. Our class performed a song about reading with Mrs. Cooke’s students while Mrs. Porcello’s students did a skit about where they read. The entire school watched a powerpoint by Ms. Smith about Dr. Seuss and reading and the entire school recited the reading oath. 

DSC_0236 - Version 2

Our class on stage ready to perform!

After the assembly, the guest readers read to the classes. We were lucky that our guest reader was State Representative Colleen Garry (who is also Mrs. Riordan’s sister).  She read a biography of Dr. Seuss and posed for a photo. She answered a few questions but since she had to leave to attend another reading event at Englesby, she promised to come back again. Thank you, Rep. Garry!

DSC_0239 - Version 2

Say “READ” instead of cheese!

DSC_0242 - Version 2

Rep. Garry reading to the students.

On Monday, March 16th, five of our students brought in their creative homemade leprechaun catchers to try and catch a live leprechaun. We left them on the table in the back of the classroom at the end of the school day.

IMG_3282

Brooklynn was absent when we took the photo of her leprechaun catcher.

IMG_3277_2

Mary’s leprechaun catcher had gold eggs, shiny green shamrocks and a rainbow ramp!

IMG_3278_2

Chloe was absent but she sent in her catcher with her older sister.

IMG_3280

Dominic’s catcher included an Irish flag.

IMG_3281

Nick’s catcher had pot of gold.

This is what the students found when they came in on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. 

IMG_3273_2 - Version 2

The leprechauns left a message on our projector!

IMG_3266_2

They stacked our special library chairs….

IMG_3267

and they had a party with our book character stuffed animals!

IMG_3268_2

They hung a rainbow over Mrs. Riordan’s desk and messed up all the students’ desks and chairs!

IMG_3270_2

The leprechaun catchers were great but they couldn’t outsmart our tricky visitors who used our car magnets to drive all over the table! They also “borrowed” many things from the leprechaun catchers!

IMG_3272_2

Boy, were the students excited to find the results of all the shenanigans!

Mrs. Riordan gave each child a special snack bag of Lucky Charms that said “I’m so lucky to have you in my class!”

IMG_3271

Special St. Patrick’s Day snack!

The students did a creative writing craft activity. They had to write about “Who is worth more to you than gold?” They wrote and illustrated and then put it on a pot of gold complete with gold coins and rainbow streamers. We hung them up in the hallway for everyone to see.

IMG_3287_2

The students’ writing on proud display!

IMG_3285_2 - Version 2

Mia’s writing project

IMG_3284 - Version 2

Britney’s pot of gold

IMG_3283_2

I have to confess that Ava’s was my favorite!

Near the end of the day, we got a call from the office that there had been a delivery by two little men from Ireland. They asked if we could send two children to the office to pick it up. And as you can see, those tricky leprechauns gave us their pot of gold. Well, it was gold candy….and underneath the candy, we found all the things they had “borrowed” from our catchers. They returned everything they had taken after all! Each child got two pieces of gold candy.

IMG_3275_2

The leprechaun’s pot of gold

Finally, we need to congratulate our two fantastic Xtramath Superstars. Both Britney and Nicholas have now completed the subtraction level of Xtramath and are currently working on multiplication facts. We have a few other students that are getting close to finishing a level. Don’t forget you can practice Xtramath at home after school or on the weekends!

IMG_3209 - Version 2 IMG_3274_2 - Version 2

 

 

 

What A Busy Week! A recap and some important info about next week!

Snoopy-Woodstock-Thanksgiving2

What a busy week it was in C8! We had a visit from the Principal to give out first marking period award certificates, Parent-Teacher conferences, and our Grandparent Visit!  I am very proud of my students and was able to share that pride with their parents, grandparents and Principal this week.

openhs2I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who took the time to attend Parent-Teacher Conferences. It was nice to have the chance to talk to you about your child’s (or children’s) progress so far.  If you were unable to attend the conferences, please know that you can set up an appointment any typical school day from 9:15 – 9:45 to come in to discuss any concerns you may have. I can also discuss your concerns with a phone conference at that time as well.  Let’s all keep the lines of communication open so we can work together to support your second graders.

IMG_3019 - Version 2

Congratulations to all our students who got a special academic award certificate from our Principal, Ms. Smith. Your success has made us all proud of you. Keep up the good work!

Front row from left to right: Brooklynn, Kamran, Shiwaum, Emily and Gaige 

Back row from left to right: Britney, Brian, Mia, Ms. Smith, Mary , Hannah and Elizabeth                  

Missing from photo but also earning a certificate: Nicholas

IMG_3021 - Version 2

The students welcomed their grandparents and other special guests for their visit with a song called “Family Tree” by Tom Chapin. It is a song that reminds us that while we may have different cultures and traditions, we are all part of the same human family.  They did a nice job performing the song complete with sign language motions for the chorus.  After that, they made an “I am thankful” craft with their grandparents and invited them to share a snack time with them. Finally, the second graders showed off their classroom to the grandparents and posed for photos with them. I hope the grandparents and special guests enjoyed their visit as much as the students and I did!

Next week, we are having a shortened week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Our Fundations packet is due on Tuesday and the unit assessment will be given on that day.

Also, I sent home a blank page a while ago for the students to share a recipe as part of their Traditions and Customs Unit in Balanced Literacy and Social Studies.  I realized that I forgot to put the due date on the directions. Please have the printed recipe to school on Tuesday, November 25th. If you need a new copy, please let me know on Monday!

On the half day of school on Wednesday, November 26th, we are having a “Tasting Day” where families can send in samples of the recipe for the students to share with their classmates. We will be doing Tasting Day in the morning in the cafeteria with the other two second grade classes. The students are only allowed to taste food that comes from their own class due to peanut allergies in another classroom. While no one is mandated to send in food, the more food our class has to taste, the richer the experience for them. I hope as many families as possible will choose to participate.

Let me take this opportunity now wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Mrs. Riordan

thanksgiving-peanuts-26838824-320-240

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

IMG_2982 - Version 2

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. 

IMG_2981

Alyssa and friends have the whole world in their hands.

IMG_2975

Turning the world is hard work!

IMG_2983

The students were “bananas” for his crazy hats!

IMG_2976

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.

PB100518-10brhq9-300x225

I love reading to students!

PB100517-1zdfxoq-300x225

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!

IMG_3009

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

IMG_3010

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

IMG_3006

Congratulations Shiwaum! On to subtraction!

IMG_2903

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

Read Across America Celebration and Progress Reports!

DSC_0601

The second grade prepares to perform their song!

We have had a very busy week here in the second grade at Brookside! On Monday we performed a unique reading song (written by Mrs. Turnbow) at Brookside’s Read Across America event. This celebration of reading was attended by the entire school as well as special dignitaries from the community who were honored guest readers in our classrooms. It was very exciting to be on stage performing and the entire second grade did a great job!

DSC_0596

Mrs. McCarthy welcomes everyone to the event!

DSC_0605 2

Mrs. Turnbow, our music teacher, with Mrs. Saucier and Mrs. Engler.

Mrs. Turnbow, our music teacher directs the children while Mrs. Saucier and Mrs. Engler provide assistance with the lyrics of the special song that Mrs. Turnbow wrote just for this program. Thank you Mrs. Turnbow for all your help to make this event so successful!

DSC_0611

Dracut Public Schools Superintendent Stone addresses the Brookside students.

We were so pleased that Superintendent Stone was able to attend and briefly talk to the students about the importance of becoming a reader. After leading the assembly in the Reader’s Oath, Principal Smith was surprised to hear that one of the guest readers, a professional wrestler, had a reading challenge for the students of Brookside….one that involves HER!

DSC_0623

Principal Smith and “The Wrestler”!

DSC_0622

The Wrestler is giving the Brookside students a reading challenge…..and some incentive involving their principal!

DSC_0628

A photo of all the community members who took time out to be special guest readers for our students.

DSC_0632

This special reading bulletin board in the hall was created to showcase our Brookside staff members favorite children’s books.

We returned to our classroom to listen to our guest reader, State Representative Colleen Garry (otherwise known as Mrs. Riordan’s sister.) 

DSC_0634

Listening to our guest reader.

She read two Dr. Seuss stories to our class, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street and Fox in Socks. The class was very impressed that she could read all of those tongue twisting pages without making a mistake. 

DSC_0635

Thank you Representative Garry for reading to us on this special day!

1921191_788284214535052_947499390_o

Mrs. Riordan thought that Fox in Socks was too tricky for Rep. Garry but she proved her wrong!

DSC_0636

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

We saw some pretty wild characters in the Brookside at this celebration!

DSC_0641

Ms. Peaslee and Mrs. Healy looked great as Thing 1 and Thing 2! Even Mrs. Healy’s son Nathan knows that reading is pretty cool!

10006607_783692571659977_1041174000_n

Even the Lowell Spinners Canalligator made an appearance to show the importance of reading!

And as if that wasn’t enough excitement for one week at Brookside, we also had progress reports go home today! Please review it with your child and return the signed progress report as soon as possible!

 

We Love Our Grandparents and Special Guests!

On Friday, January 10th, we welcomed our grandparents and special guests for a special visit. This was the culmination of a lot of hard work for the second grade. They learned a song called “Family Tree” and learned sign language to go along with it. Each second grade class learned a special poem too. Our class learned the poem “Our Family Comes from Around the World.” They also worked very hard writing about a special memory with their grandparent.

DSC_0477

We are proud of our special grandparent memory writing pieces!

DSC_0478

Writing about our special memories was hard work but it was worth it!

Mrs. Riordan started the morning by greeting everyone. Then the students got to give their grandparents a tour of our classroom, read a story with them, or just enjoy spending time with them. While this was going on, Mrs. Riordan had the opportunity to meet and take a special photograph of each set of grandparents and grandchild.

Image

Second grade ready to perform!

Image 3

C8’s smiling second grade students want to make their grandparents proud.

DSC_0471

The students did a great job singing and signing “Family Tree!”

Then the grandparents and special guests were invited to travel to the cafeteria for a yummy breakfast treat. The students then took the stage for their performance. They did a wonderful job singing, signing and reciting for the grandparents. Sadly it was time for the  event to end which was done with goodbyes and lots of hugs.

Image 1

On behalf of the second grade teachers and students, Mrs. Riordan thanks all the grandparents and special guests for attending.

We have lots of people to thank for making this visit possible. Thank you to Ms. Smith and the school department for providing the funds for the yummy breakfast food. Thank you to our custodians, Bill and Tony, and the cafeteria staff for all their assistance in setting up the cafeteria. A special thank you to Ms. Turnbow, the music teacher, for teaching the song and sign language during her music class. Special thanks to Mrs. Rhodes who came in to volunteer to help us during the event. Finally, thank you to ALL the grandparents and special guests who traveled through snowy weather and endured traffic and parking challenges to be present for their grandchild. You made it possible for your grandchild to add a new special memory to their young life. It was so nice to visit with you and I hope you will continue to follow all the second grade happenings on our classroom website/blog.