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!

March Madness!

Our wonderful PTO made this awesome bulletin board!

We started off the month of March with our school-wide Read Across America event. This is a special day where important people from our community join us to share and celebrate reading!

Principal Smith kicks off the celebration!

Roseann Sdoia, Boston Marathon Bombing survivor, was our special guest speaker this year!

Mrs. McCarthy, our Reading specialist, Roseann Sdoia and Principal Smith

Lots of special readers ready to read to Brookside students.

Showing the way for our guest readers.

The Canaligator and Rowdy greet the students as they leave the assembly!

My sister, State Representative Colleen Garry, read to our students on the following Monday as she was unavailable to attend on Read Across America Day.

This was the special book that was purchased this year for each classroom and read by each guest reader.

Since she had to come another day, Rep. Garry stayed extra long to read TWO books to our class and answer lots of questions!

But that wasn’t the only special visitors we had this month! We had a PTO sponsored storyteller named Tony Toledo come to share his storytelling skills with us!

But the craziest visitors we had were from Ireland!

At first things were a little unusual. 

Irish books were left out with Irish stamps as a bookmark and a piece of leather???

Mrs. Riordan’s leprechaun decoration kept moving to different locations around the classroom.

And it appears they had a messy tea party while we weren’t here!

Then they got into even more mischief! Check it out!

They stacked up our library chairs and hung stuffed animals, puppets and dinosaurs all over them!

Samil noticed that they stacked up our computer stools and topped it off with our globe!

We knew that we had to do something to stop the madness. Eight creative and resourceful children made leprechaun catchers to try to capture the little mischief makers. 

We can’t figure out how they managed to move all those chairs!

This is what we found on Monday morning March 18th! Those leprechauns not only weren’t caught….they had made a real mess of our classroom AND had stolen from all the leprechauns catchers! And then on Monday afternoon, our school secretary, Mrs. Treska, called our classroom and said that she heard a tiny man’s voice…and saw a small green hat… before he disappeared….leaving this for our class. And underneath the gold candies, we found all the things the leprechauns had stolen from the catchers!

Maybe they aren’t so bad after all!

Chloe holding the pot of gold left for us!

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!

A week in September…the serious and the silly!

We had a special visitor for Constitution Day, September 17th. State Representative Colleen Garry came to talk to Brookside’s second graders about the Constitution, government, the law, and so much more. The students listened, learned and asked lots of questions.

Our class also created our own class constitution and came up with five rules that we all agreed to follow!

The next day we had our first visit from Zero the Hero! Zero is a math superhero who gives the students math challenges and rewards them. Zero has been known to visit every 10 days. Zero challenged the students to use their imaginations to draw what they thought Zero looks like. The students did a great job on this challenge. Zero rewarded them by leaving a book about Zero the Hero for me to read to them and they also each got a life savor ….because it is shaped like a zero!

Here some “pirates” play the pirate reading game with Mrs. Nelson!

On Wednesday, September 19th, we joined the rest of Brookside’s second grade celebrating “Talk Like a Pirate Day”. Many of the students dressed like pirates. We read a pirate story and did some pirate worksheets.  Some of us got to play a pirate reading game. We had a jolly good time with our mates!

The Pirates of C8!

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!!

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!

Things Get “Buggy” at Brookside!

We studied about the life cycle of insects this month. The students witnessed this first hand when they watched their caterpillars go through the chrysalis stage to becoming a painted lady butterfly.

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Alyssa and Gabby are preparing their cups with caterpillar food.

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Lots of crawling caterpillars ready to be put in the cups.

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Each student got their own caterpillar.

We watched our caterpillars growing and when they went into the chrysalis stage they were transferred into the large net. Before long, they hatched into beautiful butterflies and it was time to let them go.

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Our painted lady butterflies didn’t seem to want to leave their netted home.

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Our class in the Brookside courtyard ready to release our butterflies.

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Watching one of our butterflies sipping nectar from some flowers.

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The students got to witness first hand how they are camouflaged when their wings are folded. Can you find the butterfly on the cement?

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Close up slide of a mosquito!

We also had a mosquito control presentation in the cafeteria. An entomologist from the state mosquito control office taught us a great deal about mosquitoes. He told us about their life cycle, how he studies them, and how to stay safe by getting rid of stagnant water near our homes.

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He taught us how he catches mosquitoes so he can study them. This helps us stay safe.

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Dominic wears the mosquito netting.

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He let the children touch a lot of the equipment he uses like the mosquito catcher that she is holding.

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Tommy is holding another of the tool the entomologist uses to scoop up water samples containing mosquito larvae.

 

May Celebrations!

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Here are the book bags the second graders donated.

We certainly had a lot to celebrate in May! We celebrate that we are a Community of Caring when we shared the results of the second grade students Community of Caring Read-a-Thon! We invited Miss Penny from the Dracut Library and Dr. McNamara of the Dracut School Committee to come to our school in order to receive the five book bags that our students were able to fund through the Read-a-Thon. This provides not only the Dracut Library but the entire MVLC with much needed children’s book kits. One of the books we donated was written by Sherrie Ninteau, a Dracut Public School teacher.

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Thank you to Miss Penny, Dr. McNamara, and Ms. Smith for attending our presentation!

The Brookside second graders are learning that it is important to give to others. Another way they participated in giving to others was the way they and the rest of the school contributed to our PAWS for a Cause by donating for Rett Syndrome. As an added bonus they raised so much that they were able to see Miss Jen duct taped to the wall of the school. Miss Jen was such a good sport as it was very hot that morning.

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The Garden of Hope for a Cause!

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Hooray for Miss Jen!

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We are also celebrating academic achievement! Ms. Smith came to our classroom to present several students with third quarter honors certificates! Congratulations to Mary, Brad, Brian, Nicholas, Shiwaum, Mia and Britney!

Congratulations also go out to four new Xtramath Superstars this month! Hooray Ava, Gabriela, Mary and Emily!Version 2IMG_3636IMG_3706IMG_3709

We also celebrate Shiwaum for being the only student in our class to participate in the Six Flags Read to Succeed program.

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Finally we celebrated our mothers!

The C8 students wrote about their mothers and drew a special picture of themselves with their mother.

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The students enjoyed make a special m & m game to play with their moms.

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Lots of Activity in April

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Our Principal Ms. Smith joins Second Marking Period Honor students in C8.

Our principal, Ms. Smith was able to find time in her busy, busy schedule to give our students their honor roll certificates for second marking period. Like me, she was very proud of their hard work! Speaking of awards, Mia S. earned her Xtramath certificate for addition this month. Way to go Mia!

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Mia is an addition superstar!

We had some special visitors in our classroom this month. Two Dracut firefighters came to teach us all about fire safety. We learned about the importance of having a meeting place in case of a fire, when to change batteries in your smoke detectors,  how to safely get out if there is a fire among other things.

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The firefighters taught us to “Stay low and go!” by crawling under a gray blanket that represented smoke. Everyone got to practice this important skill.

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You can see that the students were very engaged in the discussion!

We also had a recycling presentation by “the recycling lady” who works with the company that does the recycling collection in Dracut. She taught the children about the importance of recycling and what can and cannot be recycled. She had a lot of information and was able to answer the students’ questions. The students also made objects out of recycled items in art this month with Ms. Mullins, the art teacher.

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C8 Students learn about recycling!

We have been working on a special author study model curriculum unit in balanced literacy featuring Tomie dePaola. The students have been learning about his life and his work. Here is an example of one of the activities we did so far in this unit. The students were learning about character traits and had to identify character traits for both Strega Nona and Big Anthony, two of Tomie’s more popular characters.

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Here are some of our character trait projects on display in the hallway.

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Here are the rest of the projects. Each student had to make one for each of the two characters, Big Anthony and Strega Nona.

We studied States of Matter in Science and the class really enjoyed the hands-on science activities we explored together.

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Here Dominic and Elizabeth are blowing up a balloon with the gas formed by mixing baking soda (a solid) and vinegar (a liquid).

The students were put into groups and had to observe and discuss the properties of a paper cup filled with frozen water (ice) colored with food coloring. Then they peeled away the paper and placed the ice into a ziplock bag and we taped it over the heater. When they returned from special, they observed that the water had changed from a solid state to a liquid state. They also observed that the liquid takes the shape of the container. They then decided that they wanted to put it in the freezer again to see what would happen so into the teacher’s room freezer they went. Science is more meaningful when we get both our hands and minds involved!

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Learning that adding or taking away heat changes the state of matter!

The students shared their timelines that they created at home as a combination social studies/balanced literacy project. After they shared the timelines, we proudly hung them in the hallway for everyone to enjoy! Thank you for helping your child with this special project. I hope it was a meaningful activity for your child.

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Colorful timelines on display!

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Some more interesting timelines by our students.

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Tommy’s creative timeline hung over our doorway.

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Four more timelines grace our stair railing.

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Last but not least, Brooklynn’s timeline. (We ran out of wall space so her timeline was on the round table in the hallway!)

 

Finally, we celebrated baseball’s “Opening Day at Fenway Park” by wearing our Red Sox attire and standing in front of a photo of Fenway Park!

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C8 says “GO RED SOX!”

We were all ready for our spring break this past week but we have lots more to learn before the month and school year is over!