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!

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!

Exciting Exploding Experiment!

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Our first experiment!

As part of our study of states of matter, we did some kitchen chemistry today. The first experiment involved mixing baking soda and vinegar in a plastic bottle. The students got to see the solid baking soda mix with the liquid vinegar and form a solution that released gas bubbles.  Then we tried a second experiment….the exploding bag experiment!

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Baking soda on the tissue!

The first step was to put a few teaspoons of baking soda on a tissue! Then we poured vinegar into a plastic sandwich bag.

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Jake and Sal hold the vinegar and baking soda.

The first time we did the experiment, I dropped just the baking soda into the vinegar. The carbon dioxide gas caused the bag to explode almost immediately. The students begged me to try the experiment again.  We repeated the experiment but this time, I dropped the entire tissue into the bag. This caused the reaction to slow down enough for the students to see how the gas was trapped inside the bag.

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The gas is trapped in the ziploc bag.

I asked Maggie to hold up the bag to show the other students and allow me to take a better photo.

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Maggie holds up the bag for the camera so we can see the trapped gas better.

Suddenly the bag exploded while Maggie was holding the bag which caught her by surprise!

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Maggie was a bit surprised when it exploded!

Then the students were scientists and had to write up their experiment to share with their families including the materials, procedure, and results. Although the photos are a bit out of focus, I wanted to be able to share the results of this experiment with our families. You can clearly see from the students’ faces how much they enjoyed this experiment. When Kendra was asked what she thought of this experiment, she communicated to us that she thought it was her “favorite” and that it was “exciting”.  I agree, Kendra. It was exciting for me to see the class so engaged in this learning experience!

A Science Experiment, a Surprise and a Reminder!

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Our states of matter science experiments!

Our class is studying states of matter….liquids, solids, and gases. Recently, the children were put into three groups and given a bathroom cup filled with frozen blue ice.  They observed and discussed the properties of the ice before putting it into a ziploc bag. Then we placed the bags over our heater to observe how the heat would change the state of the matter.

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A close-up of the ice melting into liquid.

It didn’t take long for the ice to begin melting into a liquid state. The children returned from special to find that the ice had completely turned to water.

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Now it’s in a LIQUID state!

After it turned into a liquid, Mrs. Riordan put the bags back in the freezer (in the teacher’s room) and the water changed back into a solid state. The students were able to observe that the shape of the ice had also changed due to the fact that it was no longer frozen in a paper cup and was frozen in the plastic bag instead.

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Hooray! We won a Sorry game!

Congratulations to our class for winning the weekly PAWS reading challenge! Collectively our C-8 students read 4053 minutes! I am so proud of my readers!!  Thank you to the C-8 families for supporting the students’ reading and thank you to the PTO for our prize and for sponsoring this program!

Finally, even though they are predicting snow, I would like to remind the C-8 families that tomorrow is our Spring School picture day. If you want your child’s picture taken, you need to fill out and return the photo envelope TOMORROW!