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.

Goodbye September…Hello October!

It’s hard to believe that we have finished our first month of school. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who attended Thursday’s Curriculum Night. It was nice to be able to meet you and tell you about our second grade classroom, the curriculum, and the expectations. If you were unable to attend, I sent home a copy of my presentation as well as other important papers and my contact information  with your child on Friday.

I look forward to meeting all the parents at our Parent-Teacher conferences on November 14th. We had signups for the Parent-Teacher conferences at Curriculum Night. Those who weren’t present will be assigned an afternoon conference time as all the evening time slots have been filled.

I also want to thank all the parents who sent in supplies for our classroom. Special thanks to the parents who hand-delivered supplies on Thursday night. Please let me know if you need the bag that you brought the supplies in back and I’ll send it back with your child.

A quick reminder that I will be collecting the September Behavior/Responsibility charts from your children tomorrow so please leave it in their homework folder. Also I’d like to remind you to please return the volunteer form if you are able to volunteer in our classroom. Volunteers are so helpful for providing extra support to our classroom.

 

More December celebrations!

We made ice castles with marshmallows, frosting, and lots and lots of candy. Here are some photos of the students having fun making their creations .

Thank you to Mrs. Cowan and my daughters Catie and Molly who were finished college for helping prepare the candy and wrap the final masterpieces. Thank you also to all the families that donated candy to make this holiday activity so successful.

 If you would like to see the individual ice castles, head over to the student work page.

We were proud to have another student, Carter, become an Xtramath Superstar by completing his addition facts and moving on to subtraction!

Carter is a whiz at math!

We also celebrated good behavior with our lunch bunch!

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!

Lots of January News to Share!

We were so busy in January in C8! It started with a cookie decorating party we won from the PTO for bringing in the most boxtops!! (Thank you to the PTO!) The children got right to work after becoming experts with the ice castle decorating in December. Here are some photos of the yummy cookie decorating. IMG_3144

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Mischievous Mary Munching!

 

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Britney catches me taking her photo as she takes a bite!

 

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My guess is that Mia is enjoying her cookie!

 

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Nick just about to dig in to his candy covered cookie!

 

We are so fortunate to have volunteers working hard in our classroom this year. Here is a shot of just one of our hard working volunteers, Mrs. Sirois, testing students on sight words!

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Smiling Mrs. Sirois hands Chloe her list!

 

We celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and our diversity with a special poem and craft.

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Our class was very lucky to have a special smart projector and whiteboard installed in our classroom. We are still learning how to fully use it but it is an exciting technology addition to our instruction!

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It took a few days but our Smart projector and whiteboard are finally ready!

The smart projector arrived in time for us to be able to watch a live webcast from Antarctica. Through Time for Kids we were able to listen to a female penguin researcher talk about her work in Antarctica. We also found out that it was colder that day in Dracut than it was in Antarctica. (But of course it is summer down there now!) Here is a photo of the students watching the webcast.

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Pretty exciting to be able to see and listen to someone on the other side of Earth near the South Pole!

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The editors from TFK introduce the webcast and then we got to see and hear directly from the scientist herself!

Ice Castles and Many Thanks!

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Tom being very precise building his ice castle.

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Nick really got into his work while Mia looked on.

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Some students got right to work while others needed some thinking and experimenting time.

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Brady enjoying making his ice castle.

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They were working so hard that they didn’t notice I was taking their photo.

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More hard workers!

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Gabriela discusses her ideas with Mrs. Volpe.

The second grade students in C8 really had a good time creating ice castles on the Monday before vacation. Thank you to all the parents who sent in sugar cubes, frosting and candy to make this fun activity so successful. Thanks also go out to Mrs. Joyce, Mrs. Volpe and Mrs. Ware for helping us out by preparing the supplies and wrapping the masterpieces when they were completed.

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Special thanks goes to Alyssa’s brother who gave up his first day of vacation from his school to help our second graders! The second grade boys especially liked having a big fifth grade boy helping them.  I will post photos of the ice castle masterpieces under the student work tab. I tried to get every child’s ice castle but I missed a few because they were absent, dismissed, or managed to slip past me to the wrapping station without getting their photo taken.

Thank you to the generous families who donated food for our holiday party on Tuesday. It was both healthy and yummy! Finally I would like to thank all the students and their families who gave me a gift or a card. It meant so much to me that you thought of me at such a busy time of the year and I truly appreciate all the gifts.

While I am sad that vacation is coming to a close,  I look forward to seeing all the children tomorrow along with a new student that will be joining our class. Happy 2015 to you all and tell the kids that I’ll see them bright and early tomorrow morning! (Don’t forget to bring back your reading bag and your completed reading log!)

Tasting Day and a Virtual Trip to Plimoth Plantation!

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The students didn’t need any coaxing to try new foods!

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Victoria sampling some of the donated treats.

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Nick and Elizabeth try to decide where to start.

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So many delicious choices! How do you decide what to eat? Try a little bit of everything!

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A close up of some Canadian French and Puerto Rican delicacies!

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Our second graders got to experience a wide variety of ethnic foods.

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I think I’ll have some more since it was so yummy!

On the half day before Thanksgiving, we had a “Tasting Day” celebration in the cafeteria as part of our Traditions and Customs Language Arts and Social Studies unit. Our C8 families donated a wonderful selection of food that reflected the heritage of our students. We had food from Canada, Ireland, England, Sweden, Kenya, Puerto Rico, India, and many more countries. The students loved the delicious food and many went back for seconds! A HUGE thank you to all the families that provide the food that made it a rich experience for all our students. I truly appreciate the time and effort involved, especially at a busy holiday time. Thanks also go out to Mrs. Ware and Mrs. Joyce for volunteering to help out at the tasting day. Thanks go out as well to Mrs. Mullins, our art teacher and Mrs. Morning, our Title I teacher who also pitched in to help set up. You all helped make the event special for the children and made my job so much easier! P.S. Special thanks to Mr. Kelleher who made a special trip to deliver the food that accidentally made the trip to his workplace instead. Way to go above and beyond, Dad!! What a special day and a special way to start the Thanksgiving break with our second grade friends!

Before and after our Tasting Day celebration, our children watched a Virtual Field Trip to the Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation on the Scholastic Website. They got to see inside the ship that the Pilgrims used to travel across the Atlantic Ocean and learn about their voyage. Then they saw Plimoth Plantation and saw inside several buildings there. They learned about how the Pilgrims lived on a daily basis. After that, they “visited” a Wampanoag settlement and saw how the Native Americans lived. Finally they listened to an “interview” of  Pilgrims and Native Americans at Plimoth Plantation who described what the first Thanksgiving feast was actually like. I hope watching this amazing resource helped to put the holiday into perspective for them. 

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The children were really engaged in this “virtual field trip!”

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The students are now excited to visit Plimoth Plantation for real. This is often a Brookside third grade field trip so they may get the chance to go next year.