Measuring a Brachiosaurus at Brookside! Part 2

Finally our Brachiosaurus was completely colored in and we decided to find out how our dinosaur compared to second graders!

DSC_0749We found out that our dinosaur was over 10 second graders tall!

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Then we measured how wide the brachiosaurus was and we discovered that it was more that 15 second graders long!

But we weren’t finished yet! We finished by finding out how many second graders it took to outline the entire perimeter of the dinosaur.

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It took a while to get our second graders in place around the perimeter.

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We started placing students around the front of the brachiosaurus.

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As you can see, we almost ran out of second graders!

DSC_0769 DSC_0770One  last look at our dinosaur friend before he became extinct with Saturday’s rain! In the end, it was a really enjoyable way to spend a beautiful autumn day learning together as an entire grade.

 

 

Thank you again to all the volunteers for making this hands-on learning project a reality. We couldn’t do it it without you!!

Measuring a Brachiosaurus at Brookside! Part 1

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Here is a photo of the grid used to create our Brachiosaurus.

It all started with a plan that the Brookside second grade teachers had to show the students just how ENORMOUS a dinosaur actually was.

Then our wonderful parent volunteers cheerfully helped mark out the grid lines on the parking lot and then drew the outline of the dinosaur.

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Many hands needed to create a dinosaur!

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We need lots of straight lines first.

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Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, especially our C8 mothers, Mrs. Joyce, Mrs. Sirois and Mrs. Ware!

Then it was time to start coloring in the brachiosaurus with colored chalk. It sure takes a lot of second graders to color a huge dinosaur!

DSC_0746Here are some photos of the C8 students working side by side on a beautiful autumn day.

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Making and Looking at Fossils

 

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The C-8 students made simulated fossils as part of our dinosaur and fossil science unit out of a special salt dough clay I made at home. The recipe is very simple. You take 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup used coffee grounds and mix it with 1/2 cup of cold coffee. It makes a clay that looks like stone. The children took turns pressing tiny toy dinosaurs or turtles, or seashells into the clay to make the fossil. I took them home and baked their “fossils” for 30 minutes at 220 degrees. The students were very excited to create these masterpieces and share them with their families at home.

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Here are some closeups of a few of the “fossils” which included a fossil of some dinosaur tracks made by a larger toy dinosaur seen below.

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Thank you to Mrs. Ware for doing this hands-on activity with the students!!

After making their “fossils”, they had a special opportunity to view an actual fish fossil that was millions of years old! Mary brought in a fossil that her mother, a science teacher, allowed her to share with the class. It was so interesting to examine the specimen and see how much this ancient fish looks like today’s fish. Thank you to Mary and her mother for sharing the fish fossil with us! Can you find your scientist in the photos below?

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Can you find YOUR scientist in the photos below?
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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!

It’s Antarctica Calling! – A VideoChat with Neil Foley

Tuesday was a very exciting day to be a second grader in the Dracut Public Schools!  We were able to participate in a live video chat with Neil Foley, a graduate student and scientist in Antarctica. Ryan R. is one our second grade students in C-8 and Neil is his cousin. When Ryan’s mom, Andrea, heard that Mr. Berube had visited our classroom to teach the students about his time in Antarctica in the 60s, she suggested the video chat.

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Everyone waiting for the video chat to begin!

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Second graders ready to talk with a live Antarctic scientist!

After a lot of planning, the event finally happened Tuesday and included all of the second grade students at Brookside, Campbell, and Greenmont. The children had the opportunity to interact with Neil by asking questions.

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Ryan R. greets his cousin Neil!

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Neil was pleased to see a familiar face!

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Then Ryan got down to business and asked Neil a question about frostbite!

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More students got to ask Neil questions too.

Neil not only chatted with the Dracut second graders in real time, he provided the children with a wonderful powerpoint he created with photos he has taken in Antarctica.

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While Neil talked to the students on the screen on the right, we displayed his powerpoint on the screen on the left.

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The children learned so much by listening to Neil explain the photos he included in his powerpoint.

The children saw the beauty of the land of Antarctica and its wildlife. Neil also showed photos that explained his scientific work there and how the scientists like Neil lived both at McMurdo station and in the “deep field.”

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Mrs. Riordan introduces Mr. Berube to Neil. Mr. Berube was a naval Seabee in the 60s who helped to build McMurdo Station where Neil is living.

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Two Antarctic explorers enjoy the opportunity to chat for a minute or two.

This unique learning experience was very exciting for everyone involved…the students, the teachers, and other interested adults such as Mr. Berube. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible including Mr. Stone, Ms. Smith and the rest of the Dracut Public Schools administration who were so open and supportive of this wonderful opportunity. Special thanks to Mr. Ken Moge who provided invaluable technical support throughout planning stages and coordinated the participation of all three elementary schools on the actual day of the event. Thank you to Mrs. Porcello and the rest of the second grade teaching team for their help and flexibility. Thank you to Andrea R. for the initial idea and connecting us with her cousin, Neil and to Mr. Berube for his yearly visits which inspired this event. We’re glad you were both able to attend. Lastly, thank you to Neil Foley! This event would not have been possible without you! You took the time to share a fantastic learning experience for our second grade children which they won’t soon forget! Hope we get to meet you in person some day!

Making Ice Castles and Lots of Thanks!

Our students enjoyed creating ice castles on the day before Christmas break. Thank you to all the families for sending in sugar cubes, frosting, other yummy candies and supplies. Special thanks go out to Mrs. LeMasurier, Mrs. Hudzik, Mrs. Rhodes, and Ms. Suprenant for all their help with the project. Having so many hands made the work go much smoother and I really appreciated the help! While I am thanking people, I would like to thank ALL the families that gave me wonderful gifts for Christmas. It was very thoughtful of you! I am grateful for your generosity and for sharing your children with me this year!

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Here are a few examples of the finished projects!

I think we may have some future engineers and architects in C-8!

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Cecily spells out a “merry” message for us all!

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Fatima really gets into her work….wearing her frosting!

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Kendra was very proud of herself!

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Salvatore used his Italian heritage to create a “Colosseum” style ice castle.

 

Looking for volunteers and book club orders!

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Hope everyone had a nice long Columbus Day weekend and is ready for the slightly shortened school week. We still have spelling words to study and a test on Friday. Please tutor each night with your child and tutor one extra time (for Monday) before Friday morning.  You may choose the day/night that best fits your schedule. We will continue to tutor the science vocabulary. This time I gave the children another copy of the tutor sheet.

UnknownTomorrow is the due date for our October Scholastic Book Club orders and as of now I only have one order. (Thank you to Katie and her family for their online order!) Please don’t feel pressured to purchase anything. I just want to make these inexpensive books available to my students if you are interested. Each month there is one book that is only $1.00 so it doesn’t have to cost much to build your child’s library. If you want to place an order, you can either send in payment in cash or check…made payable to Scholastic OR you can order online. Our online code is DZMMM.

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The second grade is looking for CORIed volunteers to help prepare the grid on the asphalt so that the students can create a life-size outline of a dinosaur. Volunteers would need to be at school at 10am on this Friday, October 18th.  It would be really helpful if we could have at least one volunteer from the C8 families. I’m sorry to be asking so late but  I am new to the second grade team and their yearly projects.