Happy Halloween and a Visit from Zero the Hero!


Thank you to Katie L. and her mom for sending in these wonderful homemade pumpkin cookies.

Thank you to all the families who send in such yummy treats and other goodies for our party. Thank you to Hailey, Danielle, Ryan, Katie, Jayden, Salvatore, Gavin, Oorjaa, Cecily, Maggie and their families for making our party a big success. (I hope I didn’t leave anyone out….I left the list of names at school.) Thank you also to Mrs. Rhodes and Mrs. Adams for helping with the party today! The Rhodes family donated the wooden ornaments for the children to decorate too. Katie’s family donated Halloween erasers and I gave each child a Halloween pencil to keep at home for homework.


C8 knows how to celebrate in style! Check out our fantastic costumes!

DSC_0166_2We were very excited that Kendra and her mom Renee were able to join us for our Halloween party! We hope Kendra had fun celebrating the holiday with us.

This morning we had a visit from Zero the Hero since it was the 40th day of school. This year, Zero challenges the students to a challenge….usually math related. We have never seen Zero…he’s too tricky but he leaves us messages and treats!


It was the 40th day of school and Zero gave the class a new challenge. They had to roll dice…make a two digit number and then add or subtract 10. C8 was up to the challenge and Zero brought them a seasonal healthy treat!


I heard it took Zero a long time to draw those jack-o-lantern faces on all those clementines. But it was worth it because the children loved them!












Hope everyone had a Happy (and safe) Halloween!


A question for you…and a favor!


I shared our classroom blog with Principal Smith and she was really pleased that we are using this as a form of home-school communication this year. She did ask me if  families had posted comments. When I was doing Schoolnotes, I was able to tell if families had viewed the page. While I find this blog better for sharing information and photos, I find myself wondering if families are viewing this blog and finding it interesting or useful.

I would like to ask you to please post a comment on any of our blog posts by clicking on the speech bubble in the right top corner of any post. This will give me (and Principal Smith) a better idea of how many people are actually viewing our classroom website. As a thank you for doing this, any child whose families posts a comment will receive a homework pass!

Second Grade Creates a Dinosaur…or Two!

It was a beautiful autumn day for our second grade to go outside to the parking lot to bring two huge dinosaurs to life. It started with parent volunteers and teachers working together to draw the giant grid on the parking lot. Then the parents drew life-size outlines of a Brachiosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. After lunch, all the second grades went outside and worked hard to bring the outlines to life by coloring in the enormous prehistoric creatures with colored chalk.


The second graders worked hard to color in the dinosaurs.


Coloring the tail of the Brachiosaurus.


Coloring a dinosaur can be HARD WORK!


Wow…this is taking a long time.


Still coloring!


First the students looked at the Brachiosaurus and learned that it was the size of a FOUR STORY building!


The students sat around the perimeter of the Brachiosaurus.


OH NO!! The Tyrannosaurus Rex is eating one of the second graders!!

After the coloring was done, they proudly examined their work and realized just how large the dinosaurs were. This hands-on collaborative activity is a powerful way for the students to truly comprehend the enormous size of the prehistoric creatures that they have been studying.

Thank you to all the parent volunteers who helped make this activity so successful. Additional thanks to the teachers who parked in other locations so we would have the large area to make our dinosaur grid.


Looking for volunteers and book club orders!


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.

The Fossil Lady Visits!


The second graders listening attentively to the Fossil Lady.

The second grade had a wonderful treat on Friday. The fossil lady came and taught them about dinosaurs and paleontology. She brought a collection that included fossils of dinosaur bones and eggs, sharks teeth, fish and plants and even dinosaur poop (a favorite of the students!)


Fossils of actual dinosaur footprints!


This is “Oreo” a fossilized early mammal, not a dinosaur!

She taught them about the time when dinosaurs walked the Earth and how it was different today. She told them how the dragonflies were huge back then.


One of our classmates was chosen to be the giant dragonfly!

In addition to bringing her wonderful collection of fossils, she let the children explore, examine and touch her fossil samples.


Studying fossils up close is hands on learning at its best!


Examining fossils like a true paleontologist!


Working together and discussing what we are observing.


Thank you to the Brookside PTO for funding this amazing experience for the entire second grade!

Progress Reports and a New Friend

UnknownToday the students received their first progress report for second grade. The students are still getting used to the new challenges and expectations for this grade. If your child received a grade on the progress report that is lower than you expected, please know that there is still plenty of time to improve that grade before the report card. There should also be a green slip of paper inside it explaining that we did not grade the students in science as they have not had their science test on the dinosaur and fossils unit yet.  They will have a science grade on their report card. Please sign and return this progress report as soon as you can.

We also learned today that we will have a new friend named Kendra joining our class for specials. Kendra is already a special friend of one of our classmates. A letter went home to all the C-8 families introducing Kendra and explaining the Rett Syndrome disorder that she has had since birth. I read the letter to the students and they are very excited to have her join them for specials. We can’t wait to meet her! Please read the letter that came home with your child today.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day in second grade. We will be having a visit from the Fossil Lady! Stay tuned for more on this in another post!

Lockdown Drill and New (to us) Computers!

We had our first lockdown drill today and the children did great! The second grade actually got singled out for praise from Ms. Smith!  We also got an upgraded computer setup for our classroom. We have one newer computer that is compatible with the  Xtramath website. We have three workstations off that one computer so that three students will be able to work at the same time. It made for a very exciting day in C-8!

I would like to clear up some confusion about the reading bags books. We are beginning a unit on fossils and dinosaurs. The books in the reading bags help the students in the class build a shared background knowledge. This is important because we may refer to information from the books we all read at home in the reading bags and if the child has not been exposed to that reading, it could impact his or her understanding of the concepts being shared in class. I understand that at times certain books may be more challenging for some students and if that is ever the case, please feel free to read the book to your child. By doing this, you will help your child access important content. Children can often understand information at a higher level than they can read independently. Additionally, if the child is not struggling to read the words, stronger comprehension will be built through listening. I hope this explains why it is important for the children to read the book being shared in the bag.

Dinosaurs and Donations!

Happy October!! It’s a new month and the children got new behavior/responsibility charts for October. Each student who received a sticker each day for the entire month (or only missed one day) will get to be in the “Lunch Bunch” where they have lunch with the teacher. Since we had so many children make the Lunch Bunch this month (18 out of 21 children….Woo Hoo!), we will have to have two different Lunch Bunch dates! They also received one ticket for each sticker they earned. Those tickets were put in the ticket train and we will be drawing tickets for prizes from my prize box.

Dinosaur Invasion!

Oh no! Dinosaurs have invaded C-8!

Check out our new train table that was donated to our classroom by Ryan and his family. Right now it is being stored in our library area. It may be used as a location for a puzzle station which helps to build visual/spatial awareness and problem solving skills. They also donated puzzles and this wonderful collection of dinosaurs which is perfect for our upcoming dinosaur and fossils unit in science! Thank you to this generous family from all of us in C-8!