What’s New in November???? . . . Johnny the K, Special Stories, Xtramath Stars and more!

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Johnny the K kept the students singing and moving the entire show!

On November 7th, Brookside was treated to a special performance by Johnny the K. He was very entertaining, singing songs, playing guitar and wearing funny hats. He got the students and teachers actively involved in his show which taught the children the importance of kindness and respect. Alyssa and two other children were chosen to spin the giant Earth ball. 


Alyssa and friends have the whole world in their hands.


Turning the world is hard work!


The students were “bananas” for his crazy hats!


He never stayed still….moving right into the audience! And they loved it!

Then on November 10th, Mrs. Riordan had the chance to read a very special story called But No Candy to the students in C8 and C9. This realistic fiction story was written by Gloria Houston and takes place during World War II. The children learned what that time period was like and learned about the sacrifices that veterans and their families made during wartime. They also learned that Veterans’ Day honors all veterans, not just the ones who died in war.  I always enjoy sharing this story with the children. See if your child can retell the story to you.


I love reading to students!


Reminded me of my days as a children’s librarian!

We finished the week doing a hands-on math activity with number charts and numbered bottle caps. Who knew math could be so much fun? Speaking of math, we had two more students complete addition on Xtramath! Congratulations to our latest Xtramath Experts, Britany and Shiwaum! We are very proud of you!


Hands-on math is a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon!


Numbers bigger than 100 can be more challenging…at first!


Congratulations Shiwaum! On to subtraction!


You are a Math Superstar Britney! Up next….subtraction!

Finishing up October in C-8

We wrapped up our dinosaur and fossil unit by writing nonfiction informational reports about a specific dinosaur. In order to do this, the students were paired up and assigned a dinosaur. They had to work together to research in our numerous dinosaur resources about their dinosaur and put this information on a graphic organizer. Then they had to work individually to write their rough draft. They met with Mrs. Riordan to edit and then they copied their final report. Finally they illustrated their reports. It was a challenging project for them but they worked certainly hard.IMG_2966 IMG_2965 IMG_2964 IMG_2960 IMG_2959 IMG_2958

But October wasn’t all work and no fun. We had a special visit from Ronald McDonald as part of our Community of Caring program.  


Ronald taught the children important life lessons!


Happy Halloween from C-8!

Finally, we finished October with Halloween. Our school was decorated like the movie the Wizard of Oz and our Principal, Ms. Smith along with most of the staff dressed up as the characters from the movie. It was an exciting day!

Exploring the DIG Box!

Last summer Mrs. Riordan, Mrs. Porcello, and Mrs. Cooke all traveled to DIG Field School in Montana to learn more about science, specifically paleontology. The DIG Field School’s goal is to have educators bring these wonderful experiences back to their classrooms. To help to do this, they sent us the DIG box that was full of materials to share with the students. 

The students got a chance to “dig through” actual soil samples from the same site in Montana that we explored. They were given laminated guides to help them recognize fossils. It wasn’t easy at first but eventually they were able to identify fossils such as gar scales, fossilized teeth and bones. See if you can find YOUR paleontologist in the photos below.

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Another activity we shared from the DIG box was the “Ingredients of a Rock” activity. The students were given written descriptions of four minerals. They were then divided into groups and given a bag with 5 samples. They had to use the written descriptions to determine which mineral each sample was which would then show them that the final unused sample was the granite rock sample. This type of hands-on investigative activity promotes problem solving and critical thinking as well as teamwork and oral discussion. It was rewarding to see the children so engaged in this activity.  Search in the photos below to find YOUR future “geologist.”

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Thank you to the DIG Field School and the Burke Museum for the use of these materials! Thank you also to Greg Wilson, Lauren DeBey, and all the other DIG Field School instructors for the experience of a lifetime that I can now share with my students.

Our Boston Museum of Science Field Trip!!

Our class had the opportunity to explore the Boston Museum of Science along with the rest of the Brookside second graders. It allowed the students to see and touch things that we have been learning about in science this fall. 

First stop was the dinosaurs and fossils!


Most of our class under the gigantic T-Rex!


View from above gives us another perspective on T-Rex’ size!

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Looks a bit scary from below, girls?

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Nick gets up close and personal with T-Rex’s footprint.

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Victoria and Chloe check out the footprint too.

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Watch out Alyssa! There’s a Triceratops sneaking up behind you!

We were very fortunate to have a specialist from the museum share lots of fossils and other rocks with the students. She spent a lot of time teaching them and was very impressed with how much they already knew.


Shining light through some very old amber.


Talking about fossils and showing what they knew.


She asked a lot of questions and taught us so much.


Ava looks at the giant piece of amber.


More students arrived so she showed the light through the amber once again.


A real Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth!

Next we got the chance to see a live animal presentation with the entire second grade. They were asked to guess the animal which was a marsupial that lives near us. Our students guessed “kangaroo” and “koala”.  But since we don’t live in Australia,  the students learned the opossum is a marsupial that lives near us.


The presenter coaxes the opossum out with food.


Our students stayed and asked questions after the presentation. It was interesting to see a live opossum up close.

We got to explore lots of other areas of the museum too. We were very lucky to be there when they had special exhibits for National Archeology Day. The children got to try their hands as amateur archeologists. We discussed how archeologists and paleontologists are the same and how they are different.


The Apollo Space capsule was popular. Here are future astronauts Tom and Tyler.


Shiwaum, Britany, Dominic and Mary search for historic artifacts in the sand.


Ava, Mia and Tommy S try their hands at archeology too.


They want a T-Rex???

We even got to watch a glassblowing demonstration outside the museum as we waited for the bus. The glassblower asked what they wanted him to make and they all shouted “A T-Rex!” Unfazed, he started making the T-Rex out of glass but unfortunately we had to leave before he finished.


The end of a very long but successful field trip!!

Thank you to our chaperones, Mrs. Fascione, Mrs. Ware, Mrs. Joyce, Mr. Kelleher and Mr. Sirois. You did a wonderful job and made it so much easier for me. Special thanks to Mrs. Ware for sharing some photos she took.