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.

 

 

 

Blubber Experiment, Birthday “Minions”, and a Request!

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Katie, Kiara, and Gabriel read the blubber experiment worksheet.

The children enjoyed conducting a science experiment on blubber and how it keeps Arctic and Antarctic animals warm in the frigid climates. They used a worksheet to help them form a question and create a hypothesis. Then they conducted the experiment. I had already prepared the “blubber glove” which was made by putting one smaller ziploc bag inside a larger bag. A thick layer of Crisco was put in the space between the two bags on each side and sealed.

First the children put their hands into ice water without the glove to experience how COLD it was. I believe that you can tell by their expressions how it felt!

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I think that Kiara is enjoying Gabe’s expression!

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Sal and Maggie were surprised at how cold it was!

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Good friends, Kendra and Meah, share the experience together!

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Fatima and Jayden enjoy the experiment despite the cold temperatures!

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Oorjaa and Thomas check out the icy water!

Then the children slipped on the “blubber glove” and plunged their hands in the icy water a second time. The children learned that the layer of fat provided by the Crisco kept their hands quite warm. Thus they learned in an exciting “hands-on” way how blubber keep polar animals warm!

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Cecily uses the blubber glove while Kendra observes.

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Fatima tries the “blubber glove” too while Gabriel looks on!

Even though all the children had the opportunity to do the blubber glove experiment, I didn’t get photos of everyone because I grew a bit concerned that the water was getting dangerously close to my expensive camera. But they all got a turn and I think they all enjoyed the learning experience.

Check out these minion treats that invaded C8 to help Thomas celebrate his birthday with his classmates!  These minion cupcakes were adorable and yummy, but oh, what messy blue faces and hands we had when the invasion was finished! Thank you to Thomas and his family for the special treat.

DSC_0492Speaking of invasions, I would like to make a request. Now that cold and flu season is in full swing, we have had such a big demand for kleenex tissues that we are completely out of tissues in our classroom. I will bring in a box for tomorrow but if any families are willing to donate a box or two, it would be greatly appreciated. For the time being, we have enough hand sanitizer and clorox wipes but we are in need of tissues to keep everyone healthy.  Let’s try to keep those germs under control! Thank you in advance!

 

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!