Friday, January 12, 2018

You've Got Mail!

This week, the giraffes began to get ready to participate in The Global Kind Project. #GKP18 
is a program that was started by last school year by Ms. Riley and a few other educators around the world along with The Educator Collaborative. The project invites classrooms preK-12 to connect with one another and reflect on our individual and collective roles in building a more empathetic, positive and inclusive society. Last year, over 20,000 students and teachers participated in the project, and we are excited to launch this year's Global Kind Project on 1/16! 

This week, we put our letter-writing skills to practice as we created digital postcards to send to our Global Kind Project partner class in the suburbs of Chicago! We told them a little bit about ourselves and we also listed our favorite way to be kind to others. For the front of our postcards, we found images that represented our school or where we live. We will spend the next few weeks connecting with these friends as we explore different aspects of kindness through books, projects, and social action. 

We got to read the postcards from our Illinois friends on Friday, and we will get to meet them via video chat next week as we begin exploring kindness in words :) 

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Toast to 2018!

The Giraffes had a great start to the new year with a short but sweet week!

On Tuesday, we had some fun with the Elephant Class when we created New Year's Toasts during Safari Time! We talked about how people often toast to others in the new year who mean a lot to them and during the toast, they celebrate the things they love most about that person. 

Here are a few of the people we toasted to:

We also continued our work with borrowing and carrying in math this week, and we learned a new math game! Seventeen was so much fun to play, and it helped us practice our math facts as well as our carrying skills! Here are the directions so you can play at home:

Despite the frigid weather, we were able to get outside briefly to begin experimenting with States of Matter! We learned that everything in the world is made up of matter, including the air around us! Matter can be a solid, liquid, or gas, and matter can change its state.

When we were outside, we collected snow to explore and experiment with in the classroom. After we got inside, we explored the question "What will make snow melt the fastest?" 

After brainstorming a list of ideas, each table group worked together to explore a different method for melting the snow. Even though many people wanted to try the same method, the giraffes did a great job being flexible and working together to test all of our hypotheses! One table put the snow in warm water, another put theirs in cold water, one put theirs on the heater, one used plates to squish the snow, and one used bodies to melt the snow :)

We discovered that out of all the methods we tested, hot water was the fastest method for melting snow. But many of us were surprised to see that the cold water also worked very quickly along with squishing the snow! We were also shocked to see how long it took the snow to melt on the heater, and we discovered the fastest way to melt snow using our bodies was to hold small amounts of it in our hands. We can't wait to do some more exploring with matter in the weeks ahead, and we look forward to a new year of second grade adventures :)

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays!

With the Holiday Season upon us, we set to work creating some wonderful gifts and holiday treats in the giraffe class! 

Ms. Riley created snow globe ornaments for each of us to hang on the tree, and we created some beautiful pictures and ornaments for our loved ones

Mrs. Downing loved our holiday wish book!

We used watercolors to create some awesome snowman paintings

and we used tissue paper collage and watercolors to create our holiday scenes to go with our 5 Senses of Christmas poems!

On Wednesday and Thursday, we built and decorated our Gingerbread Houses with our friends and family. It was so wonderful to see everyone's creativity (and we also had fun munching on some yummy sweets and treats!)

On Friday, we got to wear our PJs and bring our stuffies to school! When we got into the classroom, we found out that the gingerbread had escaped once again and were hiding around the school! We followed their clues to find them, and eventually they led us back to our classroom where they had left us some fun holiday toys, games, and crafts!

We got to enjoy some fun before heading down to the Cafe for the Holiday Butterfly

During indoor recess we got to hang up the beautiful bird seed wreath Ms. Riley received and we watched for some feathered friends out our classroom window :)

We also cuddled up to watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas! It was a short but fun-filled Friday as we went home early to beat the snow storm. While we had a great time giving and receiving this holiday season, the best gift we could ask for is each other :) Happy Holidays, Giraffe Families!