Sunday, October 22, 2017

Halloween Celebrations

Hello, Giraffe Families! 

We have quite a few Halloween celebrations and events coming up over the next few weeks. Friday, October 27th is our annual SMS Halloween Howl. Join us from 6-8 pm for music, dancing, great food, candy, games and more! Tickets for the Halloween Howl can be purchased here to avoid the lines or at the door.

Trick or Treat Day in Stratham will be on Monday, October 30th from 5-7 pm. Here are some safety tips for trick-or-treating shared with us by BMW of Stratham. Stay safe, and have fun!

We are also going to be decorating some small pumpkins to have on display for our classroom Halloween Celebration. Please send one small pumpkin to school with your child by Monday, October 30th. 

Our final Halloween Celebration will be our Halloween Spooky Read in the Giraffe Class on Tuesday, October 31st. Our Spooky Read will take place from 2-2:45 pm and all family and friends are welcome to join us! We are going to ask that all giraffes bring in a flashlight so we can read together with our friends and family in the dark while we play some fun Halloween music and enjoy some ghoulish treats! If you'd like to bring in a special treat to share with us, please sign up here

Don't forget that conferences will also begin on Wednesday, November 1st as well as the following Wednesday, November 8th (both are early release days) and there is no school November 9th or 10th! To check your conference time, visit our sign up

Friday, October 20, 2017

Creeping, Crawling, Flying into Halloween

We've been having so much fun getting our room Halloween Ready (and doing some fun learning along the way!) On Tuesday, Mrs. McIntosh did some whole-group OT work with us along with Mrs. Dukeman. We were working on working quietly, following directions, and strengthening our fine motor skills as we watched Mrs. McIntosh show us ho to make a pipe cleaner spider without using ANY words! We silently watched as she showed us how to to each step, and then it was our turn to make our own spider at our seats. 

Everyone did such a great job following directions, and respectfully asking questions quietly to a teacher if they weren't sure what to do next or if they needed help with a step. 

These little guys are now scurrying all across our classroom! 

Later in the week, we got to have some practice mixing colors as we made our Secondary Owls made entirely out of secondary colors! 

Finally, we got to make some creepy, crawly Place Value Spiders to hang in the hallway! We've been learning a lot about place value in math over the last few weeks, and it was time to put our learning to the test! But the giraffes showed off their place value skills with ease as they expanded their numbers, wrote their name in words, drew them using base-ten shorthand, and found numbers that were greater than and less than their chosen number. 

Well, Done, Giraffes! 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Exploring and Wondering About The World Around Us

During our theme time, we've shifted our focus from exploring what scientists do to exploring our community and the world around us. Today, we explored the question: What makes rivers flow and how are they formed? 

The giraffes had many different theories about what makes rivers flow, such as animals swimming and moving the water, wind blowing the water, lakes and ponds pushing the water, and water moving down a slope, like a ball on a ramp. During our Mystery Science lesson, we looked at a map of all the major rivers in North America, which is the continent where we live. We noticed that all major rivers lead out to the ocean, which means we could hop in a tube and float down a river, and we would eventually end up in the ocean! Many of us live near the Squamscott River, which connects to Great Bay and then the Atlantic Ocean. But where are these rivers coming from, and what makes the water move in one direction? 

We narrowed down our theories by thinking about what we knew about water. Animals live in all bodies of water, but not all bodies of water flow in one direction the way a river does. We also thought about the wind, but rivers move even when it is not windy outside, so we decided to think about our theory of the slope. 

We worked together with a partner to make a paper mountain, and then we colored the peaks of the mountain with a marker. 

After creating our mountains, Ms. Riley came around to make a "rainstorm" over our mountain with a spray bottle. Because the water hit the marker, the tiny "rivers" that formed made colorful lines as they flowed down the valleys between the peaks on the mountainside! We could see that over time with lots of precipitation, rivers could begin to form in these valleys as gravity pulled the water down the mountainside. 

We concluded that all major rivers begin in the mountains, and they move in one direction because gravity pulls the water down a gradual slope until it meets the ocean! These major rivers connect to and "feed" other rivers too, making the water move to lakes, ponds, brooks, and streams. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Animal Leaf Project

Hello Families!

Fall is in the air, which means leaves are gradually changing from various shades of green to bright yellows, reds, and oranges. We are planning on making animals out of leaves to tie in our study of plants and earth materials along with our study of animals in our community!

The first step in making leaf animals requires you to collect some leaves! Please take a walk with your child to go on a leaf hunt. Look for leaves of different colors, shapes, and sizes. All leaves are welcome!
Once you find the leaves, please prepare them so they are ready to use when they come into school:

  • Soak the leaves in warm water for 5-10 minutes
  • Blot the leaves dry
  • Layer the leaves between several pieces of newspaper (make sure leaves are not overlapping)
  • Put something heavy on top of the leaves (I usually use a few cook books!)
  • Let leaves press for 5 days
  • Place leaves in a baggie with your child’s name on it and return the leaves to school by Thursday, 10/26
If you want to see examples of leaf projects from the past, click here!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stuffy Day!

The giraffes reached their first "earning jar" goal for the year of 15 pom poms! Pom poms are earned for the "earning jar" when everyone is working well together and is doing what is expected, or when one or more people does something exceptionally kind or helpful for someone else. The giraffes chose their first reward, and they decided to bring their stuffies to school for a Stuffy Day on Thursday!

We loved being able to cuddle with our stuffies all day long while we were learning, and we are already well on our way to meeting our next earning jar goal of 20 pom poms!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Revising Our Writing

This week, Mrs. Belanger came to visit our classroom to teach us about using rubrics with our writing to help us edit, revise, and create goals for ourselves as writers!

First, we all got to know the rubric by using it to rate another second grader's small moment story together as a class. After rating the writing, we were able to see what this student does really well and create some goals for him to work towards. 

The next day, we got together with our cushion kid partners to analyze another piece of second grade writing before going off to analyze our own. 

Once we looked at our own writing and created goals for ourselves, we shared those goals out as a class. Going forward, we will work in small groups with students who share similar goals to make our writing even better!