## Thursday, October 28, 2010

### Math: Going Digital

We had so much fun in Math today! We worked with the E-Tools program on the Pearson website. The students were using place value blocks to represent a multitude of different numbers. It was a great experience to see the students understanding the relationship between the written number and the quantity that it represents. I am re-sending home the log-in information for the Pearson website, so you can explore and practice at home as a family! Have fun!

## Wednesday, October 27, 2010

### What Makes the Seasons?

Today the students were examining the question of "what makes the seasons change?". They were given a small ball representing the Earth, and using a pencil as a directional guide for the tilt of the axis, they helped it orbit around our sun (the light). They really were able to conceptually understand why the seasons change and how the Earth's tilt effects the weather and temperature.

## Tuesday, October 26, 2010

### Observing, Sorting, and Classifying

As a follow-up from yesterday's activity, the students were able to take out the insides of the pumpkin. We talked about what it felt like, as well as how it smelled and how these "slimy" parts are vital to the continuation of the life cycle for a pumpkin plant. We then counted up all of the seeds from each pumpkin, and found our class average. It was a pretty exciting, albeit messy, activity. What fun!

### Our Yummy Journey to the Moon!

To help the students further understand the phases of the moon, we did a delicious activity involving vanilla wafers. We read the book The Phases of the Moon by Gillia M. Olson. This book had wonderful real-life pictures as well as a level of vocabulary that the students could understand. We then selected one of the charts that was presented in the book, and displayed it on the ELMO/TV. Using the vanilla wafers, the students "ate away" the parts of the moon that were dark during that phase of the lunar cycle. I heard a few students exclaim "Oh! I get it!" as we were completing the activity. What a yummy day!

## Monday, October 25, 2010

### Our Perfection of Pumpkins

We have been talking a lot about pumpkins, and today we took more of a "hands-on" approach. The students made a few observations about their pumpkins, and then we talked about how there are MANY different varieties of pumpkins. I took a large pumpkin and cut it in half vertically, so that they could get a cross-cut view of what the inside really looked like. We then talked about how it looked, smelled and the parts that we saw. Students then created labels and were asked to label the 5 different parts of the pumpkin (stem, skin, seeds, pulp, and meat). They really enjoyed this activity!

We then did a cross-cut of a "baby pumpkin" and talked about how the two varieties were similar and different. Tomorrow, we are going to cut the other pumpkin open, gather, and count all of the seeds. I can't wait to see if their estimations were close for how many seeds were in their pumpkin!

## Tuesday, October 19, 2010

### Pajama Day!

We have had a wonderful few days here in our second grade classroom! To celebrate, the students have spelled their reward words, which were P-A-J-A-M-A D-A-Y. Tomorrow, they will be permitted to wear their pj's to school, as well as bring a blanket, small pillow, and a stuffed animal that can fit in their book bag. We look forward to a very fun day!

## Thursday, October 14, 2010

### Why Does the Moon Appear to Shine?

We talked, in Science, about why when you look at the moon it seems to "light up" like the sun. In reality, the sun is being reflected off of the moon (that led to a great discussion of the "dark side" of the moon). Our experiment was to recreate the moon using common objects (Styrofoam ball, Popsicle stick, and foil). We then looked at how the "moon" looked in the dark, when there was no light shining on it. These results were then compared to what happened when we turned on a flashlight and shined it on the ball. I think it really gave them some clarity about what the moon is really like!

### Our Acting Debut!

Do you remember the show "Reading Rainbow"? This show was a very predominant force in my childhood, and one of my favorite parts was when the children at the end would review the books. So, we have started on the same endeavor. About 2 weeks ago, the children were asked to pick a book that they felt our classroom library would not be the same without. Following a series of activities talking about characters and other story elements, the students began decorating their backgrounds for their movie. Starting next week, they will be using FLIP video cameras to film a commercial talking about how their book is the best, and why other students should read it. I cannot wait to see how these turn out! I will email all of you the final product, so keep a watch out for the movie in your inbox!

## Wednesday, October 6, 2010

### Do the Stars Go Away?

Today we talked about stars. They are one of the many wonders of the space world, and the kids got to experience a little bit about them. We started off by talking about if they thought the stars went away during the day. After much discussion, they were excited to learn that the stars are out no matter what time it is, and that was something we explored through our experiment. We used the flashlight and cups to represent the stars, and then viewed them with the lights on and then off. We talked about why and how they changed, and the class really had a lot to say about this. Be sure to ask a question or two about what they learned!

### On the Blogging Trail!

After our introduction into the blogging world last week, the students were extremely excited to begin to use this tool to publish their own work. Today, they were introduced to their own individual blog, where they can share a good book, thought, or piece of writing. We also talked about how they can leave uplifting comments on the blogs of others. They had a great time! Technology is a very powerful tool when put into aspiring hands.

If you are interested in seeing what your child is publishing, just use the links section to go to kidblog. Sign in using their name and their lunch ID number. We hope you take a look!

## Monday, October 4, 2010

### Space- Our New Frontier!

We started working on our space unit (focusing on the moon primarily) today. They are so excited! We started by reading a book called "Footprints on the Moon" which talked about how the footprints of the astronauts who have walked on the moon will stay there indefinitely. They were so fascinated with that! We will start talking about the phases of the moon, so be sure to complete the homework every night!

### We're Hooked!

It is no secret, I am infatuated with blogging. The way I can quickly and conveniently share information with you is fantastic! So, the students have started working on blogs, and needless to say, they are hooked! We are using a site called Kidblog to share our writing, thoughts, and new knowledge. The site is completely secure, and you need a password to access what we have been working on (they know how to get online- I'm sure they would love to show you!). I am so proud of them, and their excitement over this new form of publishing!