Teaching and Learning

in a 2nd grade classroom

Donors Choose Technology Project Needs Funding


I have recently posted a new project on DonorsChoose.org for 8 iPads, 8 protective cases, and a new laptop to help our students in the areas of STEM.  Since our school does not have a specific STEM curriculum, I plan to download both free and purchased apps that will allow students to explore and learn about engineering and computer coding (i.e. Hopscotch, TinkerBox, Move the Turtle), create presentations (i.e. Prezi, Animate It, Haiku Deck ), and teach them how to use writing skills and collaborate through the use of technology (i.e. blogging, wikis, Google docs).

This is a considerable size project to get funded in the 4 month time frame.  I am reaching out to local businesses who may be interested in helping our students have more opportunities to explore and learn. You may visit my Donors choose website at  http://www.donorschoose.org/mpike to view my current project proposal and make an online donation if possible.

For one week only, all donations up to $100 will be doubled using the code INSPIRE when checking out.  Be sure to make your donation by March 2, 2014 to double your donation towards our project.

Here is the direct link:

Supporting STEM for Growing Minds


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I Love to Read Week


This has been a crazy week with the snow days from last week and this week.  Our class decided to make a goal to read 100 books this week.  I am proud to say that we not only made it, but we surpassed our goal!

One of our highlights this week was buddy reading with the 5th graders.  We have begun practicing how to infer the meaning of unknown words in our stories and the 5th graders helped us!

Friday was Fabulous Friday which we celebrated in style!  Mr. Ellis and Mrs. Walker organized our own Winter Olympics afternoon; complete with Mr. Drouin passing the torch and lighting the cauldron.  It was loads of fun! We played Table Hockey, Ice Cube bobsledding, Skeleton, Torch Relay, and Human Curling. Ask your child which one was most fun and why.

Enjoy vacation and I will see everyone in March! Think spring!

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Valentine’s Day Celebration 2/17/14

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Happy Valentine’s Day!


We just can’t seem to catch a break with the snow and below freezing temperatures this winter!  Two more days off are a nice welcome sometimes, but we’ll see how everyone is loving it in the middle of June. Valentine’s Day celebrations will happen on Monday, Feb 17th. We have a fu craft planned, some math and science with candy hearts, and of course passing out those wonderful Valentines.

Have a warm and safe weekend.

hand heart

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How We Express Ourselves


This has been a multi-cultural week in 2nd grade! Students are learning all about how people around the world express themselves through art, literature, music, dance, and food. We are learning about how our cultures may be different, but also how they are connected to one another.

Tuesday: Today was a Latin American theme.  During reading, I read another Cinderella story aloud from around the world; Adelita: A Mexica Cinderella Story by Tomi dePaola.  We compared the story elements (beginning, middle, end, characters, setting, problem and solution) with The Rough Faced Girl by and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe.  After, we broke into groups to watch a short video on the iPads, read informational and literary texts about Mexico and other Latin American cultures, and make tissue paper flowers.   The video, Buster Goes to the Dominican Republic, showed the children what people in the Dominican Republic do for fun, about the foods that they eat, and what the schools are like.  Tissue paper flowers are a traditional craft that children do for Day of the Dead and other celebrations.  For snack, we made quesadillas with both corn and flour tortillas.  We also listened to Latin music to complete the experience.

Wednesday: Today, one of our student’s parents came in to share Japanese culture with us.  Her father read The Crane Maiden in Japanese while her mother translated the story in English for us.  Students were able to make connections to the character traits from the Cinderella stories and identify the author’s message.  After finding Japan on the map, we broke into groups to make sushi, origami, and explore Japan on the iPads.  We listened to Japanese children’s music.  The student shared a special silk kimono that her grandmother sent to her from Japan and some of the students took turns trying it on.  Her parents even wrote each student’s name in Japanese.  We are so lucky to have had them come in and share their culture and knowledge with us.

Thursday: Italy was our focus as we explored the region of Europe.  For read aloud, we read The legend of Old Belfona by Tomi dePaola which is a European tale. During independent reading, students read informational books about some of the different countries in Europe; England, France, Sweden, and Italy. During our groups, students also watched, Postcards From Buster: Ciao, Buster Part 1 and Part 2 to learn about Venice, Italy and made decorations from Sweden; woven hearts. For snack we enjoyed some Swedish ginger cookies and sliced a baguette, some mozzarella cheese, and Genoa salami. Mmmm!

Friday: Today was Fabulous Friday at BES and students continued to read various books from and about other countries.  For read aloud, I read The King of Capri by Jeanette Winterson.  The students learned that paying attention to the character traits in the story can also help us understand the author’s message. At snack time, we tasted food from India; Spiced Rice with Raisins, Palak Paneer, and Naan bread.


Fairy Houses


Today the children started their own market system without even knowing it!  Since several of them had brought in things(from nature only) to use building their fairy houses I let them know that they were welcome to share if they felt it was fair.  Wow! In no time at all, they were trading all sorts of commodities!  After, students got together with their groups and discussed their trades and weather they were fair or not.  These seven year olds had some very insightful thoughts about the process.  I’m excited to see how this evolves with our other lessons about needs and wants, systems, how people participate in a system, and how people’s decisions affect systems.

Here are some of the things that I heard out in the woods while the students worked and traded today:

"Look! Fairies!"
"Are those fairies or just flies." 
"I think we might need to rebuild." 
"Stop your complaining. I did all the hard work." 
"Jackpot! We found the jackpot!" 
"Some fairies or animals visited our house 
again and ate all of our food!" 
"We made a deal and traded some bark for seashells."
 "Dude, it has a whole in it!" 
"Whoa! Check this out!" 
"I like your fairy house! It's really nice!" 
"Do you want to make a deal? We have tons of bark. 
Do you have anything?" "We want to trade something!" 
"Come to our fairy house and see all the stuff we have." 
"Thank you."
"We have to build more on our house."
 "Look what I just traded guys." 
"Can you help me find some berries?" 
"We are just trading, trading, trading so much stuff. 
We're getting better "There are so many customers!" 
"We have leaves. Really great leaves!"
 "Found a mushroom." 
"We could use these for booster seats if there are any 
kid fairies." 
"It was fair, but we got lots of stuff for just wood."

And back in the classroom:
“It was all fair, but we got some really cool stuff for just some wood.”
I was able to trade for so much with only seashells.”
“We found some berries and then everyone got so excited and wanted to trade for them. We weren’t really thinking about it and in the end, all we had left were some sticks and stuff. all of our berries were gone.”

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Welcome to 2nd Grade


We are back in full swing already!  Of course, we are still learning about each other, classroom procedures, routine, etc.  However, it just feels so natural-like we have been together for longer than 5 days.

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180th Day of School



Today was a lot of fun.  We started the day with a school-wide assembly acknowledging many successes at Boscawen Elementary. Then, each grade split off to spend some time together before summer begins. 2nd grade had an obstacle course, egg race, built forts in the woods, water games, and created some games on theirown.  Miss Marquis joined us for our pizza party, too.  There were a lot of tears and laughter as boys and girls said their goodbyes for the summer .  It has really been an enjoyable year for me. Thank you for sharing your children with me for the year. Have a good summer.

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The End Is Drawing Near…


It is so hard to believe that we are at the end of the year!! I am amazed at how independent all of my students have become and how much they have grown academically and socially.  I will truly miss this group of second graders, but they are most definitely ready to become third graders.

Here are a few reminders and updates:

Report cards will be issued on the last day of school and will include next year’s teacher assignment.

Work will be going home pretty frequently these next 2 weeks, so be on the look out for work in different areas and be sure compliment your son or daughter on the commitment and hard work that he/she has put into this year.

We have several things planned for the end of the year in our short Camping Unit.  During this unit, we incorporate ideas, concepts, and skills that we have learned about throughout the year such as “needs and wants,” reading comprehension skills, scientific process, computer skills, writing, and more.  Ask your child daily what he or she did for camping.  They are having so much fun!

Dates to remember:

  • June 14-S’MOREs
  • June 17-Make trail mix
  • June 18-Walk to Boscawen Public Library and ice cream at Alan’s (send in $1.50)
  • June 19-Hike in back of the school & setting up “tents” in the classroom
  • June 20-Last day of school & Field Day

Who We Are


Central Idea: Our well-being is shaped by the resources available to us.

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Why some people are healthier than others
  • Lifelong health
  • Resources around the world that people use to stay healthy

Students have been learning about things that contribute to our well-being or overall health.  They have been learning about how healthy food, exercise, visits to the doctor, dental hygiene, and taking care of our world all play a part into being healthy.  They have also learned that not everyone has access to the same resources. As part of their summative projects, students worked in small groups to create a resource that will teach others the importance of being healthy and how to make healthy choices. Topics that they inquired more deeply about were germs and viruses, dental hygiene, air pollution, muscles, and a healthy diet.

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