Friday was a day of celebrations for Second Graders. In the afternoon, children joined with the rest of the Primary School Community for the annual Halloween Parade, followed by much anticipated Halloween classroom parties. In the morning, however, a different kind of celebration took place in all three Second Grade classrooms – a celebration of Reading! Second Grade readers have truly made strides over the past two months in developing their reading skills and habits to become “grown up” readers. Children took the time on Friday to reflect on all that they have learned: what Reading Workshop looks and sounds like, how to select a favorite reading spot, how to choose a “Just Right” book, how to get over “bumps” in the road by using a range of decoding strategies to tackle tricky words and phrases, and how to maintain focus and stamina when we start to feel “squirmy.” Readers then put all of their skills and knowledge into practice by settling in for an extended period of sustained reading. Reading for extended periods of time can be hard work, so readers kept their energy levels up by munching on organic popcorn and sipping water as they read. Congratulations to all of our readers for their hard work and progress!
On Friday, 2B students proudly presented their performance of their original play, Halloween Friends, based on the picture book, The Halloween Kid, by Rhode Montijo. 2B kicked off the Primary School play season with a message of friendship and inclusion. 2B students worked together throughout each step of the play process. In recent weeks, they collaborated to name their play, write parts of the dialogue, decide on songs, design their scenery based on images from the book, and envision ways to make the play's message come to life. The play featured an imaginative and spooktacular cast, including trick-or-treating kids and parents, mummies, juice-box slurping vampires, a werewolf who was lost, goblins who stole the goodies, and a cowboy/cowgirl pair that helped everyone learn to be inclusive.
Productions like this come to life with the help of many people. Special thanks to Ms. DuRant, Mrs. Smith, and Ms. Weaver for sharing their expertise and putting forth so much energy to make the play magical. Additional thanks go out to Mrs. Carrara for proofing the script, Mr. Brown for setting up theatre seating, Ms. Gonzales for assisting with the process and program distribution, and the special teachers who made guest appearances: Mr. Langbein, Mrs. Henry, Mrs. Vespucci, and Mrs. Noble. We are very grateful to all of the 2B families for helping children practice lines and music as well as providing costumes.
2B students showed teamwork and contributed many ideas and much hard work throughout the journey of their play process. With cheerful Halloween-themed music, creative movements, and not-so-spooky characters, Halloween Friends was a wonderful way to celebrate the fall season at Brookside. Most importantly, the play reminded us of how important it is to be inclusive. Brookside looks forward to more Halloween festivities in the weeks to come.
In Writing Workshop, Second Grade writers are stretching both their stories and their writing skills in our current unit on Small Moment Stories. Students are learning that in addition to using the basic ingredients of dialogue, small actions, and setting in order to “show, not tell” what is happening in their stories, writers can add additional “ingredients” to Small Moment Stories in order to make our writing more powerful. Using a range of mentor texts as inspiration, writers are working to incorporate “sparkling words,” repetition, sound words, thoughts, and feelings in order to raise the level of their personal narratives. The Second Grade students and teachers are excited to welcome our newest student, Akruti Jain, to 2N.
On Thursday, second graders enjoyed our first field trip of the year, a visit toToni's Kitchen in Montclair. Prior to our trip, students enjoyed listening to and discussing the picture book Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by Dyanne Disalvo-Ryan. All three classes walked together to Toni's Kitchen. Upon arrival, students took tours of the kitchen and storage areas, learned about how Toni's Kitchen prepares nutritious meals for its guests, and participated in several service projects. Children worked together to pack toiletry bags, fill bags with rice, and set tables for guests. The trip not only previews our town study later in the year, but is also a springboard to help us dive into our first core work, Those Shoes, and discuss the important concept of needs vs. wants. Students used technology tools to take photos and document our trip, so that we can refer to our learning during upcoming social studies units. Many thanks to our parent chaperones for accompanying us our our first fantastic field trip.