Friday, May 19, 2017

NOAA Fisheries Visits Steward!

Over the past couple of months I have worked closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the team at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office in Gloucester (where Mr. Ford works) to coordinate a fun program to bring to the second graders at Steward School. This morning, students had the opportunity to explore more about ocean life and visit five hands-on stations.

Students were extremely engaged by the interactive stations that focused on the different life cycles, habitats, and adaptations of ocean creatures, as well as ways we can help protect our ocean.

Here are some snapshots from our fun morning:

Students experimented using their sense of smell at the Sturgeon Station. Sturgeon use their sense of smell to locate and return to their old spawning ground each year.

Students learn about the life cycle of a sturgeon and see the size of sturgeon at different stages of life
Soren and Sadie sample different smells to "find" their way downstream

Elise, Jake and Jackson sample smells and act as sturgeon
In the next station, children got to stretch a rope and visualize how long an adult right whale can grow, see the difference between baleen and toothed whales, and speak with marine law enforcement. Ask your child what seal artifacts they saw!

At the salmon station, students played a game as they learned about the challenges salmon face in regards to predators, changes in their habitat, and their diet.

J.J., Soren and Luke
Sample card from the salmon game

Molly, Nadia, Kiera and Leo play the salmon game
Do you recycle? Students spoke with a marine biologist from the conservation department about the importance of throwing our trash away in the proper place. Most of the litter ends up in our oceans! They played a game to show how much trash fish and birds actually may eat.

In the last station, students learned about the benefits of grass in our wetlands. The marsh grasses help protect our water sources by filtering out waste such as litter and gasoline. Students performed an experiment to see what the water would look like if it was unfiltered. Ask your child what they polluted into the fish's water!

Students watch as the marine biologist uses a sponge to demonstrate the benefits of marsh grass 

We loved having NOAA visit us this year! They brought incredible artifacts and hands-on experiments to help teach the children about the ocean life that lives in their area. Each student came back to the classroom excited to share some facts they learned:

"The wetlands was my favorite station because it was cool to learn about how the grasses help protect the water and keep it clean!" -Nadia

"I liked the ocean debris station. I liked scooping out the rice and acting like fish, trying not to eat trash." -Leo

"Rocky the whale was my favorite part. J.J. took the rope 55 feet into the hallway to see how long Rocky's mom was!" -Luke 

"I liked learning about the Sturgeon's life cycle. Smelling the smells was fun. I learned that sturgeon use their sense of smell to find their way home." -Molly

"I liked all of the stations. They have cool activities that we can touch, feel and smell and we got to learn about the life cycle, habitat and adaptations of ocean creatures." -Soren

We look forward to learning more on our field trip on Monday to Gloucester!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nonfiction Expert Books!

Over the past few months, students in our class have spent a great deal of time during Writer's Workshop brainstorming, writing, editing, revising and publishing their nonfiction expert books! We are finally done and so proud of the finished products!

Last week we took time to read each other's books and write nice compliments about the writing and details we read. Students also had the opportunity to create a QR code that linked to a book talk they gave about their book! Each student was recorded giving a short summary of their expert book.

Using the ipads in our classroom, students got to explore the nonfiction books and listen to each book talk.

Here are all the published author's book talks from Room 210:

We can't wait to show you the final masterpieces in person at our Author Share 
on Friday, June 9th from 9:00-9:45am!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Author Visit: Deborah Lee Rose

Yesterday your child participated in an author visit from Deborah Lee Rose. Deborah is an internationally published, award-winning author of 15 children's books. She spoke to the children about her new nonfiction book, Beauty and the Beak, about the bald eagle that received a 3D-printed prosthetic beak.

Deborah shows students replicas of the 3D beaks like the one Beauty wore

The students had such interesting questions to ask her! If you'd like to learn more about Deborah and her books you can visit her website at!

Thank you TESTPO for helping to bring this event to Steward!

Global Day of Design!

Last Tuesday the students in our class participated in Global Day of Design! "The Global Day of Design is one-day that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. Our goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design into an every day practice with our students." For more information visit:!

Mrs. Lacouriere, our ELA specialist assisted me in planning, teaching, and coordinating the design of this fun morning. Together, we chose a STEM Challenge that was linked to children's literature: Curious George: Helping the Monkey Stay Afloat! 

Here are some fun photos of the design process:

Watching the audiobook of Curious George: The Boat Race
Step 1: Brainstorm designs

Step 2: Build and Revise

Step 3: Test our creations! Will they float for 10 seconds?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Informational Books: Coming Soon!

We have been very busy drafting, revising, conferencing and finalizing our informational expert books in Writer's Workshop!

Molly works on her final drafts in her book about skiing.
Nadia cuts out photographs collected for her expert book on American Girl Dolls.

We can't wait to share all of the fantastic writing projects we have created throughout the year with you at our Author's Celebration on Friday, June 9th from 9:00-9:45am. Save the date!