Friday, December 5, 2014

Learning is Fun!

This past month flew by!  On November 14th we went to the Children's Discovery Museum in Acton. The children had a blast exploring the various floors of the Museum.  They also participated in a Sink and Float Design Challenge. The challenge was to build a boat that would float while carrying various supplies (treasure-hard boiled egg, people-pennies, sleeping bags-rolled felt, food-tea bag, tent poles-straws, etc.).  First the students were put into groups of four.  They were given time to investigate with a variety materials to figure out which would sink and which would float.  Then it was time for the challenge!  Students learned quickly that teamwork was the most important aspect of this challenge.  They shared ideas, strategies, and solutions as they worked.  Many of the groups came close to building a boat that would carry the items safely.  Throughout this activity the children were taking part in the Design Process.  Below are many pictures taken at the Discovery Museum!

     In Science we finished our Tree Unit with a culminating project.  Each child created a slideshow using the Explain Everything App on their iPads.  They took pictures of coniferous and deciduous trees then wrote facts about each type of tree.  You can watch your child's slideshow by clicking on the "Tree Project" tab underneath the class picture on this blog page.   Our next unit of study is the Moon.  The children will learn about the phases of the moon and the relationship of the sun, moon, and earth.
     In math we finished our sixth topic which focused on addition strategies for adding two digit numbers.  Our next topic is topic seven which focuses on subtraction strategies for subtracting two digit numbers.  Below are some pictures which show various games the students played to help with their fluency of math facts.  Please make sure your child is practicing math facts daily by using any online games, math apps on the iPad, flash cards, etc.  If your child is fluent with addition and subtraction facts to 20, it will make solving more complex problems easier.
     Our Reading Class has been learning about multisyllable words, and adding suffixes such as ed, ing, ful, ment, ness, less, able, ish, s, and es to words in Fundations.  During our hour of reading instruction the children practiced reader's theater scripts to work on reading fluency.  They did a great job reading with expression and were very excited to perform for Mrs. Lane's reading class.
   During the month of November the students learned about Narrative Writing.  We discussed the features that great narrative writing should include and the students wrote a piece about getting our class pets!  Many of the students published these using Google Drive on their iPads and created a picture in Drawing Pad to go with it.  Our class also works on creative writing at various times throughout the year.  They really enjoyed brainstorming scary words after reading Harry and the Terrible Whatzit  by Dick Gackenbach today.  Ask your child about his or her scary sentences and scary stories.
     One last thing that took place in the last month was the Turkey Trot and Walkathon.  The day began with a boom!  Literally!!!!!  Mr. Papadonis, Mr. Musselman and Miss Pavlicek came to our school and put on a special presentation.  Mr. Papadonis caused a chemical reaction inside of a pumpkin and the pumpkin exploded!  As you can imagine the kids thought this was the greatest thing they had ever seen!  After the pumpkin explosion we went outside to cheer on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders running the Turkey Trot.  Once the Turkey Trot wrapped up we began our walkathon.  We had a great time and luckily the rain held off until we were on our fourth lap.  It was really nice to spend the day together with our school community.  Below are many pictures from the last month of school and even a video of the pumpkin explosion!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fun With Math Thanksgiving Challenge

Fun with math for the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Starts today, ends December 1st.


  • grade specific math challenge game board for students to complete during the Thanksgiving Holiday, using the online games and books at
  • Students who complete the challenge can be entered into a prize drawing by their parent or teacher.


  • 6 individual students will win one of Greg Tang’s signed books and aKakooma Puzzle Book.
  • All students who complete the challenge earn a certificate of achievement.
  • Teachers and parents can provide their own prizes for students who complete the challenge.


  • Kids in grades K-5 and above can participate in the challenge.
  • Any teacher or parent can fill out the form for the prize drawing.


  • Starting now and ending after the break on December 1, 2014.
  • Entry form due by December 2, 2014
  • Prize winners announced on December 3, 2014

Click here for full details and to join the fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

210 Happenings!

     We have had a busy couple of weeks in Room 210!  Currently in math we are working on Topic 2 which focuses on addition strategies.  The children have worked with basic addition, doubles facts, near doubles, turn around facts, and adding three numbers/addends.  They have also been practicing math fact fluency in school using Math Bingo and Reflex Math on their i-pads.  Please make sure your child is also practicing basic math facts to 20 at home.  This will help them to be better prepared for their daily math lessons. We will be finishing up Topic 2 this week and moving on to Topic 3 which focuses on subtraction strategies.
     The children have been tiering for reading these past few weeks.  They have been learning new routines and classroom expectations.  In my reading class we read  Julius: Baby of the World and worked on identifying various story elements (characters, setting, problem, solution, etc.).  We have also been introducing the ELA centers that children will work on after participating in reading groups.  Some of these centers include Sight Word Bingo, Roll a Sight Word, Roll a Trick Word, Raz Kids, Independent Reading, and i-Ready.  These centers support and reinforce what we are teaching during Fundations and Reading Groups.
     Our current Science topic is trees!  So far the children have learned about the two main types of trees which are coniferous (evergreen) and deciduous (broad leaf).  They have illustrated a tree book and will be learning about the insides of a tree tomorrow.  We will touch upon the various layers of a tree such as outer bark, inner bark, cambium, sapwood, and heartwood.  The children have a special leaf collecting project that is due on Tuesday, October 14th.  A notice went home yesterday on neon green paper with the details of the project.  If you did not see the notice you can also find it at the top of our blog on the Leaf Project tab.
     We had an exciting visit from Mr. Musselman on Friday.  He came to do a fire experiment with the children.  Mr. Musselman brought a pumpkin with him and had the children make some predictions.  First the children had to predict whether the pumpkin would sink or float.  Of course many students thought it would sink but to their surprise it floats because it is hollow and full of air.  Next Mr. Musselman had them make many different predictions based on whether a candle would stay lit inside of the pumpkin.  First he did not have any holes carved.  After that he carved one hole and asked for predictions and finally he carved multiple holes and asked for predictions.  The children were shocked to see that the candle went out every time except when there were two or more holes carved.  This is because fire needs fuel, heat and oxygen to stay lit.  We had the fuel and heat but when there were less than two holes carved there was no oxygen feeding our fire.  Mr. Musselman ended the experiment with amazing "pumpkin puke"!  Check out the pictures and videos below!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello and welcome back to another exciting school year! We had a great first day in Room 210! As your child transitions to a new grade, new teacher, new schedule, and different routines, don’t be alarmed if irritability and anxieties surface. Please be patient as your child adjusts to his or her new environment. Over the next few weeks we will be establishing classroom routines, rules, and hopes & dreams. We will continue to reconnect to things learned last year and expand upon them in the upcoming months. The following will explain some of our routines, schedules and things to know about Room 210:

 o Open House is currently scheduled for Tuesday, September 23rd.

 o The lunch price has increased to $3.00. Milk, juice, water, cookies, and snacks are $0.60

 o Our Lunch/Recess break is at 11:35 – 12:25 as follows: Lunch 11:35 – 12:00 and Recess 12:00 – 12:25

 o We will be having one snack break in the morning. Please be mindful that snack in the classroom is Peanut and Tree Nut Free. It is important for your child to eat a complete and healthy breakfast each morning, and pack a HEALTHY snack and drink each day (i.e., fruits, veggies, crackers, cheese, water and/or real fruit juice,etc). Snacks containing high sugar content, while yummy, will give your child a sugar high and then they will crash and burn. Empty tummies will not enable your child to reach his or her learning potential. We would like all children ready for the challenges of learning each and every day. Healthy snacks are the way to go! Feel free to send in bottled water (clearly labeled) for you child as well, especially during these hot days.

 o I have supplied the students with pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers, glue sticks, erasers, pencil boxes, and folders that should accommodate our needs for most of the school year. Additional school supplies that your child has purchased for school can be used during his or her homework time at home.

 o A homework folder will go home with your child every night to facilitate communication between home and school. On the inside-left is a section for parent notices and/or corrected papers and the inside-right is for homework. This folder MUST be checked and returned to school each day. Please place any communication to me in the parent side of the folder.

 o At this point, Homework will consist of reading for 20 minutes each day. Your child should also be practicing +/- math facts on a daily basis as part of their homework routine. More structured homework expectations (written homework) will begin soon. While homework assignments may vary, I will try to keep the routine as consistent as possible. In addition, your child may have mini projects to complete over time.

 o Our “Specials Block” is each afternoon from 1:40-2:25 at which time your child will be engaged in Art,
   P.E., Music, and library/technology.
 The tentative schedule is as follows:
 Monday – P.E. (Sneakers required)
 Tuesday – Library/Art (Art Smock recommended)
 Wednesday – Music
 Thursday – P.E. (Sneakers required)
 Friday – Music
*Sneakers should be worn on Mondays and Thursdays for P.E.

Pine Glen School uses a reading incentive program we call Reading Corps. Information about Reading Corps should be found in your child’s Homework Folder today. For each 15 minutes your child reads, he or she is able to fill in 1 box on a Reading Corps slip. Once he or she completes 14 slips, the school celebrates your child’s accomplishment by announcing his/her name over the school PA system, and he/she will receive a prize.

To help facilitate a successful and safe dismissal, it is extremely important that we know where your child is going at the beginning of each school day. While emergencies do arise, we suggest that you send a note to school with your child each time he or she will be going home a different way, being picked up, or leaving early for an appointment. The office needs this information by 10:00AM. If there is a discrepancy as to where your child is going (i.e., your child says he or she is going home a different way, but there is no note to back it up), your child will be sent to the office at the end of the school day. You will be called and will be responsible for picking up your child if necessary.

I hope this letter answers some of your beginning of the year questions. If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. My telephone number is 781-221-7773 and email address is Also, visit our classroom blog, which will provide you with information throughout the year. It will be updated by the end of the day today. Thank you for filling out the student questionnaire that was sent home last month. It really helps me to get to know your child and helps me in the case of an emergency. If you need a new one please let me know and I can send another one home. I look forward to meeting you at Open House on September 23rd!

 Krystel Anderson

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy........

Over the last couple of months we have learned a lot of new interesting things!  In math we worked on identifying and counting money, measurement, and now we are beginning our unit on telling time to the 5 minute mark, graphs, and data.
     In science we have learned about the moon, amphibians, insects and will be learning about reptiles next!  Our classroom has many visiting pets that align with the topics taught in our curriculum.  The Science Center brought us 3 amphibians when we learned about amphibians so that the children could observe them and see them up close.  During a three week rotation with the other second grade classrooms we had a bullfrog, an american toad, and two tiger salamanders.  We also received wood frog eggs so that the children could observe the life cycle of a frog.  Right now our tadpoles are just beginning to grow their back legs!  In addition to the amphibians we also have a moth cocoon and painted lady caterpillars that we have watched change into chrysalis'.  As we learned about insects it was really cool to have the insect life cycle right at our fingertips!  We are beginning to learn about reptiles now and currently have a corn snake visiting with us.  It just went through a molt.  What a cool thing to see!  We already had a baby snapping turtle visit with us and a gecko that will be making it's way to our classroom soon!
     Another really exciting this going on now is our "special" art project with Miss Fallon.  She is amazing and has found some time to work with the second graders to create 3-D insects!  They are enormous!  The children built the base out of cardboard, tubes, empty containers, and whatever else Miss Fallon could find.  The second  class was used to cover the insects in paper mache.  The children were covered and so was I but we had a blast!  The final session was used to paint the insects in a realistic way.  They came out fantastic!  We are just waiting to put a few finishing touches on our bee, dragonfly, and cricket.
     We went on our third and final field trip to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary on Friday for an insect program.  We had an amazing time and got more than just an insect lesson while we were there!  Our group was extremely lucky to see all three animal groups during our trip.  We saw a baby painted turtle, many insects, a snake actually in the process of eating a toad and many other interesting sights.  Make sure you ask your child about all of the neat things we saw while were learning in the great outdoors.  Below are some pictures of the field trip and the many other science activities going on in our classroom!

In Fundations we just finished our unit on the (ow) sound using ou and ow.  Our next unit will focus on the (u) sound using ou, oo, ue, and ew.  During reading groups the children are practicing fluency through reader's theater.  One group is working on perfecting Goldilocks and the Three Bullfrogs and the other group is practicing The Pig Who Cried Wolf.  They seem to really enjoy this and we hope to perform for Mrs. Lane's and/or Ms. Varrell's reading groups this week!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Field Trip to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Field Trip
Friday, May 16, 2014

On Friday the second grade will be attending our final field trip to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield, MA.  This field trip will enhance the children’s understanding of insects:  their life cycles, habitats, and characteristics.  They will also have exposure to other wetland flora and fauna as we walk around the site.  We are very excited about this field trip!

Buses will be leaving Pine Glen at 9:00 a.m.  Our approximate return to school is 1:45 p.m.  YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO BRING A CLEARLY LABELED BAGGED LUNCH, SNACK AND DISPOSABLE DRINK.

Chaperones:  Please be at school by 8:45.

This program will proceed rain or shine; in cases of extreme weather, the sanctuary staff will contact Pine Glen to let us know that the trip has been canceled.

To ensure an optimum learning experience for everyone, please remember the following:

  • Wear appropriate clothing for trail walking and weather.  We recommend long pants and long sleeve shirts, socks, sneakers or boots, and rain gear if needed.  Please check the weather the night before to determine the best clothing for your child.
  • Sunscreen on face and exposed skin is recommended.  Please apply all sunscreen BEFORE your child comes to school.
  • Please discuss with your child that the wildlife sanctuary is a safe place for all plants and animals living here: we will not be picking or collecting from nature, we will usually stay on trails, and we will observe wildlife quietly.

It is recommended that all students tuck their pants into their socks for the trip.   Tick checks will be made by chaperones before leaving the sanctuary but we strongly recommend you check your child again when arriving home/undressing for the evening.

Thank you for allowing your child to participate in this educational experience!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pine Glen Arts and Technology Night is Tomorrow!

Arts and Technology Night 2014
Tuesday, May 6th
Art Show at 6:00 p.m.        Concert at 7:00 p.m.

A New Way of Learning about Art:
Learn about the artwork- right from the artist! Hear each of our artists delve deeper into their thoughts, dream up creative writing, or explain the process behind the artwork. This year at Arts & Technology Night, many pieces of artwork will have a QR Code attached to them that will help you do this.

What is a QR Code?
A QR Code is a type of special barcode that can give your smart (WiFi enabled) device information quickly and easily, so you can scan a picture to go to a website instead of having to type in the complete address yourself.

What do I need to do?
Before Arts & Technology Night you’ll need to download the App for easy access.

Where do I get the App?
If you have an iPhone, we recommend QRafter App. Get it here:
If you have an Android Device, we recommend QR Droid. Get it here:

What do I need to bring?
Please bring a pair of earbuds or headphones to listen to your device. It is very exciting in the gallery space and it can get very loud.

I’ve got the App, now what?
Once you have the App on your device, you can practice by scanning these links to the Pine Glen Art and Pine Glen LTC blogs!

qrcode.21429877.png qrcode.21429916.png

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Field Trip to the Museum of Natural History

Today we went to the Museum of Natural History at Harvard University! The children loved exploring the various exhibits and learned a lot about fossils during our hour long presentation. They were able to touch and look at real fossils of fish, dinosaur bones, animal scat, shell imprints, woolly mammoth hair (preserved from the ice age), and trilobites. Check out all of our pictures from the trip below!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Learning in Room 210

We have a lot to share since our last post.  The children have been hard at work in all academic areas!  In writing we spent a lot of time learning about persuasive writing.  The children worked hard on a group project about Boston.  They brainstormed ideas, researched, drafted, edited, finalized writing, and created a final product.  The final product was a brochure about Boston.  They came out great and the kids were really proud of their efforts.  The next project the students worked on incorporated our Social Studies topic of culture with writing.  The students worked independently or in small groups researching their family's culture. After researching they had to apply what they learned about persuasive writing from their last project to create a culture book using Book Creator on the iPad. These came out amazing!  The children shared their projects with classmates and even compared and contrasted their country to another country using a Venn Diagram.  The children brought these home today to share with their families.
As we researched and learned about various cultures the children also illustrated a Landforms and Bodies of Water book.  They should be able to explain what oceans, rivers, seas, lakes, bays, peninsulas, islands, valleys, mountains, and continents are.  We also completed another geography activity called Journey Around the World.  The children had to find and label continents and oceans on a world map and then travel to each continent to find and label specific rivers, mountain ranges, oceans, countries and continent/country borders.  They enjoyed these geography/mapping activities and were able to apply all of this knowledge on their tests!!!!  Since we spent so much time on Social Studies these past few months we are planning on shifting back to Science.  We will be learning about fossils and will be heading to the Museum of Natural History next Friday, March 14.  After our fossils unit we plan on studying the earth, moon and sun.  Finally we will conclude the year with all of our animal units (reptiles, amphibians, insects).  The children will be coming home with lots of scientific information!
In math we have been solidifying place value knowledge.  Children have been working on expanded notation, adding/subtracting two digit numbers, greater than/less than and we are beginning a new unit today which focuses on three digit addition and subtraction.  I have seen the children grow so much mathematically in the last few months!  It is really exciting to see them making connections and applying what they have learned.

This week is Bookapalooza, so yesterday we kicked off Dr. Seuss' birthday by dressing up as our favorite book characters.  Some children even had green eggs and ham for lunch! YUM!  At the end of the day the children had a special Skype session with Bob Shea, the author of Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great!  The children were excited to ask him questions and share their costumes with him.  Another fun activity that we are doing this week in celebration of Bookapalooza is daily book trivia questions.  Each morning Mrs. Delia sends up a copy of questions that the students have to answer as a class and send back to the library by 9:00 AM.  We are hoping to answer all questions correctly this week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pine Glen School's Math Mixer

Please join us at Pine Glen School’s... Math Mixer!  Come play and take home some math fun for everyone! 

Wednesday January 29, 2014 5:30 pm-7:30 pm

This free event is open to all Pine Glen families (Grades K-5.) Please join us to learn easy and exciting new ways to bring math into your home. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weather Forecasting

Miss Fallon, our amazing art teacher, dedicated a lot of  time to create and film this fantastic science enrichment project.  The second grade students worked tirelessly rewriting and practicing scripts so that they could read them fluently with expression.  Thanks to Mr. Callahan for putting it all together.