Five Senses Fair

We wrapped up our exploration of the Five Senses with two events.  First, we invited second grade to our Five Senses Fair.  The learners worked hard in their groups to create interactive, fun activities highlighting how our senses work.  Second, the class experienced what it is like to have a physical disability such as blindness or an inability to walk, at our Disability Seminar, hosted by DeeDee Clark and students from Notre Dame High School.

These photographs from the Five Senses Fair might give you some sense of the energy in the room that day.  It was declared “the best day ever” by more than one learner.

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Five Senses Art

Our five senses unit provided some great opportunities for artistic expression.  Here are two of the projects we worked on.

We explored the textures and colors of some fun fabrics, creating abstract pieces on cardboard.  Some chose to work independently, while others collaborated in pairs and even as an entire table.  The learners were very proud of their creations.

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Using tin foil and Sharpies, we drew images of some of our favorite items we see, hear, smell, taste or touch!!  While some worked meticulously on one image, others were inspired to create two or more pieces.  I love how they look all together…an explosion of color.


Field Trip to San Francisco Zoo

We enjoyed a wonderful visit to the SF Zoo on March 31st.  Thank you to all our drivers.  Our learners joined Gina and her Room Niners for the docent tours, and then played to their hearts’ content at the zoo’s playground.

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Field Trip to the Gulf of the Farallones Marine National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center

On March 4th, we had the pleasure of working with two scientists from the Visitor Center at the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.  We watched seastars eat.  We felt the thick fur that keeps sea otters warm.  We pretended to be sea otters, diving deep to crack open abalone shells.  On the beach, we learned about the natural and artificial items to be found in the sand, and the importance of keeping this vital habitat clean.

Thank you to the parents who drove. We couldn’t do our field trips without you!!IMG_0477 IMG_0478 IMG_0482 IMG_0486 IMG_0488 IMG_0490 IMG_0491 IMG_0492 IMG_0493 IMG_0494 IMG_0500 IMG_0501 IMG_0508 IMG_0512 IMG_0515 IMG_0517 IMG_0520 IMG_0522 IMG_0525 IMG_0526 IMG_0531 IMG_0535 IMG_0538 IMG_0540 IMG_0542

Fairy Houses for St. Patrick’s Day

As I’m sure you know :), leprechauns do not dare to make a mess in your classroom if your teacher is actually from Ireland.  And that’s because she probably knows someone in that leprechaun’s family, and would relay back stories of their naughty behavior.  They really don’t want that.

So instead, to celebrate the day, Room 8 made fairy houses.  There was a lot of collaboration, brainstorming, sharing, and persuading.  When they were done, we placed them in the garden.  Fortunately we got them in there just before it rained.  We’re sure the fairies really appreciated having somewhere to shelter from the rain that weekend.

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Ketchup and Mustard

Sometimes in Room 8 we need to catch up on unfinished work.  We call this Ketchup and Mustard.  This is my ketchup and mustard blog.

February was a busy month.  We fit a lot into the last few weeks.  Our Post Office unit was staffed by an amazing number of volunteers.  A huge thank you to all who helped out.

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The Valentine’s Tea was the highlight of the week.  It was all pulled together by our wonderful Leigh Casamento.  Thank you so much Leigh.  The room was filled with love (and pink, and red).  And we even had two very special guests!  More photos can be found on Shutterfly.




We are in the middle of our Five Senses Unit.  The field trip to Whole Foods kicked that off in January.  This month we visited Mi Ranchito Tacqueria on Laurel Street.  The children even ordered their food en Espanol.

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Our Unit Study lessons focus on one of the five senses each week.  In the garden yesterday we used our senses to explore everything on offer there.  The children noticed how different the garden looks this season, but there’s still lots to sketch.

We add to our vocabulary with each sense, making charts of words we can use to describe how things sound, taste, feel, look and smell.  Yesterday we took a sensory walk through the book “Mouse Mess” by Linnea Riley.  The children came up with wonderful words to describe the events in the book.

We are learning to write about our opinions.  I’m sure you are very familiar with your child’s opinions on many matters.  Please ask them for their thoughts on what fruit is best to eat in the car, what class pet we should get, and whether it would be best to find a four-leaf clover or a rainbow!

This month, we will continue to explore our Five Senses and write about our opinions.  We are investigating the attributes of 3D shapes in Math.  Next we will return to graphs and data collection.  We worked on this at the beginning of the year.  The next step is to create our own surveys and collect data around the campus (perhaps on the burning issue of whether four-leaf clovers are really better than rainbows).

Brownie has made his way to every home at this point.  He is now returning to each learner to show off his book.  You can add some more to the book if you wish, but this is not mandatory the second time around.

And of course on March 17th, we will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.  Maybe it will even rain!!

More preparation for Post Office

We have been practicing in Room 8.  The learners set up shops and went to town using coins, getting change, adding up prices and figuring out how much they need.  Some learners even set up their own bank!!  Moms and Dads, get ready to retire!IMG_0224 IMG_0226 IMG_0227 IMG_0229 IMG_0230 IMG_0231