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Monday, April 10, 2017

Thursday is Boston Strong Day!

Boston Strong Day!

When: Thursday April 13th, 2017

How can you participate: You can wear Boston shirts and accessories OR you can wear blue and yellow

Why: The Boston Marathon will be on Monday April 17th.  

**No donations are needed for this event**

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Science Center Foster Families Needed!

The Science Center is looking for homes to care for some of their animals over April vacation:

gerbils and turtles

  • The Science Center will provide cage, food, bedding, and care sheet for each animal.
  • CALL MS. WENDY PAVLICEK AT (781)-270-2928 if interested.  
  • Animals are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.  
  • All animals must be picked up before Thursday by making an appointment with Ms. Pavlicek.

Thank you

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Beanie and Boo Looking to Travel Abroad in April!

Beanie and Boo snuggle and dream of nibbling a grape over April vacation!

If your family is interested in taking Beanie and Boo over the April vacation (including Good Friday, April 14) please send your request via email or note to Miss Varrell by Friday, April 7. Beanie and Boo come with food, shavings, exercise balls and some gerbil literature to read and share. Miss Varrell will draw a name on Friday and notify the chosen family via email.

Thank you!
Beanie and Boo and Room 211

Friday, March 31, 2017

Extra! Extra! Pine Glen Carnival Postponed to April 8!

Our Pine Glen Carnival, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 1, has been rescheduled to Saturday, April 8th due to inclement weather. Please be sure to save the date! Thank you so much to all our volunteers who have been prepared for this annual event for many months!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Did you know March was Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month?

Let’s work together to help Pine Glen show support!

On Wednesday, March 29th join us in wearing GREEN to help raise awareness.  
NO donations are necessary to participate!

Image result for cerebral palsy ribbon

Friday, March 24, 2017

Classroom Summary for March 13 - 24

Melting solids with Morgan, Kenzie and Jeziah!

Here's what we've been learning...

In math we completed our unit on counting money and telling time (Topic 8). We practiced our money skills with real coins and used mini "Judy" clocks to practice our analog time-telling skills. We will review our time (telling time to the hour, half hour, quarter hour, and minutes; elapsed time; alternative ways to say the time) and money skills (identifying coins; counting on from the highest value coin; identifying bills; counting on from the highest value) next week and take the Topic 8 test!

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we completed Unit 10 on the double vowels ai and ay. Next week we will work on new vowel digraph teams to understand the different spellings for the sound of long e: ee, ea and ey. In Miss Varrell's reading class we finished working in our two-week texts and we will begin working in some new ones: The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Retold by Tomie de Paola and Anansi Goes Fishing Retold by Eric A. Kimmel.  In all reading groups students will be reading for a purpose: making inferences. This week we also completed the culminating activity to our shared reading center by performing a short two-role skit called Groundhog Day for the kindergarten students in Rooms 101, 102 and 103! We had great fun practicing our fluency, making masks and writing our introductions for our younger Pine Glen classmates. Many of us have even professed an interest in becoming playwrights ourselves! It is possible that one of our next literacy centers will be a shared writing center where we will be able to create our own plays!

Ben and Saumya writing and rehearsing their introduction.

Jack, Kai and Liam drafting an introduction for their play.

Jillian and Jacob finalizing their introduction drafts.

Kenzie and Vivianna rehearsing their introduction.

Phoebe and Gwyneth rehearsing their skit.

Sam and Rahul rehearsing before performance day.

Performing for kindergarten...

Questions and Answers afterwards...

In writing workshop, we have been working hard on our paragraphs about Matter and Materials. We will finish our drafts, proofread and edit them, and then publish them next week as we conclude our physical science unit.

In Science we have been having so much fun learning about Matter and Materials! Over the past two weeks we have worked with both solids and liquids to observe, predict and explain how heat or cold affects the different types of matter. We learned that temperature can affect states of matter. Some solids and liquids can be cooled and heated and cooled again and they look the same as how they started. We also learned that some solids and liquids can be cooled, heated and cooled again and they change completely! Currently we are working on solving a problem for Mr. Musselman at the Burlington Science Center. He told us that he has a substance that he refers to as "mystery matter" that he works with all the time with his different science classes. However, he has never been able to figure out what type of matter it is. He knew we were studying matter and materials this month so he asked us if we could come up with some experiments to test the substance and see if we could answer that question for him. We will brainstorm some ideas and plan some experiments next week and get back to him with our results!

Butter and ice cubes over hot water...

White chocolate chips and ice cubes over hot water...

Temperature is "rockin'" the solids!

"Science...we love you!"

"They really melted fast!"

Lastly, on Friday this week we went to the theater! We saw Theatreworks' production of The Teacher from the Black Lagoon and Other Stories at the Lynn Auditorium. All week we had been listening to read-alouds of books that were to be featured in the production. We had a fabulous time and really impressed the theater staff and the adults around us with our Appropriate, Safe and Kind Pine Glen behavior.  Miss Varrell awarded every student with a hoot card because she was so proud!

Parent F.Y.I. 

  • Our next field trip will be to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary (an Audubon property) in May. All parents are welcomed to attend as chaperones. More information will be available closer to the date. There is limited seating on the bus but parents are welcome to carpool to the site (following the bus). If you are interested, please email or send a note to school!
  • The Pine Glen Carnival is Saturday, April 1! Please consider being a volunteer. Two-hour time slots are open online by visiting: Pine Glen Spring Carnival Sign-Up Thank you!
  • Please continue to keep those reading corps slips coming in and the math fact practice going strong. Thank you for your support!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Crazy Sock Day!

Crazy Sock Day
help raise awareness for Down Syndrome!

Sport your CRAZIEST socks to school on Tuesday, March 21st!

$1 donation is welcome, but not mandatory.  All donations will be given to the National Down Syndrome Society

Image result for National down syndrome day

Monday, March 13, 2017

Classroom Summary for February 27 - March 10

Here's what we've been learning....

In math we finished working on place value with subtraction and addition up to 100. We will return to place value later on. Last week we began our eighth unit which focuses on counting money and telling time. Last week we looked at real coins close up to observe what kinds of words and symbols on coins can help us understand their values. Using magnifying glasses we observed that the following coins have these value words (a copy of this chart is available for assisting with homework, if requested):



“one cent”


“five cents”


“one dime”

“quarter dollar”


“half dollar”


“one dollar”

We will continue to work with coins, bills and telling time over the next couple of weeks.

In Miss Varrell's Fundations class we began working on vowel pairs, otherwise known as vowel digraphs. We began learning the long a vowel pairs: ai and ay. We brainstormed lots of long a words to look at the spelling patterns and discovered that most words use /ai/ in the middle of syllables and /ay/ is more often used at the end of syllables. There are times when syllables begin with /ai/ but it is not frequent. After learning our new vowel pairs, we then reviewed the four ways, or spelling options, to spell the long a sound.

/ā/ spellings ----->  a-consonant-e ----->       bake, sale, made, face, rake
                                      ai --------------->               mail, bait, rain, cinquain, chain
                                      ay -------------->               hay, say, May, tray, gray
                                       a --------------->               apron, Avon, atypical, apex

In Miss Varrell's reading class we continued to work in our reading groups focusing on main idea and details. We worked in Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks and A Day's Work by Eve Bunting.  Both stories required us to read slowly and carefully as there were many clues throughout the stories to help us begin to make inferences and understand the main idea of the story.

In writing workshop we have continued to learn about paragraph writing. We have worked on the following skills: topic sentences, detail sentences, indenting, and combining simple sentences to make compound sentences using connecting words. We used our writing skills to write about Matter and Materials that we have been learning about in Science class. When our paragraphs are finished we will publish them and hang them up outside the reading room on the second floor.

In Science, we continued our work in Matter and Materials by learning how temperature affects different states of matter. We worked with solids and liquids and cold temperatures to predict, observe and explain what happened. After observing seven different liquids, we predicted what would happen if they were frozen. Our predictions proved correct in most cases, but in one case, they did not! One of our liquids did NOT freeze (we really want to know why)! Later, we also checked to see if the weight of solids and liquids would change if we took them apart or separated them into smaller pieces. We predicted that the solids would not change but that the liquids would be lighter. We observed that none of the weights changed when we separated them into parts. Whether a solid was whole or in parts or a liquid was all in one container or separated into "drops", the weight stayed the same. Next week we will look at how heat affects solids and liquids!

Using pipettes to separate a container of liquid into droplets... 

predicting, observing, explaining...

learning about matter is fun!

Here are some pictures from our solids unit when we were tasked with engineering a bridge using materials that would support zoo animals crossing over a river:

"How are we going to get these to stay on?" 
"Many hands make light work!"

Addie joined us as a guest science student!

Science Pride!

"Team work!"

"Hmmm. What's the task again?" 

"Will this work? Let's try it."

"What materials should we use? How are we going to get this to stay on the cups?"

"Did it work? Yes! But now we need to extend the length and see if it STILL works..."

"Where's the meter stick to check our bridge length?" 
"Hey! We're getting the hang of this engineering stuff!"

Last but not least, we had a great time buddy reading with our Kindergarten friends on Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss' Birthday) who were on a mission to read with every grade in the school! Thank you, Mrs. Hoyt and Room 103 for coming up and reading to us. We were so proud of how well everyone is reading! Keep up the great work, Kindergarten!

Parent F.Y.I.

  • Second grade will be going on their first field trip to the theater on Friday, March 24. We will not be taking any chaperones as this is a limited seating event. All permission slips and payments have been sent in for this field trip so we are all set and ready to go! A reminder will be sent home next week for proper attire and lunch requirements.
  • Keep working on math facts!
  • Keep reading for increasing lengths of time at home. The goal for children leaving second grade is to be able to sustain their independent reading (known as reading stamina) for a minimum of 20-30 minutes. Please be sure your child is stopping every few pages to "digest" what he or she is reading. What does that mean? That can take the form of a drawing, a conversation with an older sibling or adult, or a written journal entry about what has happened so far in the story. Children who do not stop or pause intermittently to think about, or digest, what they are reading often have more difficulty comprehending text. Don't forget your reading corps slips!
  • Enjoy the signs of spring (when they eventually arrive)!