Mandy's School News

Elementary School Specials: March Update!


March has been an interesting month in the Science lab. Early in the month we got some cool insects in the mail! We have a new Green African Bush Preying Mantis that is growing by the day. We also have two adult Madagascar Hissing Roaches, Larry and Matilda. Surprise! They had a nice litter of 25 nymphs on St. Patrick’s Day. The Co-op kids have all enjoyed observing and learning about the insects. We have more bugs on the way this spring.

Prek (The Dragonflies, Beetles, and Bumblebees) has continued their study of the human body. They have focused on organ systems in the body. In March we learned about our bones, muscles and digestion. In science lab we put together life size paper skeletons and looked at real animal bones. We also learned that we have voluntary and involuntary muscles in our bodies. We put this knowledge to the test playing freeze dance.  As we explored the digestive system we took turns being a bite of food as it journeyed through the digestive system.


Kindergarten (Katydids) moved their Earth study into an exploration of Ecosystems. They up-cycled 6 large seltzer bottles and created two complete closed Ecosystems! The ecosystems have a pond habit in the bottom complete with plants, snails and a baby guppy fish. On top they have a garden habitat with plants, snails, pill bugs, ants, and crickets.  As part of our study of Ecosystems and Habitats we have been learning about the needs of all living things. We have also discussed what is living and non-living in nature. For example is a rock alive? Is water alive? Why or why not?


First Grade (Centipedes) has been busy working on carefully following their experiment procedure directions and accurate measurement using science tools. Everyone carefully measured out the ingredients to create some fantastic green flubber. The Centipedes have also prepared vinegar/water bags that they plan to add baking soda to after the break. If everyone measures their vinegar, water and baking soda correctly their bags should-POP! We will have our goggles ready and we are all looking forward to the event.


Second Grade (Sharks) has been thinking about trees in science this month. They have begun to learn about roots and the process of photosynthesis. Early in the month we examined Pussywillow branches and Catkins. Each child cut a small Pussywillow branch to propagate in water. The branches are just beginning to shoot out some roots! The class created their own diagrams of photosynthesis and they are looking forward to doing some light experiments on classroom plants.

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Pre-K (Dragonflies, Bumblebees & Beetles) Continuing their work with clay, the Pre-K started off the month learning how to make pinch pots. Once the pinch pots had dried, students used tempera paint to add color and designs to their pots. While working in clay, several students noticed that if you pressed the clay onto the fabric table covering, the pattern and texture were imprinted into the clay.  To follow up with this inquiry, pre-k students dove into a texture study. After sharing a selection of natural and man made materials, we discussed different words we could use to describe the texture. Groups of student then worked together to sort the materials into various categories such as texture, color, size or color.  When finished, students investigated the materials by doing oil pastel rubbings revealing the visual representation of the textures. The next class we read the book, Lucy’s Pictures, a story that, describes a child’s quest to make a textured “painting” for her blind grandfather. Students then made a collage, selecting and arranging various textured materials to tell their story.

Katydids PreK 2 PreK 4 preK

Kindergarten (Katydids) In March, the Katydids primary focus was printmaking. We began with an exploration in which students designed and engraved shapes and patterns on foam plates, then learned how to ink and burnish the plates in order to make a series of multiple prints. We looked at block prints by the artist Margaret Burroughs paying special attention to how she uses line in different ways. Students tried their hand at developing an idea via a sketch and transferring it onto their foam plate and printing it.  I also introduced the Katydids to monoprinting, a form of printmaking that has images or lines that can only be made once (essentially a printed painting). Students used ink to paint a design or picture onto their tray and then pressed their paper onto the tray creating a one of a kind image. For many students, this kinesthetic learning process was really gratifying. Our next learning area is in clay. Thus far, the Katydids have had the opportunity to explore clay freely-learning about the physical properties of clay and the different ways the material can be pinched, pulled, rolled, dug into, piled, shaped, and combined.

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First Grade (Centipedes) This month the Centipedes finished constructing their Dream Playgrounds, and moved on to painting and adding the final details. As students worked, I photographed them representing an action they might be doing on their playground, and then used these portraits to create move-able 3-D action figures. For the culmination of this project, the Centipedes discussed what makes their playgrounds unique, why public playgrounds are important and explained how they attached materials and built certain structures. The Centipedes Dream Playgrounds are displayed outside the art studio. They are really proud of their work, I hope you can come down and take a look.

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Second Grade (Sharks) Continuing with the Sharks tree inquiry, students studied the shapes, patterns, veins and stems of leaves collected from our region to create four observational drawings. As they drew, students referred to a leaf identification chart to label and compare their leaf drawings. Next, selecting their favorite drawing, students transferred their image by tracing their lines on to onto a foam printing plate They then rolled ink onto the plate, centered it on their paper, and burnished the back of the plate creating a print. The Sharks had the opportunity to print multiple images,  explore printing in different colors as well as cutting out their leaf form to use as a stamp.

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Our spotlight artist in March was QUEEN, the British Rock Band. When we heard an instrument we recognized, we would write it on the board. We heard pianos, bass, electric guitar, drums, and keyboards, as well as trumpets, violins and singing. Several classes were excited by the fancy costumes that the band sometimes wore!
Beetles, Bumblebees, Dragonflies The children were very excited to play our guessing game, “Who’s That Tapping At My Window?” In the game, the listener must stand at the front with eyes closed while the teacher selects one child to be the singer. Based on just hearing the voice, the listener will have to identify the singer. The teachers were very impressed with the children’s listening abilities. Everyone participated and the children really loved it when the teachers got involved as well. Our Pre-K started playing the glockenspiel and the xylophone, learning about each instrument and how they are different. They would identify melodies which were played on the instruments, and we would sing the songs together. The children each played every instrument, showcasing their abilities to play music with different styles: jumping music, happy music, sad music, soft music, et cetera.
The Katydids identified the difference pitch ranges of our variety of mallet instruments. They recognized the tenor and alto xylophones as lower and higher pitched, and the glockenspiel as the highest. We compared these pitched instruments to three different sized drums and noticed a similar relationship with pitch. Our Katydids took turns conducting songs and experimenting with soft and loud versions. Continuing our study of the piano, the Katydids listened to Queen and identified which songs were a “ballad” and which were an “up-tempo” song. We listened to several songs, including “We Will Rock You”, “Under Pressure”, “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We defined words like harmony, solo, lead singer, and collaboration.
First Grade
The month began with our piano exploration. Many of the children wondered how a piano makes its sound, so we looked inside the piano in our music room! We identified the keys, hammers, strings, and sound board. The children also learned about the sustain and damper pedals. It was quite exciting for them to watch the hammers move as they played the keys! In discussing the band Queen, we discussed how four people might all get to have their say in a group without fighting. We talked about how any group – be it a rock band, a committee, or a class – can work together to create something. In conjunction with the Grand Opening of the Centipedes Super Store, we wrote a jingle! We studied advertising jingles from “Kit Kat”, “McDonalds”, and “Meow Mix” and discussed why they were so catchy. It took a long time to agree on words that we all wanted, but through diplomatic collaboration and passionate conversation, we created something we were all very proud to sing.
Second Grade
The children of the Sharks classroom have been very into the songs from “Annie.” We talked about how characters sing songs, and how we can play characters when we sing. One child mentioned that maybe Freddy Mercury was one kind of person onstage, and maybe someone else off stage. While listening to songs by Queen, we determined that lots of songs tell stories and that those stories might mean different things to different people. We discussed harmony in a very detailed way – for voices, and for instruments. Four children sat at one xylophone, each playing different notes. As they rehearsed their notes, the notes together became chords. As they practiced, the chords changed beautifully. We worked hard t remember our patterns, so our chords changed in sync. As we have been campaigning for a new tree in front of our school, the children decided to write a song to help the cause. Everyone contributed to the song, and with only a little practice the song was quite a hit. Hopefully we will get a tree! We originally called it “Give Us A Tree”, but switched it to  “Give Us A Me” because we did a yoga tree pose when we sang, “I am a tree, please give us a me!”



Mandy's School News

Project Work: Highlights from the Bumblebee’s Baby Museum


Amazing Invitation to the Bumblebee Baby Museum!


 Museum Floor Plan: A : Model of Baby in Uterus B : Diaper Changing Station and Sleep Sack Station C : Model Cribs (Blocks) D : Audio/Visual Baby Shares E : What Babies See Art Project F : Fruit Comparison Chart G : Light Table Sonograms H : Bathing Station I : What’s Your Favorite Milk? J : Heartbeat Listening Center K : Measure the Belly L : Memory Match Game M : Can You Guess the Twins?


Punching tickets at the door, giving out floor plans & welcoming families


Telling everyone about stethoscopes and Dopplers. A stethoscope lets you hear somebody’s heartbeat once they are born but a Doppler lets you hear a baby’s heartbeat while he/she is still in the uterus. Everyone got to listen to Angie’s baby’s heartbeat on the radio too!


Creating a chart that shows what kind of milk the visitors like the most. Whole, soy, coconut and skim milk were the choices. Whole and soy milk received the most votes!


Telling us all about special baby shampoo and showing everyone how to gently bathe and dry a baby!



Telling us all about what babies see. Did you know that babies can only see in black and white until they are 5 months old? Presenting paintings the Bees made, which were in black and white, just the way babies would see them.


Talking about the baby share items their peers brought in. Parents listening  to recordings of the students explaining their baby share item. Also, looking at illustrations made by the students of their baby share items and pictures of the students when they presented them.


Explaining what they built at the block center and why (a crib, a bassinet, a toddler bed, a stroller and a bed for the parents).


Explaining what a sleep sack is and why babies wear them


Explaining what a cloth diaper is as well as a cloth wipe and a diaper bag! Showing us how to put a cloth diaper on a baby too, and why they’re friendlier for the earth!


Showing us a baby model and explaining what a baby in the uterus looks like. He talked about the amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord too.


The kids learned so much throughout this amazingly rich study, they truly became baby experts!



Open House: Monday and Tuesday (3/9 & 3/10)

Next Monday (at Brevoort) and Tuesday (at Irving) we have planned an all-school Open House for current families. You are invited to come (6:00-6:30pm) for a mid-year check-in, of sorts. The goal is to hear what is happening in your child’s classroom currently and what is to come.

Please click on the link to RSVP if you plan on attending.
There is no child care provided for this event.

Mandy's School News

Crickets: Bread Study

Cultures have many similarities and differences come together to break bread. The kids have been able to learn about places and people not found in their everyday lives through an easily accessible and identifiable part of their daily routine and diet. The idea was first introduced through a neighborhood walk and observation of all of the varied cultures we see in our great borough. A field trip to the Brooklyn Children Museum and their popular World Brooklyn exhibit gave the Crickets a fun and interactive experience. They could visit a Mexican Bakery and an Italian pizzeria where they could see how the two countries used bread in their daily lives. Taking the experience and knowledge from the trip back into the classroom, they knew that the best way to explore the fun and versatility of bread was to make different types of bread from different countries around the world.

Throughout the study, they observed the curious Crickets displaying a true understanding of collaboration. They prepared themselves by making aprons and chef hats, learning about the rules to keep them safe in the kitchen, and jumped into the hands-on experience of baking bread. Dramatic Play area turned into a bakery, fully stocked with real cooking tools and different types of bread made out of clay and paper-mache, created by the children. The Sensory Table has been filled with flour, measuring cups, and a scale, which has given the children further opportunities to problem solve. They’ve been reading books and examining pictures that showed them how bread could look from country to country. The story of The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza and Sun Bread have been two favorite reads in the classroom! The children are so proud of themselves as they take on the roles of the characters in the stories and act out each part.

Parents were invited to come in with recipes that they grew up loving and now made at home as well as having the Crickets voted on the types of bread they liked the most that they wanted to learn to make themselves. The Crickets were excited to discover that though many breads may look and taste different a lot of them have the same basic ingredients, but with small extras that make them unique. They have made sweet Banana Chocolate Chip Bread, herb-y Italian Focaccia, traditional German Pretzels, sweet challah, versatile Mexican Tortillas, and fun Artisan Bread in a Bag (which was prepared in school and baked at home with family members), just to name a few.

As they begin to wrap up the study, they are realizing the best reason to work so hard becoming great bread bakers is so that they can share their baked goods with their friends at The Co-op School. They’ve been making invitations and special decorations and having two classes a week come to their room to sit on their friendship quilt to share and break bread.


Preparing Artisan bread in a bag to bake with Mom and Dad.

Writing down what kind of bread the Crickets like to eat.


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Little hands at work!

Mandy's School News

Community: Town Hall Focus on Joy







At The Co-op School’s Brevoort campus, we have been discussing our core Co-op Values. As a school, we have come up with 5 core values that encompass the way we teach, learn, grown and treat each other. For March, we will be concentrating on our final core value – JOY.
Joy: We value and nurture the simple joy of playing, learning, and friendship making.
This week during Town Hall, we all discussed what joy means and how we can recognize it on others and ourselves.
We opened with an amazing song about what makes us happy, written by our music teacher, Dan, and sung by the pre-k Dragonflies. It was amazing!!
Then, Emily (first grade Centipedes teacher) and Ryan (second grade Shark teacher) reviewed our core values will a fun game of Simon Says. We went over all of the value hand symbols and what they meant – the kids were on it!
Afterwards, each class shared what gives us JOY at school…
It was so wonderful to hear all the ways in which we show our JOYFUL spirits everyday!
We will keep the conversation going, throughout the month, and we’d love to invite the parents to join in!
We have set up another beautiful bulletin board (right by the main entrance) that you can share moments of  JOY that you and your family have felt/seen. There are pre-cut  talk bubbles and a pen that you can jot your joyful notes on and paste up to the board.
We can’t wait to learn the many ways in which we can show our JOY!
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Mandy's School News

Elementary School Specials: February Update!


Pre-K (Dragonflies, Bumblebees & Beetles) There was a lot of excitement about the shadow puppet performances last month. So, in the beginning of February, the Bumblebees and Beetles revisited the puppets, by continuing the exploration of silhouettes versus the features within a shape. Students decided what details they would add to the puppets that would express the physical characteristics of their puppet. Then, we discussed the components of a good story, before they were once again back in the puppet theater trying their hand at performing stories with their finished puppets.  After break, we moved into an even more tactile, kinesthetic medium-clay! The pre-k began their clay project by literally examining and digging into clay. Each table was given a 25 lb brick of clay and challenged to see how they could use their hands to alter or modify the brick. It was exciting to see how each table modified their clay differently and ended up with completely different results. This gave students the opportunity to get a sense of the physical properties of clay and ready to start their clay projects this week.

Pre-K Bumblebees Pre-K

Kindergarten (Katydids) Building off of their inquiry focus, the Katydids started off February with a castle project. We began with a discussion sharing what we know about castles. Then, using black paper and white oil pastels students created an outline of their castle- thinking about wall design, shapes of towers, arrow slits and moats. We talked about how castles are usually made of stone, and students were quick to point out that there are different kinds of stone, erosion and moss, that can change the color and visual appearance of the castle. Students used small rectangular sponges,  to stamp characteristics of stone onto their castles, finishing them up with additional collaged paper details. After break, we read the book, The Dot by Peter Reynolds. The Dot is a story about a hesitant student named Vashti who is encouraged to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage. Using watercolor, the Katydids each made at least one dot. Students made the decision whether they would focus on the space inside the dot or the area outside the dot.

Katydids Roberto Katydids-Sophie_Ami

First Grade (Centipedes) has been constructing their perfect playgrounds. Staring with a discussion about what makes a great playground, students shared their favorite features-everything from slides to soccer fields, zip-lines to balance beams. Working in cardboard and foam core, students set-out to create their individual dream playground models. As classes continued, I added other materials to the resource table and students continued building up and personalizing their playground. Students who have completed the building portion of their playgrounds, have started disguising their building materials by adding tempera paint.

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Second Grade (Sharks) continued their work with watercolors this month with a project that ties in with their tree inquiry. We began by looking at images of winter trees noticing the shapes in the silhouettes of trees and the colors of the sunsets and blue skies behind it. We talked about foreground and background and how the horizon line separates the earth from the sky. Students then created sunset skies for their backgrounds and experimented with using a straw to blow their winter tree silhouettes. Students finished by further developing a horizon line and creating a haiku poem describing their trees.

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Our Dragonflies will be singing an original song for the Town Hall meeting in March. The community value they are singing about is “Joy”. We had a brainstorming session where we asked, “What makes us feel joy?” and listed many ideas. From these ideas we focused in on the ways we feel joy at school, at home, or on special occasions like vacations and birthdays. Many children expressed that they feel joy when swimming or eating ice cream! After our song was written we created movements to go along with the lyrics.  Carmelle took a video and Stephen learned how to play the song on guitar. The children have been practicing in their classroom every day and are very excited to share their song with the school community. The Beetles have been expressing themselves in Rock N Roll songs, really enjoying Let It Be, Yellow Submarine, and others. The Bumblebees have been writing their own versions of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and singing them for each other in class.
Kindergarten The Katydids have begun an investigation of the piano. We identified the different patterns of keys, the location of low keys and high keys, and how to play both soft and louder. Using our school piano and several keyboards as models, we drew pianos and shared them with our class. We explored the different types of pianos – electric pianos (keyboards, organs, synthesizers) and acoustic pianos (grand, upright). We listened to a variety of piano music – Chopin, Oscar Peterson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Nina Simone, and Norah Jones among them. We related back to our previous study of Stevie Wonder and many children remembered that he plays the piano. Several children who study piano outside of school demonstrated their skills for the class, and explained the process of learning a song.
First Grade Our Centipedes had a vote to determine which topic to write a song about: Uniqueness, Diversity, or Family. We overwhelmingly voted for Uniqueness. Our ideas have been vast!!  We experienced the challenge of making a song which satisfies everyone’s desires, and have documented our ideas to continue working on this in March. We talked about Nina Simone and listened to several songs written by her or sung by her. In the final week of February we each wrote a verse to a new song called “My Favorite Tree”, and everyone shared their verses.
Second Grade Our Sharks worked on a new Train Song called “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Train!” It was difficult to take all of our ideas and make one song out of them. Each student did a five minute free-writing brainstorm and after we listened to everyone’s ideas. Some children even wrote an entire song themselves! Our class determined that there was too much work to do on the Train Museum to complete our song for the museum opening, but we will continue to refine it for our Spring Sing! The children also have learned a bit about Nina Simone, and watched a short clip of her on the Ed Sullivan Show. They were impressed with her piano and singing, and made lots of comments about her appearance and that the film was black and white. We sang a song she recorded in 1967, “O-o-h Child” and followed along with sheet music for “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.”



PreK (The Bumblebees, Beetles and Dragonflies) completed their “Wishing Tree” projects. Having sawed, drilled and hammered individual branches all the parts came together to create one large tree. We discussed the shape of the tree and noticed how thinner branches grow out of the thicker trunk and how even thinner branches grow out of those. As a group the PreK’s then painted the tree from roots to the tips of the tinniest branches in brown. We took the chance to refresh some color mixing and learned how to make brown (yellow+red+a tiny amount of black). All that is missing now is to think about what to wish for. We started considering this and talked about different kinds of things to wish for—some wishes are for ourselves, some wishes can be for others and some wishes are more abstract and can be for the entire world. We talked about wishing for stuff we want, things we want to do and places we want to go (toys, live in a castle, see a rainbow); bringing imaginary things to life (making superheroes real, flying, being a cheetah) and hoping for a better world (that people wont be mean, that nobody dies, that people don’t litter).

The trees will be brought up to the classrooms where they can be used to explore changing seasons, the tree as a habitat or maybe even as a family tree. Looking forward to see what the trees will end up being and to more imagination-filled woodshop-adventures with the pre-K’s!


Kindergarten (Katydids) are busy making furniture for their mini-me’s. We began by making detailed plans. Each Katydid designed three different chairs. There were rolling chairs, rocking chairs, regular chairs, bat chairs, rocket chairs and more. Each student chose one of their designs and practiced taking it apart in their heads. They then drew and labeled all of the parts needed to make that specific chair. With this blueprint in hand construction could begin. Each student cut legs, seats, back rests, arm rests and decorative elements for their chair. We practiced marking lumber before cutting it and how to mark two pieces so that they will be the same length, practicing accuracy and being deliberate with our choices and actions. We will end up with a classroom full of different chairs for the mini-me’s very soon…


First Grade (Centipedes) continued building beds for their mini-me’s. this month. We saw how useful having a plan can be. When a problem presented itself we could always turn back to the original design and see what we had planned. The centipedes are becoming truly independent in the woodshop. Now that they know where everything is, what every tool does and what the right way to hold, walk with and use everything in the shop is they are fully in control of their projects. Each bed that the Centipedes are building is different and unique—bunk beds, princess beds, low beds, high beds, narrow beds, wide beds, rocket beds and more. We are considering what makes each project different and what they all share, thinking about form and function and understanding what is essential and what isn’t by making plans and drawings that consider the structure and the ornament — making plans that break down the project into the two categories. The Centipedes are also focusing on being accurate so that the beds don’t wobble and that all the parts attach. Can’t wait to see what they design next!


Second Grade (The Sharks) are hard at work building marionettes. We took a vote as to what the marionettes should be of and there was a nearly unanimous decision to make self portraits. We began with measuring and cutting the right length of wood for the different parts using a plan. The sharks each had to mark off the part they made using a cut-sheet. Now, when all the parts are assembled they began drilling holes to connect the limbs to themselves and then to the body. They are becoming experts on the drill making all those holes. Measuring, cutting and drilling into small pieces of wood is making everyone a lot more accurate and conscious of how and where they make cuts, marks and holes. Next up we need to construct the crossbars to control the puppets, design their heads and features, make their outfits and finally string them up and animate them!




Pre-k (The Beetles, Dragonflies, and Bumblebees) delved deeper into their study of the human body. In the past few weeks we have continued to discuss our blood and our bones. We learned that red blood cells carry oxygen around our bodies and that white blood cells help our bodies to fight germs and bacteria that can make us sick. Everyone enjoyed reading I Know How We Fight Germs, by Kate Rowan.  We learned that white blood cells zap viruses and eat bacteria! In Lab the children created white blood cell models from clay and drew fun pictures of white blood cells attacking the germs. Then we moved on to learning about our bones and skeleton. * Everyone was excited to learn that the white and red blood cells are made in the marrow of our bones. We read Seymour Science: Bones.  The book has amazing photographs of magnified bones. We also looked carefully at the real bones and skeleton models we have in the science room! This past week we talked about joints (the point where two bones meet). We discussed how our bodies move and how our joints help us to move our bones. Our discussion focused on our 33 vertebrae and how our backs are able to bend in a variety of ways. Touching the real cat vertebrae from our cat skeleton kit was really exciting! In the next month we will discover more amazing human body facts about our brain, stomach, and muscles.

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Kindergarten (The Katydids) continued their study of Earth Science. We read One Well: The Story Of Water On Earth, by Rochelle Strauss. Everyone was interested to learn that the same water has always been on Earth and that our water continually moves through the water cycle. The Katydids experimented with ice melting, to see the process of condensation. The children also discussed their observations of the water cycle happening and water evaporating on the playground.  In lab we also conducted a silly precipitation experiment by filling shaving cream clouds that were floating on a glass of water with food coloring. When the clouds were full of food coloring a colorful rain dropped into the water below. Finally, The Katydids were excited to bring home “Water Cycle In A Bag” experiments to observe over the Winter Break! This past week we began our exploration of Ecosystems. The Katydids already know a lot about the basic needs plants and animals have for survival. We are looking forward to constructing some model ecosystems in class next month.

First Grade (The Centipedes) has really enjoyed their study of Matter. We finished the study by creating sugar crystals and then we moved in to an exploration of Solutions as we dissolved our crystals in water. Next, the Centipedes experimented with different Solutes (salt, sand, candy, color tablets) in a Solvent of water to explore: “what makes a solution.” We began discussing the properities of water and its ability to break down different substances. The Centipedes were excited to discover that the temperature of the water as well as the speed that they stirred the water had an impact on how quickly things dissolved. This past week the Centipedes created an experiment to test surface tension and to use the classroom pipettes. First, the class thought up a way to clean some oily pennies using vinegar and salt so that they would be ready for our water drop testing. The Centipedes are conducting experiments to see how many drops of water can really fit on the surface of a penny. They are watching cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension in action! The Centipedes are also learning that the more quietly and carefully they squeeze the water from the pipette the more drops they can fit on their coin.

Second Grade (Sharks) has continued their study of water.  They have focused on testing surface tension by pouring water to see it bubble over the top of a cup. They also tested dropping water and oil on the surface of pennies (this is why the Centipedes brainstormed about ways to clean the greasy pennies).  Next the Sharks began to experiment with cohesion (water molecules sticking to one another) and adhesion (water molecules sticking to other things). In Science Lab the Sharks soaked celery sticks in colored water for a week in order to observe how cohesion and adhesion help plants to eat! This past week the Sharks used magnifying glasses to look at their celery cut up and to make observational drawings. Finally, they experimented with moving water from a one cup to another through a twisted paper towel, to see how plant roots suck up water and nutrients from the soil. In the next month we will continue to discover how plants eat!




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Project Work: The Incredible Second Grade Culmination

Just so proud of our second grade class and their incredible child-centered and directed Subway Museum!


Greeters/gift shop workers handing out museum booklets and trinkets…

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1904 train ride simulation

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Creative ideas for the city’s abandon stations. Is that an underground beach?! Note: trash-littered track!


Franklin Avenue Station!


Interactive subway art: mosaic-making station


The kid-created PowerPoint documentation of their study


Trains made in wood shop


Their own attempts at graffitied trains

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Writing connected to the study.


From one of our second grade parents: “Let’s hear it for our shark train museum builders – what!!! Amazing gift shop, train museum tour guides, 1904 train ride simulation with announcers and conductor, trains of the future, train library, abandoned station bounce-o-Rama remake, Franklin S train station model, train graffiti stop and so much more!!!

Now, that’s an inquiry project.”


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Culturally Responsive Book List: Please Contribute!

Dear families,

The staff had a very inspiring professional development day around the idea of how to teach through a culturally respectful and responsible lens, (sometimes just subtly) addressing race, gender, cultures, learning differences and styles in ways that let our kids know that it’s wonderful to be whoever you are. We talked about ways to support self esteem development, inclusiveness, different points of views/perspectives, empowerment, questioning “norms” such as advertising and media biases and beyond.

I have created a book list around these ideas – addressing these concepts either overtly or just subtly through pictures or characters. We would like to ask families to help by purchasing a book off our list that will help to grow our library and support our efforts to be socially conscientious educators.

Here is our Amazon wish list – you can send books directly to Brevoort or bring them in yourselves (and I will figure out which building they belong in).

We so appreciate your continued commitment and support to our program!

Thank you!