The Emperor Penguins of Antarctica

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Our little Emperor penguins of JCDSRI had the opportunity to experience how challenging it is for the female penguins to transfer 038their eggs to the male penguins in the COLD and BITTER Antarctica winds.

As part of our thematic unit, students learned that these flightless birds breed in the winter. After a courtship of several weeks, a female emperor penguin lays one single egg then leaves. Each penguin father balances the egg on his feet and covers it with his brood pouch. There the males stand, for about 65 days, through icy temperatures, cruel winds, and blinding storms.


STEAM WEEK……in second grade


In the second grade we:128

  • celebrated STEAM week and experimented ALL WEEK with science, technology, engineering, art, and math 🙂
  • constructed and observed toys that spin.
  • explored and described some of the variables that influence the spinning of objects.
  • observed and compared rolling systems with different-size wheels.
  • explored and described the motion of rolling spheres and made homemade roller coasters inside the classroom125.
  • learned about how animals enhance their senses to adapt to their environment and designed and constructed our own “animal power” invention!
  • made musical instruments with everyday items such as; cups, elastics, spoons, H2O, paperclips etc.
  • learned about Antarctica and  the different kinds of Penguins that live ther122e.  We also began researching our penguin of choice.121
  • designed and painted an “international” chair made of cardboard.

We have had a great STEAM week and will continue to implement STEAM activities every day in the second grade!





The Rag Coat Tradition Lives On

The Rag Coat

The Rag Coat Lives On.....

Students in the second grade class continue the wonderful tradition of celebrating literacy with family members over a cup of hot chocolate. Since 2001, students at JCDSRI have been taking a very special book bag home to share and enjoy with their families. Inside the book bag is not just a book and some materials; it is an intimate family experience. Families first jump into the weathered bag to read the “Things to Do” list, then put on the magical thinking scarf or hat, and snuggle together while reading the beautiful story by Lauren Mills, The Rag Coat.

In this story, we are reminded that “people only need people.” I won’t give too much away, but you can ask one of our second graders at JCDSRI, any student in grades 3-5, or one of our alumni. One of the most special aspects of this project is when a student brings back one of their special fabrics to share with the class. In the story, Minna’s community comes together to sew a winter coat for her because she does not own a coat. The coat is made from material that other families brought from home, and each piece is special and tells its own unique story. When our JCDSRI students come together to share their “special something,” it is amazing to see the way it also brings our own community together.

Science News – Balance & Motion

Second grade students are learning a great deal by observing and comparing how objects balance, spin and roll. Observing, communicating, and comparing are all important thinking processes that we are using during our investigations of these objects and systems. Students are having a blast building their own spinners, zoomers, and twirlers.


Second Grade Rocks!

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*Check out how unique and special we are in the second grade!  Can you guess who is who? Check out our Symbolic Self Portraits!

No Difference-

Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We’re all the same size
When we turn off the light
Rich as a sultan,
Poor as a mite,
We’re all worth the same
When we turn off the light.
Red, black or orange,
Yellow or white,
We all look the same
When we turn off the light.
So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!


We are learning about so many fascinating things in the second grade!  Ask your child about any of the following concepts/topics:

  • Around the World
  • The Thing About Georgie
  • Exploring New Places
  • Space Exploration
  • Bugsy and Gizmo (our classroom pets)
  • Stations in the Classroom
  • The Colors of Our Voice
  • Time Capsule
  • Kale Chips and Garden Ideas
  • Classroom Jobs
  • Second Grade Stars




Our Read-A-Thon was an enormous success! Great job third grade! Stay tuned for more pictures and our final announcement regarding our charity  Saving the Animals!

Thank you to Ruti and Karolyn for all your AMAZING support!  Did you know that Green Eggs and Ham is translated in Hebrew?  Hmmmmm? How can that be?

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Free as a Bird……




“When you are your own voice….”
Lity Munche


Above is a picture of our freedom quilt that is hanging outside of our classroom.  Each student wrote an original and personal saying that began with “Freedom is……”  Come check out this beautiful quilt (made out of paper) that students put so much thought into creating.

During the past two weeks we:

  • learned about the word “freedom”
  • discussed what freedom means in our country, our school, in life, being true to oneself etc.
  • grappled in deep discussions about “freedom of expression”
  • read “Talking Walls”
  • continued reading School Story and Pippi Longstocking
  • discussed our read-aloud The Reverend
  • continued typing our autobiographies and putting our last finishing touches on the photo album to publish
  • practiced the last few pages of our cursive book
  • learned about fractions and how to multiply and divide them

To be “free” in the recess yard….what are your dreams?

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It was so wonderful meeting all our special visitors.  Thank you for joining in on our math games, geometric creations, building challenges, and tricky brain teasers. Math is so much fun in the third grade!

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The third and fourth graders have been knee deep in the Rocks and Landforms science unit. We conducted an experiment with different types of rocks and vinegar to figure out the damage to the environment from acid rain. The children discovered that certain rocks were affected more than others.  We also ventured around our own schoolyard to experiment with different soil and various types of rocks. They had to categorize the rocks by shape, color, size, and texture. Next week we will conduct tests on soil in stream tables as we examine deposition and we will find out how to detect the hardness of a rock or mineral using the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.


We have our Read-A-Thon this Friday!!!! We are so excited!  This week we will continue to carry out our prototypes from a few weeks ago and begin building our “reading palace”.  We have so many great things planned for this special day of celebrating literacy.  I am so happy to announce that our theme for the day is “Saving the Animals” and our charity is Animals with Challenges and Disabilities.



  • Bring in pictures for Autobiography
  • Read-a-Thon Friday (start packing)
  • No spelling test this Friday
  • Bugsy and Gizmo need sitters for the summer…..let me know that you are interested in taking care of them for part of the summer 🙂

Have a great week!

Mrs. Davis

STEAM, Read-a-Thon, Earth Day and more!



“STEAM represents a paradigm shift from traditional education philosophy, based on standardized test scores, to a modern ideal which focuses on valuing the learning process as much as the results. In essence, we dare our students to be wrong, to try multiple ideas, listen to alternate opinions and create a knowledge base that is applicable to real life as opposed to simply an exam”  -Deron Cameron

*During STEAM week our third graders had fun learning about optical illusions, circuitry, math card tricks, and anatomy drawing. What was your child’s favorite part about STEAM week?






During the past few weeks we:

  • took a field trip to India Point Park and CLEANED the entire park on EARTH DAY! 🙂  I am so proud of the third grade!
  • tested the playground soil during science
  • began planting in our garden….yay it’s SPRING!
  • learned about currency and began fractions
  • presented our state brochure projects
  • began a new Readers’ Theater on the concept “Freedom”
  • continued learning more cursive combinations and will start implementing cursive into our everyday writing this upcoming week
  • continued working on our autobiography.  We are currently typing our final drafts on the computer:)
  • explored more “voice” in writing
  • switched guided reading groups and are now reading Pippi Longstocking and  The School Story
  • challenged and tested our architectural skills and REDESIGNED our third grade classroom into a literacy PALACE on paper. Then, prototyped our ideas using wooden building blocks.  Students had AMAZING ideas on how to follow through with the soon-to-be MAKEOVER in preparation for our annual READ-A-THON! 🙂
  • had Sam Drazen visit the classroom. Wow, Sam is quite an inspiration!  The students were engaged and very respectful as he told his story about the various obstacles and challenges when born with a craniofacial condition.  Please ask your child about his visit.  In addition, ask about how he connects in many ways with the main character August in the story, Wonder.

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  • Please send in a few pictures (scanned or copies) of your child and family etc. for his or her autobiography
  • Zimriyah this Thursday, May 7th
  • Special Visitors Day this Friday, May 8th
  • Read-a-Thon May 29th, 2015
  • We are looking for summer care-takers for our beloved class pets Gizmo and Bugsy. Please let me know if you are interested 🙂

Culture and Diversity…..


“Real cultural diversity results from the interchange of ideas, products, and influences, not from the insular development of a single national style” -Cohen

Students in the third grade have been very engaged!


  • began a new unit and have been busy answer the following concept questions:


  • read great pieces of literature; Suki’s Kimono, How My Family Lives in America, Good Bye Shin Dang Dong, Jalapeno Bagels, and Me and Uncle Romie
  • learned how to keep strategy response logs in our RRJ and are doing a fine job interacting with various texts
  • wrapped up our two novels, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
  • learned about various forms of poetry from around the world
  • shared our poems and experience with the poetry bag
  • began a new read aloud, Junebug and The Reverend
  • performed Readers’ Theater for our pre-k buddies and held a meet and greet for our beloved guinea pig Bugsy
  • finished our math unit on division and multiplication
  • continue practicing the lower case letters in cursive
  • continued writing our autobiographies and will begin typing our final drafts once we return from vacation
  • learned about various regions in the United States
  • began our research and brochure project and students will present with their group on Friday April 17th:)


* Research and analyze information that relates to city and state

*Written Communication

*Oral Communication

*Content Literacy

*Critical Thinking

*Work Ethic

*Create a unique visual product


– Students will research a city and state located in one of the United States

– Students will gain research skills by researching their city and state

– Students will gain experience in presenting and talking in front of crowds by presenting their brochures in front of the class

– Students will foster their persuasive skills by attempting to persuade their classmates to vacation in the city they research

-Students will make their brochure thinking about Jewish families

-Students will work collaboratively in their groups

Information required:

  • Climate, major cities, population, major land masses (mountains, rivers, rainforests etc.), groups of people, food, traditions, Jewish synagogues, JCC’s, Jewish Day Schools, Jewish museums, kosher restaurants and/or grocery stores.
  • Find information on at least 5 places to see or things to do for entertainment/sightseeing in that city that a Jewish family would enjoy
  • Find either a travel package to that destination or research the costs of airfare and hotel
  • Include a map of the city and state
  • Include at least one picture of city from internet or other resource


Haiku meets Passover…well maybe!  Come check out our colorful wall of poetry on the second floor! In addition, come see our concept question wall and our health and nutrition posters that are displayed on our bulletin board.

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We also:

  • celebrated our unit on health and nutrition
  • presented our informational posters to the class
  • learned more about being healthiful and living a “healthy” lifestyle, beginning with understanding food and the choices we make when selecting foods to eat.  Thank you Mark Brody (Aviva’s dad) for coming in and teaching us about food and nutrition!
  • finished our wooden houses that are now wired with electricity:)
  • continued to love and raise our phenomenal class pets Gizmo and Bugsy:) Thank you to all the families that bring in veggies for the animals and help take care of them on the weekends!
  • made matzah with the fifth grade


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Honor True Self
Forgive with Compassion
Receive ALL of life with Thanksgiving
CHOOSE with Thoughtful Consideration
Dream with Powerful Vision
Act with Bold Courage
Dance with a Light Heart
Relax in the Arms of Spirit

– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Save the Date!

Annual Read-a-Thon

May 29th

A day of celebrating literacy and reading to help raise money for a very special charity- stay tuned!

Have a wonderful Passover!

Mrs. Davis