100th Day of School

Today, February 6th, is the one hundredth day of school here at St. Sylvester School. To celebrate this accomplishment, each of the students brought in their own collection of one hundred objects. During math class, we took a break from telling time and used our one hundred collections to see how many ways we could get to one hundred. The students made five groups of twenty, twenty five groups of four, and fifty groups of two! Each child made these and more groups with objects such as toothpicks, stickers, and even pennies!

Thank you for assisting your son or daughter in collecting their one hundred objects. Ask them which other equal groups they made with their one hundred collection.

Art Institute Field Trip

Today the first and second grade classes visited the Art Institute. When we arrived, the museum provided docents to take us through the museum. Some groups discussed clues from the past in art while others talked about the portrayal of animals in art. After enjoying lunch with a view of Millenium Park, the students broke into smaller groups to explore the museum. We saw so many beautiful piece of art, from Monet's pointillism to a smaller version of the Lincoln Memorial. As a parting gift, every student received a free family pass from the Art Institute. Be sure to use the free pass soon so that your son or daughter can be a docent for your family and show off all they learned today!

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas to all of our St. Sylvester families! Enjoy the time off with your second grade angels and have a healthy and blessed New Year!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

This past week the second grade class has been learning about Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe. We looked at different images of Our Lady of Guadalupe including the one in our front hallway. Thursday's all-school Mass was in celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so the students were able to hear Fr. Sam talk about this important story and how they can continue to build God's Church. We also attended a prayer service in which we offered many prayers to Mary. 

Over the week, the children practiced putting on the play of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Earlier today, they performed the play for each other in costumes and with props. Everyone did a wonderful job learning about this incredible story. Look in your child's folder for an Our Lady of Guadalupe prayer card.

Christmas Concert

What a great way to get into the Christmas spirit! The whole school came together this past Sunday to share their singing and instrumental talents for all of their school peers and families to enjoy. After a lot of hard work by Ms. Fox, their music teacher, they were ready to perform! Thank you to all of the families that attended the annual Christmas concert and also the family potluck afterwards. We truly are blessed to have such an activity and vibrant community here at St. Sylvester School.

What is a Scientist?

This year the second grade class has been lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the Science on the Go program sponsored by The Peggy Notebaert Museum. The theme of our unit is " What is a Scientist?" Over the next three weeks, the students will be answering this question and learning more about biologists, chemists, and engineers. In order to understand what they do, the second graders will be acting as these scientists by performing different activities and experiment as scientists do.

The first week has been focused on biologists and the work they do studying living things. In order to step into the shoes of a biologist, the second graders set up preference trials for mealworms in small lab groups. One mealworm was placed on each plate and the students had to observe which condition the mealworm preferred. The plates were sectioned off into wet/dry, light/dark, hot/cold, and cloth/foil/wax paper. After making their observations, the students took notes in their science notebooks. Talk to your son or daughter about which conditions their mealworm preferred!

Also, be sure to keep up with our Science on the Go curriculum by asking your son or daughter what kind of scientist they worked as that day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have been getting ready for the holiday in Room 205! 

First the second graders and their seventh grade buddies prepared and presented the Thanksgiving prayer service to the whole school on Monday. Each class was responsible for writing on one fruit or vegetable why they were thankful for the word written on it. After everyone presented their foods, they were added to a large cornucopia on the wall.

The students celebrated an all-school Mass together this morning. Prior to the beginning of the Mass, the second grade class presented all of the canned goods that were donated for the St. Sylvester food pantry. A large section of the altar was filled with all of the wonderful foods and treats families brought in over the last month. Thank you to all of the families who participated by sending in the much appreciated food donations.

Everyone should see the turkeys that the second graders worked hard on this afternoon, as they were sent home today. The students used their footprints and handprints to put together a colorful turkey decoration. They also thought hard about all of the things they are thankful for in their lives to write on the feathers. I hope that this decoration helps brighten up your home this season!

Lastly, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Making Change

To finish up our unit on money, the second grade class has been making change. In order to make this task easier, we used a chart with the columns labelled Price, Amount Paid, Counting Up, and Change. The second graders have learned that putting information in a chart can make it more organized and understandable. Click on the link below to watch a few second graders fill in this chart to make change!


Butterfly Life Cycle

As I am sure you have heard, we have some classroom pets in Room 205! A few weeks ago, we received ten caterpillars in jars. We watched them grow dramatically in size and eventually pupate into chrysalis. These chrysalides were then transferred into a larger netted cylinder where they eventually emerged as Painted Lady butterflies. Every child has had a chance to sit with the caterpillars, chrysalides and finally butterflies to observe closely these amazing creatures. Every family should receive back their child's caterpillar diary this week. In it the students recorded some of their observations. We will keep the butterflies in our classroom through their life cycles as it is too cold to let them go outside. I really believe this project helped the students understand life cycles better and is ultimately an unforgettable experience. I have posted pictures here of the caterpillars getting ready to go into the pupal stage, an adult butterfly eating from an orange, and a couple of students showing off their caterpillar diary work.

Day of the Dead

Today the second graders attended a Day of the Dead prayer service led by the first and eighth grade students. In preparation for the prayer service, each student colored and cut out a calavera mask. These masks were worn during the prayer service to show that we can both honor and celebrate the life of those loved ones who have died. Every student in the school also colored and cut out a marigold to honor and pray for those who have passed away. The marigolds were glued together to make a beautiful tablecloth. It is important to remember All Saints Day and All Souls Day are celebrated this weekend as well as Halloween!