April/May Snapshot (4/22-5/10)

Since we returned from spring break in April, second grade has accomplished so much! On Earth Day, the group wanted to give back to mother nature and collected several bags worth of trash from outside. The enthusiasm from the children was contagious and it was wonderful to see how much they cared about looking after the environment. We also took a field trip to the Pierce School that week to watch the beloved performer Ooch tell jokes and do yo-yo tricks! He first came to Lawrence in the fall and the children laughed just as much the second time around! 


In May, we’ve been doing lots of painting! Children painted melted ice cream cones, watercolored paint pipes, and used squeegees to smear and experiment with paint dots! There was also a fun, bouncy outdoor art exhibit earlier in the month that the group loved. We also did a cool activity that Janet showed us which involved outlining a roll of tape onto graph paper and designing patterns within them, and it turned out to be super relaxing and therapeutic! 


As for science projects, we made a valiant attempt at “Elephant Toothpaste”, where we used yeast, dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and food coloring in hope to create larger than life colorful toothpaste squirt out of a large soda bottle. We weren’t entirely successful in the vibrant coloring and replication of toothpaste, but of course, it’s all about the journey and not the destination. Then, probably the most enjoyed science project we’ve completed in a while involved pouring syrup, water, and vegetable oil into a mason jar; the three liquids separated themselves into three different layers in the jar, and then we took turns dropping different objects, such as a grape, marble, or lego into the jar and guessing which layer each was going to land on. Super cool and fascinating! 


Moving forward, we’re getting ready for the LEDP Walk-a-thon on May 31st! This week, our group made some awesome posters that we will put up around the track to help cheer on participants. We can’t wait!  

April Snapshot

Happy April from 2nd grade! We hope all families had a wonderful spring break!


We began our month with a classic April Fool’s prank where Brittney and I handed out “Brown E’s” to the children. Many of the children saw through us immediately, but we got a lot of them pretty good! As the month continued, the field opened back up, and our group has been spending hours outside each day enjoying the weather and soaking in the sunshine on the swings! And since baseball season has begun, we’ve been playing pick-up games and playing catch on the diamonds too. The eclipse also took place this month, which was a pretty cool experience. Although we weren’t outside with the children, we watched the NASA livestream throughout the afternoon. In the meantime, some members of our group have been working hard creating “infinity cubes”, which are basically fidget toys comprised of eight individual cubes that each child made themselves! It’s been a challenging but very rewarding project so far. We can't wait to see what the month of May will bring!

March Snapshot (3/18-3/29)

Happy Spring from second grade! First off, Brittney and I want to thank everyone for joining us at our recent Family Night. It meant a lot to us and the children that so many families were able to make it. It was wonderful to spend time together and give parents a glimpse into life at LEDP, and we hope you all had a wonderful time! 


In the meantime, our group has been taking full advantage of spring weather outside. Although the field was off limits for a bit, the children have been everywhere from the gaga pit, to the tennis court, the basketball court, and both playgrounds. On several days, we’ve been outside for two hours or more! 


Additionally, the second graders' interest in puzzles have reached new heights. On top of designing their own puzzles, they’ve already completed four to five new 300-500 piece puzzles that we recently purchased. They’ve been having a blast working together on them and are looking forward to conquering even harder ones! We also did some fun art projects including making stuffed animals out of paper and a cool art lesson on pointillism! 


We also had an incredibly fun mentoring session where the group competed in various challenges such as cup stacking and an Oreo challenge where each child placed an Oreo on one of their eyes and tried to use their facial muscles to get it down to their mouth. It was hilarious and competitive and definitely one of the best mentoring sessions yet! As we move onto April, we’re excited for more great weather, new projects, and spring vacation!

February/March Snapshot (2/26-3/15)

After February break, second grade came back to LEDP well rested and excited! The group earned their dance party shortly after, which was a total  blast! For the party, we set up a big speaker in the small gym, danced to music, had a snack table, and played around with glow in the dark face paint! We even had an impromptu dance performance from some of the children as well. Moving forward, the next reward in our Sun System is an ice cream & popsicles day! 


In March, our days have been full of St. Patrick’s Day art projects, New York Times Mini Games, puzzles, and long days outside on the playgrounds! Brittney taught the children how to  make “puffy paint” with glue, shaving cream, and food coloring. With puffy paint, the children made wonderful paintings and even leprechauns with orange puffy paint beards! Another big hit in second grade lately has been the New York Times Mini Games such as Connections, Spelling Bee, and Wordle. Some of our children have been obsessed with them lately, and it’s been really fun to see them work together and put their brains to the test. 


As the winter season has been coming around to a close and led to some warmer, sunnier days, our group has been spending more time outside on the playground, field, and track. The children have really earned our trust in letting them go where they would like outside as long as they give us a heads up and we can see them. As a group, it’s been lifting our spirits to spend more time with each other out in the sun. We can’t wait for spring to officially start! 

Feburary Snapshot (2/2-2/16)

Second grade has reached new heights of fun and camaraderie so far in February! Our group has been bonding lots over music, and thus has formed ““The World’s Greatest Band”, a star-studded, new-wave, experimental, never-been-seen-before music group with an ever-growing set list of Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, and Guns N’ Roses songs played on instruments built merely by wood blocks and magnet tiles. The children have been bringing the energy lately as they jam on their sick make-shift guitars, drums, and pianos. 


More highlights of the first half of the month included art projects, Valentine’s Day, and mentoring with 4-6th grade! For V-Day, we painted Love Monsters & Celery Flowers. For the celery flowers, they used real celery to paint the buds of the flowers and give it a unique and fun look! The children also made agamograph drawing illusions - they each colored two pieces of paper, cut them into strips, and then glued them side by side and folded them in a way that allows you to see both original drawings in full when looking from the sides! Some pieces included Harry Potter/Voldemort, Mario & Luigi, Princess Peach & Daisy, and dolphins and sharks. During mentoring, second grade spent another great afternoon with the LEDP mentors working on an art project about the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dragon. The project was filled with beauty and symbolism and included making Koi Fish that represent perseverance, strength, family, and harmony. It’s been great to see our second graders become closer with the older students as the mentoring sessions have continued throughout the year, and Brittney and I can tell the projects mean a lot to them.


Moving forward in the month, our group is close to filling our Sun System and earning our dance party, which we know will be a blast. Brittney and I will let families know when the party will be once the sun has been filled and a date has been decided! Have a wonderful February break!

January Snapshot (1/15-2/2)

Second grade has been killing it lately! Our Sun System has been filling up with rays almost every day, and we’ve been as active as ever. For one of our most ambitious projects to date, we made ice cream from scratch! While it was quite messy, it was so worth it - sources from within second grade stated that it tasted exactly like real vanilla ice cream with Oreos in it. The same has been said about the fake snow we also made this month using white conditioner and baking soda. In addition to ice cream and fake snow, some children made some really adorable and gorgeous polar bear pieces that taught them about shading using oil pastels and watercolors. We also ventured into sewing for the first time this school year and created wonderful and handy ribbon bookmarks that we sewed buttons and a hair tie onto as a means to bind around the page we left on.


A new addition to our schedule has been the switch from being in the cafeteria with other LEDP groups to having our own classroom on the first floor for the second half of the day! The children, as well as Brittney and I, have been really enjoying the space and time it gives our group to settle into reading & homework after we go outside. The switch also gives us a better opportunity to have our group meeting each day when we go through our checklist and discuss together if the children earned the sun ray for the day. We’ve started having the children lead the meetings, which has been a great way to engage them with the reward system and feel more involved the meeting and decision making. 


In the meantime, rock and roll, and more specifically “Smells like Teen Spirit,” has become a big part of the group's DNA. Almost every day last week, children requested that we play the song for them so that they can pause whatever they’re doing and head bang and dance like crazy. It’s been so much fun to hear what music the children like to listen to, and even more enjoyable to share it all together. 


As February begins, Brittney and I are continuing to work on our mid-year reports which will be out by the end of the month. Stay tuned! 

January Snapshot (1/2-1/12)


We’ve had a wonderful and busy start to the new year in 2nd grade! The children earned their highly coveted pajama and stuffed animal party, and they’ve been thriving working with the new job chart that we implemented which assigns a new batch of helpers at the beginning of each week. The group has been spending lots of time outside, embracing the winter weather and having a blast in the snow. They also made their own snow globes, stress balls, drew pandas and turtles, experimented more with watercolors, and have been singing and dancing each day to the group’s unanimous favorite song, “Darkside”, as well as lots of Taylor Swift. Moving forward, the next reward in the Sun System is a dance party with glow in the dark face paint. We can’t wait! 

December Snapshot

After completing our Sun System for the first time, our December began with our long awaited special snack party! We polled the group on their favorite snacks & drinks and ultimately celebrated with Doritos, Oreos, strawberries, and lemonade. The children were overjoyed and relieved to complete their first trip around the sun as a group, and they are already quickly working towards their next goal: a stuffed animal, pajama party. Classic.


This month also consisted of (surprise) many, many art projects, crazy science experiments, and down-to-the-wire game shows! Brittney led a bunch of unique, wonderful projects including menorah paintings, hot chocolate chalk pastel drawings, and sun butter & apple bird feeders. The children also learned how to draw dragons, make bouncy balls out of Borax and glue and celebrate the holiday season through watercolors! 


Our group has also continued to thrive alongside our new winter time schedule. Instead of beginning our days with reading & homework, we start with centers, eat snack, head outside before dark, and then settle in for reading & homework time. We’ve found it’s been a great way for the children to wind down after running around outside and many of them have been getting seriously invested into new series’, like Wings of Fire, so much that it can be tricky to get them to put their books down so we can have our daily meeting! 


Brittney and I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and winter vacation. We also want to let you all know that in the upcoming months, we will be writing and sending out our mid-year progress reports for the children. So, stay tuned for those, and we’ll see you in the new year!

November Snapshot

Happy Thanksgiving from 2nd Grade LEDP! This month has been wonderfully eventful and began with our first meeting with the 4th-6th grade Peer Mentors! The older children guided the second graders through an art project that involved designing cool scarecrows out of paper bags. It was great to watch the children get along and bond with each other through art, and the second graders are super excited for the next project with their mentors. 


In addition to mentoring, we’ve been doing more awesome art projects on our own! Pieces have included pinecone paintings, hand tree paintings, drawing ourselves as Minecraft characters, and an Among Us inspired drawing project as well. The children also successfully completed a new science experiment where they made popcorn kernels dance in a mason jar using baking soda, vinegar, and water! And of course on Fridays, we’ve continued playing game shows like Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? which many of the children love participating and competing in. 


Given daylight savings time and a few early release days, we’ve had to change our schedule a bit, which has been an adjustment for all of us. As a result, our group has been spending much more time together having a blast and playing dodgeball in the gym, instead of spending the second half of our afternoons outside. Yet despite the seasonal changes, we are still working our way through completing our Sun System. Our primary area of focus lately has been improving our clean-ups and transitions throughout the day. Hopefully by the end of this month, the sun will be filled, special snack will be had, and we can start the Sun System all over again! 

October Snapshot (10/16-11/2)


2nd Grade said goodbye to October on a great note! We ended the month with a bunch of fun and spooky art projects and had a wonderful Halloween day full of awesome costumes. Activities have included halloween moons, bat silhouettes, and our very own Juliana gave the group a lesson on drawing cats! We also introduced some new board games, such as “The Floor is Lava”, which has been a hit, and the children have been playing foosball more regularly thanks to improved sportsmanship and teamwork! 


As of November, our biggest update is the start of our group’s “Sun System,” a reward system we use in our daily meetings. Our system uses a checklist that includes the following: 


1) Quiet and focused reading time 

2) Responsible use of materials and space

3) Inside voices

4) Collaborative clean-up

5) Cooperative transitions 


Every day as a group, we go through each aspect of the chart and discuss candidly how we did. If each box gets checked off that day, a ray gets added to our sun! In the middle of the sun is the “reward” that the kids chose and will earn once the sun is full and bright with rays. Right now, we’re working steadily towards a special snack. So far, the Sun System has been a great way for us to experience and discuss our days as a group in an organized, thoughtful, and productive manner. Hopefully, it’ll be filled up soon! 

October Snapshot (10/2-10/13)

The past two weeks in 2nd Grade LEDP began with a goodbye celebration for our friends Sam & Amelie before they embarked on their new adventure in Switzerland! Our group made sure to send them off happily with a party that featured cartoons, chips, popcorn, and orange juice as the two of them so requested. We miss Sam & Amelie already and wish them and their family the best in their new home. 


That being said, our 2nd Grade group has been just as active as ever! We rebooted our quiet reading & homework time with a bunch of new book series’ including Narwhal & Jelly, Rainbow Magic Diaries, The Bad Guys, and The Babysitters’ Club! The kids also continued to evolve as scientists and successfully demonstrated an exciting exploding pumpkins experiment using vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring.


They also made stunning Halloween themed paintings using salt & glue, and also another set of unique paintings using fluorescent paint & whacky creatures that glow in the dark thanks to our cool black lights! The group also finished our Kindess Board, which we are very proud of. The board highlights each child individually and emphasizes and reminds us of the importance to “Be the ‘I’ in Kind”. Enjoy the photos! 


September Snapshot (9/18-9/29)

The past two weeks in LEDP went by so quickly despite many rainy, indoor days! At this point in the Fall, we’ve all gotten to know each other and the LEDP spaces more and the children have been excitedly moving through our daily routines and solidifying their understanding of our group expectations. This past week, we focused on the topic of respect through various group meetings centered around empathy and how we can positively use our words and actions to brighten others’ days. We’re currently in the process of making an amazing kindness board in the big LEDP room - pictures to come! 

Second grade has also continued their streak of incredible participation in our projects and games over the past two weeks. Art projects have included fall wreaths and marker & rubbing alcohol paintings that came out wonderfully, and the children tackled an intriguing science experiment using dish soap and pepper that taught them about surface tension and the importance of using soap when washing their hands. They also played a nail biter of a soccer game that went into sudden death on the field with third grade, beat and were defeated by several chess robots on chess.com, and had a blast finally figuring out how to successfully build and conquer the mouse trap in the game Mouse Trap! It has been really exciting and rewarding as a group to see everyone thriving and settled in now that fall is fully in spring. Brittney and I also want to say thank you to all the families for being so kind and communicative during pickups. See you soon!

September Snapshot (9/5- 9/15)

Second grade has had an amazing start this year at LEDP! Over the past two weeks, the children have been settling into and learning our daily routines, practicing our group expectations and taking full advantage of all the big LEDP room has to offer. They have done a great job getting accustomed to the new space, beginning each day with positive attitudes and excitement for what’s to come, and making memories with the group. We’re working towards full group cooperation during our daily meetings and reading & homework time, however, the kids have shown us as each day passes that they can surpass our expectations and foster a respectful, cooperative, and lively community in second grade. 


Brittney and I are thrilled to be the second grade teachers and have really been enjoying getting to know the kids and creating fun activities each day! We’ve done a variety of art, science and special projects already. Some highlights include a deep breathing & watercolor project where the kids painted “Worry Monsters,” as well as a marshmallow engineering activity where they designed buildings and sculptures with toothpicks and marshmallows. We also conducted an interesting rising water experiment, played Doctor Dodgeball with the third graders, wrote a hilarious and whacky long-form Mad Libs story titled, “A Completely Normal, Totally Regular 2nd Grade Day in LEDP”, and played an exhilarating game of Jeopardy that came down to the very last question! Many of the kids have been diving head first into whatever activities are planned each day and it’s been amazing getting to witness their effort, talent, and knowledge shine in LEDP. 


We’re so excited for the rest of the year and cannot wait to see what the kids accomplish, the friendships they make, and the fun times we will all have together. I also want to remind families that we don’t provide snack in LEDP. Thank you, and see you at pick-ups! 

December Highlights!

Black Light Paintings!

Exploring Surface Tension!

Color Burst!

2nd Grade Hits the Field!