Stirring Up Memories

Stirring Up Memories is one of the reading stories in our Treasures Reading Book.  It is about the author Pam Munoz Ryan, her life growing up, and what it is like to be an author.  Since this story falls at the end of the year, I have the students write about their second grade memories.  I also print out a group picture and a recent individual picture of the students.  I let them create a scrapbook page with their pictures.  I always enjoy reading the stories and reading what we did that stood out to the kids. 

Describing our Classmates

Students use adjectives to describe their classmates!  

It is a great way to boost self-esteem and review adjectives. I gave each child a class list.  Beside each name, they had to write an adjective to describe that student.  I did not have them write anything beside their name.  After they finished, I compiled the lists.  I gave each student a piece of paper with all the adjectives listed that their classmates used to describe them. I took a picture of each student and gave it to them for the project.  They glued the picture to a white piece of paper and used markers to write their adjectives around their picture.  Then they glued that sheet of paper onto construction paper.  They really enjoyed seeing what everyone else in the classroom thought of them.  Some were also surprised with what was listed.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Need a fun writing lesson as a time filler for the end of the year!?  This one is perfect! This writing activity gives students a chance to recreate the story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  It also reviews nouns, adjectives, weather, and writing formality.  It is set up in stages so that students are able to organize their writing easily.  You can preview the lesson at TeachersPayTeachers.

Folder Games

The end of the year is approaching and the kids are getting restless.  It is also time to start testing them individually and reviewing material already taught.  I needed something for my students to do at their desk while I worked one on one with other students.  These folder games are great for that.  I am also using this to help get grades on their standard based grade cards.  The kids are having fun while learning, and I am able to get grades from them while testing students on other skills.  Mission complete.  If you would like to have your own (almost) ready made center, you can get it at TeachersPayTeachers.  The packet includes games for synonyms, antonyms, ABC order, contractions, and compound words.

Estimating with Candy

It is the end of the year, and my students are really starting to slow down on their AR.  AR (Accelerated Reader) is a reading program. Students read a book and take a comprehension test over the book. I set an individual goal for the month and for the 9-weeks.  Since the end of the year is approaching, the students don't get as much time to complete their goals.  Our students are not allowed to check out books from the library after the 2nd week of May.  So, they really have to step up in order to reach their goal.  I needed to give my students some sort of motivation to reach their goal.  I  bought a glass jar and filled it with yummy jelly beans.  Every time they take and pass an AR test, they get to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar.  At the end of the month, I will give the student that had the closest guess the jar of jelly beans to keep.  I did this previously with M&Ms, and it really seemed to help motivate.  I figured I would try it again with jelly beans since Easter is right around the corner.  You can purchase the forms I created at my TeachersPayTeachers site.

Easter Egg Animals

I found this craft on the Highlights website.  It is really cute and only takes a little prep time. (Depending on the grade level you are teaching.)

Materials Needed:  Foam, plastic easter egg, googly eyes, pom poms, construction paper.

1.  Out of foam, cut out the animal's head, feet, and wings.
2.  Decorate the face and glue on the googly eyes.
3.  Cut our strips of construction paper and fold them accordion style.
4.  Glue legs, feet, wings, and head to the egg.

I had each shape cut out from card stock paper and the students traced them on to the foam.  They did the cutting and decorating.  I did glue the pieces to the egg for them because hot glue was quick and easy.  I also added a sparkly pom-pom to the back of the bunny for the tail.  They turned out really cute and the kids had fun making them.

Sweet Success

Our school has standard based report cards for 2nd grade.  With one of the standards, students need to be able to spell number words 1-100.  I needed some sort of motivation for my students.  So, I put each child's name on an ice-cream cone.  I also had an ice-cream scoop to represent each math number word test.  Every time the students passed a test, they got to put the scoop on top of their cone.  That way everyone could see their progress.  It made some work harder than usual because they looked at it as a race to the top!

"Egg"cellent Behavior

Spring fever has set in!  I wanted to find a way to keep the kids on their best behavior.  So, I printed out the "Egg"cellent Behavior sheets.  I placed one in each Easter egg.  When I catch a student doing what they are suppose to, they get a compliment from another teacher, or they are caught doing something exceptional they get to pick an egg from the Easter basket.  This is great instant feedback for the students.  Plus they always enjoy getting incentives that aren't typically offered.  You can download them for free in Word format (so you can change the rewards) at my TeachersPayTeachers site.

How to Blow a Bubble

I found this really great lesson plan from Lesson Plan SOS.  You can download the activity for free on the blog or go to their TeachersPayTeachers website.

With this lesson, students write about blowing bubbles.  They have to explain the process of blowing a bubble.  They also practice using super duper words.  This is a great lesson that pulls in writing, sequencing, and adjectives.  My students had a blast with this lesson.  It is nice to see kids so excited about writing!!

The Moon by Seymour Simon

This week my students are reading The Moon by Seymour Simon.  Instead of doing the same boring graphic organizer that comes with the reading series, I decided to change things up and have the kids draw pictures to represent the important facts that were in the book.  The kids did an amazing job and really enjoyed having something new and fun to do with the reading story.  The activity was a success.  The students were able to retell me all the information from the story within 2 minutes. 

I am struggling with Google's document viewer at the moment.  So, until I get it figured out, you can download the lesson for free at

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