Thursday, May 29, 2014

Haikus in the "Eyes of a Second Grader"

We are in the midst of our poetry unit.  This week we spent talking about Haikus.  I did a lot of teaching and practicing syllable counting before showing them the 5-7-5 pattern of a Haiku.  

Most of my students need a little inspiration for ideas or topics to write about.  This time their "inspiration" came in the form of a few colored blobs of paint dropped onto a piece of white paper, then folded in half.  
The kids LOVED deciding what their "paint blobs" looked like. I loved watching them turning their papers around in every direction to get the best picture.  

After they decided what their picture looked like, they wrote their Haikus about it.

This one is two bunnies:


A Pinching Crab:


An Eagle:

A Dragonfly:

My favorite,  The Head of a Horse:



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cereal Box Biography Reports

It's almost the end of the year so everything has to be unique and have an element of fun for my students to be engaged. Cereal Box Reports are always fun to make and the kids like sharing their finished product with the rest of the class.

Last year I was able to order this great set of Biography Books that were on a reading level that all my students can handle.  There are 12 different famous people (even though 6 are showing in this picture). The options are limited but they are exposed to the genre of biographies and truthfully not one of my students complained about the lack of choices. They are so easy going :)

I gave the students a web to help them organize their facts.  The organizer has 4 sections:  
childhood, interesting facts, accomplishments, my opinion. 

Each of these topics about their famous person became a side of the cereal box.

It took us about a week to complete but here they are!!!
 cereal box biography reports

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Memorial Day...My Hero

For my second graders defining Memorial Day was a bit of a challenge. They weren't totally sure if it was a holiday to celebrate pools and barbecues, the start of summer traffic (the only downfall of living by the shore), or remembering America's Heroes??

This writing activity really helped them to relate the importance of the holiday to their own life.
We began by brainstorming the meaning of the word Hero. The students had to choose someone in their life and write reasons why that person is their hero.

I borrowed a book from our art teacher full of these ideas for handprint crafts. This one was intended for a Fourth of July craft but I liked the idea of fireworks, they are very patriotic. I used a silver glittery paint for the "white" firework.  Next year I will use a light blue background so that the silver really "pops."

 Memorial Day Writing Craft Second Grade

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pair of Pears-Homophones

A little fun activity we did this week for homophone practice.
First we defined homophones and "tapped into our prior knowledge" to make a little list.

I handed out homophone cards randomly to the class. The students had to find their matching homophone pair.  They had fun doing this with the added challenge of doing it silently. Together they drew pictures to illustrate the meaning of their word.

Then we made a giant homophone pear poster...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Say Goodbye to Gallon Guy, Say Hello to Gallon Butterfly

We are currently in one of our final math units of the year, Capacity.  I have been a big fan of "Gallon Guy" in the past. It is a great craft for helping my students understand the relationship of cups, pints, quarts, and gallons.  This year, I mixed things up and introduced, "Gallon Butterfly."  It was too perfect a fit for our class since we are simultaneously studying butterflies in science.  I love when lessons cross from one subject to another.  It also makes a great spring into summer display for our hallways.

 Gallon Butterfly Second Grade Lesson Capacity

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Tea

Mother's Day is so special to me because now that my daughters are in nursery and preschool I am lucky enough to receive gifts of handprints and scribbled "I Love Yous." This may explain how over the top we go in Second Grade to make a very special afternoon for our moms.

It all begins in September...
The students make a book or journal each month of all the special memories they shared with mom. I also take a picture of them and we start building our book month by month.
Here is a picture of our September entry.

I love how each month you can see how they change and grow in both their looks and their writing.  Here is another picture from a January entry.

Here is the cover of our book (laminated and on card stock)

Just before Mother's Day we invite all the moms in for a "Mother's Day Tea."  The preparation for the event is a little time consuming but the outcome of seeing the mom's faces and emotion is so touching.

Our beverage table....

Some of our desserts...(my homemade cupcakes, aren't they fancy? ;)

 The kids are always saying, "Mom makes the best...." so I thought it'd be fun to put together a little cookbook of all the kid's favorite recipes.

Here is how their gifts were presented to mom (on top is a wrapped gift the kids made with our Art teacher).


A little decor for the hallways..
 On the flowerpot the students wrote a little opinion piece which starts out, "My mom is the best mom in the world." (I got a few giggles out of reading these).


These flowers lined the hallway going up to our classroom. On each petal they wrote words to describe mom.

It was an amazing afternoon for everyone. The kids loved sharing their special gifts and crafts.  Another surprise for the moms is that our music teacher puts together an amazing little performance made up of 6 of the cutest Mother's Day themed songs.

The day was full of lots of smiles, memories, and happy tears.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Cinquains

What better way to welcome spring than with a little poetry.  This is our last unit of writing for the year.  In my opinion it's saving the best for last. I love teaching poetry.

Cinquains are so much fun to write, the kids love these and really let out some creativity. Here is a little activity we did with them this week.


and here is the inside...

Now the next challenge will be what crafty things can I come up with to showcase the rest of the  poetry they will write in this unit??