Valentine's Day Art Project & A Freebie

My students are having a blast painting and getting our room decorated for February.  They love it when I put up their artwork!  I like to have the students do real art and let them express themselves.

This was a two day process.  First we painted a heart inside a square with a border. They looked pretty plain before they added the details.

 The second day they added squiggly lines, zigzags, and dots.  I love the how they turned out!

Here is a Valentine's Day freebie from my TPT store.  Click on the picture to grab it.

Snowman Activities and Freebies

I love doing snowman activities even though I teach in Southern California.   I am lucky to get a view of the snow-capped mountains from my classroom.

My students enjoy painting. First, we practice drawing our snowman.  After a few tries, we are ready to use permanent marker.  The eyes and mouth is colored in with the permanent marker. We used kids paint with glitter for the scarf and the headband on the hat.  Everything looks better with a little glitter!  Then we used watercolors for the rest of our pictures.

We are reviewing 2-digit addition and subtraction since we have been out of school for 3 weeks.  My students have fun completing the riddles.  I love it when they start to laugh at the answers.  

My students love little books.  It feels more special to them when it is in a book rather than a single worksheet--not to mention there is less clutter in their desk.  This Winter Fun book reviews math and language arts skills needed for second grade.  

Spiral review for second grade

Here are some winter math centers that my students enjoy playing after they complete their math.  It is a great way to review math skills and see who needs extra help.

Missing Addends

Pinterest is a great place for ideas.  You can get step by step directions from A Girl and a Boy blog.

Follow me on Pinterest for more ideas and freebies.

Fall Math Centers

This is a beautiful time of year with the leaves changing colors and the weather getting cooler.  I am going to share with you some fall activities that I do with my students.

I read many books to my students about fall. One of my favorite one books to read is Animals in Fall by Martha E. H. Rustad.  This is an excellent book that describes what animals do to prepare for winter.
Why Do Leaves Change Colors is another great nonfiction book for students.  It gives a detailed explanation on how leaves change colors.

My students work on skip counting, missing addends, and adding 3 numbers for math centers.  It is a great way to help students retain these math skills and gives me a chance to work with students.
Scarecrow activities

 They also play Three in a Row or Roll & Cover to help them memorize math facts.

Dice games for second grade

My students need constant review to remember the skills that I have taught them.  Fall Fun has both math and grammar skills in it.  My students love having their own little book and are so eager to work in it.  You can purchase the math centers and Fall Fun booklet in my TPT store.
Fall math

My students love doing directed drawing by Art for Kids Hub.

Click on the picture below for your FREE copy of place value for second grade.
Fall math for second grade
Do you need more math for fall?  Check out my math packet here.

Back to School Tips, Ideas, and Freebies

This week my students are having fun learning at school with Pete the Cat.  We started our first day of school reading Pete the Cat:  Rocking in My School Shoes. After we read the book, we went on a school tour.  We followed the clues that Pete the Cat left us and went over a few rules along the way.  The first few weeks is all about rules and procedures.  

 I got the tour cards from Inspired by Kindergarten.   A few of my students were so serious and asked me if Pete the Cat is real?  I love moments like that!

When we returned to our classroom, Pete the Cat left us a little snack of goldfish crackers.  I was so busy preparing for school that I forgot to take pictures.

In math, we played Three in a Row.  It is a fun way for the students to get extra practice learning math facts.  I love the quiet dice!
Math games for second grade

I gave my students a spiral math review to see what math skills they remembered from first grade.  You can get a FREE copy by clicking the picture below.

Math Spiral review for second grade

Here are a few pictures from Open House.  The links are for the various resources are listed below.

I am always looking for new ideas on Pinterest.  Here are the links to the following resources that I give to my parents at Back to School Night.

Sign in sheet- from Smiling and Shining in Second Grade-FREE
Why Can't We Skip Reading Tonight?-FREE
Popcorn labels from Mrs. Beattie's Classroom-FREE
10 Free Learning Web for Kids from A Year of Many Firsts -FREE
Reading at Home by All Students Can Shine-FREE
My 2nd Grade Goals by Melissa Moran-Paid item

I am teaming up with my friends for an amazing giveaway.  I am keeping my finger crossed that you will win!

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Back to School Tips

Back to school is just around the corner and I am slowly beginning to prepare things for the first week of school.  It is hard to believe that this will be my 29th year of teaching.  Here are some tips for a successful school beginning.

Teaching is demanding and exhausting.  A teacher could work 24 hours a day and still not get everything done.  Here are a few tips to make your job just a little bit easier.

Procedures.  The first few weeks of school is all about teaching rules and procedures.  Your students need to know the expectations and procedures foe EVERYTHING you do in the classroom.  Be very clear on how you what your students to line up, ask to use the restroom, sharpening pencils, etc.  

Make sure you compliment your students for a job well done.  Students respond better to praise than to negative feedback.  The more time you take to teach them the procedures, the smoother your school year will go.  Make sure to MODEL, MODEL, MODEL.

Don't try to do it all.  There are so many great teaching ideas and resources that we want to do them all.  This is not realistic.  Choose a few new thing to try each school year and do them well.  If you try too many new things, it will not work.    

 Ask for  help.  Try to get parent volunteers to help you with copying papers or getting art projects ready.  Don't be afraid to ask your colleagues foe help and advice.  They might have some great advice on handling a challenging student or teaching a concept a different way.  

Become friends with your custodian and secretary.  They may a time when you are in a bind and you need the help of your custodian and secretary.  They are more likely to help them if you take the time to know them and treat them with respect.  Give them a little treat from time to time and let them know that you appreciate them.

Be positive and make a connection with your students.  Many of my students do not get the attention they need at home.  My most difficult students respond the best to me when I take the time to get to know them and I am positive with them.  They know that I truly care about them and want what is best for them.  Being positive with your students goes a long way.

Find time for yourself.  You can easily run yourself down and get teacher burn out.  Take a break and read a book, go to a movie, or find a hobby.  I take dance classes on a regular basis so I get plenty of exercise and hang around people that aren't just teachers.  I love teaching but I don't want to be talking about it all of the time.  It is important to find some time for yourself to stay healthy and happy.  Teaching is HARD and DEMANDING work but the rewards are well worth it!  I could not imagine doing anything else.

Back to School Freebie

I hope you are enjoying your summer and getting some time to relax.  Before you know it, summer will be over and school will be beginning.  I created a Back to School Math FREEBIE to share with you.  It is simple addition and subtraction to help your students practice math facts.

Simple addition and subtraction for second grade

Click on the picture below for your Back to School Math FREEBIE.

Everything in my TPT store is on sale.  Click here to go to my store.

I am teaming up with many other amazing bloggers that have many freebies to share with you.  We are also giving away 5 gift cards.  Make sure you enter the giveaway below.

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