Saturday, December 21, 2013

Math Flash Card Organization

Math Flash Card Mess
A Solution Idea

Math Flash Card Organization
I spent last Christmas break organizing my addition and subtraction flash cards. Well in the picture above you can see it was a big time mess again. So, I'm trying a different strategy this time. Hopefully I won't be in this situation next year!

Once I finally got the cards sorted, I used my hole puncher and then used my book rings to hold them together. See final images for my result.

I plan to have my upper level students pair with my strugglers after Christmas. I still have some kiddos who need to get their basic facts memorized.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Amazing Math Common Core Websites for Second Graders

I just wanted to share an amazing math website I just found tonight for all grade levels that is categorized into Common Core standards.  I look forward to using it with my second graders.  You can find it here: at Adapted Mind  Students earn badges as they progress. You can purchase a membership, but I was able to get on without a membership and start working problems.  I know if you are like me you are evaluating your midyear testing results and seeing what you have covered and not covered thus far.  It gets overwhelming trying to meet the needs of such diverse learners in one classroom.

Another great math website is  You definitely can get a lot without purchasing with this site.  You are allowed to create your class roster and assign class standards to work on as well as individual.  Students can work at home and at school with their own password. more great website for the Common Core math standards:  This site has so many games that you can print and make that go right with bridging the gap in our standards.  It is amazing and the games are easy to create by printing, putting into a page protector, adding dice, counters, etc. of stuff you probably already have in your math kit.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Celebrate Second Grade Classroom Decor

Our  Celebrate Second Grade Classroom Decor 

Well, I didn't get to paint my classroom the first summer, but my dear sweet hubby helped me this past summer.  We painted late at night because he has a business and I help him in my spare time.  It took several long nights and lots of country songs later, but we managed to get it taken care of the week before the kiddos arrived.  I chose to go with 2 colors and they make me happy when I walk in the room, so maybe I did something right.

2 Tone Classroom Paint with Pom Poms

 The pom poms were an addition as well.  I made them myself thanks to a Pinterest tutorial!

 Picture Before Leaderhip Words

Camp Lead a Lot
Display Bookcase for Beginning of Year

I used the book shelf to display camping gear...picnic basket, fake food, fishing basket, flashlight, and of course by beginning of the year favorite books to read.  The kiddos loved it.  They were especially questioning of the fake bread! :) 

Picture After Leadership Words

Leadership Inspiration Words

 I wanted something on the wall that showcased inspiring words.  My goal...leader in me style...I guess it has taken hold of my to display quotes throughout my classroom.  I have a Cricut and I use sticky vinyl to print so that I can paste on the wall easily.  I have printed a ton for our school.  My room has taken a back burner until now.  There's just not enough hours in the day.  I guess I need to set an action plan!

Reader Leaders Bulletin Board

Reader Leader Bulletin Board
for our challenge words that we use during writing time.

I had a Reader Leaders Bulletin Board last year for my students' reading goals, but I decided to change it up this year to display challenge words under the alphabet letters this year.  Thanks goes to my wonderful mom!  She helped me keep these circles straight.  I created the circles and letters on my Cricut with scrapbooking paper.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Camp Lead a Lot: Our Leader in Me Mission Statement

Welcome to Camp Lead a Lot:
Our Leader in Me Mission Statement

 Camp Lead a Lot: 

Our Leader in Me Mission Statement

Well better late than never I guess!!  I know it is almost halfway through the year, and I am just now posting my beginning of the year festivities.  Our school began the Leader in Me journey last year.  We have made so much progress in this area at our school from painting the walls in the hall, bathrooms, and even outdoor areas.  We put up quotes, painted our classrooms, and brainstormed ways to give our students the tools to become leaders in every avenue of school and home life.  We are really trying to bridge the gap with these kiddos.  

I'm going to show you the outside first.  I'll do my best to give you a peak inside in tomorrow's post.  I had each student do their mission statement for the year, and I posted a small picture and their ideas for making themselves and our classroom better this year.  I will leave it up the entire year as a reminder of their goals.  As a 7 Habits or Leader in Me School, this is one thing that is suggested for each student in the school.  It is important to set goals and to look back to see if they have been attained.
Sharpen the Saw: Habit #7 in the Tree Top
"Tree"mendous Adventures in Leadership
7 Habits are the steps up the ladder.  In the tree top, there's a tree
house with Sharpen the Saw: Habit #7 posted!

I used brown pipe cleaners as my rope on the tree.

Come Back Soon!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Geographic Regions: A Social Studies Unit in Second Grade

 Geographic Regions: 

Desert, Tropical Rain Forest, and Polar Region
Above is a display of the artifacts I used throughout this unit to
introduce the desert region, polar region, and tropical rain forest

A Social Studies Unit in Second Grade

In second grade, we study geographic regions.  This year I decided to tackle this unit in the first part of the year.  I introduced the unit with the desert region.  I gave students clues to what we would be studying through my backpack and suitcase attire.  They noticed the backpack and suitcase early in the day and all I would tell them was that we would be taking  a little field trip later in the day.  So, when I finally took out the bags, they were beside themselves with excitement.  I pulled out sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, hiking shoes, a long sleeve shirt, a compass, a flashlight, etc.  Each time I pulled something, I had them guess where they thought I could be going in the world.  By the end, they finally guessed "The Desert!"

I used one of my bulletin board to display information as we studied jobs, history, what was common in the region, and where on the map each region is located.  The students enjoyed researching information on the Internet and discussing the similarities and huge differences in each region.

This unit would be a great one to use as a coming back from Christmas unit to get the kids excited about learning again!
Our Geographic Environments Graphic Organizer

tropical rain forest artifacts
Close up View of the Tropical Rain Forest Artifacts
Polar Region Artifacts
Close up View of the Polar Region Artifacts

Desert Artifacts
Close of View of the Desert Artifacts

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Classroom Ornaments

Classroom Christmas Ornaments

Classroom Ornaments at Christmas time is one of my favorite activities to do with my kiddos. If you are like me your teacher mind is starting to think about what you are gonna be having your kids do at school for this Christmas season. I pulled up a couple of easy to do ornaments my kids have enjoyed in the past.
Rudolph Puzzle Ornament
Classroom Christmas Ornament Rudolph Puzzle Ornament
What I love about this classroom Christmas reindeer craft is the easy to find materials: small ribbon, googly eyes, a tiny drop of red paint, brown paint, craft glue, and puzzle pieces!

Classroom Christmas Ornament Candy Cane Heart
The candy cane Christmas Ornament is super easy! I sometimes use hot glue...just keep the kids clear on that part.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Owl Investigations

Owl Investigations

Every October, I try to plan an owl pellet investigation for my 2nd graders.  This year, I actually got to use owl pellets from our area.  My sweet sister-in-law has a real live owl who lives in a tree at her house.  My sweet niece and sister-in-law picked them up for me a few months back and I froze them until October.  I wasn't for sure they would hold up, but they did just fine.  
Owl Investigations: Digging through Bones

Students used a chart to discover which type of rodent or bird fell prey to the owl.
 Students measured their owl pellets before breaking them in half.  They also made predictions on a chart about how many of each type of bone they would find.  They then used tally marks to get their actual total.  It's really amazing how many little bones can be inside an owl pellet!
Owl's are some bones...They really loved the skulls, but the picture I took was too clear.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Top 10 Back to School Teacher Supplies

It's that time again to get your teacher supplies organized and ready for back to school and here are my top 10!  What's in your Teacher Toolbox? What must I have to organize my day in second grade?  Well, I'm gonna tell ya now! This is a list of items I need to do a good job along with how I use them.

Top Tools of my trade:

1) Chart Paper for anchor charts and number talks

2) SMART Board for reading lessons, math lessons, and just about everything in between.  This could be my number 1 tool. By the way, I have a little decorating tip too to accent your SMART Board.  Add border to it to highlight it and give it a more interesting frame. Just a little tip for your classroom decor!

3) Sharpie Markers that won't bleed through chart paper (I'm now down to 2 colors.  Evidently the classroom ghost has been in again.  At least that's who I'm claiming takes over when my scatterbrain starts!

4) Expo Markers - Gotta have an abundance of these for small group and whole group instruction for sure in reading and math with marker boards and math games!

5) Folders - 3 sets for future planning - This is one of my best organization implementations yet!

6) Post-it notes - for student interaction with charts

7) Index cards - for recording trouble words

8) Construction paper - great mat for writing, adds color to a lesson instead of plain old white notebook paper

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Second Grade Dental Health Activities

Second Grade Dental Health Activities
Dental Health with Marshmallows & Pink Plate
On Friday we celebrated dental health month with some dental health activites.  Students learned about the different parts of a tooth and labeled a diagram.  They discussed and wrote about how to take care of their teeth.  Students' favorite part of their dental study was getting to make their own mouth full of teeth.  Students also solved math word problems about teeth.  My student teacher brought in all the supplies: pink plates and small marshmallows.  The students had a ball.  My favorite was one of my sweet little boys that had to create a mouth just like his with a couple of spaces of missing teeth!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Second Grade Penguin Unit

My fabulous student teacher did an amazing job with her second grade penguin unit.  She incorporated all the subjects into her science unit.  Here are some anchor charts she created to go with her lessons:

Second Grade Penguin Unit

This last chart was my favorite lesson.  She created a display on our classroom door of the different heights of penguins and let each student come to the door to measure and see if they were taller, shorter, or the same height as the Emperor Penguin.  The kiddos loved the activity and getting to interact with this lesson.  Way to go Miss Murphree!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Second Grade Science and Math with Balancing and Weighing

Second Grade Science and Math with Balancing and Weighing
Students have enjoyed learning about the cold climates of both the north and south poles and I wanted to connect that knowledge to our balancing and weighing unit that we are currently working on.  So, students enjoyed a short day study about Eskimos where they researched information. 

Students enjoyed creating a mobile to demonstrate their knowledge of balancing and weighing.  Students watched the YouTube video above showing the work of Alexander Calder to see what a mobile looks like prior to getting their materials and beginning to construct their own mobiles.

It was very interesting to watch students.  Some were able to easily use their straws paperclips and cutouts to create a balanced mobile.  Others quickly became frustrated if things didn't go according to their plan.  I still believe hands-on learning is one of the best ways for students to learn and make sense of their own learning!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Second Grade Music Lessons

Second Grade Music Lessons
Percussion Family Anchor Chart

Music lessons for second grade: My kiddos have enjoyed studying about the different categories of music.  I think the percussion family was probably their favorite.  As we studied the different families, I posted the different families on four different pieces of chart paper.  This was used throughout our music lessons as a reference source.  Students were then able to refer to the anchor charts throughout our study.  I found the pictures and information online.  Also, since our reading story was Ah, Music, we used websites that I have here at Celebrate Second Grade as one of our reading rotations.  Students enjoyed exploring these music websites during their reading station time!  Just scroll down to the music section to find the websites we used! Students also enjoyed getting to incorporate real music into our day as we danced to some songs I have saved to my Pinterest board titled Brain Breaks.

Second Grade Music Lessons: String Family
String Family Anchor Chart

Second Grade Music Lessons: Woodwinds
Woodwind Family Anchor Chart

Second Grade Musis Lessons: Brass Family
Brass Family Anchor Chart

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Free Secret Service Valentine Project

Secret Service Valentine Project - DAY 1


This is how students received their mission! They were totally pumped!


Calendar Planning for Mission

Working on today's mission!

Excitement was in the air today!

Thinking about the mission!

Free Secret Service Valentine Project

Do you have the perfect Secret Service Valentine Project for your kiddos?  Well, now you do with my freebie, Secret Service Valentine Project.  Here are some views from my 8 day unit that can be used more than 8 days if you choose.  It can easily be applied to the 7 Habits if you are a Leader in Me School, or to simply share love this Valentine season.  If you download now, you will have time get your unit printed out, put together and ready to go in time for the Valentine's Day.  You may want to wait and start your project on Valentine's Day or go ahead and get started now.  Either way, I hope you enjoy.  Read below to find out how to download.

Secret Service Agent Badge

Top Secret Agent Calendar
Here's how to get your Secret Service Unit (47 pages): You just need to complete 3 easy steps.
1) Follow my blog: Celebrate Second Grade by clicking join google friend connect on the left sidebar or by email.
2) Follow me on Pinterest: Click here.
3) Leave a comment on one of my posts.

Once you've completed these 3 steps, click here to download your Valentine Secret Service Unit.