First Day of School in Second Grade

It is hard to believe summer is over and school is back in session.  I would like to share with you some activities that I like to do with my students.

I like my students to feel comfortable and to meet the other students in our classroom.  Find A Friend activity is a great ice breaker on the first day of school.  It gets them up and moving and is a great way to get to know their new classmates.

You can get a FREE copy of Find a Friend by clicking on the picture.


Next, I like to read Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes. My students love singing along with the music.  You can purchase the book by clicking the picture.  It will take you to my affiliate link for Amazon.

                                                

After I read the book, we go on a tour of the school and follow the clues that Pete the Cat has left us.  The students love finding the clues.  You can get a copy of the tour from Inspired by Kindergarten.   When we return to class, we have a snack of Goldfish crackers.  You can get the FREE tags by clicking the picture below. 





One of my favorite books to read the first day of school is Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.  You can purchase the book by clicking on my affiliate link:   Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Bucketfilling Books)
                                                 
                                              
You can get this great FREEBIE below from Alisha, The Bubbly Blonde Teacher.  It has some great activities to go with the book.


Another book I highly recommend reading to your class is What Should Danny Do?  This is an interactive book with 9 different endings.  It teaches children that our choices shape our lives.  My students want me to read this story over and over again.   You can purchase this book from the website whatshoulddannydo.com.  Use the code: TEACHERSRULE for a discount.

Another great book to read to your class is called We're All Wonders by R.A. Palacio.  It is about a boy that is different from other children.  He hopes people will change the way they see things and see wonder in everyone!  Click on the picture for another Amazon affiliate link.
                                                         

I like to see what skills my students remember from first grade.  This gives me a quick informal assessment of where each one of my students are at academically.   We will do a few pages together and then each morning as I take attendance, they complete a page on their own.  You can get it in my TPT store.

Review for second grade


Review for second grade

Click here and here for more back to school ideas.

I hope you have a wonderful school year!

Easter Breakout Box

My students love breakout boxes and begged me to make an Easter breakout box.  I purchased 4 toolboxes, hasps, and 4 locks for each box.  I have more information about the locks at the bottom of this post. 

I put the various tasks in manila folders.  I have 6 students in a group.   Several students  work together to solve a problem in the manila envelope.  It is too difficult to get all 6 students solving one problem.  Not to mention, there is a 45 minute time limit in order to get all the locks off.  If a team has difficulty solving their problem, someone else in their group can help.  They need to work cooperatively to problem solve and get the locks off.  Not everyone will get the locks off, and that is okay.  We don't always succeed the first time we attempt something.

You can also go to Breakout Edu to learn more about breakout boxes.  It is free to sign up and there are videos to watch.


One of the tasks my students had to solve was to put the eggs together to form compound words.  You need to use the words jellybean, railroad, popcorn, butterfly and flashlight in order to solve the maze.  I also put a few extra eggs in such as baseball, bathtub, pancake, etc. that are not on the recording sheet.   

Do not use the words grasshopper, fireworks, sidewalk, fishbowl, basketball, ladybug, or airplane on your plastic eggs.

After making the compound words, they had to find the compound words on the paper using up, down, left, and right arrows.  I laminate the paper and have my students put a dot on the compound words from the eggs.  Then they connect the dots.  This is the code for the directional lock  (up, right, up, left, up).  I explained to my students how to use the lock and how to clear it by pushing down on the lock two times.


Easter

Another task that they completed was finding the secret word by counting the money and matching it to the value.   Then they had to put the letter that was printed on the card to solve the code for the word lock which is "treat."



The next task they had to complete was an Easter sort with adjectives, nouns, pronouns, and verbs. I write the words using invisible ink.  They had to use the UV flashlight to see the words printed on the back of the eggs.  If you want, you could write the clues using a marker.  The combination for this lock is 4, 2, 1, 4.

You decide on on how many words you want in each column and program your lock to match it.



The last task that they had to complete was solving the secret code by using the wheel.  This clue told them where the key was hidden for the last lock.   Each group had a different code to solve.   I had them hidden in books.

I could not think of any good clues to go with Easter books so I made up clues to go with classic books.  One clue was:  "Run, run as fast you can."  The key was taped inside the Gingerbread Man book.  You will need to make your own clues depending on the books that you have.  

Click here for a copy of the secret decoder wheel.  I circled a letter on the inside wheel and outside wheel so they knew how to align the letters on the wheel.

Here is another decoder wheel that has letters and numbers. 

If the students were able to take all the locks off within 45 minutes, they got the prize inside the box.    Click here for the Easter breakout clues that I created.


I used this timer for our Easter breakout.  The timer adds excitement to the activity.

              

Here is my affiliate link for the items that I purchased from Amazon.

Wordlock PL-004-BK 5-Dial Combination Padlock,

 Black Master Lock 1500iD Speed Dial Combination Lock, Assorted Colors Master Lock 120Q 

Solid Brass Body Padlock, 3/4-Inch Wide Body, 5/32-Inch Shackle Diameter, 4-Pack Findway 5 UV 

Ultra Violet Blacklight 9 LED Flashlight Torch Light Outdoors Novelty Place [Spy Pen] Invisible 

Ink Pen with Built-in UV Light - Magic Marker For Drawing, Secret Message Writing, Currency 

Checking, Security Marking (Pack of 4) Master Lock 421 Lockout Hasp with Vinyl Coated Handle, 

1-1/2" Inside Jaw Diameter HT®The Ultimate 4 Digit Combination Padlock Set - Set Your Own(Not TSA Approved Lock) (Blue)

 Stanley 016011R Series 2000 16-Inch Tool Box

Breakout Box for March

I wanted to do something fun and challenging with my students so I purchased 4 toolboxes with various types of locks to make my own breakout boxes.  It was a little expensive so I suggest getting some teachers to split the cost with you.  I highly recommend doing this type of activity with your students.   My students were so excited and engaged in the activity!  

I used the welcome letter from Breakout Edu. You can read more about breakout boxes here.  It is free to sign up at Breakout Edu and they have many free breakout games for various age groups.  



Here is the timer you can use for your breakout.

              

Here is a breakout video to tell you all about them.  I changed the tasks for my classroom that I explained below.

             

The first task my students had to complete was to sort the adjectives by texture, size, color, and shape.  They counted the number in each category and that was the number to unlock the first lock.   I purchased the shamrocks and wrote adjectives on them.  I did not want to spend the time cutting and laminating shamrocks.   This number was for the 4-digit combination lock.  Click here for the adjective sort recording sheet.  


The next lock was a directional lock.  They had to complete the maze to get the code for the directional lock.  I had previously explained to them how to clear the lock in case they didn't get it open on the first attempt.  One group could not get this lock unlocked.  I finally had to have someone from another team help them.   Click here for the maze.


The next task was to find all the words in the St. Patrick's Day word search.  Once they completed the word search, I gave them a black light flashlight to find the word that I had highlighted with an invisible ink pen.  They used the flashlight to discover the word MONEY which was the code to unlock the next lock.  Click here for your FREE copy of the word search.



The last lock had a key hidden in the classroom.  They had to solve the mystery code so they would know where to look to find the hidden key.  I hid the key in a different hiding place for each group.  Click here for the alphabet.
They found chocolate gold coins hidden in the box.  If you can't find gold coins, you can use any type of candy that has a gold wrapper.  My students are excited to do this activity again next month.  

Join the Facebook Breakout EDU for elementary teachers for additional help and ideas.

Below is an affliate link for the items that I purchased from Amazon.
Wordlock PL-004-BK 5-Dial Combination Padlock,

 Black Master Lock 1500iD Speed Dial Combination Lock, Assorted Colors Master Lock 120Q 

Solid Brass Body Padlock, 3/4-Inch Wide Body, 5/32-Inch Shackle Diameter, 4-Pack Findway 5 UV 

Ultra Violet Blacklight 9 LED Flashlight Torch Light Outdoors Novelty Place [Spy Pen] Invisible 

Ink Pen with Built-in UV Light - Magic Marker For Drawing, Secret Message Writing, Currency 

Checking, Security Marking (Pack of 4) Master Lock 421 Lockout Hasp with Vinyl Coated Handle, 

1-1/2" Inside Jaw Diameter HT®The Ultimate 4 Digit Combination Padlock Set - Set Your Own(Not TSA Approved Lock) (Blue)

 Stanley 016011R Series 2000 16-Inch Tool Box

Read Across America Ideas & Freebies

Today I was busy printing and laminating math centers for Read Across America.  My students go to these math centers when they finish their work early.  

Read Across America Math Centers

I am going to give my students these bookmarks.  I have them laminated and in my school bag.  You can get your FREE copy from Primary Chalkboard by clicking here.


Here is a measurement freebie from Regina Davis from Fairy Tales and Fiction.


My students love directed drawings from Art for Kids Hub plus it gives me a little break from talking.  



         

School is A Happy Place has this adorable birthday cat.  Click on the picture for your FREE copy.


Here is a 3-digit addition and subtraction freebie for you to use in your class.  If your students are like mine, we need to constantly review these skills so they don't forget how to do it.


Here is a free spiral review that is great for morning work or homework.  It covers many second grade standards such as counting money, telling time, 3-digit addition &subtraction, plurals, and dividing words into syllables.


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.