Summer Travel, Countdown to South Africa 

Happy Summer! The whole summer is stretched before me and there is so much to look forward to, but by far the biggest adventure of the summer will be traveling to South Africa with friends. In fact we leave in just a few short weeks and I have to admit I am so not ready! Besides packing which I usually like to do embarrassingly early, that I haven’t done, I feel like I have so much reading to do before leaving. While all the flights are booked and places to stay are set, I feel very behind the eightball on […]

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Teach Like Finland: My Summer Pick for PD Reading 

Summer is right around the corner. Exactly one week from today in fact, summer will officially start for me. And while it will be hard to pry myself from my classroom and promise not to return until at least the end of July, I am looking forward to several big events and lots of recharging for another year. One thing summer means to me is more time for reading. I have a stack of fun read books along with several “teacher” books I am looking to tackle. All I need now is the time to actually read them. Top on […]

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Celebrating Global Learning: Continents Fair

Last Friday was quite the day. Besides breaking out the lawn games again for math, which students love, second grade also had their big continents fair. It was the culmination of a month long research project students worked on both at school and at home. After in depth study of the seven continents, students picked a country of interest, and identifying what continent it is located on. Then, with graphic organizer in hand, students got busy researching specific information. The second grade teachers collaborated with our librarian and technology teacher to complete the research. Between books and websites, students were […]

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Yard Games or Math Practice?

Last Friday was definitely a FriYAY type of day! It all started the weekend prior when after a moment of weakness when I went to Target. I just can’t resist the dollar section! Besides picking up blow up yard dice I’d seen on several Instagram posts, I also found the most amazing wooden yard dominoes. It was just the thing I needed to create a global math game lesson. I already own Mölkky (a yard game from Finland), but I bought another copy of the game from Amazon. This proved much easier than finding space in a suitcase and lugging it across the […]

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STEM Challenge: Landmarks From Around the World

It was another busy week as we wind down to the end of the school year. One of my favorite activities this week was a global STEM Challenge. I mean come on, what’s not to love combining travel with STEM? I found a couple great resources to do this activity. First I bought STEM building cards on TpT from one of my favorite sellers, Brooke Brown of Teach Outside the Box. It was a bundle set, so we will have other STEM goodies to use, but for Friday’s lesson the landmarks were our focus. After looking around on TpT more […]

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Build a Joey Kangaroo a Home

Students had a blast last week in the STEM lab. I connected our social studies curriculum to STEM through a lesson where students made their own kangaroo pouches for a “lost” kangaroo joey. We started by reading about Australia in a small book I created to give students some background knowledge. You can pick up your own copy in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. One of the chapters covered animals found in Australia, in particular marsupials that carry their young in a pouch. After reading, we watching a few YouTube videos of kangaroos hopping about, with baby joeys going in and out […]

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Classroom Virtual Travels to Australia

Last week we wrapped up our in depth travels around the world with Australia as our last stop. While I have not been to Africa or Antarctica, which were the two previous continents, I have been to Australia and could share my experience with students. To kick off the week we started by locating Australia on a map and read a general facts page. This lead to questions and discussion, and comparing Australia to other continents we have studied.   In addition to this we watched two videos by Travel Kids about New Zealand. I liked that the videos cover […]

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Student’s Seven Continent Bulletin Board

We have been studying the seven continents for quite a while now. In fact, we have finally made it to our last continent for in depth study, Australia. During our continent study, students picked a country to research. The whole second grade is participating in this research project and in June parents are invited to a continents performance. We have representation from each of the seven continents, with the exception of Antartica, for obviously chilly reasons. Since most students are close to finishing their research on their country, I thought it might be fun to do a little side project. We […]

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Finland STEM Boating Challenge

What a week back from spring break! It was go, go, go from the moment we returned. We received our eggs to hatch, students wrote a class book of poems to send off to Student Treasures to be published, we started a new unit in math on money, Thursday was poem in your pocket day, and we had boat building and a big boat race on Friday for STEM. There was a lot to be excited about but the STEM lessons were some of my favorites. We kicked off the STEM lesson with a social studies connection. I wrote a small […]

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Simple Machine STEAM/STEM Lesson Brings Amsterdam to Massachusetts

With a loud and clear love for travel, it was probably no surprise to my students that I would find a clear connection between travel to another area of study, STEAM. It all started with our study of Europe. After talking about places around Europe, I gave students a small book I wrote about Amsterdam (which you can grab for free on my TpT store). The book gives general information about this major city in Europe based on my travels there. One particular section of the book, about gables on homes and buildings in Amsterdam was the link to STEAM. I still remember […]

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