Smiling in Second Grade: End of the Year Fun

As many of you know, I just finished my very first year of being a second grade teacher. It was definitely a year of learning! I am already looking forward to my Jungle themed classroom next year! We finished the end of the school year off with a LOT of fun activities…but my favorite was our COUNTDOWN! I got this idea from Pinterest, and several teachers at my school did it as well.

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 11.15.24 PMEach day we would pop a balloon, inside the students would find a slip of paper with a surprise event for the next day! Popular days? Paper Airplane Contest, Kickball with the teacher, Sock Math (no shoes during math) and Game Day with their Fourth Grade buddies. I love how excited the students would be about finding out the surprise! I definitely plan on doing this again next year.

Our last Science Unit was Life Cycles…and we learned about Butterflys. This meant that I went out into the wilderness and caught caterpillars for my kiddos. My favorite part was getting to have my class WATCH the butterfly hatch from the Chrysallis. Another favorite? When someone thought the big caterpillar had a baby because their was a small caterpillar (obviously we reviewed the Life Cycle one more time)

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Momma and Baby Caterpillar 

Another End of the Year favorite was our Newspaper! Each student wrote an article about their favorite memory. They needed to interview classmates and have at least one quotations. Students who finished early wrote captions for our pictures, drew comics, made crossword puzzles etc! It turned out so good, and the kids loved getting to see it hung up in the hallway!

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 11.19.37 PM

Extra Extra Read All About It

I also wanted the students to end the year on a positive note. One of my biggest priorities in the classroom is creating a comfortable environment where all of my students feel safe and welcomed. I remembered doing something similar when I was a student and I knew my kids could handle it. They each got a paper like this, and the students Scooted around the room writing ONE adjective about their classmate!

Screen shot 2013-06-26 at 11.21.50 PM

Another end of the year favorite?? Getting to clean desks with shaving cream. According to my fellow teachers this is the best way to clean desks…which I did not know! The kids had a BLAST! We made it a contest to see who could be the most creative. I was very impressed with this students beautiful illustration of Abraham Lincoln!
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I still can’t believe my first year of teaching is over! I miss my kiddos SO much, but I am also excited to meet the new second graders headed my way come August!



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