I'm teaming up with some of my fav 2nd grade bloggers to bring you a Second Grade Product Swap and Blog Hop! 

I was paired up with the lovely Angela from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade! She has such an adorable blog and the best ideas!  
Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

These past couple of weeks, my kids and I have been digging into the common core measurement standards:
2.MD.1: Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
2.MD.2: Measure the length of an object twice, using length units of different lengths for the two measurements; describe how the two measurements relate to the size of the unit chosen.
2.MD.3: Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
2.MD.4: Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
So when I saw Angela's Leap Frog Learners activity, I knew it would be perfect for my class! 

I put the kids in groups of 4 and they each got a little badge: jumper, marker, measurer, and judge.  The kids wore the badge (with a little bit of blue painter's tape), then they got to work.  

After doing one round of leaps, the kids rotated badges and did it again.  

After everyone had jumped and measured, we got down to data collection and analysis.  We listed everyone's jumps and found that 3 people had all jumped 35 inches.  We made a line plot graph with the data. 

We then answered some questions about the data.  What was the highest data point?  What was the lowest?  This was great data analysis and many kids made connections to the Scientific Method when we analyze data in science experiments.

The last page is to take a set of data points and make their own line plot and analysis.  This was a great assessment to see who got the lesson!

Our next math unit is the graphing standards from Measurement and Data, so this was the PERFECT segue from measurement to data for us! Thanks for a fantastic lesson, Angela! 

Make sure to head on over to Hippo Hooray for Second Grade to see how Angela used my Mighty Magnets unit with her class! 
Ok, I'm pulling a move I learned from Teeny and I'm posting my Five for Friday on Saturday!  Whoops!  I'm off to run in the Maui Color Run tomorrow, so I've been busy making tutus and cutting up tshirts! :)

I'm loving our Hawaiian bulletin board.  We colored the islands their official colors and learned about the official lei flowers.  I'll post a freebie about it soon!
(Lucky We Live Hawaii is a popular hashtag around here.  I've already had one student tell me that I forgot the word "in" - yay!  They know complete sentences! ;)

Here is my daughter helping painting over spring break!  She chose the pink Lokelani Rose for Maui.

My kids' cheap dresser from Ikea bit the dust, so we gave the kids our dresser and have been living with our clothes on the floor, on the couch, and in hampers.  It's been fun - NOT!  I was able to buy a dresser for $20 and I painted it a pretty blue over spring break and changed out the knobs with ones that were leftover from our kitchen.  I want to paint whimsical waves on the front.  Definitely not chic like our last bedroom set, but I love how it's turning out! 

I'm running in the Maui Color Run tomorrow! Five of my best girl friends and I are running on a team we named The Sharkbows.  We decided that it would sound scary ('cause we're gonna win!) and also sweet (who doesn't love a rainbow?)  No, really, we're doing it for fun.  We made bright colored tutus, freezer paper and fabric painted cute sharks on t-shirts, then cut the shirts up to make them fitted workout shirts, and bought these awesome headbands.

Wish us luck!

My class has been busy working on measurement these past couple of weeks and had the awesome opportunity to teach a fun Frog Leap lessons from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade

There is a Blog Hop going on tomorrow and you'll get to read all about it! Make sure to come back in the morning :)

I'm participating in the Spring Cleaning Sale going on this weekend!  Go through your purchases, make feedback to collect credits, then clean out your wishlist to pick up some awesome lessons!  
For the 2nd year in a row, my class participated in a postcard around the country project hosted by Cheryl at Primary Graffiti.  We LOVE receiving our postcards and reading each one.
Here is our bulletin board from last year.  Each state was a different color and we attached strings from the cards to the state on the map.  This was the extent to our studies, though.  Read the postcard, find the state, and attach it to the board.  

This year, I decided to make it more academic and we focused on each region of the US.  This ties in community and mapping skills.  I used Tracy's (from Creekside Teacher Tales) US State pack and we read about each state.  For each region, table groups got to choose one state to make a poster and present it to the class.  They used the articles from Tracy's pack and the postcards for the information for their posters.  It really was a lot of fun.

Here is my map from this year.  I colored all the states in a region the same color and tacked the postcards next to it on the map.

Another fun thing I did was invite a special guest teacher who has lived in that region to come teach a lesson.  Lucky for me, most of the teachers at my school are from all over the country.  While these teachers came to teach my class, I went to teach theirs, we just switched.  It was so much fun!

One of my second grade teammates is from Minnesota, so she did a lesson while we were learning about the midwest.  Since Minnesota has so many lakes, she played a fun game with the kids about different kinds of fish they can catch there.  Fishing is HUGE in my community, so the kids absolutely loved it!

One of the first grade teachers is from Pennsylvania and she came to teach while we were studying the northeast region.  She picked up a fun Pennsylvania State Book by Loving Life in Kindergarten and a Liberty Bell craft from Sarah Helm.  She also made each student chocolate chip cookies (the state cookie!) and a Hershey's kiss (since the Hershey's chocolate factory is in PA).

Since I am from Oregon, I taught my students about my state for the western region.  I read a couple books I own about Oregon (Spenser Goes to Portland, B is for Beaver: an Oregon Alphabet, and Goodnight Oregon). We read some songs about volcanos and the ring of fire (connecting Oregon and Hawaii), then we did a volcano craft.  I made it, but haven't gotten it ready for TpT yet.  Here is a free one if you are interested from No Time for Flash Cards.

For the southwest region, my mother in law came in to teach while she was visiting.  The kids called her Mrs. Heinlein 1 and me Mrs. Heinlein 2, since it was her name first :)  She used to live in Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ, so she was the perfect guest!  She brought in a lot of beautiful silver and turquoise necklaces that were made by Navajo.  She also brought in a picture of her old house in Phoenix to show the kids the stucco siding and desert landscaping.  We bought G is for Grand Canyon from Amazon for her to read to the kids.
Here are some other southwest books that were in my library.

The best part of it all, though, was the sand art! 

My mother in law drew these and I helped her trace them with a sharpie and scan them into my computer.  We wanted the paper to be heavy enough to hold the sand, so I cut down watercolor paper to 8.5x11 and ran it through my school's copy machine in the bypass tray.  Heavy construction paper would work, too.  I got the sand at a craft store on Maui.

If you are interested in teaching about the southwest region and sandpainting, you can download this Navajo Sand Art unit for free!  It's 16 pages long with a nonfiction article, page for taking notes, questions, a writing paper for after the art is done.  There is also a sheet which explains the symbolism of the sand colors. 

You may remember that I made a Hawaiian themed Super Improvers Wall for my classroom.

 Well, I have changed up the way I pass out stickers.  They don't go on the little surfer boys and girls on the board anymore - they go in a sticker book!

Head on over to my Whole Brain Teaching With Style blog to see how I use it and to get a free copy for yourself!

On my grade level team, I teach the students who are below the benchmark.  I don't teach them all day, just during small group time.  I have an aide and also a Special Education inclusion teacher in my room during that time, so the kids get lots of support, which they need.

With my lowest group, they need lots and lots of practice blending sounds, reading sight words, and fluently reading sentences.  We read guided reading books, close reading passages, and reader's theaters.  These kids are in 2nd grade and have been struggling readers for three years now.  They can only read my low-level books so many times, you know?  To mix things up and practice the skills they need, we also play games.

We all know about memory or around the world with sight words on index cards.  Those games are easy (index cards and markers are all that's needed) and the kids love them.  But, I like to switch things up, keep the kids on their toes, and also practice some various skills before reading our text for the day.

Their favorite game we play is slinkies!

We use the slinkies to help segment phonemes in words.  We do this in a couple different ways.  Sometimes I'll pull words out of their reader and orally tell them the word.  They will use the slinky to segment the sounds.  If the word was "string", they would pull the slinky out a little bit farther for each sound: /s/ /t/ /r/ /ing/.  We will find that the word "string" has 4 sounds.  Sometimes, instead of orally telling them words, I'll show them a picture.  They will need to produce the word themselves, then segment the word.  I like this option because it helps build vocabulary and ties meaning to the word.  Three out of the four kids in this reading group are ELL, so building that vocabulary and making it comprehensible is key.

Another fun game we play is with magnet wands.  

On the little metal-rimmed chips, I write sight words with a thin tipped Sharpie marker.  I put the chips in a bowl and the kids take turns using the magnet wand and pulling out chips.  If they read the word correctly, they get to keep and collect the chips.  At the end of the game, they can trade chips with another player and practice their friends' words.  My kids LOVE this game! When I taught kindergarten, I did this with uppercase and lowercase letters for letter names or sounds. 

The last game we love to play is Chunks. 

The kids bust up laughing at the silly words they make! We sort them into real words and nonsense words.  If you don't have this game, you could easily make it by writing common beginning sounds and common rimes on plastic tiles or even cut up pieces of foam from the dollar store. Here is a good list of the most common rimes from TheDailyCafe.com.  

I hope you got some Bright Ideas for fun ways to practice skills in guided reading groups! 

Next up on this hop is Melissa from Dilly Dabbles.  She has some tips for you about using Spotify in the classroom! 

You can also hop along through these good ideas by clicking below!