Ruck's Rodeo

Mrs. Ruck's Second Grade Class

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Open House

These are a few things that I had on display for Open House!

The backpacks were a lesson that we started on the first day of school about what a second grader needs to be successful (created by Babbling Abby at The Inspired Apple).  I had a backpack full of items such as an apple, money, pencil, books, etc. which led to a discussion about being prepared, eating a healthy breakfast, and reading everyday.  It was a great activity to teach them what kind of expectations I had for them as Second Graders.

I also displayed Acrostic Poems that were taught during our writing block.  The children loved looking at their western pictures and reading facts about each other!

"Our Promise" was developed over a few days as we added various promises that were important to keep throughout the year.  I introduced this topic by reading "The Monster that Came to School" (found on Christina Bainbridge's website).  It is a silly story about a monster that comes to school and creates chaos as it breaks all of the rules.  To make the story even sillier I used my troll puppet to act out the events.  There were tons of giggles, screams, and silly sound effects as I made a complete fool out of myself to tell this story...but hey...that's what teachers do!  Afterwards, each student added a rule to the anchor chart and we talked about how our monster could remain in the classroom if they taught him the rules that we all need to follow.

In the hallway, I made a bulletin board to correlate with our western classroom theme (found also at  Each student had a "Wanted" poster with their picture on display.  But watch out because they may be armed with knowledge!

Place Value Marshmallow Math

I downloaded this wonderful idea from Babbling Abby (she is Ah-Mazing).  After a quick review of ones and tens, I introduced hundreds by showing my students how to do this Marshmallow Math.  Be sure to explicitly show them how to set up the marshmallows and use the tooth picks appropriately beforehand.  In addition to practicing place value this lesson also provided a yummy snack in the end!

Bucket Filler

Calling all teachers and parents!  Attention please!  If you haven't heard of a Bucket Filler...look it up now. It is absolutely genius and teaches children about kindness and respect.  During the first week of school, I read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.  It is a super cute book that explains how everybody has an invisible bucket.  By saying/doing kind things you are considered a Bucket Filler and by saying/doing mean things you are a Bucket Dipper.

After reading the story, we made an Anchor Chart that listed all the ways we could fill someones bucket at home and at school.  Then we practiced writing special notes to our peers to fill their buckets (pairing each student with their shoulder partner ensured that nobody was left out).  I plan on referring back to being a Bucket Filler throughout the school year to promote a positive classroom environment.  Each child also has a bucket and in their spare time I encourage all of my students to practice this feel good program.

Meet the Scientist

During the first week of school, I gave each student a science notebook to record their observations, experiments, and take notes throughout the first nine weeks.  We began by doing this cute activity called, "Meet the Scientist."  I never realized how much they would love was the cutest thing ever!

First, I began a discussion with the kiddos about scientists.  They responded by telling me what kind of experiments they did, their appearance, and how smart they had to be.  Next, I got really excited and explained that they were about to meet a scientist in our classroom.  However, this scientist was in a box and had to be kept a secret until everyone was done meeting him/her.  Their faces immediately lit up and I heard lots of giggles as they wondered how a real scientist could be in a small box.  I was pleasantly surprised that the children did such a great job waiting patiently for their turn and keeping it a secret until everyone had a peek into the mystery of the red box.
As I called their names one by one, they each stepped up to the box, lifted the lid and looked inside to discover that their face was inside.  They were the scientist (thanks to my handy dandy mirror that was placed at the bottom).  

The whole point of the activity was to teach them that anyone could be a scientist and that they in fact, would be a scientist all year as they asked questions, made predictions, and conducted various experiments.  So often, children have a misconception that only adults can be scientists, mathematicians, authors, illustrators etc. In the end, this introduction clearly expressed otherwise. 

Taking a peek!

Drawing the Scientist in their notebooks.