Morning Seatwork Challenge

For the past two years and this year, I have used the Mastering Basic Skills® Second Grade and Mastering Basic Skills® Third Grade books for Morning Seatwork with my second grade students. On the first day of school each week, my students arrive to a fresh Morning Seatwork packet on their desk, and they complete one page (front and back–on the back page, students write their spelling words one time) each morning, after unpacking and before being able to read silently in the library area or trade out their book box books. I love using these books to supplement the curriculum and provide fun and challenging morning work for my students.


This week, one of the challenges my second graders got from the Mastering Basic Skills® Second Grade book was an addition chart! After students attempted to complete the chart on their own (with much guidance), we looked at a completed chart and discussed all the patterns we could find.

This was a great way to get my students thinking bright and early in the morning! How do you get your students working first thing in the morning?


Welcome to Week 3!

Hello Parents!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! This week, we will begin differentiated homework in second grade. This means that each student in our class will still have the same expectation of homework (1 page of math and 1 page of language arts–reading comprehension this week), but the pages will look different.

In math this week, we are focusing on the following skills:

  • Different ways to write numbers
  • Different names for numbers
  • Problem-solving with tens and ones
  • Counting patterns up to 100

In grammar this week, we are focusing on the following skills (and this work will be done in Centers):

  • More practice with sorting nouns
  • More practice with common nouns and proper nouns
  • Alphabetical order

In writing this week, we are focusing on the following:

  • The elements of a complete sentence (subject & predicate)

I am looking forward to a great week!

What Is A Sentence?



Good afternoon!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that your child has been taking home lots of writing! For the first two weeks of this school year, I wanted students to have the freedom to write a lot for a few reasons.

Related imageFirst, I wanted to test their endurance and see how long our class could work on silently drawing a picture and writing about a specific topic.

Next, I wanted to informally assess the students’ understanding of what elements form a complete sentence and how to put sentences together to make a paragraph. I’ve also been looking at spelling, grammar, syntax, and puncutation.

Finally, I wanted students to get used to the initial structure I have for Centers in our classroom. For the first several weeks, we will be working in Centers as a whole class, following a schedule of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read), Silent Picture-Drawing, Silent Writing, Group Word Work, and a Fun Center.

While some of our students are very comfortable with using telling sentences and asking sentences (statements and questions) to form interesting short paragraphs, many of us need some review and additional support around forming a complete sentence and using punctuation to separate our thoughts.

Here is a short video we watched in class today that reminds us of important parts of a complete sentence:

First Share Day!

Hello Second Grade Parents!

This is my first post of the 2017-2018 school year. I am writing to remind you that this Friday, September 15 is our first “Share Day” at Morning Meeting Circle (which happens every morning in our classroom from about 9:25 am to 9:40 am, depending on how long the rest of our Morning Routine takes).

This Friday, we are doing something special! Each student has been given one brown paper bag with their name written on it. (Please find it in the front pocket of their Home-School Binder.) I have asked them to fill this bag with at least 3 items–and no more than 10 items–that will tell us more about who they are (the part of them that we can’t see by looking at the outside!). Each student will get a chance to tell us about the items in their bag this Friday at Morning Meeting Circle.

Normally, Share Day will be every other Friday (so the next one will be on Friday, September 29), and I will try my best to remind you each week in our Weekly Newsletter. On a regular Share Day, students will be invited to bring one small personal item that is not too valuable (because they will likely want to bring it outside to enjoy with friends during recess… so, no smart phones or iPads/tablets, etc. please!) to tell us about at Morning Meeting Circle. Some examples of items students may bring are: a stuffed animal, a drawing book, a journal, a toy car, a doll, a football, Pokemon cards, a book, etc. Students will be asked to leave their share item in their backpack or in our “cubby” space (the empty bookshelf beneath the Parent Hub whiteboard) until Morning Meeting Circle. They will need to put their share item away until recess.

Please let me know if you have any questions! I am looking forward to learning more about your child!

Thank you,

End-of-Year Math Fun!

Hello! We have been busy in second grade getting ready for the end of the year, completing all of our required assessments, and learning everything we need to learn before moving onto third grade! This week, we have been working with introductory lessons to multiplication and division, focusing on equal groups. We already know that we use addition to put things together or make bigger numbers, and we use subtraction to take things away or make smaller numbers. This week we are learning that we can also use multiplication to quickly make bigger numbers and division to quickly make smaller numbers. Below are the videos we watched today to help us learn the basics of division — dividing our total number into equal groups. Happy Almost Summer!



Spirit Week – Professional Day!

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. This week is Spirit Week at our school, and today is “Professional Day.” Students were encouraged to dress professionally, like a doctor, lawyer, nurse, etc. I decided think a little differently and dressed up as an entrepreneur / Founder and CEO of a tech startup company. I’ve been having a fantastic time explaining to my class that an entrepreneur is someone who solves problems in the world by starting a business. Also, since I’m dressed as a tech entrepreneur, we are learning about coding today! This morning, for an alternative Morning Meeting (after our usual reading from Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up . . . hopefully our class will do a poetry project related to these readings soon!), we watched some videos about kid entrepreneurs and the importance of learning to code in today’s world! Check out the videos we watched below.

Fun Subtraction With Regrouping Video

This week we will have our chapter 6 test in math, which focuses on 3-digit addition and subtraction with and without regrouping (“borrowing”)! Here is a fun video we watched today that gives us a nice trick to remember that “if the number on top is SMALLER than below, it’s time to go with the regrouping flow” when we are subtracting.

Wednesday Art Day: Winter Trees

MissMcWoodson.comLast week for art, we created beautiful art trees, inspired by an image I found by a quick Google search. We used water color paint on construction paper to create our multi-colored backgrounds, added our cut trees after the water color dried, and finally added “snow” to our pictures using tempura paint. The students made trees shaped in whatever style they wanted, and some students even added icicles! This might be my favorite art that we have done so far this year! Find more of the art projects we are doing in second grade here:


Snorkeling Self-Portraits

I love when we have (read: make) a little more time for art during the week! I feel like my students really enjoy the opportunity to use their brains in a different way, and I relish in opportunities to encourage my students to apply their skills and preferences to artistic endeavors. Last week, we took time over two days to create snorkeling self-portraits, inspired by this blog that I found over a year ago. I originally taught this project as part of a daily activity for a summer camp I directed at a private school.


We used face templates that I found from this awesome website and fish templates that I found from a quick Google image search. I believe using templates/cut-outs is really helpful, especially when doing this project within a limited time frame and with younger students. My second graders still need lots of guidance when it comes to arts and crafting, and I always do projects with them or circulate the room the entire time they’re working, so that I can be there to assist with cutting and gluing where it’s needed.


We happened to be reading about jelly fish in our curriculum this week and we wrote about what life would be like if we were sea creatures. Though not identical to our curriculum studies, it was great to tie in our art lesson to the ideas we were discussing for our academic studies last week. I think it’s also nice to throw a little summer into the midst of winter whenever possible!

Find more photos of this project on my Pinterest page, in Simple Second Grade Art and Simple Summer Arts and Crafts.

Happy Holidays!