10 Ideas for February in the Classroom

 February is a breath of fresh air. Arctic air here in PA but fresh air nonetheless. #Januaryistheworst
There is A LOT to fit into this super short month. Here’s a list of themes and skills we focus on this month in 2nd grade. I am sharing 10 {kind of random} ideas for all things February in the classroom.
Let’s face it. There’s a lot to get in this month. But, not much is going to get accomplished if your students are not putting in their best effort and contributing to a productive and positive classroom environment. This is where my whole class behavior bulletins come in. You can choose from 20 specific behaviors to target (I usually pick 6-8 at a time) and students can vote on one of 15+ reward options! The novelty of this incentive is motivating and fun! It has worked before winter break so there is no behavior too tough–ha!
February is Black History month, however, it is important to make sure we are not isolating our use of literature and study of POC during this one month. This is something I am still working on but I have been more mindful of choosing diverse literature as read alouds and to add to my classroom library. Since my students just wrote a nonfiction book on polar bears, I use February as an opportunity to work on biographies. I love these free graphic organizers and biography papers by Education to the Core. 
Black History Month Free
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to read one of the sweetest books with a beautiful message…Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch We take the time to review character traits after we read using one of my Comprehension Kits
With the Super Bowl this weekend, I always pull out my football themed centers for some review! 
These cover parts of speech, facts and opinions, place value, comparing numbers and more!
I also LOVE this adorable and simple craft by my friend Lauren @teachinginstripes She made these last year with her class when the Eagles were playing. Just some construction crate paper with your team’s colors!
I *may* be partial to teaching about dental health because my mom has managed a dental office my whole life. I remember she would come in to my classroom to teach about it. So, I created a unit in her honor that covers all things Dental health by incorporating math, reading and writing! I just love this telling time center because it is a real world application! Students have to read the clocks to make the dentist’s schedule for the day! 
Towards the end of the month, we start learning about money in math. This is one of my favorite units! There are just so many fun ideas out there for money. Can we talk about how awesome this storage that @teachinginstripes uses for her math units?! 
We play lots of games to practice identifying and counting coins. Race to $1.00 is one of my favorite math games. Students play with a partner. All you need are the game boards, dice and coins (although, you can make it work without them!) Students roll the dice and put that many pennies in their penny column. They take turns rolling until it’s time to trade up for a nickel, then a dime, ect. The first player to get 4 quarters wins! You can pick it up for free here
As for grammar and phonics this month, we will be working on open syllables (we use Fundations) and ‘y’ as a vowel. One skill I feel like we are constantly reviewing is suffixes. Making words plural can be tricky! I love to use this video .  
This plural noun sorting freebie is perfect for reviewing as a whole class or for a center. You can download it here for free
Teacher truth: I used to feel so much pressure about getting my students gifts for every occasion (P.S. who started this trend?) I mean it’s not just around the Christmas…it’s back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course Valentine’s day. Sometimes I have the energy (and funds) for it, and sometimes I just don’t. 
Bookmarks are my GO TO quick, easy, cheap gift. I print in color and laminate at home BUT I have also done b&w, let the students color and then laminate at school. Everyone loves a new bookmark PLUS it makes reading even more fun! You can get these 5 bookmarks ready to print here. 
Last but not least, it’s always nice to have some go-to activities that are NO PREP! These Valentine math puzzles are ready to go! Print the puzzle piece page and problem page. Students solve the problems then cut the corresponding puzzle piece answer. 
Valentine's Day Activities | Math Puzzles | Addition, Subtraction, Money, Time
For a short month, February is definitely FULL of fun…and sometimes snow days and delays which makes it extra difficult to fit it all in. 
Happy teaching!

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