February is a breath of fresh air. Arctic air here in Pennsylvania 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 ideas for the classroom in February.
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! Learn more about how I use Behavior Bulletins to motivate positive choices.
Black History Month
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.
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!
More Super Bowl
This is one of my favorite ideas for February. I 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! Then, you can hang them around the classroom.
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 into 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!
Toward 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 teaching 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 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! This Digital Library includes so many great books for February AND a listening page to go with it! Grab it here for free: February Virtual Library
For a short month, February is definitely FULL of fun…and sometimes snow days and delays make it extra difficult to fit it all in. February is a great month to mix things up in the classroom and truly get creative with your teaching ideas. Not only will this refresher boost students’ excitement and energy, but it will also help create a meaningful learning experience as they explore topics in fun and innovative ways. And for even more inspiration or ideas, be sure to visit these blog posts.