A blog about my adventures as a second grade teacher. We may wake up a little dizzy, but we will always be smarter than we were yesterday!

We’re Moving!

Due to ease of use and other reasons, this blog will be moved to:

Check it out next week. By then, our awesome new format should be up and I will be having my first giveaway! I just completed 3 folder games for the long I sound and will be putting them into a complete resource packet with worksheets and other activities.  You can check them out here. There will be much more to celebrate the launch of our new location! Be sure to come by and enter!

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Gettin em’ up and moving!

Hello friends in Blogland!

I have missed you! Life has been Crrr-A- zy, but I am back and excited to share some of the fun things Mrs. Hall’s second grade class has been spinning up!

I love to incorporate as much movement into my lessons as possible.  The kids love it, they retain the information, and frankly, if I am bored, they are bored. So…here are some of our favorites. I did not invent these activities, I just picked them up here and there and modified them for second grade simplicity. If you DO know the inventor of these games, or are the ONE, let me know and I will gladly give you credit! 🙂

Spelling Scavenger Hunt

I hide (and sometimes I don’t!) words all over the room that follow the spelling pattern we are looking at for the week. For instance, in the photograph below, we were focusing on -ar words (far, jar, smart, etc).   The students get a clipboard, paper and pencil and go for it! I give them a set amount of time, and inevitably, they always want more. Sometimes we make a contest out of it to see who can get the most words,  or we do girls vs. boys. They are not limited only to the words that I have hidden, they can use a dictionary, book covers, the walls, anything that has print. This activity takes spelling practice into the higher-order-thinking realm. They are problem solving to find the words and making connections between word patterns. I love it! Sometimes, if it is a common spelling pattern, and I am short on time, I don’t even hide words, they just have a free-for-all hunt- as long as they stay out of my desk!

Clever Girl- she looked at our spelling list!

Spelling Tableaux

This is an activity where I simply split the students up into groups and they spell out their words with their bodies! They work together and plan how they are going to do it.  Each child is one letter. If there is more letters than students, two students may make up one letter. My students really enjoy this activity. I usually reserve it for one or two of the hardest words, because the planning and implementation on their parts takes a little time.

Can you see the word we spelled? Yep! That is “small.” The two boys at the end are working together to make an uppercase letter L.

Guess My Word

This game is not necessarily a spelling game. It works best with content vocabulary. I print off the vocab words and cut them out. Each child will get a vocabulary word taped to his or her back. It is very important that they do not SEE the word. The students go around asking questions that have yes or no answers to try and guess what their word is. The student may only ask each classmate one question. Again, higher order thinking! They are not just trying to recall the definition of the word, they are trying to analyze the attributes of ALL of their vocabulary words to figure out which one is on their backs.  This may sound a little complicated, but it is not. My class is more than half English Language learners and we are a Title One school. My students did beautifully with this when we were reviewing weather terminology.

A game to review content vocabulary

Sorry about the less than perfect photography. That is why I am a teacher and not a photographer!

Well, that is all for today. I have more of these little games up my sleeves, and I will share at a later post. For now, give these a try and let me know how it goes! Also, what are some ways that you incorporate movement into your lessons? I want to know!

Have a Happy Sunday!!!

Your Teacher Friend,

Mrs. Hall

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Clip Art Give away!

All of those years of doodling while the teacher was talking is finally starting to pay off (Yes, I was, er, am, one of those- it takes all types.) I have been pouring my heart and sanity into the GIMP image program and am quite pleased with the results. To view some of my work you may go to my tpt store: secondgradespin.(

You can also win my school supplies clip art pack by visiting: She will tell you what to do there!

Preview coming soon, I promise!

Happy Monday!

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TGIF! Bloggers and Hunk and Chunks

What a week! MAP testing, due dates, book orders, professional development and school, school, school! Even with four years of teaching in my back pocket, I still think I am learning just as much as the kids on a daily basis! One of my many goals this year is to not just live for the weekend, to embrace everyday and love my students right where they are. With that said, boy am I glad it is Friday! This week I learned: to be humble, to be thankful for what I have, think about others before I think of myself, be punctual!, be proactive and pack a snack!

I also delved deeper into the world of blogging and teacherspayteachers. For that, I must thank my friends Lacie and Ginger, fellow teachers at “The View.”  They not only inspired me to start this blog, but have patiently listened to me prattle along this week about it. For some inspiration of your own, go visit Lacie and Ginger yourself. They have some fantastic teacher freebies and bookoos of great ideas!

Have you ever heard of The Phonics Dance? This is something new that we are trying this year. Previously, we have exclusively used the Four Blocks month by month phonics program, but this year we have decided to add the phonics dance. We thought it would be a great way to build on what we already do. They are basically just cute little dances and rhymes to help children learn their phonograms. My kiddos are LOVING it! They really get into it and I can definitely see it helping them to spell words that they were previously struggling with. It only takes a few seconds a day with maximum payoff. Does anyone else use this in their class? I want to hear about it!

Well, that is all for now! Stay tuned next week I plan to post some of my Ashley Hall original beginning of the year activities and something neato things we are doing in our classroom. If you are looking for organization, this is probably not your place, but I have all sorts of creative lesson and activities swimming around my head and I can’t wait to share.  Thanks for staying with me on this long post and have a FANTASTIC, well-earned weekend!

Love to all,


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Let’s hit the ground running!

Day 15 of school-year 2012-2013

I have been inspired by two FANTASTIC teachers at my school to begin blogging and selling some of my sweat-and-blood classroom creations on teachers pay teachers. You can download my first offering for FREE! Here is the link:

I have grown to love folder games over the last couple of years. I use them in my literacy centers, for reviewing content and for early finishers. They are a quick, simple way for students to get some fun, colorful practice and you can reuse them over and over again! They are a little work upfront, but the sweat equity more than pays for itself in the years to follow when all you have to do is pull it out of the cabinet.

This little game is a sorting game for the properties of matter. I was wracking my brain to come up with something original and not too competitive (feelings get hurt easily in second grade) and I am rather proud of the result.

So, go download it! I hope you can find a place for it in your classroom. Even if the properties of matter are not one of your specific standards, it could be in a reading station, for enrichment or an early finisher activity. Enjoy! Image

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J.D. Moyer

sci-fi author, beat maker, self-experimenter


A blog about my adventures as a second grade teacher. We may wake up a little dizzy, but we will always be smarter than we were yesterday!

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