Five for Friday - Quick Tip - Spark Student Motivation

I am up before six AM on a Saturday morning, but that is because I fell asleep before 8 last night!  Does anyone else just come home and crash on Friday nights?

So I am late for linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  But that's okay because I know I won't be the only one!

We continued our A-Z countdown this week.  I am so jealous of you all that are almost done, because we are only on M!  This week we celebrated Ink Day, Jeans Day, Kindness Day, Listening Day, and Music Day.  Music Day was my favorite.  I had no idea that the Chipmunks sang all of the most popular music, but for kids...I put on the Kidz Bop channel from Pandora and my students had a blast.  I actually recorded them singing a few songs, but can't figure out how to post audio on here.  Normally, I just play classical music or something but  I let them enjoy regular music yesterday. Even though it was distracting, it was fun.

We have been reading and writing poetry this week as a review.  I swear I took more pictures of their journals, but this is all I have.  We specifically worked on identifying rhyme, rhythm, and repetition as well as visualizing.  My kids love poetry.

I don't know if you've used these books before in your classroom, but they are awesome for reading with rhythm and increasing fluency.  The best part is they also tell a story.

Click on the book and it will take you to Amazon.  They are partner rhymes.  My favorite are the fables because we work a lot on identifying the theme and these are short and to the point.

We also worked on writing poems from this Poetry Pizzazz Unit by Teacher's Clubhouse.  It was a lot of fun!  We still aren't finished with this.

I started a vocabulary link party.  You can read the post here.  Please link up at any time and help me out as I am looking for advice for next year and would really like to know what all of you great teachers out there do!

Click the button above to link up!

Angela from Hippo Hooray for Second Grade and Jean from Diving into Second Grade are hosting a new Classroom Quick Tips linky party.  I meant to link up on Thursday, but forgot to take a picture.  This is my quick tip:

Mailboxes!  I've never taught two classes before and so I've just always had the traditional mailboxes. However, there aren't enough spaces for all my kids.  Plus, our classes were overfilled at the start of the year so there weren't even enough spaces for just my homeroom.

So, I copied a colleague.  All you need is a couple of the milk crates and file folders.  I have one crate for each class.  This is where I pass back all of their papers and then they take them home weekly.  It takes up a lot less space than 50 mailboxes and the kids were able to figure it out after some time.  Click the image below to link up with your own classroom quick tip!

I was so busy catching up on the posts I was supposed to do Thursday and Friday, that  I almost forgot to link up with Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching for Spark Student Motivation Saturdays.

I am piggy banking off of her post because it reminded me of a couple of word games I have that the kids love and I always take them out around this time of year.  Although they could be used at any time.  Make sure to read her post, because you will see she has created something that you can use in your classroom that I'm sure is cheaper than purchasing these games!

This game consists of letter cards, category cards, and a timer that goes off randomly.  There is a game board, but I play with my whole class and don't bother with that.  For my 2nd graders, I just choose a a category card and have them sit in a circle.  I tell them the category and start the timer.  I go around the circle pointing to each kid for about three seconds.  They either say a word or I just move on.  Whenever the timer goes off, the last child to say a word matching the category (without copying someone else) is the winner because they had the "last word," get it?  Then we choose another category.  To make it harder, you would choose a letter as well.  The timer makes it fun because you never know when it will beep.

This one I have never used with second graders, but I used to tutor third and fourth graders after school and they were able to play it.  It is just like the adult game, with kid friendly words.  It has been a while since I've played, but if I remember correctly, one word is put in the center and everyone has to choose a card from their hand that best matches that word.  One child is the "judge" and everyone tries to convince the judge that his/her word is the best match.

Both of these games are fun and great for vocabulary development.  If you click on the images, the link will take you to Amazon.  Make sure to visit Head Over Heels for Teaching and see the game she has created!

Have a great day!  I am off to my first Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale this morning and and looking forward to reading everyone's posts later!



  1. Have fun at the sale...It's one of the happiest places on Earth! ;)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. My students love word games too! We've played Catchphrase in an Around the World style, and they have a blast!

  3. Thanks for linking up! I love the idea of playing Last Word with the kiddo's. That sounds like fun. Also, the crates as mailboxes is a good idea. I may be "stealing" that idea for next year. :)
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  4. I love the idea of playing the pandora station for music day! I didn't do any kind of music on mine because I knew I couldn't get it together at this time of year to make an appropriate CD. LOL Pandora it is, next year! :)
    ideas by jivey

  5. Last Word is a new game for me. I will have to check it out. My kiddos love Apples to Apples. We play it often!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  6. I really truly appreciate the words about letting them have a minute of free draw time. Sometimes we forget about that free exploration to let them get that out of their system. I'm so excited to have found you! I'm your newest follower!

    24/7 Teacher: Amy Harrod

  7. We did popsicles and watermelon this week, too!! How funny! :)

    Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes

  8. My daughter loves the You Read to Me and I Read to You books for bedtime.
    Also, great idea on the vocab ideas. I'll be checking back. I'm always looking for ways to improve vocabulary in my classroom.
    Have a great weekend.

    School Is a Happy Place

  9. Lots of great ideas packed into one post! Love your mailbox solution! Also I'm going to have to check out that Fables book! Thanks for linking up!

    Angela :)
    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

  10. I went to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale today too! Did you find lots of goodies? Thanks for all your kind comments!!! :O) (And,yes it will be cheaper! LOL!) I don't know Last Word and plan to check it out-I love word games! Thanks for linking up and sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  11. I am so jealous of your trip to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale - can't wait to read a post of all your finds.


Back to Top