I got a few ideas from looking at this website HERE before deciding on COWBOY PUPPET SHOWS!

Our Reading Streets story was called COWBOYS. I had an idea to do some Cowboy Puppet Show Stories to go along with it for writing workshop a few weeks ago.


Here are the finished products we shared with each other. One person read at the microphone and their friend used their puppet and his puppet to do the puppeteering during the story reading.

Each story had to have a setting where cowboys would roam; a problem and a solution, and 2 characters and a title. And a cowboy puppet made from a western paper doll and western boy and girl outfits. They were really funny!

The Ugly Duckling Class Play


 We had a lot of fun learning the songs and performing “The Ugly Duckling Musical” last week.

 We had swan dancers, The swan singers, the barnyard brood soloists, the skunks soloists, the duckings and mama and papa duck dancers and singers, the barnyard hoedown dancers and many speakers and backstage crew. It was fun to cast the play this year because we had SO MANY wonderful singers.

Here is everybody doing faces and acting wacky after the show. 

I think they all had a great time. 

Of course I HAD to get one good shot of everybody with our cool hand-painted backdrop.  

 And we had to add one more wacky faced picture….just for the fun of it! haha. (note to self….do not EVER make that particular face again in a photo op….) 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed our play. We enjoyed performing it. Good job everyone! 

Bar Graphs and Ordered Pairs Graphing Fun

We are doing graphing in math this week and have done some very creative surveys, bar graphs, pictographs and now some ordered pairs grids.

Surveys and Bar Graphs in 2nd Grade 

Making a bar graph after doing a class survey is fun! 

We started out by each of us coming up with a question to pose for our classmates to take a survey.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE __________.  We made a big brainstorm of about 25 different types of things; sports, soda pop, cartoons, colors, days of the week, animals, birthday place, dessert, etc. Then each of us put our name next to one of them so we didn’t have any duplicates.

Everybody chose their own “What is your Favorite…..” to survey the class on. Then they used graph paper to make their totals after tallying up all the surveys. 

They had to also add up their total people surveyed…. They did a great job. 

Then they wrote out 5 different choices on a piece of paper. Then I gave them 5 minutes to go around and try to get more than 20 different people to put a tally mark on their choice. We stopped the timer and I have them each a piece of centimeter graph paper and showed them how to do bar graphs. They tallied their tally marks into numbers and then made the numbers into colorful 5 bar graphs and listed numbers on the side and what they surveyed across the bottom with their question across the top.

All the bar graphs look very colorful and different. One year when I had exactly 20 students we also did a pie chart and it was easy to divide the pie into 20 pieces. They turned out very nice!

Here are some ordered pairs graph games I found on the internet for us to play too. Here is a basketball one from teacher’s notebook. And

Bill Nye The Science Guy Mammal and Reptile and Bird Research Reports

We did mammal, reptile and bird reports these past 2 weeks. The kids did a great job finding facts out of their library books and sharing facts with each other and form the folders of animal printouts and cards I have in my stash.

Reptile Reports 
3 reptiles were brought to school by Kam’s mom. 

We had Kam’s mom come show us his bearded dragon and 2 of his snakes! Very Cool! 

Bearded Dragon got “puffed up” from 30 2nd graders observing it! So cute! 

Snakes! EEK!  

This corn snake was really pretty. The kids loved touching it! 

Snake ART and Reptile Reports 

 We made snakes out of butcher paper and decorated them with washi tape and sticker dots and added a forked, red, tongue and eyes. Then we attached the poem “Black Snake” to the back.

Here is a cute poem by Shel Silverstein about being eaten by a Boa Constrictor….

This cute chart and picture are taken from KinderGals Blog HERE.

Then we make a giant matrix of all the types of animals and fill it in as we learn about them; 1. Amphibians, 2. Mammals, 3. Reptiles, 4. Birds, 5. Fish/Ocean Animalso, 6. Insects. By the end of the study we have done a report on each type. It’s great fun! 

Each week I set out a new stash of books and weekly readers so kids can get facts from them. But we also have the internet and library books they have checked out for the week. 

Then we edited (30 kids worth of editing is no picnic, I can tell you that!) and rewrote on our choice of cool paper. Then we illustrated each by tracing some of Mrs. Moss’ cool animal coloring pages. These turned out really beautiful. I loved all of their reports. Next we are doing birds and ocean animals. It takes us about a month to do all 5 animal kingdoms (we previously did amphibians and insects).

Check them out. They are very cool. Good job guys!

Turtle report and illustration…….

We used colorful paper in the students’ choice for final copies….

We also did birds and mammal reports on different weeks….

Animal Research Reports 

Here is how I did it. I taught them about topic sentences and that they should be kind of like the “main idea” of the report. Then we had details in 3 kinds of paragraphs or groupings. We did 1. what they look like, 2. what they eat, 3. where they are found, and 4. what length and weight they come in. Then they just added interesting facts. Like Jeremy found out that alligators lift up their tails and “stinker” when they want to attract a mate. Hmmm…..that wouldn’t work for me, how about you? haha.

All the kids thought that one was hysterical! Animals do the strangest things!

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Mariachi Guitar craft……

We had a great week learning about Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Culture……

And dancing the Mexican Hat Dance…..

Happy Cinco de Mayo Everybody!  
Cinco de Mayo is a great holiday to study and learn all about the Mexican Culture in our classroom.
I always celebrate it because I always have the culture represented in my room.

We write about doing pinatas, singing with the mariachis, dancing the Mexican hat dance and eating tortillas and salsa.

We read lots of stories about the Fiesta and the Celebrations of the Day!
Mexican Maracas made from recycled cans, dry beans, yarn and beading on the ends….Fun to dance the Mexican Hat Dance to!  

We started our Cinco de Mayo celebration a week ago by doing a choral reading of FIESTA 
and our READING STREETS story A Birthday Basket for Tia.  Both are about the Mexican culture and both are filled with spanish words they kids LOVED figuring out the meanings of!! Then we looked at some of the Mexican blankets, a tortilla maker, and clothing of the Mexican culture and watched the Mexican Hat Dance on youtube.

A very cute wordsearch for Cinco de Mayo is HERE at Kaboose.

Here are our cute mariachi guitars….

Here is our hallway bulletin board full of color! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

 Ole…..Ay, yiy yi yi…..

Here is our Cinco de Mayo bulletin board….with our guitars and our writing…..

The inspiration for the Mariachi Guitar art project can be found HERE at Kaboose.  We made ours pretty big and VERY colorful!I let the kids choose the color for their guitars.  We doubled them, cut them out, stuffed them with newspaper strips to make them 3D, then added the string, the triangles and the “frets”(brown parts).

And we learned some new Spanish words from each other….like “Cinco” for 5 and “Mayo” for May!
Here is our finished bulletin board with Cinco de Mayo writing all about the Mexican Fiestas.

I have a tortilla maker I bought at OLVERA STREET, a tourist spot in Los Angeles. You can get them at Mexican markets or at cooking supply houses.

Here is what the MASA HARINA corn tortilla dough looks like made up…it’s fun to play with! Kids love it. 

Tortilla Maker…..

Use 2 pieces of parchment paper and place dough in between them on the tortilla press…..
Smashing the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper… will look like this! A perfect corn tortilla! 

Then fry them in a frying pan…1 minute on each side! I made these for dinner for the hubs! Yummy!

Check out the tutorial on my cooking blog….The Weekday Chef  HERE! 
The dough is in the Mexican food section of the grocery store and is called  Masa de harina. 

A great story I read the kids is called THE TORTILLA FACTORY by Gary Paulsen The Link is HERE. Lots of kids have seen how they make the flour tortillas at the burrito restaurants here but not so much the corn tortillas
.Front Cover

We love this Cinco de Mayo Tissue Party Flower craft for kids. It’s simple, easy and fun! And, don’t forget super colorful!
Craft supplies you will need:
Tissue paper
Pipe cleaner
Craft instructions:
Cut large squares (6X6) out of the tissue paper.
Have the children choose and stack about 10 squares of different color tissue paper.
Show the children how to accordion fold the tissue paper stack using about 1 in folds.
Then, have the children place a pipe cleaner in the middle of the folded tissue paper and secure it by bending the pipe cleaner over the middle of the folded paper and then twist the ends together.
Once done, have the children starting pulling the tissue paper pieces toward the middle, starting with the top piece.  Have the children hold on to the bottom piece as they do it.
And, voila, the children now have Tissue Paper Flowers for Cinco de Mayo!
In the past I’ve made churros and pinatas, and we’ve even done a large pinata filled with candy, but it was over so fast I didn’t feel it was very fun for most of the kids. I’m not going to do real pinatas again.  But I have done tiny individual ones from a paper bag. Link HERE for last year’s Cinco de Mayo activities. Last year we did the flag of Mexico and some Mariachis, and cute Sombrero hats using Fiesta stickers from a party store. Link is HERE at Party Cheap.  Another year we decided to make Marracas out of empty, rinsed out,  vegetable cans I’ve been saving up all year. The kids filled them with dried beans and rice. Then we colored some designs on a white piece of paper cut to fit around the can. Lastly we added a piece of yard with pony beads tied on the knotted ends. It looked great! 

I found some paper that looked kind of AZTEC-Y so I copied it and Added the Cinco de Mayo label..
Normally I have the kids bring in a washed out string bean or corn can. Here was a finished one with the yarn and beads added to the ends. This year we ran out of time though. But they are cute and easy to make. 
Mexican Maracas….were one of our Vocabulary Words too. So put popcorn and black beans inside and taped them shut with book tape…..then add some yarn with colorful beads tied onto the ends…
After the beading of  finished Maracas you just HAVE to do The Mexican Hat Dance! 
Da da…..da da……..da da…..clap clap!  Mexican Hat Dance! I had hats all over the classroom! I have all these hats just for this one week of school. haha. 
These are the stickers I had to add to the Mariachi guitars…. they
were from Oriental Trading…

 One math game I made up is  CINCO math Bingo and I used mental math and place value problems I made up on the spot. They had to add and subtract in their heads.  For instance, I’d say, “what is 132 plus 20” or “What is 340 take away 300?”  Then they would put the bingo marker on that number. Or I’d say, how much is 3 quarters worth? Or one quarter plus a nickel?  Lots of fun and pretty challenging too! I used the website dk

Weekly Readers we read on Mexican culture…..
I saved a few of these Weekly Readers on Hispanic Culture.
It would be fun to come up with a Jeopardy game with simple questions on fiestas, traditions and foods wouldn’t it?  Yeah, I don’t know if I’m that ambitious! 
Color Word Match Game

A Cinco de Mayo Fill in the Blank I made up can be found HERE at this link. And of course we HAD TO DANCE!  We layed the Mexican Hats all over the floor and groups of 3 kids danced around them. I should have made a video, But we danced to this one and it’s pretty good too!

 Enjoy! Arriba! OLE!  And HAPPY CINCO de MAYO!