Springtime. The time of the year when the sun starts to peak out, the days get a little longer, and teachers everywhere are dreaming of spring break. Depending on where you live, you may still be bundling up in winter wear and having to scrape ice off of your car each morning. Or maybe you are living in a climate like me, where shorts are already being worn and the AC is on full blast. Either way, spring is here!
With springtime also comes…testing. Soon after that week of sleeping in and happy hour, comes testing. This is the time to really be making sure all your ducks are in a row! By that I mean, making sure that your kiddos are up to par with the primary concepts that are taught in their grade. Centers, games, file folder games, whatever you choose to call them, are a great way to have kids practice concepts throughout the year!
For second graders, regrouping is a biggie! Drilling into kids that little rhyme, “if you have ten or more, move next door” can only go so far. It’s springtime and those kids are as antsy as you! Have fun teaching regrouping by giving them something more hands-on to do. Solar Spinners is a fun center game that gives students an engaging way to practice regrouping. To use, all you need to do is grab a pencil and paperclip! That’s seriously it! Place the paperclip in the middle of the spinner, then insert the tip of the pencil into it. Have the kiddos spin twice and then add the numbers that they land on. This can be made into a game by timing them to see how many times they can spin and add correctly.
Teaching money is super fun! With teaching money, you are teaching so many mini concepts. Students learn how to decipher the different coins. They learn how to add the coins. They learn how to make change. Eventually, they will be able to show the least amount of coins for a given value! To get there though, begin with the first steps. A quarter equals .25 cents, a dime equals .10 cents. You get the idea. Once your kiddos have grasped the basics, they are ready for Bugs and Bills! Students match the dollar value to the coins/bills on leaves. This is great practice for kids to really look at the coins shown, as some values are close to each other! A penny can make a big difference and they will see that in this center.
If your students are looking for more of a challenge, you’re in luck! Fortune Fractions is for when fractions start to make the way into the classroom. Younger grades are still learning the basics with fractions. For example, finding out what fraction of pencils in the classroom still have erasers. (That would be 49/50). St. Patrick’s Day is a big hit in elementary school…I mean who didn’t love trying to trap the class leprechaun!? Keep the holiday a hit AND have kids practice fractions at the same time. Fortune Fractions matches shaded fractions with the numerical fraction.
Another concept that is huge is adding the correct punctuation marks to the end of sentences. Is it a statement, question, exclamation or command? Keeping with the spring theme is Sentence Seeds. To make this adorable center all you need is to print the planters and seed packets. To make it even more fun, glue two planters together around the edges (except the top). This will create a more pocket center. Students will then place the seed packets into the correct planter.
Now, in order to be a supercalifragilistic speller, kiddos need to know those blends! Blooming Blends is a great refresher for second graders and also great for younger grades too! Attach the planters to a file folder, sturdy laminated piece of cardstock or even a file folder. Your kids will love “planting” the words with the correct blends. They will be a pro at L blends ( bl, sl, fl, pl) in no time!
With blends comes those pesky syllables. As student’s vocab grows, so do the syllables in words they know. With Earth Day just around the corner, this center is great for recycling units as well as practice categorizing syllables. To make this center more fun I printed two of each recycling bin. I then cut off the top portion of one of them. Next, I glued all but the top edge! This makes a fun pocket center for students to actually place those recyclable words.
One part of spring that I love is Cinco de Mayo, and not for reasons you think! My husband’s birthday happens to be that day and it is a day where one can eat tacos, burritos, etc. for every meal and you won’t be judged! Making Cinco de Mayo cents only fueled my obsession with Mexican food!
Parts of Speech Peppers is a spicy way for kids to practice parts of speech. This center is simple but great for categorizing nouns, verbs, and adjectives. All they do is match chili peppers to the plate with the correct part of speech. With over 80 chili peppers, they will get a lot of practice!
Finally, lets taco bout time. With the digital age here…and never leaving, teaching kids to tell time with analog clocks is becoming a bit harder. Taco Time is a great and fun way to have kids practice matching digital and analog times. This includes 144 clocks for every five minutes and can be used to play a fun game with the whole class! Depending on the class size, you can place a few tacos and plates on each desk. They “scoot” to each desk, match up the times, mix them up, and then move to the next desk. This can also be a great “ I have” “Who has” type of game. Have students call out digital times and find the matching plate.
Guess what, I KNOW centers are a fun way for students to practice skills, but let’s be honest. During those crazy months when you have “all the things to do” sometimes the last thing you want to be doing is laminating and cutting out things.
If you are looking for an easier time saver way to get through spring, I’ve got you covered! My Spring No Prep Literacy and Math Unit covers a wide variety of concepts such as 3 digit addition, reading comprehension, elapsed time, sentence fragments, geometry, creative writing, and much more. With this one unit, you will be able to cover spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day AND Cinco de Mayo!
The best part is that it’s no prep! That means you just need to print and go. All of my no prep units are meant to be time savers! They can be used for morning work, homework, fun assessments, review, early finisher work, or even last minute substitute plans!