#NoOfficeDay - 2nd Grade

You all know how much I look forward to these #NoOfficeDays! The dedicated time each month, set aside to spend time with y'all and our students is hands down, one of the most enjoyable things I do all year. The humbling reminder of how hard our teacher work, the time spent engaging with students in their turf and seeing the learning first hand are all reason I continue to schedule these days and highly encourage every principal out there to do the same. My day in 2nd grade did not disappoint and without further adieu, here is how 2nd grade put me to work. 

The first hour of my day was spent something I had never done in my three years of #noofficedays. Second grade students spend the first hour of the day rotating through the library for book checkout. Each 15 minutes a class comes in, handles their business (very efficiently I might add) and returns to their grade level for the next rotation. I was able to assist with the checkout process for each of the classes making sure students entered their number and scanned the barcode accurately. By no means a hard job, but it put a large spotlight on the passion our 2nd graders have for reading. It gave me great pleasure to help them with their books, knowing they would continue to build their excitement for reading. I hope that passion continues to grow and never subsides! 

Following the grade level check out I was able to join Mrs. Valentin's classroom where stud nets are always so eager to welcome me. It doesn't matter the time of day, they always stop what they are doing and great me with a "Good Morning/Afternoon, Mr. Arend". Mrs. Valentin demands their best and it includes academics and manners. We got settled in and I was able to give three small groups of students their spelling test while at he teacher table. It was clear which students had studied as we worked our way through the list. Especially when one young man had completed all 15 words while I had only read through 10 of them. Mrs. Valentin even had me administer the test starting with #15 and working backwards. After everyone finished their test, the students showcased their talents in a classroom spelling bee using the spelling list as well as other words they may have been introduced to throughout the year. They loved it! The students in Luz's class have so much fun learning! 

My next stop in 2nd grade was across the hall in Ms. Smith's classroom. Her students were transitioning into math and had been waiting for me to arrive. Upon my arrival Ms. Smith introduced the math stations to the students and I was able to use the teacher table for an old fashioned game of "Go Fish". Only this game of Go Fish focused on finding two numbers that when added together equals 100. Students knew all of their facts using base ten numbers that would equal 100 and worked tirelessly to best Mr. Arend. I'm surprised I was able to even make a pair with all of the students who would ask me for a card. It was great to play a game like this with each of the students and see them think through there decision making and their a excitement when they found a match. 

After the humbling experience of getting beat in Go Fish by a bunch of second graders it was time for recess. I felt like a student who came to school dressed inappropriately as all I had was a light sweater and the wind was ridiculously cold! After getting special permission for the recess teachers we moved our play area to the grass where students could run races. I'm not sure what it is about running until they are so tired they fall over, but students love to run when I visit their recess. They simply race against each other with the fastest moving on to the next round and the other getting back in line to challenge someone again. Students will stand in line for several minutes while waiting their turn, but they look forward to it. So much so, that the teachers were aware of what we may do and remind the students (and me) that racing had to happen in the grass. :)

Lunch is lunch and the cafeteria seems to get a little bit louder when I am in there as each of the students wants me to sit a their table. There is no way to make them all happy, so I simply walk around and make sure I am keeping the peace...best I can. 

After lunch I was able to enter Ms. Romero's room where students were writing for me to join them in some math rotations. In order to work with all of the students who were working on specific tasks related to what they needed to improve on (place value or adding/subtracting) I rotated back and forth between a couple of groups. Students worked hard in each of the groups. We completed a crossword puzzle in one group that had clues related to successfully answering questions by forming the correct number based on the clue and the other was a fun alien strategy game where we tried to move our pieces just the right number of spaces to land on an alien. We determined how many spaces we would move based on rolling three dices and generating a number sentence where we could add or subtract using all three numbers.  I faired a little better at this game then Go Fish, but the students still gave me a run for my money. 

We headed to specials which is always so inspiring for me to observe the talents of our specials teachers. Ms. Newsome had students completing a winter silhouette which was simply amazing. I do not have much of an artistic ability so seeing her works and the works of our students makes me very proud. Mrs. Caldwell was leading the students through some "do" and "re" exercises and of course I had to help the students. Upon my help, someone was quick to point out someone was singing to low. Wonder who that was? Once the students nailed the exercise the next activity included some Xylophone work. In partners students played the notes they had just finished singing. Let me tell you, the patience Mrs. Caldwell exhibited was phenomenal as you give stud nets instruments and mallets to play them. My last stop was in the gym as the students were being led through a series of exercises and Star Jacks as they prepare for 3rd grade. The students showed immense school spirit as they shouted out S...I...G...L...E...R...and the Stars, Stars, Stars. We concluded with a little challenge as students had been showcasing their dribbling skills. A couple of students are always able to rise above he rest with their talents and they get to challenge me. One of the students actually made me lose my dribble and the ball. I let him...right? 

As the students headed back to class I ended the day in Mrs. Mogollon's classroom for IC. She was in an ARD meeting, so with the help of Mrs. Griffin we had a great conversation about weather, activities, transportation and clothing and how each of those topics can change depending on which season you are in. Students had a fabulous understanding if the difference between each season and had no problem sharing what their favorite season was and why. Can you believe, out of the class of 19 and the two adults in the room, only one students shared my love for fall? Of course most of the students loved winter and it was because of the snow! I guess they had recent memories of December and the ice that impacted their decision. Regardless, they loved sharing their thoughts with me as they filled out their very own anchor chart for each of the seasons indicating differences through each one. As the lesson progressed, we would have started talking about why seasons change, but as you know, we just didn't get to it, there wasn't enough time, and it's ok. I know they will discuss it next week and I can't exist to follow up with them to see how it goes. 

It was a great day spent in 2nd grade. I appreciate all of the ladies in he office holding down the fort and especially Mrs. Hempstead as she filled in for me at a couple of meetings so I could remain in 2nd grade as planned. It takes a village folks. 

Thank you 2nd grade students and teachers for allowing be to be your guest! I am already looking forward to my next #noofficeday! 

Matt Arend
Sigler Elementary