Budding Bloggers Showcase: Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

Hi friends! Well, today is the day.  I'm working a half-day and then kicking off my spring break a little early with MAROON 5!!!  I am so excited that I can't even try to contain it!  Their last concert is at the top of my list and I know this tour is going to be even better!!

So, since I'm headed out of town today, I have another fabulous new blog for you to read!  I am especially excited because it's another 2nd grade blog!!

Y'all {I threw that in just for Angela since I'm one of those "southern bloggers" :)) will love Angela and her cute blog.  She's a cheesehead and has an obsession with hippos...she has more hippos in her classroom than children!! (Hippos, you say??  Yes!  Check out her "About Me" tab to read more about that!)  Read on and then hop on over to her blog for a visit!

I'll be back tomorrow with a linky and some freebies!!

Hi Friends! My name is Angela and my blog is Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

HUGE thanks to Amanda for letting me share my story with you this week! :)

A Little About Me: I am Wisconsin girl, and yes, I do LOVE cheese! I also am a crazy fan for the Packers, Brewers, and Badgers! My husband and I have two kids (3.5 years and 17 months) and a 70-pound "lapdog," Daisy. Some of my interests (besides my fam and teaching) include: playing ice hockey, gardening, running, and crocheting hats for children. Check out my Facebook page for my hats here. I also have a slight obsession with hippos (hence the blog name). I probably have over 50 stuffed hippos and hippo figurines in my classroom!

Grade I Teach: Second! I love second grade for lots of reasons. The kids are old enough that I don't have to wipe noses or tie shoes, but they still love their teacher and they love to learn! I also love that kids at this level are starting to be more independent.

How Long I've Been Teaching: This is my 8th year, all in second grade.

My Favorite Subject to Teach: This is a REALLY hard question for me, because I honestly love all subjects! Any other year I probably would've said Reading, although this year I've started using Interactive Notebooks in Science, and I'm SO loving that!

If You Stopped in my Room Unannounced: You'd probably see me working with a small group while the rest of the class is working on something independent at their levels. I am BIG on differentiation, and while I do teach whole-group lessons, I think students learn best when I can give them more individualized instruction and attention.

What Gets Me Through One of "Those" Days: My teammates for sure! One of them has a stash of Hershey Kisses in her room, and I have no shame when going in there (sometimes while she's teaching!) and grab a few. Pretty sure I will owe her 3 or 4 giant bags by the end of the year! Oh, and a glass of wine (when I get home of course!) doesn't hurt either... :)

My Can't Live Without Teaching Resource: No doubt about it... my 2nd Grade Teaching Teammates!! They are so creative, and we work SO well together!
Since you can't have them, I'll share some of my go-to resources: TpT (of course!), SMARTExchange, Discovery Education, Brain Pop Jr.... the list goes on and on!

My Teaching Style: The word that comes to mind is balance. I like to have fun and be silly, but I also run a tight ship. I can be loud, but I crave the quiet too. I think routines and expectations are vital in a primary classroom. I do a lot of modeling and coaching so that my students know exactly what is expected of them.  I will do pretty much anything to engage my students and help them grasp and retain new content. I have been known to hop up on the counter, dance around and sing like a lunatic. But SHHHH! Don't tell my district's safety committee.... :/

My Favorite Project/Activity:
I have two big things going on right now. One is a Weebly site for our second graders. We're trying some flipped classroom activities. The site is definitely a work-in-progress, but feel free to check it out!

The second are my interactive notebooks that I'm using in science. I went to a training over the summer with Jane Pollock (of Classroom Instruction that Works fame), and I've continued to meet with her over the course of the year to make this totally engaging project come to life for my second grade bunnies. Here are some pictures of our work:
My notebooks don't have dividers or tabs, so we made our own! It's just a sticky note that I've "laminated" with clear packing tape. Works like a dream!
This is the back cover. I taped an envelope to keep small pieces we cut/glue in the notebook. The piece of yarn can be used as a book mark.
This is how we set up the notebook pages.
This is my favorite foldable to date. It's a Venn Diagram, but instead of trying to cram all your information in the tiny circles, students write underneath the flap!
This moon wheel allows the students to see all the phases of the moon.
I love this "hands on" way for students to see how the Earth revolves around the sun, and the moon revolves around Earth.
Here we are learning how to highlight important information... and NOT using our highlighter to doodle ALL over the page!
Blogging Goals: I think it's easy for new/small blogs to feel like "a little fish in a big sea," and try to keep up with some of the more well-know bloggers. My goal is to continue to be true to myself and share my ideas with anyone who wants to read them. Example: I'm not from the South. I don't use the word "y'all" in my everyday vocabulary. I have nothing against the word; I actually think it's pretty fun when southern bloggers write like how they speak! But again, I'm not from the South, and so you won't find me using "y'all" in my blog posts. I think we all have great ideas to share no matter how many followers we have, and there is no reason to pretend to be something you're not to try to impress others.

So that's me in a nutshell. If you like what you've seen, hip hop on over to my blog to say hi. I'd love to "meet" you!
Thanks again, Amanda! Have a great night!


  1. Thanks so much for featuring me on your blog today!! And thanks for throwing in a little "y'all" for me ;) Hope you had a blast at the concert today... I'm sure you did!

    Hippo Hooray for Second Grade!

  2. Two of my favorite bloggers in one area! How can I contain myself. :)
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  3. And, I , a new second grade teacher (pulled out of retirement from middle school, of all things) am so grateful to all second grade bloggers. Without you, I never would have survived my "first" year. You'll find my room full of your ideas, lessons, and crafts. Thank you all!


Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing ideas! I love to read your comments. I like to reply back by email, so make sure you have that option enabled so we can chat! :)

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