Friday Flashback: Wrapping It Up!

8 more days until summer vacay for us!  I get so jealous when I see others' posting about their summer vacations beginning already.  I long for those days of no alarm clocks or schedules!  But, I'm not rushing these last few days.  I'm going to savor every moment of these sweet kiddos!  It made me so sad today when someone asked if my kids were ready for summer and one precious girl said, "NO WAY!  I will miss Mrs. Madden."  Then later in the day she said that she was torn.  She wanted to move on to third grade, but she didn't want to leave me.  She said she would be "holding on to me tight on the last day of school."

How can I NOT enjoy every minute of these last 8 days?!?  I'm going to hold on tight to every single moment!  So precious!

I don't have too much to post about this week.  I spent a majority of my time with running records and end of the year benchmarks.

But, we did wrap up our Government Unit.  I have to admit this is probably my least favorite thing to teach, but the students have had fun with it.  Each table group in my classroom becomes a "city."  Students apply to be mayor of the city.  They then hold city council meetings to vote for a name for their cities and create signs to display.  We had everything from "Polkadotville" to "Boystown!"
Then, they hold city council meetings to work on "city problems" - maybe their city needs to work on staying cleaner, talking less, etc. They choose a problem and everyone shares solutions and they put them into action.

Each person in the team (besides the mayor) is appointed a job of "safety official."  The firefighters help put out "fires" (problems) in their city, the police officer enforces rules (gives reminders when people are off task, etc), the EMS provides help to anyone needing it, and the city engineer makes sure the city looks good at all times (cleanliness).

Once the cities are running like well-oiled machines, we combine two cities to form a "state" and begin learning about the state government.  We actually slide our two cities together to form a larger "state" -
Of course, the states need a governor.  We learn about voting and elections, and students create campaign posters to "run" for governor.  They give mini-speeches about why they would be a good governor for their state.  Then, we cast ballots and vote!

Of course, we move on to learn about the leader of our country (the president).  Since our states make up our classroom (the country), the teacher (ME!) is the president....seems only fair, right? ;)

We also wrapped up our Graphing Unit in math this week.  I LOVE to teach graphing!  They love it, too!  Students conducted surveys, created pictographs, and made bar graphs using a question of their choice.
We'll keep graphing next week since it's a fun way to wrap up our favorite things about 2nd grade!

Finally, we did this little craftivity about why we had a "BALL" in 2nd grade.  It was so much fun to read their favorite things!

On a personal note, I am SOOOOOOO glad to have finally finished my end-of-the-year DVDs!  I always add these to their buckets (you can read about those here) and I always forget how long they take!  I compile all of my pictures from the year into a movie with music using Windows Movie Maker (or iMovie/iDVD if using my MAC).  It really does make for a great keepsake!
Speaking of the buckets, I couldn't seem to stop adding to them this year.  Along with everything I previously blogged about here, I also added these cute little MONSTER bookmarks (pinterest inspired of course) to the corners of their books once our Scholastic order came in!
I was also inspired to create "Family Write Nights" for each month of the year (or week of the summer, in this case) so that HOPEFULLY families can have some fun, but educational experiences TOGETHER this summer.  I added that little booklet along with a notebook and pencil.
So NOW my summer buckets are OFFICIALLY D-O-N-E - DONE!
I just might have "BUCKETS" of love coming your way soon!  Be on the lookout!


  1. I posted a linky this week for end of the year activities if you wanted to link yours up!

    Teaching in the Tongass

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Tara! It really helps them to understand it on their level. :)

  3. I used to do a DVD for every kid, too, but now that I'm in the middle school, I don't have them as much as I used to :/ However, this year, that's a blessing...

    Fifth in the Middle

  4. Your beach balls are precious. My big kids would love this too. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. Those bookmarks are so cute! I just went back and read your post about the buckets! What an incredible idea! We've still got nearly three terms to go so I think I'll start thinking of ideas now and making things like you have so my kids get an awesome gift like that. It's their last year of primary too so I think I should definitely make and effort to do something special like you do!

    x Serena x

    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

  6. Your buckets are amazing - I hope you are finished - they are full! I have loved those monster bookmarks since I saw them on Pinterest - I just haven't gotten around to making them!! I love how you went from cities to a state - that's a great idea.

  7. Love those beach balls and buckets! So cute! My kids made the bookmarks at Reading Is Magic this week!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  8. I have a few kiddos that keep saying they'll miss me and don't want to leave but are also excited about second grade. So, this week we learned the meaning of bittersweet.

    You Might Be a First Grader….

  9. Those monster book marks are awesome! Thanks for hosting a fun linky! :)
    Ms. Shope's Class

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your bucket ideas! We used many of the this year!

    Sarah & Courtney @ Hoots N' Hollers

  11. Would you be willing to share your cute tag? I've bought buckets and I love the tags!

    1. I just posted the entire unit for making summer buckets and it's FREE for one week. Check it out here -

  12. I downloaded everything and found a bunch of things to add to my buckets. I am off to buy playing cards for the fun games you have included. Thanks for sharing this gem with everyone!! :-)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure


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