One of the best things about being an educator is connecting with other educators who share the same passions as you. Those are the type of teachers who push you to try new things and teach outside the box. The teachers who make learning and teaching fun for both students and teachers. The ones that are always looking to try new things.
I've recently had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with a good friend of mine who also teaches second grade now. It's been so fun watching her be such a positive light in all of her students' lives, and it's been even more fun getting to collaborate ideas with her. From collaborating about social studies projects to fun Valentine's Day activities for our kids.
She had told me about her fun and engaging rotations that she was doing for Valentine's Day, and was willing to share all the activities with me and my students! We were discussing the activities and she mentioned that she needed one more idea for a rotation. I thought it would be fun to have kids do a STEM challenge. We decided on using candy hearts and toothpicks and having students see who could make the tallest tower. The only rules were that students could only use the resources their group was given and the tower had to stand on its own.
The students' first step was to plan with their team. They had to sketch out their idea about how they would design their tower. Once all students were done with their planning, the next step was to build. The students built their towers, and some groups even had to change their idea from their original plan. Once the time was up, students got to measure their tower and had to reflect about and answer two questions: What things do your group do well? How would you improve your structure for next time?
While both classes did the activities and rotations differently, we all used the same resources and better yet, we all had SO MUCH FUN! That is one of my favorite things about teaching. You don't have to be exactly like another teacher. Your students aren't exactly like their students. They have different needs, interests, skills, etc. You as a teacher also have your own personality and styles to teaching. But you find people who share the same passions. You hold on to those people because they make you a better teacher, which ultimately makes your students better. You push each other, help each other, and support each other on the highs and lows.
Hi! My name is Mikaela, and I am currently in my second year of teaching second grade. I am working at a Title I school with a diverse population of learners.