Two Stars and a Wish Linky

I'm so excited to link up with some of my favorite second and third grade bloggers to bring you this fun linky to get you back into the groove of school!
 The rules for the link up are simple: share two *star* ideas that worked in your classroom last year, and  one wish for the upcoming school year.
I like to use my students' work and anchor charts we create together in my classroom as much as possible, rather than pre-made posters I can buy at the teacher store. My school's reading teacher said it best: the pre-made posters end up being more like wallpaper than teaching tools!

This is part of my calendar bulletin board:
That's right... What month are we in???

To personalize my calendar, I have my kids make the monthly name plates. Here's December:
To make the name plates, I take pieces of 12" x 18" construction paper and cut them into four strips that are 4.5" x 12". On the first day of the month, as students' morning work, they each make their own name plate. The rules are to write the name of the month really big and dark so we can see it. Then they decorate the name plate with symbols of that month. Every day, as part of our calendar routine, the Calendar Helper changes the name plate. After a student's name plate is displayed, s/he will take it home the following day. Towards the end of the month, sometimes I have to hang up two or three, just to make sure that everyone's name plate was on display. My kiddos really get a kick out of seeing their artwork on our calendar!

The next idea is a why-didn't-I-think-of-that idea I actually stole from my teammie. Do you hang up your  daily schedule? Yep, me too. I used to put magnets on the backs of the cards and hang them on the white board. But a lot of times, the magnets would fall off, or the schedule cards would be too heavy and they would fall down. It was definitely a balancing act to get the cards to stay up ALL day. 

Not anymore! Check this out!
Hippo Hooray for Second Grade: Hanging Up Schedule Cards with Velcro
Now, instead of magnets, I use Velcro! What I love about the Velcro is that I don't have to worry about the cards falling off, and I can overlap the cards a smidge if I need to. You know those days when you have 12 million things going on and you don't have enough room to hang up all the schedule cards? Those days are long gone!
I use Interactive Notebooks in my classroom for reading, writing, phonics, science, and social studies, and they are truly game-changers in the classroom! Last year I felt pretty confident with almost all of my notebooks... all except the writing notebook. It started out strong, but kind of fizzled towards the end of the year. I have grand plans for my writing notebook this year, and they include this AMAZING product from Christina Bainbridge:
This notebook product is set up EXACTLY in the way I was trained to use INs-- with a teaching component and a student practice component. It includes lessons on the parts of speech and the different genres of writing. I just know that my students' writing notebooks will be a great reference tool for them throughout the entire year! Click here to check it out on TPT.

If you've enjoyed reading my Two Stars and a Wish post and want to stay in the loop with more of my teaching tips, please consider following me on Facebook, Instagram, and TPT.

For more *STAR* ideas, please browse through the link-up below. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Thanks for the tip with the velcro! I think my district would have a heart attack if I stuck velcro on the whiteboard! We use it all the time for other things, though. Love it!

    What I Have Learned

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I love that idea for the month plate!! I am going to try it this year with my cute chalkboard calendar I made!

    Mrs. Ashline

  4. Thanks for your star ideas! I really like how the students created the month signs for your calendar. When they take ownership of things like that they are more likely to use them as resources...much like you said with the classroom posters/ anchor charts. I also really love your velcro idea for the schedule cards. I too used magnets in the past and now just use a pocket chart so they don't fall down in the middle of a lesson. Have a great week ahead.
    Mrs. Bentin's Blackboard

  5. Love the velcro tip! And how cute are those monthly headers! Totally stealing. :)
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  6. Yes! Velcro! Why didn't I think of that? I kept regluing the magnets on the back of the schedule pieces!!

    Sally from Elementary Matters


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I *love* reading comments!! Make sure you are a no reply blogger or leave your email address so we can stay in touch!

Back to Top