Classroom Calendar Connections – February 2020

Categories

100th Day of School – The Actual Date Varies by School Calendars

Congratulations on making it to the 100th day of school (give or take a few days)! Students of all ages enjoy celebrating this special milestone. (Google “100th day of school activities” and you’ll get nearly 9 million hits!) My former elementary and middle school students seemed to appreciate this simple reflective, yet predictive writing activity:

Instruct students to pretend they are 100 years old and have them write a story about their life at that age. Encourage students to dream big! Guide them with brainstorming by providing prompts such as:

  • Where were you born and raised? Share any childhood memories.
  • Where did you go to school? What did you study?
  • What interest and hobbies did you have? 
  • How did you make a living? Where did you live?
  • Describe a memorable place you visited. Did you meet anyone famous? Are you famous?
  • Who are you celebrating your 100th birthday with? Describe the special people in your life.
  • What will you wish for as you blow out the 100 candles on your birthday cake?

Super Bowl LIV – February 2nd 

As a Wisconsinite, I’m a bit heart-broken that my beloved Green Bay Packers won’t be playing in the Super Bowl this year. (They were SO close.) Anyway, I plan to still tune in to at least watch the commercials. Visit the Super Bowl Advertising Archive and have discussions with students about persuasion, advertising, and marketing. (Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is rumored to make an appearance in a commercial this year.)

Here are a few other Super Bowl-related ideas to get your students ready for learning:

  • Graphing, linear equations, the science of NFL football, concession stand math – this website provides a treasure trove of football-themed math lessons.
  • Get your football fans interested in reading with this list of 54 things about the 54th Superbowl.
  • What is the number one food eaten at Super Bowl parties? Where was the first Super Bowl played? Which team has the most Super Bowl wins?  Send students on an internet scavenger hunt to find the answers to these questions and more.

 

Valentine’s Day – February 14th 

With Valentine’s Day upon us, it’s a wonderful time to give students the opportunity to reflect on what they love while sharpening their writing skills. However, my students at the elementary and middle school levels often struggled with writing – especially with the first step of just getting started. Then several years ago a grad school professor introduced me to Heart Mapping – a prewriting strategy based on Georgia Heard’s book Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School. I have been implementing and sharing this brilliant, yet simple strategy with students and teachers ever since. Read more about this prewriting activity in this blog post.

Or check out some of these other ideas related to Valentine’s Day that can be incorporated into the curriculum:

President’s Day - February 17th

Happy Birthday, George Washington! Celebrate President’s Day with your students by researching and writing about our nation’s founding father (or any other U.S. President of their choice). This outline (and essay example) will guide your students with drafting a five-paragraph informative essay about the lives and contributions of our presidents.

Below are a couple more classroom activities and resources related to President’s Day:

  • Students can print and collect trading cards complete with interesting facts about all 45 presidents and the first ladies. 
  • February 22nd? February 11th? When is George Washington’s actual birthday? Is the national holiday known as Presidents’ Day (to include Abraham Lincoln) or Washington’s Birthday? This video helps sort out the confusion.  

 

Have a fun-filled February, educators! Please share your own classroom ideas for the month.


Here are a few classes related to this topic:

Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin.