You've Got a Friend in Second Grade

When second grade students arrived in their SBS classrooms this school year, they were greeted with a unique and creative room transformation! From large toy blocks to a claw machine, these lower school classes began the year with a recognizable theme. Inspired by the recent release of Toy Story 4, second grade teachers assembled an exciting classroom layout to engage their students in new and fun ways.

Second grade teacher Brittany Kasischke took a page out of her professional development book from this summer, Wild Card, which encouraged room transformations as a form of active engagement. This, paired with a rigorous curriculum, can change the entire classroom environment.

“I thought it would be neat to do a ‘You've Got a Friend in Me’ back to school theme using Toy Story,” said Kasischke. “We wanted to emphasize that they've got a friend in their teacher, their friends and in Jesus. Instead of spelling out Woody or Buzz on the boxes like Andy's room in the movie, we spelled out FRIEND on our boxes.”

Activities tied to academic standards of second grade helped students make real connections to their learning. A few fun ones included, “To Second Grade and Beyond,” a writing prompt in which students wrote out goals for the year, and “Save the Toys,” an escape room-style activity in reading where students build upon the skills they learned the previous year to unlock boxes and save the toys. There was also an activity to help students learn classroom procedures and expectations using the claw machine to dig for eggs containing various information about classroom guidelines.

These teachers who seek to serve their students by providing safe, nurturing environments coupled with creative and challenging curriculum make our school what it is. As our students go through second grade and beyond, these lessons and experiences will remain with them, enriching their lives and encouraging their growth in learning.

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