Part of the joy in teaching is creating and celebrating special events, moments, and days with students. All year long there are opportunities to bring joy: students reaching a goal, launching a new unit to study, sharing cumulative projects, National Pizza Pie Day (fractions, anyone?), etc. Teachers are masterful at taking these special days and creating experiences that enrich their students’ learning in a joyful way.
The last few years have been challenging, and some of this joy has been lost. Celebrations and events that we “used to do” have looked different (or have been canceled altogether), and we were left with a sense of loss. The perceived need to “catch students up” has shifted our focus toward deficit-thinking of what “isn’t working” and what we “should be doing” instead of what IS working. So much changed so quickly and we adapted in order to survive those changes. And that is okay.
But the changes don’t all have to stick. We are now at a place of choice. We now know the barriers and the challenges, and we can work within them. We can transform what we “used to do” into something even better. We can bring back the things that brought us joy before… even if they look a little different than they did before. We can do something new.
So, let’s bring the joy! I want to invite you to celebrate TwosDay on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 (Tuesday, 2-2-22). TwosDay is all about 2s, duos, and pairs. There are so many ways to connect this special day to the classroom, and I gathered a few ideas to share with you.
We can bring back the things that brought us joy before… even if they look a little different than they did before.
Social Emotional Learning
- Talk with students about how good partnerships work together, and then include opportunities to practice being partners.
- Host a Friendly Lunch and ask students to sit with someone new and learn two things about them to share.
- Use paired texts. These texts can be Fiction/Nonfiction pairs or topic pairs. Students can read and synthesize information from both books.
- Read aloud books with classic pairs of characters: Frog and Toad, Henry and Mudge, Batman and Robin, Harry Potter and Ron, Romeo and Juliet, etc.
- Reading Buddies: Students can buddy up with someone in their class, grade, or another grade/class for Buddy Reading time. Younger students can read to a stuffed animal.
Try giving your students sentence starters or prompts that include the number “2” or “22”.
- Where will you be in 2 years? 22 years?
- What were you like when you were 2 years old?
- If there could be 2 of you, what would each of you do?
So many ideas! Think about ways to incorporate “2” or “22” into your class.
- One of my favorite activities is called “Renaming Numbers”. This is adaptable to any age/grade level because students can make it as simple or sophisticated as they like. Simply ask students to Rename 2 or 22. Students will create equations and representations of 22.
- Challenge students to use ONLY the number 2 to create equations that have a value of the number 1-22.
- Do you use countdowns in your room when you need students to wrap up their discussions? Try counting backward by 2s or 22s, and see if your students can do it, too.
I hope you find some of these ideas to be helpful and that you find ways to make them better. I also hope you are able to bring the joy into your room on TwosDay. Be sure to share your ideas and celebrations with us on Twitter with @KeepINLearning and #TwosDay, and continue to bring the joy into your classroom each and every day!