Best 2nd grade VC programs

So you’re a 2nd grade teacher and trying to pick the best VC program for this year? Here are what I consider to be your best choices.

Of all the possibilities we’ve correlated to the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for 2nd grade, I’d say choose one of these providers:

  1. The Center for Puppetry Arts has excellent programs. They are designed well for young students’ attention spans because the students work on making a puppet, glue a little, then learn something while it’s drying, then glue a little more. By the time the program is done, they have a puppet! I highly recommend these programs!
  2. We really enjoy both the Columbus Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo for the adaptations and/or life cycle/bug programs.
  3. Consider also the Lake County Waste Management District for their environment programs. The presenter is an incredible storyteller and connects very well with the students. Plus they are free!
  4. If your students are “designing a system that encourages growing of particular plants or animals” MI.SCI.III.5.3, consider sharing your “system” or worm farm or other experiments with another class. Last spring we did a worm-farm sharing project that was highly successful!
  5. If your students are studying weather, you may want to connect to a class in a different area and share local weather/climate conditions.
  6. If your students are learning about “seasonal changes in Michigan’s weather” MI.SCI.V.3.2, you may consider presenting the four seasons to another class. Or connect to a partner class four times during the school year to share the four different seasons.

Social Studies: Communities

  1. Joan Roehre, Kenosha, WI, shared a really neat local community history idea on her blog. She’s running this project for her local districts in March. We could do the same thing here in Berrien County if we have a few interested teachers!
  2. The Around the World program from the Museum of TV & Radio is one of the best programs that shows different types of communities around the world. Highly recommended!
  3. You could also connect with a class in a different type of community anywhere in the world, really. Canada & the U.S. are the easiest places to find a partner class, but other international locations aren’t out of the picture – they just take a bit more work to find! To my local teachers, email me if you want to do this!

Language Arts

  1. Of course, don’t forget the possibility of participating in Read Across America in March 2006. That would be free.
  2. For my local teachers: We have some good ASK programs coming up that you’ll want to consider. Remember we send you the books.
    ****Stellaluna by Janell Cannon; Grade Level: 2-3, Topic: Bats.
    Date: November 3, 2005: 9:30-10:30; 10:45-11:45; and 1:00-2:00 p.m.
    You’ll interview experts at the Bat Conservatory at the Cranbrook Institute of Science.
    ****Ice Bear and Little Fox by Jonathan London, Grades 2-3. Topic: Polar Bears
    Date: March 16, 9:30-10:15 and 10:30-11:15 a.m. (3 slots each time).
    You’ll interview an expert at the Indianapolis Zoo.
  3. You could also, at any other time of the year, present a choral reading, play, or original class book to another class.
  4. There are several good content provider programs based on children’s literature as well.

To my local teachers, email me or visit to schedule any of these videoconferences.

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