Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Camping in the Classroom - Activities to help you survive the last days of school!

So I'm pretty sure this post will be my last for a while.  I JUST got out of school, I'm tired, I'm pale, and I need to step away from the computer and school for just a little while.  But before I step away I wanted to do one last post on the awesomeness that happened on the last two days of school!  

Our principal gathered us for a faculty meeting and said that she encouraged us to celebrate the students hard work.  WHAT'S THAT MRS. PRINCIPAL???  YOU ENCOURAGE US TO CELEBRATE???  Now keep in mind, that she wanted us to keep it educational.  Umm...done and done!  Some of the other teachers said they were going to do ice cream and write a how to on how to make an ice cream sundae.  I didn't want to do that because, well, ice cream was messy and it was too much work.  I thought, hmmm, lets do something with camping!  Camping is always fun in the summer!

And then...it took on a life of it's own...
I ended up with 9 stations!  and a campfire!  and a tent!  and lights!
And I said ice cream was too much work.

 My friends came in first thing in the morning and started working on this coloring page.
Then they glued it to a pre stapled pouch.  This pouch was going to hold all the goodness from the day.
As they filtered in the room and got unpacked, they came to the board to answer the question.  We went over the results together after everyone had answered.
Now for the good part.
To make sure my friends were able to keep track of the chaos of their day, I gave them a checklist to check off where they had been.
Each station has a sign with the directions of what to do.  I also made sure I left an example of the craft at each station.  Station 1 is making a campfire out of handprints and then writing a story.

They just went at it and I didn't have to do a thing!

Station 2 was probably my favorite!
I made an actual campfire with lights underneath to make it glow!
(and ice cream was way too much work)
The students would take the story they wrote in Station 1 and read it to a buddy in station 2!

This activity was presh!  And I think it was a favorite with the friends because it involved paint!
 I made sure I put a limit on the number of fireflies because I thought there would be paint smeared everywhere!
 But as you can see, they did an amazing job!
They had to wait for the paint to dry before they added the wings.  So while they waited, they did their writing piece.

Station 4 was an new version of write the room.

They made a set of binoculars and found the hidden message around the room.

 Of all the pictures I snapped from the day, I didn't snap any of my friends at this station!
At this station they make a backpack and make a list of things they need to go camping.  Then the list slides into the pouch!
I think the most exciting thing about this station was that they got to use the stapler.  On their own!
Yum Yum for Station 6!  I had some awesome parents that helped to donate TWO DAYS worth of food for trail mix!
 I prepped each item in its own little bowl and let them just get what they wanted!
 Then they wrote a list of ingredients they chose.

For station 7 I put an ACTUAL tent in my classroom.  I know, I'm crazy.  And ice cream was way too much work.  I also strung up lights so we could camp "under the stars."  The tent only held three students so I would rotate them and set the timer.  This one was an absolute FAVORITE!  The tent was brought in by one of my amazing TA's but these activities went so well I might invest in a HUGE tent for next year.  Yeah, ice cream would have been really tough.

Before we headed to our stations, a parent sent in the ingredients needed to put together a S'more.  This was perfect because Station 8 was making a S'more and writing about how to make one!

S'mores are much easier than ice cream.
And lastly, station 9 is making a camp necklace.
I found some rigatoni pasta big enough to fit the yarn but I think next year I might use large beads.

 It didn't really matter though.  They thought it was the coolest thing and even wore the necklaces to school the next day.

So, in the end, I'm so glad I didn't do ice cream!  We had a BLAST with these activities and they lasted about two days!
Ahhh...now I can breathe...it's summer break!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Five for Friday...No....Not out of school yet :(

I'm NOT out of school yet and I'm SO jealous that I see everyone enjoying their summer vacation.
I have One.  More.  Week.
I have had MY FILL of end of the year testing and am ready for the school year to be over with!!!  BUT, I have to say that I'm VERY proud of my little firstites...they did SO WELL with their end of the year MCLASS assessments!  I know I'm going to have to reward them for their hard work in some way :)

To keep my friends interested and "engaged" until the end of the year I've included activities from this phonics pack into word work.

Fractions don't come until the very end so I pulled a bunch of activities from this pack.

 My little friends have GROWN so much as readers this year.  Some of my higher students started research around mid-year because they were ready for it.  Now, ALL of my first graders are conducting research!  It makes me SO PROUD!
I've been using Tara West's Research Templates as a pack for my students to record their findings. 

 Fortunately, my school has access to PebbleGo.  It's a GREAT tool to use for research.
 Look at this little lady using her text features to find vocab :)

Father's Day gifts are wrapped and ready to go!  You can see what we did HERE.

Now what's crazy?  I have already got everything ready for "next school year" because when I get out of school in a week, I have three weeks until my new crop comes in!