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!

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