Sunday, May 31, 2015

School's Out-Last Day Events!

The last day of school is always a challenge! All of the academics are done. The room is pretty much cleaned up and ready for everyone to leave. Now it is time for the fun to begin.

Monday night, I lay down to sleep and realized that sleep was not going come. All I could think of was, I don't have Friday ready to go. At eleven o'clock, I crawled back out of bed and began putting everything in place.

First, I wrote down everything I already had planned. Then I began searching my End of Year Pinterest board, found here, that I had been pinning for the past few weeks. This is what we came up with:

Kickball for 45 minutes.
Charades for 30 minutes.
Beach ball volleyball for 30 minutes.
Win It In a Minute for 30 minutes.
Time for pizza and snacks.
Time to leave.

The Win It in a Minutes that I chose were:

Stacking cereal on a craft stick.
Blowing a cottonball back and forth through a maze on a table.
Making a face on a plate using M & M's.
Herding tissue fish.

Explanations of the games are found on these two sites:

The Starr Spangled Banner
Sunny Days in Second Grade

These sites have other great ideas-some I have used before but they may be new to you. I like to mix it up because it keeps the kids excited.

We changed often so everyone was willing to play everything, even if it wasn't a favorite activity.

Chosing teams was easy. I gave everyone a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. Similar colors got together as a team. It was a quick and easy way to group. Of course, I passed the bracelets out to create even teams. The bracelets came from Fry's Grocery store. They were having a 2 for one sale with ten bracelets in each one. Three boxes provided me with everything I needed.

The kids had a great time and so did the staff. This is something you can do as a classroom if you are a big school, or as a school if your population is small.

Now it is on to two things-the closing paperwork and plans for next year. Hope your summer is fun!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy New Year!

It seems a little crazy to be writing Happy New Year! at the end of May but this has been a crazy, busy year. First, let me say that bulletin boards are not my thing. I do them mostly because I know they are a necessary part of the classroom, but it is not my creative field of expertise.

My bulletin board journey began when I read a post last summer suggesting that a black background could be used for anything all year long. You have to know that I headed to the fabric shop and bought black material. I do not remember where I read the idea, but she  is a bit of a genius. It worked well the first two quarters and actually helped me come up with my idea for the New Year bulletin board.

The empty black board looked like the night sky. I just happened to have some yellow stars. My thoughts put the two together and, viola, a star was born! First, I put up the gold letters that said,"In 2015, I want to learn..."

When the students returned to school in January, I gave each of them a star with their name written around the points. I asked them to use a Sharpy and write one thing they would like to learn before the year was over. As they finished, we hung their stars on the night sky. The black and yellow looked really sharp and the kids "owned" the board. It also gave me insight into what they were still interested. (You know how often that changes with kids!)

Of course, this is not the completed board, The stars were hung as the kids finished them. I love my starry sky, but the thing is, you can use any shape for them to write on. Shapes-like these stars-cost a whole dollar. You can go for almost any theme you want. Don't you just love Dollar Tree stores!?!