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Monday, May 30, 2016

Jumbo Jenga Review Game!

Hey everyone!

The school days are dwindling and if you're like me, your dreaming of the lazy days of summer!  But before we get to those days, we had to finish up some learning!  This past week, we were finishing up our math curriculum for the year and taking our last math test - on telling time.

Flashback real quick to last year - for our End of Year Celebration at a local park, we had Jumbo Jenga made out of 2x4 blocks.  Some kids played with the set, but not as many as I would have thought.

Now back to 2016...
The Jenga blocks we had made last year needed an update with some brighter colored paint.  So my wonderful mom and I spent a Saturday afternoon repainting all 48 of the blocks - they came out great.  While I was painting these blocks, I got to thinking I needed to introduce this game to my kids so they would know how to play at our EOY celebration.  BUT, I needed it to be educational.

2X4 wood cut into 10.5 inch pieces

Ding Ding!!  Idea alert!

After spending a little time scoping Hope King's blog for how she made Jenga educational, I knew that making a review game for telling time was a perfect way to introduce the game to the kids as well as review before our test.

I had 5 colors - pink, green, turquoise, orange, and purple.  For each color block, I made 10 questions, similar to those they would see on their math test on Friday.  When it came time to play the game, I followed Hope's directions for playing.

1.  Students would pick a color block they wanted to move.  Let's say, they want to move a green block. 
2.  They go to their Green Blocks question page and answer the first question on the page.  All members of the group have to get the answer correct before I would let them move their block of choice.
3.  After everyone's answer is correct and I said "Go", one person from the group would go move the color block that corresponded to their question they chose to answer (green in this example).
4.  Once the block had been moved, they would choose another block color, and go to the next question on that page that hadn't been answered.

Head over to Hope's blog to see her give directions in a video - it helped me understand what to do!

When it came time to play, my kids had a blast!  I was exhausted afterwards as I was ping-ponging all over the room for 45 minutes to an hour checking their answers and so on, but they were engaged the entire time and had fun so win-win!

What worked perfectly was that our KleenSlate Whiteboard Paddles from Donor's Choose arrived Thursday morning - so it was perfect to be able to use them that afternoon to write down answers, then erase, and move to the next question.

Now for some pictures...

And a video - we thought it was going to collapse!!

Want to play Jumbo Jenga to review telling time with your kiddos?  Download my set of Jumbo Jenga Telling Time Questions from Google Drive below.  We are using Engage NY for our math curriculum, so if you use this as well, this will be a perfect review for your kiddos!

It's almost the end my friends!  We can make it - stay strong!

I've got 6 and 1/2 days left with the kiddos - how about you??

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Making It To Summer Part 4: Beach Day!

Welcome welcome friends!

This is the last post in my Making It To Summer series - a series filled with tips and products to help you make it to the final bell signaling the start of summer!
Today is all about something I am super excited to start doing in my classroom - Beach Day!!

After visiting The Ron Clark Academy last month, I started looking for opportunities to make learning come alive for my kids.  If you follow me on Instagram, then you'll know I turned my classroom into an "ocean" earlier this month when we did Shark Week.

When I started looking at what we were going to do at the end of the year to review all that we have learned this year, my Just Beachy End of Year Review Centers inspired me to turn my classroom into a beach!  

So off to Dollar Tree to load up on supplies...

Centers supplies
Small buckets were a set of 3 for $1

Tablecloth - "ocean water"
Palm Tree Decor
Chevron InnerTube (from Walmart)

Leis - packs of 6 for $1 - each kiddo will get one

Cups and drink umbrellas - I have asked parents for fresh fruit to put into the cups with drink umbrellas.  We will also have goldfish, water and lemonade for our beachy snack.

Photo booth supplies!  I found the awesome beach backdrop at Party City for about $7 and this will hang in my room to be a backdrop (pictured below) for our photo booth area.  Hula skirts, fun beach sunglasses and beach toys will complete the photo booth.  I'll bring a big bucket from home to put all the supplies in.

The beach scene setter is huge!!  The two large panels just about complete covered the cubbies in our classroom which was perfect and the exact place I wanted to hang it!  I used binder clips to hang it - so I can hang it the day before and just pull the scene setter up in the morning so they can put their book bags and such in the cubbies, then pull it down to make our backdrop.

Now, what are all the snorkel masks and sand scoops for?  These are going to be used for centers of course!
For my Scuba Diving For Inflections ELA center, the kids will get to wear the goggles while they are working in the center.  I only purchased 4 goggles, so that center will be limited to 4 kids at a time.
Note: the goggles are made to cover the nose, I just small scissors and cut the nose part off the bottom so they could breathe while they are working and wearing their goggles.

The small buckets will allow the kids to sort the cards while working.

For Digging Up Facts & Opinions, I got these large sand scoops from Dollar Tree so the kids could sort the facts and opinions cards on the scoops instead of in the buckets.

In addition to our photo booth scene setter helping set the beach mood, I'm also going to have a beach scene video going on YouTube so we can transport ourselves to the beach with the waves crashing and palm trees swaying.  The video is 3 hours long so I won't have to keep restarting the video all day - just a couple times.  

Wanna keep your video ad-free?  Head over to The Brown Bag Teacher's blog with a couple of websites and browser add-ons you can use to keep your YouTube videos safe for young eyes and ears!

My Just Beachy Centers are perfect for creating your own beach day or just for reviewing concepts at the end of the year with a beach theme.  I've used these centers for a couple years now, but am so excited to take it to a new level!

If you stayed with me through all of this - then you deserve a freebie!
Click the image below to grab my Beach Day booklet cover.  I took all the center sheets I wanted my kiddos to complete during Beach Day and copied/stapled them as a booklet so they don't lose their sheets.

The file is editable - download as a PowerPoint file from Google Sheets and you can edit the text box with your name, beach name, a place for students to record their name, or whatever floats your boat!

What fun activities do you have planned for the last days of school?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Making It To Summer Part 3: End Of Year Award Medals

Hello friends!  I'm back for Part 3 of 4 of my Making It To Summer series.  This series is to help you make it to the final bell without going totally crazy and getting all those little fun things in at the end of the year.

Today, I'm sharing about my end of year classroom award medals - awards that your kiddos can wear home with them!

Last year, I came up with this idea of having my kids end of year awards - our fun awards - as medals  that they could wear home with them.  Our school does quarterly awards, so the awards I do at the end of the year are our fun awards and I wanted them to be different from their usual award certificates.

There are TONS of different award medals included - some with boy and girl versions.  Most of the awards also include descriptions to help you decide which student in your class is deserving of which award.

Some of the awards include...
Inspector Gadget
Helping Hand
Fantastic Friend
Question King/Queen
Future Sportscaster
Curious Cat
News Reporter
Totally Techy
Energizer Bunny
Nobel Peace Prize
Wiggle Worm
Amazing Author
Mr./Miss Chatterbox
and more!

I prepped mine this week very easily - just print, laminate, cut, punch 2 holes at the top and tie a piece of ribbon through.  I punch 2 holes at the top of each award medal so that the medal will lay flat on their stomach - both the medal and the ribbon - and that way they can show off their award!

Check out the awards I'll be giving out to my kiddos this year, all prepped and ready to go!

Do you do fun awards with your kiddos at the end of the year?
My kiddos always LOVE these because it gives us a little time to giggle and laugh at some of the funny things they do throughout the year.

Grab these awards and you'll be all ready for the end of the year awards!

Come back next Monday for the last part of my Making It To Summer series - all about a day full of fun and review of what we've learned in 2nd Grade!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Making It To Summer Part 2: End of Year Gift & Summer Games

Hey friends!  I'm back to Part 2 of my Making It To Summer series.  This series will give you some ideas and links to products that will help you make it to the final bell signaling summer vacation!

Today's ideas are to help you get those end of year gifts ready as well giving your kids all sorts of games and activities to keep them busy over summer vacation and hopefully keep that dreaded "summer slide" from happening (too much at least)!

For the past few years, I have been giving my kiddos buckets for part of their end of year gift.  In the past, I've gotten sand pails from dollar tree, but this year, I thought ahead (way ahead) and got Easter buckets at Walmart.  They were a few cents cheaper and had fun designs that I knew my kids would enjoy.

I used my Cricut Explore and some vinyl to make the letters to put my kiddo's names on their buckets.

Now - to fill those buckets!!  First off, I get a book from Scholastic Reading Club using my Scholastic points.  I go for those $1 books and this year I got a variety of books to help meet the variety of interests and reading abilities of all the kids.  I also ask parents for things such as bubble wands, KoolAid, funky straws, sidewalk chalk, playdoh, etc. that I put in their buckets as well.  That way it is full of things to keep them busy and having fun all summer!

Then, I get to add some more educational and fun goodies.  First up, is a Summer Fun Practice Pack.  I copy and staple this booklet front-back and it includes math and language arts activities as well as summer themed writing prompts. 

Knowing my kiddos - they'll spend plenty of time covering the cover before they get to working on the inside.  The LOVE coloring Melonheadz kids on their monthly mClass math booklets and BAT booklets.

Then comes the games!!  There are lots of card games that are included with direction cards to tape on the bag of cards and there are also 4 different BINGO cards that can be used with the place value and clock cards included with the set.

What kinds of cards and games are included you ask?!?!

Number Cards - single, double, and triple digit
Game ideas - Even/Odd Sort, Adding & Subtracting 2 ore more cards, ordering largest to smallest or vice versa, comparing using greater than/less than
Double/Triple digit cards can also be used for BINGO

Clock Cards
Game Ideas - memory, BINGO

Money Cards
Game Ideas - memory, BINGO

Letter & Sound Cards
Game Ideas - Sound Check, BANG (like POP, ZIP, whatever you may call it), I spy letter sounds

Sight Word Cards
Game Ideas - Tricky Words Slap

With each set of cards, there is a directions sheet that students tape to their bag of cards so they have game ideas and directions.  These are great games to play with siblings, babysitters, and parents.  With a variety of games, they won't get bored playing the same thing over and over again.

Let the kiddos make their game cards!!  We take one day (of our 10 Day Countdown) to make our cards for the games.  In the past, I've done them all in the morning - but this year, I'm thinking of doing the spelling and language arts cards in the morning and the math cards in the afternoon.  It helps their little hands!

For a better preview of what is included, click the image above to go to my TPT store.  Download the preview for a better view.

There are even tags you can attach to the buckets!

Head over to my TPT store to grab this and get started on your end of year gifts!  

Now, if you stayed with me this long - I've got a surprise for you!
This set will be on sale in my TPT store through Thursday - so grab it while it's on sale!
I hope this will help you get your End of Year gifts ready and that you'll join me again, next Tuesday for Part 3 of my Making It To Summer series!