A Year of Awesome - Week 22


Today I shared a fun new game with my class during phys. ed. This is one that I used to play with my fifth graders and I thought, why not?! I divided the class into four groups and sent them to the four corners of the gym. I explained to them that just like quadrilaterals have four sides, the gym has four quadrants, and each team practised walking the perimeter of their quadrant. Next, within each game area I set up a pylon with a basketball balanced on top. I place a hula hoop around this as a no-go zone and then toss tons of soft "elephant skin" balls into the play area. The goal, obviously, is to knock down other teams' basketballs, but the fun is that everyone is being attacked from all angles. They LOVED it!! Awesome!
 
 

I taught the class how to play charades during drama today! A few had played before, but many hadn't. I demonstrated a couple of times (boy, did they love that!) then split them into two teams and got the game started! They had a ball! Some were reserved in their actions, as I'd expected, but others really got into it! It was really fun to watch each individual personality shine through during the game. Awesome! :)

Today I decided I needed to change up our Word Work centers for The Daily 5. As I wrote last week, the students have been struggling to do their chosen activities for the full 20 minutes without becoming distracted or not accomplishing anything. I targeted the main problem areas and removed them for now.

I've heard from a couple of parents recently that their kids are really into word searches so I thought I'd incorporate some into our choices. I also added some of my February Writing and Word Work centers.

What a difference!! The kids are ALL engaged and working the whole time. Teacher Love!

Today is the one day of the week that I have lunch duty in the grade one classroom. This is a busy bunch of first graders and this 20 minutes isn't always easy. I've figured out a fun little strategy for keeping them calm and eating during this time, and today was especially effective.

Before she left for her own lunch, their teacher put on some soft piano music. I've told the kiddos since the beginning of the year that when they are eating really nicely it is just like being in a "fancy restaurant" complete with soft music and (imaginary) candles on the tables. Today I told them that I was looking for some extra-special tables to "light their fancy table candles" and a hush fell over the classroom. Haha! I tiptoed around the classroom and flicked my fingers in the center of the quietest tables to "light their candles" and TA-DA...! Calm, quiet lunchtime! Awesome!!

Best day of the week!! Today was our school-wide Valentine celebration. After our morning math warm-up and calendar routine, I began the day in a way I never thought I would - with our Valentine card exchange. I have ALWAYS left that until the end of the day, but let me tell you that is now a thing of the past. My friend Christina at Hanging Around In Primary posted a brilliant idea - one that had never crossed my mind before... exchange cards at the beginning of the day and actually use them for something!!

Kiddos distributed their goodies into the mailboxes (paper bags) we decorated yesterday. Then, they settled back into their seats to take a look at their loot and do some sorting. We've been working on data management, so the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Using Christina's freebie, the students tallied up the different kinds of cards they received, then created a graph with the data. I was amazed at how engaged and into this activity they were! It will definitely be on my must-do list for next year!
 
After recess, we were joined by some of my former fifth graders - now in seventh grade - and their classmates to help us with a fun Valentine craft & gift for our parents. I mentioned this activity in last week's post. I love watching the big kids interacting with the little kids! They were such a huge help - I couldn't have pulled this off on my own...
The final results were awesome!


Afterward, we had a few minutes to squeeze in some Franklin before heading down to the gym for a Just Dance party! (The "big kids" were just as quiet and absorbed in the video as the little ones! Awesome!)

What a truly Awesome week!! (And to top it off, this is a long weekend!! Woo hoo for the Family Day holiday!!)

Do you have an AWESOME story to share from your week in the classroom? Link up or leave a comment below! 

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4 comments

  1. Great ideas. I am always looking for new gym games. We have gym everyday and sometimes it can get boring playing the same games. When the teams basketball gets knocked off, what do they do? Do they sit and cheer on other teams?
    Cheers,
    Terri

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    Replies
    1. Hi Terri!

      When the basketball gets knocked off, the kids just replace it and continue! To keep score, the person who knocked the ball down comes straight to me and tells me which team they are on. It is really the only way to be able to keep track. They are constantly playing without any stoppage and they love it! :)

      Let me know how it goes if you try it!
      ~Erin

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    2. Thanks. I am going to play this next week!

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  2. I love that your kids enjoyed the Valentine sorting and graphing as much as mine did. I have to say this was the easiest and least chaotic Valentine's Day that I have ever had.

    Christina
    Hanging Around In Primary

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