Thursday, May 26, 2016

Finish the Year with a Bang: Take a Field Trip to the Next Grade!

Hello! It's Jonna from The Primary Life and I'm excited to share a tip on how to end your year with a bang!
Are you looking for ways to help your kiddos transition to the next grade.  How about a field trip? Visit a classroom for the next grade and give your students a chance to experience what it is like.  To prepare them for this visit have them brainstorm questions they want to ask students in that grade.  Then after they visit they can fill in the answers to these questions. What a great way to get them excited about the upcoming school year! Click on the image below to grab this freebie from Inspire Me ASAP.
I hope that this tip is helpful and you have a great ending to your school year! For even more ideas follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Finish the Year with a Bang: What I Like about YOU!

I'm closing a chapter with the 2015-2016 school year coming to an end.  I am officially moving out of the elementary school and into an office at the district office for next year.  I've had a hard time for many reasons with this move, but there is SO much to celebrate!  Our theme couldn't be more perfect for me:  Finish the Year with a Bang!

My very first group of students that I taught in both 3rd and 4th grades will be graduating this Friday.   I'm so happy for them and proud of my honor graduates.  

Now that I've teared up, I want to share with you something special that I have done with my students the past five years.  I wish I had started this with my very first group of students 10 years ago.  What I Like About You is a day where I want my students to leave my room with a full heart and knowing how much I love them.  

For each student, I prepare a slip of paper with a fun or sweet memory, tell them what I will miss about them, tell them why they are a great learner, and what I love about them.  I then pull each student aside during the day and talk to them about their card.  I try to also snap a picture of the two of us together to send their parents as well.  

This is one of the best things that I do all year, because they take such pride in their little piece of paper and they walk a little taller the rest of the day.  If you would like to use my template, download it by clicking here.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Finish the End of the Year with a Bang: Kids Choice Awards

Happy End of the Year!!! You've {almost} made it to lazy days, pool parties, and cool cocktails! But, until then make sure you finish the year with a BANG!

We've been giving you tips and tricks for the month of May to make sure this happens, and today I'm here to share one of my most favorite events of the entire school! The Kids Choice Awards!

A few years ago, some teacher friends introduced me to this absolutely amazing event and since then I've been doing it every, single year! It requires some preparation, but it is worth every single second of work, I promise! The students run the entire thing, and parents absolutely LOVE it! You can easily alter it to fit the needs of your classroom, and make it only for students! But, I love inviting our families and making it a very special event!

To begin, we start with the voting process! We go over each award (there are thirty different choices) and discuss what they actually mean! Then, students are given a list of their classmates and a voting sheet. This is TOP SECRET! In my classroom, I put the offices up and make sure students don't even write their own name on their paper!

After all the students vote, I actually go through and tally up the winners. This process takes a minute, but I really love having my students choose who they think should win each award. And, I think they do a great job of choosing the students that really deserve each award. It always makes me proud of the community we have in our classroom and how much they really, truly get to know each other over the course of the school year!

After I've figured out who has won each award, I get started on choosing parts for the script! This part doesn't have to be completed and it takes lots and lots of practicing and rehearsing, but in my opinion it's completely worth it! I make sure to give students parts that are not close to when they actually receive their award, just make sure they aren't giving out their own award! This also keeps them engaged during the actual show because they have to get up at two different times!

Rehearsing also keeps us busy those last couple weeks of school! We practice at school and they practice at home. They are given a copy of their lines to keep at school and I send one home to practice for homework! I've done this with first AND second graders and it's very rare for a student to NOT learn their lines!

I send home invitations to student's families! I always print them on colored paper so they stand out and I save my colored ink for the actual awards!

Then, it's time to get ready for the show! I always have my students make their own version of a Hollywood star! Handprints, a star, and their name written with a silver sharpie is all it takes! 

You can easily line the hall with these to create your very own Hollywood! I always place them on students' desks so that their parents can see where their children sit! They make a nice decoration in our classroom! 

I also make sure to leave out plenty of brochures! This always makes a great keepsake for the parents and I always love having something to follow along with at any event! 
The BEST part of this whole event is watching my students hand out their awards to each other! After days and days of practicing, they are SO excited for the actual event and to finally see who has won each award! I hand each presenter an envelope and they open it up to see the winner, just a real awards show! 

Like I said earlier, there are 30 different awards! There really is an award for everyone and it's so much fun to see everyone cheer and clap for their friends! This year we had EVERYONE shouting out the name of the winner of the Best Sense of Humor Award before the name was pulled out! Everyone laughed when the presenter said his name! LOVE our sweet class and the community we've built this year! 

After we pass out all the awards, the hosts introduce our special movie! I always make sure to include a special slideshow of our year! Bring on the tears! What is it about pictures that always make you cry!? I use iPhoto to create my slideshow, but there are lots of different programs out there!

It's also a lot of fun to decorate the classroom! This year I added a {Photo Booth} which was a HUGE hit! Everyone loved getting their pictures taken! It was a great photo opportunity for friends, families and for the kids to get a picture taken with their teacher! I would HIGHLY recommend having some type of photo booth! 

My sweet husband built me this photo booth out of PVC pipe pieces and I ordered a backdrop and some fun photo props! It was SO much fun!! 

This really is one of those events that students will remember! I love having previous students come back and tell me how much they loved the Kids Choice Awards! There are plenty of smiles and some tears! 

I hope you have a FABULOUS end to your year!!! Make sure to end it with a BANG and then enjoy that sweet, sweet summer!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Finish the Year with a Bang: Classroom Campout!

Classroom Campout

Hello!  I am Tami from Kamp Kindergarten.

Having a classroom campout is a fun end of the year activity for your little learners.  In this post I am sharing a fun camping book suggestion, an easy recipe for S’mores Snack Mix, and a Camping themed math FREEBIE for your little learners to enjoy during Classroom Campout.

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee

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A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee is one of my favorite books to share with children about camping.  The delightful illustrations and rhyming words whimsically tell the story of a camping adventure that will capture your little learners’ attention.  The story begins with Mr. Magee and his dog, Dee, setting off in their vintage Rambler convertible and canned ham camping trailer to camp in the mountains of Maine.  Though their camping plans are adjusted after the excitement of an encounter with a bear, the two make the best of their situation and still have a great time.  

S'mores Snack Mix

What's a campout without S'mores?  This simple, fun, and tasty snack mix is a great follow-up activity to the Mr. Magee book.

1. Ingredients

I tell students the bears are the bear in the story, the chocolate is the rocks, and the marshmallows are like the ones Mr. Magee and Dee roasted over their campfire.

2.  Put ingredients in bowls.  Learners follow directions and count out a given number of each.  Ten or twelve of each item works well. 

3.  Put the ingredients in a bowl or cup.

4.  Enjoy!

FREE Ten Frames Math Activity

Here is a FREEBIE to accompany your classroom campout activities.

Campfire Kids Rock!  Count and Clip Cards

Little learners practice numerals to 20 and address fine motor development with the fun ten frames clip cards.  Use all 20 cards or select only the ones for the quantities your little learners need to practice.

Click Here to Get Campfire Kids Rock! Count and Clip Cards!

I hope you and your learners enjoy Classroom Campout Day! 

Happy Camping!

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