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May 25, 2015

3 1/2 Days Left



The past couple of weeks have flown by.  My school life and home life have meshed, and it's been absolutely nuts (love it, but still nuts).  My "baby" just graduated PreK, my oldest was presenting his class play, and my in laws were visiting to celebrate my middle's upcoming bday - all last Friday.  3 1/2 days this week until summer.

Every year I do a send off to 5th grade - the Final Four Days in Fourth Grade. It's a big deal for myself and for the kids.  I make it all fun, and I switch up what we do.  Here's the plan for the rest of this week.

Tuesday:  Art Day!

The basic premise is to use all the different mediums possible.  We will be painting with Jello in the morning, creating Father's Day cards using Oil Pastels, melting crayons with hair dryers to make some crayon art, and making collages with our extra scrap paper.  In between the big activities we will also be finishing up our State Symbol booklets with guided draws.  I LOVE Art Day!

Wednesday: Science Experiment Day


Science Experiment Day involves a bunch of candy.  Yep, CANDY!  It's a kid's dream day.  
I picked up this freebie from Stay and Play last year, and it worked perfectly.  Most involved just water and basic materials.  They were simple enough that I had the confidence to tackle these in groups, pairs, and whole class.  We complete a simple Scientific Method as we go through these together.
Skittles - Color Separation
Pixie Sticks or Sour Candy - Acid Test
M&M's - Floating Candy Name
Lifesavers - Candy Sparks
Starbursts - Candy Clay
Candy Bars - Sink/Float
Pop Rocks - Exploding Candy
I also complete this Mad Scientist Craftivity and the grand finale is Mentos and Diet Coke.  My dear wonderful husband comes and is the official Mentos dropper as the kids & I stand far away.  :)  Good times!

Thursday: Game Day
By Thursday I absolutely have to finish packing up the classroom and completing my check out sheet, so it's a lot of multi-tasking on my part.  The kids are invited to bring in board games from home, and between giving time to work in groups to play them, we also play some of our favorite class games (Silent Ball, 4 Corners, Heads Up 7 Up, Around the World, etc).

Friday: Movie Morning
The last day of school goes by so quickly with it being a minimum day.  I let the kids bring in G rated movies from home, and then as a class we vote on what to watch.  

How do you celebrate the end of school?  Please share!

May 17, 2015

Math Board Games

The last 3 weeks of school are always hard since we are done with our math curriculum.  I mean, we have to have covered almost everything by testing.  In our old math book, we had unit tests that we used to review - but this time around we don't have the option.


Every year my class has the discussion of different games - Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Connect 4, etc... From there they get into groups and design a board game that can work with many different cards and situations. 


After they designed the boards, the kids created specific questions on 20 index cards for the review of the day.  One day was all about Place Value and Rounding, another was on MultiDigit Multiplication, one on Long Division, and another on Fractions.  Next week we still have more review with measurement, line plots, etc..


The kids get so excited to use their board games every day.  They have full rein of using the colored counters for keeping track of their spaces.  I also let them decide if they wanted to use money, dice, or spinners in their games.  They are being responsible with keeping everything organized.     


Do you have your kids create board games?  I highly recommend it!


May 16, 2015

Mother's Day

I know I'm running late, but wanted to show off our Mother's Day cards and gifts.  My teaching neighbor had a great idea for a Mother's Day card... which tied in perfectly with the symmetry we were reviewing that day.  


For our actual gift, the kids took their canvas self portraits and I wrapped them with yarn, and then we added their MOM card to them.  


The pink paper was 12 x 18 folded in half, then they used a file folder template of the above design to trace onto half of the paper, making sure to line it up with the fold.


When it opens up the inside reads MOM.  The kids wrote letters to their moms on the left side, and could draw or create poetry for their mom on the right side.  All in all, I'm impressed with how these kids did this year... only a couple of kids needed a new piece of pink paper to restart.  :)  


What did you do for Mother's Day?