Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday 6/7/13

I just got home and I can officially say I am on summer vacation!  Woo!!!  Before I get too settled into relaxation mode, I want to link up for Five for Friday!  So here is my top 5 of the last week :)

1. Summertime and the living is easy!
Our students' last day was yesterday and today was a work day.  I packed up my classroom in record time.  Our school was new this year so I moved in this year.  I think that helped with the clean up because I was so organized back in August (after going through all my stuff this summer).  It feels great to be home... even though it is raining.  My hubby doesn't get out of school until Monday and later today so I think a rainy day afternoon nap may be an order!

2. End of Year Perks
My kids this year were really sweet with their end of the year gifts.  Most of them didn't bring one in from home, but tried their hardest to show their thanks.  My favorite was a box of raisins :)  I did, however, get these cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake!  I have never been but I have heard wonderful things about the cupcakes.  They were delicious!!

3. My Birthday
My birthday was on Wednesday.  My husband and I aren't big gift people and I am impossible to shop for... I am allergic to most jewelry, I don't have fancy tastes, and I hate having something if I don't need it.  That makes it a bit difficult for my husband... he did a good job and got me flowers and Backstreet Boy tickets (yay!)  I also received some beautiful flowers from my best friend.  It wasn't a big birthday, but it was a good day :)
4. End of the year present
I have always tried to do something meaningful for my kids at the end of the year.  I saw this on Pinterest from The Polka-Dotted Teacher.  My kids loved it and it was super easy to make!  I made it on Tagul.  What I did to make it easier is I made a "generic" cloud with all the kids names, the size I wanted first grade to be, my name, our specials - all the stuff that applied to all of them.  Then I duplicated it to personalize each one.  It took me about an hour.  I laminated them instead of framing them to save on costs, but I think the kids will treasure them for a while.

5. American Symbols Cubes
We finished up learning about American Symbols this week.  There are 5 symbols we learn about in first grade (Statue of Liberty, American Flag, Washington Monument, Bald Eagle and Liberty Bell).  Each day, I present a different symbol with some facts we talk about and a short video clip from youtube.  Then they make a side of their cube.  It takes some time to put them together, but the kids really like their final projects.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Minute to Win It End of the Year Party

We had our end of the year party today.  I don't have a room parent this year so it was up to me to put the party together.  Last year I did a Minute to Win It Party and it was a bit chaotic.  This year I got organized and it went so much smoother!  We played 9 games and I had the kids broken into pairs.  I introduced all of the challenges at the beginning so they know how to do them and at each station there were directions just in case.  

Here are some of the fun games we played!:
Smiley Face: Students had to suck up pom poms with a straw to make a smiley face on a paper plate.  I used M&Ms last year, but not food this year.  This was a fun one :)

This one is called Candelier.  I played it a bit differently than they do on the show because I was trying to avoid tears.  This way is much easier for my kiddos, they simply need to stack 5 cans on top of each other with a paper plate in the middle.

This one is card ninja.  I think the game is a bit boring, but the name overcomes that.  They have to stand and try to get at least one card in the bucket.  I marked the floor with a piece of tape they were suppose to stand behind.  I would say about 75% of my class accomplished this task.

This one was a new one I added this year and was a little concerned before we did it.  It is called Penny Hose.  I put a penny in both legs of these panty hose and they had to use just their hands to get it out (they couldn't touch their other hand).  Most of them did a great job with this!  I had to add some new activities because of the no food policy.

This one is fun!  It is called chapstack.  They need to use chopsticks to turn 4 chapsticks over so they are standing.  This one is great practice for those advanced fine motor skills... like using chopsticks!

This one is called A Little Dicey.  Students had to balance 3 dice at the end of a popsicle stick in their mouth for one minute.  Some of them had a bit of trouble not laughing!  This can be changed with more dice or less dice!

Our Slimy Nose station was a fun one!  I put vaseline on their nose and they had to get 10 cottonballs from one plate to the other just using their nose.  Sometimes there was too much vaseline and they really had to wiggle to get it off!

This one is easy to set up, but surprisingly hard.  It is called Breakfast Scramble.  I simply took some cereal boxes and cut them into a puzzle.  Not many of them were able to complete this task in one minute so maybe next year I will make the puzzle pieces a bit bigger.

Another easy, but classically fun game is our Defying Gravity.  I started with each student having to keep two balloons up in air, but that was challenging.  Their goal was to keep one balloon from touching the ground.  They love balloons.

One last tip I have is I had a sheet with all of the games that each child had.  Once the game was over, they marked if they did it or not.  That way they could keep track.  At the end, they all went back and tried one that was challenging to them again :)

All in all, this party was great and super easy to plan.  When it was done, I packaged all of the supplies in a box with the task cards to pull out (and add to and change) next year.  I have these task cards available if you have Pixie 3, I am happy to email them to you.  Just leave your email address in a comment :)

Happy Partying!

Monday, June 3, 2013

June Currently

I am linking up to Farley today for the June Currently!  I love all of the monthly linky parties, I just hope I find motivation to participate in more :)  Here it is!
Listening: I have been trying to get up a bit earlier each day as my time to blog before I head to school.  It is nice having about an hour of quiet before getting the day actually started.  We have some birds who have decided to use our balcony as their home so its nice listening to them chirp every morning.  They are very loud this morning... must be as excited as me that it is the last week of school!

Loving: Today is the last Monday of the school year!  I will miss my kiddos, but man am I ready for a break.  We have an awards ceremony this morning and a kickball game this afternoon... so pretty easy day.

 Thinking: I have GOT to finish report cards today if I want to be packed up and done with my classroom this week... I mean I REALLY don't want to go back in on Monday!  So hopefully next time I blog, I will be able to say my report cards are complete!

Wanting: We had a beautiful Saturday, but it was gross and rainy all day yesterday and it looks the same out there today :(  Come on!  I want the sun!

Needing: I think I will need about 5 cups of coffee today.  I am EXHAUSTED!  I participated in our county's Relay for Life on Saturday/Sunday.  I joined my old co-workers on our Teachers Making Tracks team.  Our team raised about 14,000 dollars and the even raised of 220,000 dollars for cancer research.  We had the honor of hearing a ten year old girl speak who has a walnut sized tumor in her brain... she crushed a walnut in front of us as a sign of beating cancer.  I walked from about 2:00 Saturday (hottest day yet!) until 6am on Sunday.  I came home and slept until 1:00 yesterday so needless to say didn't fall asleep too easily last night.  Now I am TIRED!  Hopefully this first cup of coffee will kick in soon :)  I walked 23 miles!

Vacay Essentials: Beach (its not a summer without one or two trips to the beach), Sleep (based on my previous post that is a big topic on my mind right now!), and Friends/Family (I NEED to be better at seeing my friends and family, I will start this summer!)

I hope you all have a wonderful June!