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I HAVE to share a really awesome little trick I've created for my lunch duties in the Grade One classroom... Earlier in the year I visited the room once a week but didn't know any of the kids' names. That made it challenging to redirect or quiet them down when they were loud or out of their seat. So I told them that I would turn out the lights and "light candles" just like in a fancy restaurant, but that I could only do that when it was nice and quiet. After all, rowdy people aren't welcome in fancy restaurants! (I originally wrote about this back in February.) So, these last couple of weeks I've stepped up my game with the addition of battery-powered tea light candles!!
They even flicker! Yup, the kids are now convinced we're eating in a fancy restaurant. (I've even been known to turn on some classical music!) Now, lunch duty isn't such a chore! Haha!
We also started our Time unit today, but I'll have more on that next week...
Today we had our fire safety presentation across the street at our local volunteer fire hall. This is a yearly excursion for our students. Some of the volunteers greet us, share a Sparky the Fire Dog video, answer questions, then tour the kids through the hall so they can check out the trucks and other equipment. It is always a highlight for the kids to climb inside!
Feeling very under the weather and having not slept at all Tuesday night, I was awfully happy to know that today is Earth Day. I absolutely LOVE The Lorax movie, and save it for Earth Day every year. The timing was perfect. I created a fun little writing activity to go with it. Awesome!
By the way... did you notice the little signs on the desks?? Yes, THESE signs:
Aren't they completely fabulous awesome?! I grabbed these little babies at The Dollar Tree for $1.25, and based on the reaction when I drop these on a desk I just may go back and grab the rest of them! INSTANT motivation!!
World Creativity and Innovation Week began yesterday with a motivational assembly and challenge to the entire school - spend at least 100 minutes today (as one of my kiddos says) "thinking outside the box"! All classes were encouraged to solve a problem or do something creative, and we were given complete freedom to direct the learning activities, or give students complete freedom.
I decided that I would link our activities to our current Science units. The Grade 2s have been learning about Growth and Changes in Animals, and the Grade 3s have been learning about Growth and Changes in Plants. So I thought I'd direct the kids to create their own animal or plant, based on the things they've learned so far - animal groups, adaptations, habitat, etc., but I decided to allow them to share their creation any way they wanted! They could create a drawing, painting, sculpture, or write a poem, a song, whatever to tell about their animal or plant!!
I'll be honest - I was a little afraid. I thought that even if we did some planning in advance (which we did) that as soon as I pulled out the art supplies that everything would fall apart and the goal would be forgotten. I was wrong!!
It was definitely chaotic (which is a little tough on this girl who really loves control), but it was really, really great. My kids created plants and animals, connected their creations to the curriculum we'd been learning, explained all the details to their peers, and wrote tons all about it! Yay!!
The kids definitely thought outside of the box, and IN it as well! These were some of the creations in progress:
Today I gave the kids some final time to create their animals and plants, and they began presenting what they created. I must say that I was really very impressed. I had students come to the front of the carpet one at a time to show what they had done, and tell the class about it. I had lots of questions: "What animal family is your animal part of? What makes them part of that family? What is the animal/plant's habitat? How does it adapt to survive in that environment?" What amazed me was that the majority of the kids actually had well-thought-out answers to my questions. The day was a complete success!!
Saving my bacon today, however, was GoNoodle. I'm completely full of a head cold, and really needing the weekend, so GoNoodle was a HUGE rescue for me today! We recently started a new Champ, and the kids LOVE the new Pop-See-Ko 2.0!!
If you haven't checked out GoNoodle for yourself you need to click HERE. It is an incredible FREE resource for educators and parents alike!! Check it out!
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