07 May 2015

Favorite End of the Year Activities

I'm not even going to lie...there are 10 days left of school, and I'm pretty freaking excited. True Life. It's just been one of those rough years, and I'm ready to for a break, and need to recharge over the summer. Plus, I have a few new ideas for next year that I can't wait to try!

It's usually about this time of the year when teachers are spent, and if I'm being honest, my patience is starting to dwindle (if not completely GONE). Behavior issues either begin to appear or worsen. Fortunately, I've got 3 survival tips that are either free or really inexpensive! You can read about my top 3 end of the year survival tips over at The Primary Peach!
In other news, I've been doing some really fun end of the year activities with my kiddos, and they've been such a hit!
I explained the idea of a bucket list to my kiddos (all the things you'd like to do in your life), and then explained that a summer bucket list would be things you want to do before going back to school. We brainstormed a whole lot of things together, and then my kiddos chose to either create a 5-item summer bucket list or a 10-item bucket list. I guided some of my reluctant writers to choose the 5-item bucket list, and some of my non-writers drew pictures instead of writing (hello, differentiation). Here's the example I showed them:

So normally, I have my kids write a letter to a future 2nd grader (or whatever grade I happen to be teaching), but some of my kiddos are such reluctant writers that I knew this would be a struggle. So I came up with something that I thought might be a bit more appealing to them...ice cream! Kind of.

They did 2 different "Here's the Scoop on..." activities - one was about me (so interesting to see what they had to say), and one about 2nd grade in general (also pretty interesting, as I imagine the Seconds experienced lunch and recess as Firsties, but what do I know?). These babies are going to go in hallway to welcome kiddos and their parents for sneak-a-peek!
The bonus to this activity? The new Seconds will be doing this on the first day of school as a "get to know you" activity! LOVE when an activity has more than one purpose!

If you're interested in either one of the activities I shared, or any of the other's we're doing, you can find them here. Plus, there are countdown cards which my kiddos have been over the moon for!

What are your favorite end of the year activities?

04 May 2015

Fun with Line Plots

I love teaching math! Kind of ironic considering I wasn't a "math person" until college!

We finished up learning about line plots a couple weeks ago, and boy oh boy, did my kiddos have fun! I don't know if it was because they were so interactive or the sticky notes (because what love of learning doesn't start with sticky notes?), but man did they love working on line plots, almost as much as they loved multiplication!
This was seriously one of my favorite units! We spent 2 weeks on line plots, and it was so much fun! According to the standard, students are supposed to record the lengths of various objects and then record the lengths in a line plot, and then analyze the data. Sounds great, except my kids had never even heard of a line plot! So, I decided to start basic. Surveying, collecting data, analyzing the data and so on...just to understand the idea of a line plot.

What better way to start than by taking a survey about when we have birthdays?!?! Oh and sticky notes. I mean, hello, STICKY NOTES! My kiddos wrote their names on the sticky notes, and then they "plotted" them right on the smart board. The rebellion, the scandal! You should have heard their comments! Hilarious!

During the 2nd week of our line plot mini-unit, students spent a couple of days looking at data sets, plotting the data, and finally analyzing.

I would DEFINITELY say that our 2 week line plot mini-unit was an absolute success! My seconds got it, they were engaged, they loved it, and were begging for more line plots! I definitely call that a success!

For an extension activity, they completed an "Ice Cream Flavor" line plot project with their families at home (although this could totally be done as a school project rather than at home!).
So much fun!

Interested in using the resources you see in this post? You can grab them here!
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