Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Bit O' Luck of the Irish!

We had a great time on Friday! Students participated in holiday-themed math centers, and we had a scavenger hunt that ended with a "pot of gold" (butterscotch discs, Rolos, and cute little temporary tattoos!).

This is my fourth set of holiday-math centers that I have created/found. You'd think by now I'd get it right but.... My thought this time, after there was a little dischord among some of my groups on Dr. Seuss Day, was to make enough centers so that we'd have groups of two.

The good news: everyone got along, there was no whining, students were more focused, and everyone seemed to be participating! The bad news? We started our math centers at 9:45 and ended at 11:05!!!! Granted, it was math-based with two literacy themes in there, but we kind of, um, missed our Science test and scavenger hunt time. However, over the years, I have learned that flexibility is the key to good teaching, so no worries! We did our scavenger hunt after lunch, then when my collab. teacher showed up at 12, she took her group out to test while I assessed the rest of the crew, and by 12:30, we were watching our weekly Electric Company episode! (That is a SACRED rite my students do NOT miss! The one time we did, they were in TEARS!). Normally, I follow up EC episodes with phonics centers based on the topics of the episode, but threw those out due to our lengthy morning centers! (I think the kids forgave me).

We switch for reading, so that starts at 1, recess at 2:30, and before they left at 3, the kids told me it was the best day ever! :) So, mission accomplished and thank goodness over the years, I have learned to relax! (I laugh at myself when I think over my first couple years when I used to get so upset about a disruption in routine, like a weather delay or an assembly!).

Anyway, here are pics of center time. I would add pics of my leprechaun problems/clues, but after a long day of taking the kids to Busch Gardens (Season Passholder Preview Day! Gotta love it!) and fighting with pics on Blogger, and then docs on Google...whew. Please check them out as freebies on TpT. If you'd like for them to "manipulate" and make your own (using the same format or some of the same questions), please email me or comment below with your email and I will be more than happy to share them with you (I used Word and Publisher).

This hunt was such a cute activity! One of my teammates has done this before and shared it with us (she is new to our team this year). I was worried at first, because it's a one by one process, but even my VERY excited students managed to control themselves, and let each person have their turn!

Math Centers:
Estimation Station and Glyph: part of my St. Patrick's Day Literacy & Math Packet on TpT

3-digit matching/place value (also available on my TpT as a free download)

Centers that I found on other blogs and websites (thanks to all those that post freebies--they really do help!)

Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt:
*Ours was math-based since we are assessing this unit next week. We created questions based on comparing numbers, place value (to 999), rounding, and money. Students had to solve the problem before reading the clue to find the next envelope!
*I made mine into a more "Amazing Race" type game. When we came in the room, I asked my students if anyone put an envelope marked "Clues" on my desk. Of course, no one had, and then I "noticed" an envelope with one of my student's name on it. This, of course, caught EVERYONE'S attention (and this was sooo funny, because I had hidden the envelopes that morning BEFORE the math centers, and students did not see them at all until we started this after lunch!!!).
*So my student opened it, and read the math problem. Immediately my kids suspected a leprechaun (remember - he has been playing tricks since last week!) and one child even piped up that it must be a teacher leprechaun since he was trying to confuse them with math problems!
*She rounded her number and I gave her one of the clues (felt just like those people on Amazing Race, rewarding the contestants after doing one of challenges!). The kids were on the edge of their seat, but I was sooo proud of the fact that they let each classmate find things on their own. You should have heard them announce the name on the envelope! It became a bit of a "game show" atmosphere in my room!

So finally, the last clue was about finding a "pot" and looking in a "bag with a duck." (I usually have several bags around the room with things in them, usually center-related, so it wasn't hard to find). My last student found it, looked in there, and then was super happy! She showed it to the class, who then cheered LOUDLY! They enjoyed their spoils and I had a fun time doling it out the rest of the day to students who "earned" an extra piece (and what a great way to help control any excess excitement/sugar! Yep, not too proud to admit I resort to bribery on holidays!).

On a final note, one of the second grade rooms got hit hard by one of the naughty leprechauns! We found this out during our reading groups. My students then stated that if they had written warnings like we did (see previous post), maybe they wouldn't have had that problem! Too cute! :)

I really need to post about how we do reading groups at our school. I had a request earlier and had sat down at one time to write about it, but my apologies as it got lost in the shuffle! I'm going to work on it and post it tomorrow! Promise!


luckeyfrog said...

Sometimes the best learning happens outside of the 'schedule'! :)

Sounds like they LOVED the scavenger hunt!

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

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