Saturday, May 18, 2013

Going Crazy While Trying to Stay Sane! (Plus a Freebie or 2)

Well, gosh, isn't that all of us at the end of the year?

It's been a crazy two weeks.  This past week, my daughter got the "stomach bug" that's been going around, so I was in and out of school, which has been hard as we try to finish our final math unit (measurement) and go into review mode for our end-of-year tests next week!

So, thought I'd show you what we've been up to and share a little freebie I created for a summer packet!  More on that later....

First, our measurement unit was rushed, but we had a little fun with it by measuring our feet in first inches, then centimeters.  I cannot remember who published this idea, so if it yours, please credit yourself!

Had fun with our unit on Egypt by creating an Egyptian scene (the pieces are Playmobil I received from a grant several years back - if you haven't heard of the grant, go to their website and apply!  I received "sixth place" but still got plenty of good things!).  Those are hippos and crocodiles in the Nile. :)

Then, our grade level did a rotation on ancient China and Egypt.  I reviewed the Chinese contributions and we made kites, students chose 4 of the contributions (besides kite) to illustrate, and then wrote the contributions on the tails of the kite.  I added a straw to the back of the kites to make them a bit sturdier (I have no idea if they'll really fly - I must have answered that question dozens of times! I haven't heard the results yet, either!).

We have a fabulous world carpet that students play a game to learn the continents.  I substituted my reading focus wall to put up the USA map so students could learn their places around the country.  They loved finding the places as much as jumping around the "world" on the rug! (The labels are just sentence strips and the map I've had for years - used permanent marker to draw mountains, etc. and added a map key that I wrote right on the bulletin board paper!).  With all that practice, they aced their standard!

We created the "Summer Bucket List" by Kristen Clements that turned out super cute!  I had a 5th grade teacher who was so impressed, she did the same for her class!

Finished our prefix/suffix unit with creating flowers to make our "grammar tree" look a bit more festive outside our room.

Shared "Flat Stanleys" that had returned from adventures!

For the end of year gift/summer review for my students - well, I knew they would not be happy doing worksheets at home and honestly, after trying to work with my own kids, I know what a struggle it is!  I brainstormed and came up with activities the kiddos could do that would make things fun, as well as mirror some of the games we've played in class!  When I presented it to them on Friday (I had one student whose last day it was - she's heading to England!) they were super excited!  I got most of the items at Dollar Tree.

I added a few things in there that they might not have at home, but for the most part, tried to make it "user friendly" so that students wouldn't have to hunt for materials (or the parents wouldn't have to go out and buy a lot!).  You can find the Summer Review Activity Packet at Google Docs.  Its in Powerpoint format, so if you'd like to make changes and personalize it, you can!  I paired it in their buckets with another freebie, You Can Even Read a Cereal Box by Cynthia Vautrot.  Love her idea!

So, how are you ending your year?


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