Saturday, May 6, 2017

Fun Activities for the End of the Year: Life Size Games!

Sorry for the delays in posting - I have so much to share that I hope to catch you up on this summer!  Today, I'll focus on one of our "Friday Club" activities we're doing the last nine weeks. My 3rd grade students have been doing a "Games" club while my 4th and 5th grade students have a "Mystery" club that has included Breakout activities as well as yesterday, a "Life Size" Clue game.

I am loving these "life size" games!  I found some ideas and ran with them for popular board games.  I have an old Twister game in the Makerspace my kids LOVE.  In fact, they loved it so much the spinner pieces broke and after repairing multiple times, a crucial part got lost.  So, I created cards in lieu of the spinner because they were begging to play again!  You can find these {here}.  The biggest problem with Twister, though, is that only a certain number of students can play at a time which of course leads to a bit of chaos and volume as potential players impatiently await their turn!  So, a solution was to still use our mat, as well as borrow colored dots in the same colors from the P.E. teacher.  We set the mat out and continued the pattern in a large area so all students could play!

Yesterday, my 4th and 5th grade club members played a school version I created of "Life Size" Clue.  Students were divided up between detectives and suspects.  Suspects wore a nametag that identified them (Principal Mustard, Chef Peacock, etc) and each got 3 cards to hold.  They then rotated themselves through the marked rooms around the library as detectives asked them questions.  The only catch was they could only ask yes/no questions.  For example:
"Chef Peacock - did it happen in the library?"
(Chef Peacock looks at his/her cards.  If he has a library card, he can answer "no".  If he does NOT have the card, he answers "I don't know" which tells the detective he does not have that card).

I had some very intuitive students ask questions like "Chef Peacock, did Miss Scarlett do it in the Kitchen with a stinky sock?" - which gave them 3 chances to find out an answer!  If the suspect had one of those cards, they had to show it to them.

The kids had a great time, everyone was involved (I was worried the "suspects" would get bored but they did not and for our 2nd round we had suspects and detectives change places because everyone wanted to be a suspect!)

Next week, I'll be playing a "Life Size" version of "Guess Who."  We'll see if they ask to play Clue again - they seemed to really enjoy it! If you'd like to see more about Clue, check it out {here} in my TPT store and TN store {here} (who, by the way, are both having sales next week!).  You can check out Guess Who by clicking {here} on Google Drive.  I wrote out the directions but haven't played it yet so it might end up getting edited!

I hope you're having fun as your year is winding down, but of course, I can see using these games any time of the year!  I hope to share more of what's been going on this year with you soon, including my love affair with Breakout!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Newbery and Caldecott Cafe

Not that this is a new year's resolution, but trying some new things this year.  One is the Breakout box (breakoutedu.com - think Escape Room) when it gets here (only ordered it back in November!) and the other is a tasting party.  Now, the tasting parties have been around for awhile and I've been wanting to try, but haven't quite found the right time or lesson.

Enter January.  January is a great time to work with kids - it's cold, the kids need to be more active since sometimes outdoor recess isn't an option, they're coming down from sugar highs they've had since October....

So, I've also been wanting to do more with the awards books earn.  I've made a show to all my ages about when a book has a medal on its cover.  I do a brief "this is what this award is for" to the students, but that's about all.  Since I'm getting ready to start Virginia Readers Choice with K-3, I decided fourth and fifth would learn about Caledecott and Newbery awards!  After all, they are getting to that point where they are reading more Newbery and have previously read some of the Caldecott, so I figure it's a good age!

After looking at some ideas from lesson books that the former librarian left me, I thought why not a book tasting?  At first, I thought of having students create mock awards for books, based on the criteria.  However, I want our first one to be fun and inviting and the kids get excited if we do it again!  So, instead, I'm pulling books we have in the library and doing one week Caldecott winners/honor books, the next week Newbery.  After experiencing this and other awards, I might then go to the mock awards, but students need some background first on what has already been chosen.  It's also a great way for students to experience new books they may not have read or - even better - realize they've read an award winner and get excited and share it with others!

I created menus based off of many many ideas I found on Pinterest and blogs.  I wanted the focus to be more on books, but wanted the students to reflect on the books, so I made the questions a yes/no answer, and a rating of 1-5 stars.

So, I'll be doing this the weeks of the 9th and 16th.  I'll be sure to post pictures on here on how it goes!  If you'd like to see more, I've decided to go ahead and put my menus on TPT and TN since award season will be here soon, and people might want to use them!