Team Building with Lego Olympics

It's no secret that I am a fan of legos and the plethora of activities they lend themselves too.   Honestly, what can you NOT do with legos???  When I saw Amy Lemon's Lego Olympic activity I knew I had to use it in my classroom for team building.  I set up the 10 Lego stations around my classroom and partnered the kids up.  I had the kids work with the randomly selected partner for the first 5 rounds.  After 5 rounds, I let them choose which event they would participate in and there could not be more than 2 people at an event.  It worked well.  The kiddos were always engaged and having fun conversations with their new partners.  I don't think this activity needs to be limited to the beginning of the year.  You could use it anytime!!!!

Lego Olympics

lego olympics

lego olympics

lego olympics

lego olympics

lego olympics

Back to School Weekend Writing

Writing is always the subject at the top of my list of things to improve on.  Teaching writing is tricky to little people.  Another area that I struggle with is remembering to keep track of writing samples through the year.  Honest to Pete! I think I have finally hit on a system that works for me and just might work for you too.  WEEKEND WRITING!!  The kiddos love to talk about their weekend activities so it is a high interest topic.   I have the students write about their weekends every Monday morning.  It is the perfect way to start a sleepy Monday.  The kids write down 3 things they did over the weekend on their graphic organizer.  At the beginning of second grade I have them choose 1 thing to write about.  This prevents them from making a list of everything they did over the weekend and develop details that support a topic sentence.   I usually print mine for the whole year and bind them with the combing machine.  I always have them on hand for mini-lessons, work samples, conferences and data.  Boom! 

 I have a years worth of Weekend Writing in my TpT shop {here}.  Or you can accomplish the same thing with materials in your classroom.  Happy Writing!!

Shark Stem!

A huge part of Shark Week was the Shark Stem activities.  I am so glad I implemented these this year.  One of the challenges was to make a shark cage with a specific set of materials provided that can hold the most weight without collapsing.  F.U.N!

Our next challenge was to build a shark with the provided materials.  This was so much fun.

If you are interested in implementing Shark Stem you can check out this resource from Smart Chick right {here}.

Shark Art

I just love a craftivity because it's hard to find time for "just art."  That is why I absolutely love doing glyphs with my kiddos.  My primary source of glyph stuff is from The Glyph Girls.  They have so many fun glyphs that are the perfect compliment to a variety of activities throughout the year.  This shark glyph was the perfect activity to wrap up shark week in my classroom.   The kiddos had to answer questions about sharks in order to know how many gills, teeth, buttons and patch color their shark would have.  The glyph girls always include an activity for the students to answer questions about each other's glyphs.   I LOVE that feature.  It is such a fun way for the kids to analyze data!!

Making Lemonade out of End of the Year Lemons!

The last week of school is so exciting but TOUGH!  This year I used Amy Lemon's End of the Year Engagement unit to attempt to hold the littles attention and still keep 'em learning.  They loved it.  One of the activities was making lemonade in a baggie.  There were several other lemon themed activites as well.  Fun, fun, fun!  

Digital Shark Research

 Once my kiddos had finished up their shark research it was time to put that research into presentation form.  I decided to do that via Google slides and Google Classroom.  I pushed the entire slide show out to all the students and allowed them to collaborate on their slide with their partner.  This was a wonderful opportunity to reinforce working on their slide and only their slide.  Which can still be a bit tricky for second graders.  Students then shared their research with the class.  It was AWESOME.  I think we all had fun and learned a ton about sharks.  You can get a copy of the slides to do with your class right {here}!

Shark Research

One of the kiddos' favorite part of Shark Week is becoming shark experts.  Well, better shark experts.  They already fancy themselves experts.  I decided to partner the kids up and assign a shark to each pair of students.  I was a little worried about assigning the sharks ahead of time, but honestly it went smooth because kids LOVE ALL SHARKS.  They began their research by watching a video specific to their shark type.  I included a QR code at the top of each research sheet.  The little researchers scanned their qr code and watched the video while filling out their research sheet.  This was great because they could stop the video to write things down or rewind if they needed.  Research that was individually paced.  Yay!
Some of the videos are shorter than others.  As students finished their video they went and checked out a shark book from our "shark library" to continue learning about their specific shark.  If you are interested in grabbing the shark research packet with qr codes for FREE?  Just click the photo below.

shark research

Shark Week Begins!

Shark Week is becoming a must do every year.  The kids LOVE it.  I looped with my current class from first grade to second.  I needed to bring in some new Shark Week ideas to keep the content fresh.  I really hate to hear, "I already did this last year!"  I especially hate to hear it from student that I had last year!  Ugh!  I started this year's Shark Week with a Can-Have-Are.  I used different colored stickies to keep the categories separated and easy to read.  Kids know A LOT about sharks and they really love to tell you about it.

More Rockstar Day Fun!

I'm back with more Rockstar goodness.   In addition to the Rockstar self portraits I had the kiddos do a Rockstar Profile in Google Slides.  This was super, duper fun!!!  The kids took a selfie and then filled out the profile sheet.  I just love how they turned out.  I displayed the profiles with these guitars from Hope King's End of the Year writing bundle.  My photo of the bulletin board did not turn out-Boo!

Rockstar Day

We just had Rockstar day at my school and it was soooooo much fun!!!  I wasn't sure if there would be a lot of activities to go with this spirit day but I was able to find this adorable writing craftivity from The Creative Classroom.  My students used the glasses to write about why they rocked.  They were really, really into this.  I showed them a couple of examples and then turned them loose with markers, crayons and astrobright.  I think they turned out great.  You can find the templates FREE from The Creative Classroom right {here}.  Here are some my kiddos made.  Love them!!

Star Wars Day in the Primary Classroom!

It's almost here....STAR WARS DAY!  If you teach first, second or third graders then this is the perfect opportunity to incorporate Star Wars activities into your students' learning and make it a day that they will never forget.
Star Wars Day in my classroom begins with Lightsaber Reading.   The students enter a dimly lit classroom with the Star Wars theme playing in the background.  Each student gets a sheet of the Star Wars Words Hidden Picture.  They need to use their lightsabers (finger lights) to find the 10 Star Wars words that are hidden in the picture and record them on the recording sheet.  They can color the sheet after they have found the words.  This activity works great as an opening task.

Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day
One of my favorite parts of Star Wars day is the opportunity to incorporate SCIENCE!!  My favorite activity is the Star Wars Ship Build.  I put the students into groups of 3 or 4 and give them the parts from a Lego Star Wars Ship polybag.  Depending on your group of kids you can decide to put the parts in a separate bin without the package or directions and have them work together to design a Star Wars ship using the pieces provided.  It's always fun to see the variety of ships built with the same set of Legos.  You can check out my blog post from when I did the 'blind build' {here}.You can also give each group the bag and directions and have them work together to build the assigned ship.  I have included a clip of my second grader doing a build solo so you can get a feel for how long it might take your group and what's included.  You can find that clip right here.  You can also use random lego pieces and let the kids design their own ships.  The possibilities are endless for this task.
Star Wars Day Stem

Every Star Wars event must have a little yoda and I decided to let the kids draw him.  Easy, it is not!!!   It took me awhile to fine tune the steps and I think I have a pretty good way to teach Yoda via a directed draw.  I know the kids do a much better job than me.  I just give them the foundation and let them go.  You can find my YouTube video {here}.  Please remember I am not an art teacher!
Yoda Directed Draw

For those of us that can appreciate the original Star Wars know that you must incorporate the Han Solo carbonite scene if you want a true Star Wars day.  This is not my original idea and there are lots of information on Pinterest for this one.  But this is how I did it:
How would we get Han Solo out of the carbonite?  The kids had lots of great ideas and we jotted them all down.  Then... I gave everyone their own Han Solo in carbonite.  They could not believe what was happening.  I just love this age, everything is so amazing!!  I think they actually cheered.  Hilarious.  They took this task super duper seriously.  Han needed to be freed immediately and this was just the crew to do it.  Each table got a cup of vinegar and they began dripping the vinegar onto the frozen Han.  We used the neon straws as droppers and again the crowd went wild.  I really had no idea that neon straws would evoke this kind of excitement.  When Han started to bubble it was complete CRAZY town (in a good way).  This was definitely a hit and an activity I will definitely do again.  You can check out the whole post from the originator {here}.
Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day
The day wouldn't be complete without Star Wars Math.  I used the Star Wars cereal (I got mine from Target) and the kiddos sorted the Star Wars shaped marshmallows onto the sorting mat.  This activity is very similar to the Lucky Charm sorting activity most of us have done around St. Patrick's Day.  From the sorting mat the students transferred the data to make a bar graph.  Once their bar graph is complete they analyzed their graph to answer questions about their data.  You can watch a video of that activity {here}.
Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day

We ended our day with Yoda Soda.  Yummy!!!
Star Wars Day

You can find all these activities and many more in my Star Wars Day activity pack on TpT right {here}.  You can also watch a preview of the product on my YouTube channel {here}.
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