Sunday, May 19, 2013

End of the Year Activities

Last week, I randomly came up with a fun activity that I had no idea would be such a hit!  On Monday, during snack, my 5th graders and I were talking about name meanings.  I asked the kids, "If you could choose your own name, what would it be and why?"  I would like to be named Lauren because I think it's a beautiful, feminine name.  After talking for a while, I suggested that the students come up with a name they'd like to be called and I would call them by that name on Friday.  They were thrilled!  I had no idea this was such a gift--I could have been using this as a reward during the school year!  Ha!

Anyway, Friday came and they had to get their names approved by me before they could write it on their nametag and stick it to their shirt.  It had to be an actual name.  I wouldn't approve "Iron Man" or anything like that. 

My boys wanted to be the characters from Duck Dynasty so I had Willie, Phil, Jase, Jep, and Si in my classroom.  I also had Elmer, Leroy, Carlos, and Sheboudaquay (I don't know where they came from!).  The girls were a little more serious.  I had Jessica, Mia, Rose, Miriam, Sadie, and Heather Mae. 

I called them by their new names all day.  The students would snicker when I'd ask questions like, "Elmer, how did you come up with 40% as your answer for problem #10?" or "Can you tell me the difference between monocots and dicots, Willie?"  It sounded so silly!

The kids were having so much fun with this and at one point during the day, I overheard a student tell another, "Man, I wish we could do this every Friday...or at least do something cool every day until the end of the year." 

That comment made me think.  I would love to do something special each day until the end of the year (I'm getting weary too, ya know).  It would be nice to have something fun to look forward to.  I quickly remembered an "End of the Year Activity" pin from Pinterest and decided to use the idea.
After school, I blew up colorful balloons (8 to be exact, since we have 8 days of school left) and hung them from the ceiling.  Each balloon has a sheet of paper inside with a fun idea/activity written on it.  We will pop a balloon each day and do whatever activity is listed.  My activities cost virtually no money and I knew they would be something the students would enjoy.  Here they are:
  1. Sit where you want for the day
  2. Hold one class outside
  3. Trip to the Treasure Chest for everyone!
  4. Popsicle Party (This was the only thing that cost me money, but a box of popsicles wasn't expensive.)
  5. Icee Attack! (We will walk next door to the Circle K and get Icees.  This is something 5th grade does once every 9 weeks.  Parents send in money for this treat, so it doesn't cost me anything.)
  6. Have a "Study Hall" so that you can finish your homework at school.  (Trust me; this will excite them.  I know it doesn't sound awesome, but they've been begging me for a "Study Hall.")
  7. 15 minutes extra recess
  8. $20 in tickets for everyone (The tickets/money is part of my behavior management plan)
Check out my "End of the School Year" board on Pinterest for more ideas:  CLICK HERE

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