Monday, May 14, 2012

End of Year Student Gift

I have two and a half days left of school!  I am already feeling the tears coming on.  I know my students are ready to move on and I think I'm ready for summer but the last day is always bittersweet.  I get so attached to my students and I will miss each and everyone of them.  I decided to create a little gift bag for summer for my students.  It looks like this:

Inside you will find a water gun, a splash bomb, a diving stick, a crazy straw and a Hawaiian Punch Singles Packet. Here is what it looks like from the back:

I made some cute tags that say "Hope your summer is a SPLASH!"  I gave these away last year and the kids were excited!  If you would like the tags you can get your free copy here minus my name.

I would also like to thank everyone again for the nomination of One of the Most Fascinating Teacher Blogs of 2012.  I am thrilled, honored and so thankful to be a part of an awesome blog community.  Thanks in advance if you would like to vote for me.  Just click on the Vote for Me button at the top left hand of my blog.  Have a great week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Countdown Finale and a freebie!

So I've been an awful blogger and haven't kept up like I said I would.  Everyday I am just keeping up with what is due the following day, plus planning, grad work and my own kiddos at head is spinning.  But I thought I would catch you up on our countdown.  By the way, a few had commented about seeing the balloon pop on Pinterest.  Mrs. Gray works down the hall from me.  Last year I introduced this idea to the other first grade teachers in the building and our classes participated last year.  She was already blogging, so she blogged about our days last year. {I just didn't want you guys to think I was not giving her credit or stealing her idea}. Here are some of our days from the last few weeks:
Extra Recess, Bring a Snack and Drink Day - or as we like to call it a "Read and Feed".  [Students get to read while enjoying a snack and drink].  They LOVE this!  We also had Sit by a Friend Day, Hat day (in the classroom only), and Stinky Feet Day - students got to kick off their shoes and walk around in their socks all day as long as they were in the classroom! I was out 3 days of this week and did not get many pictures.  We also had Lollipop Day and I managed to snap a picture with my iphone:

We had several dum dum suckers throughout the day and then these multi flavored ones at the end of the day.  Needless to say they were a big hit!
The following week we celebrated Cinco de Mayo and had a Mexican party - complete with quesadillas, maracas and pinatas. We also did the Mexican Hat Dance!  One of my awesome parents came in and made the cheese quesadillas and we had chips, salsa and sour cream with them... delicious!

We made maraccas with paper plates and beans.  One of my kiddos brought in some real maracas from Mexico to share with us!

Finally we made pinatas out of paper sacks.  We created them in groups and then I filled them with a little candy and trinkets and we headed outside to have some fun!

We began by using my long pointer to hit the pinata.  My pointer BROKE!  Oops - should've brought my wiffle bat from home. So we improvised and used my broom.

I had each of them hit it very softly the first time around so everyone got a turn.

And then once everyone had a turn, they could whack away!  I had to include this picture of this little guy busting down the pinata!  He hit it with all his might!

We also have a park day every year.  Our grade level classes get to go to the park to play for a day.  I had to include it in my balloon countdown.  Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the park:

Such cutie pies!

I just LOVE this one!

We also have a Reading Counts Party at the end of the year.  Every student that has earned their points for the quarter gets to attend.  It is outside and includes tons of events.  We have Rockets through Rings, Art in the Pavilion, Water Balloons, Bubbles, Football throw, Volleyball, Kickball, Playground, a Wii hooked up in the Art Room, Open computer lab... and so much more.  Students travel around to the different stations and each teacher is assigned to the stations.  Kindergarten teachers stay with their class and rotate with them through each station.  We also had our Field Day last week. We've spent lots of time out in the sun this week.  I have gone through almost a whole bottle of sunscreen between me and my kiddos.

We also do a day called "Mystery Guest Reader".  I arrange in advance several parents that come in to read to the kids.  I keep some books handy for them but a lot of them will bring in a book to read.  I give the class 3 hints before they get there and they try to guess who will be our next guest.  Here is a picture of our poster I made to help us keep track of all the guests who came to our classroom:

We had a visit from our current Principal, our new Principal for next year and the other first grade teacher.  We switched classes so we could read to each other's class.  It was so much fun!

Here are a few pictures of some parents reading.

This parent read Walter the Farting Dog... always a favorite!

We have 3 and a half days left!  I can't believe it!  It has passed by so fast.  This week we are having a popsicle party, arts and craft day, and game day.  Game day is scheduled for the last full day of school.  The kids get to bring in their DS or other electronic games and we usually hook up an XBOX or Wii to the smartboard.  Last year the kids loved playing Just Dance on the Wii.  The last day we have an awards assembly and the kids wear their class shirts and sign each others shirts to say goodbye!  I am including my countdown ideas in a printout in case you can use any of these ideas for next year.  I just cut them apart and fold them up to put them in the balloons.  Hope someone out there can use them.  There is also a science experiment day we had planned to make homemade icecream but we ran out of time.  I plan to make an activity packet over the summer with lots more details and activities that go with each day.  Click on the picture below to grab a copy:

Last, but not LEAST, I have been nominated as one of the most fascinating blogs of 2012!  Wow!  I am so honored and want to say thank you!  There are so many fascinating blogs out there I really don't think I measure up, but if you would like to vote for me I would be so appreciative!  You can click on the button at the top left hand corner of my blog to vote beginning tomorrow, Monday May 14th.  
Voting is open until May 21st so thank you, thank you, thank you! 

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Have an awesome week!
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