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June 21, 2021

Teach Me Something Project - Countdown to Summer

In our countdown to the end of school, I have the kids complete a teach me something project.  It's a way for them to share their passions and talents with each other... kind of like our own wacky talent show.  

First up, I give them this paper with directions:

-Figure out what you want to teach us - it has to be school appropriate. 
-Figure out how you want to teach us - and I gave some options for video, project board, powerpoint, pictures, or doing it live.
-Prepare for your lesson and practice 
-Be Ready to Volunteer

Then in a normal year they have to turn in their visual the Friday before the last 2 weeks of school, so I know they are ready to go.  If possible the presentations are interactive and hands on.  Kids bring supplies for their classmates to create as well.  For every one we do questions and compliments afterward.

Over the years I have had a chance to witness some pretty cool things.  Kids really are talented.  

I've watched gymnastic routines - kids bring in their tumbling mats.

I've made a lot of slime using different recipes.

Kids have taught us different languages and cool facts over things that they are interested in.  

I've listened to musical instruments and kids singing.

I've been able to participate in step by step drawing lessons and making origami.

I've tried to learn some of those Tic Tok dances.

I know they are probably laughing (inside) at my lack of talent.  

Sometimes it's not possible for them to do their activity at school - like riding horses or baking a cake... so they submit videos of themselves, we watch, and they still answer questions from the audience and gather compliments.  

It's a chance to have them shine.  

This year, we still did it, but it was a little different with a hybrid classroom.  More kids did the recording option or made powerpoints with pictures of themselves.  It helped fill our last days of school.

Hope this helps,  

June 18, 2021

Virtual Book Clubs

I guess weeks ago I mentioned that I would share how we tackled virtual Book Clubs this year, and I haven’t done that yet. Sorry about that. 

In a normal year the kids have a choice between certain books they want to read as part of a book club. It’s one of our units. Well, it’s not any book, but they have a choice between the options that I present. This usually takes place at the beginning of third trimester, when we are knee deep in the American Revolution.  Usually I give them the choice between Chains or Sophia's War. Different perspectives about the revolution. They usually sign up on an interest list, then I split the list into the specific groups with 4-5 kids per group.  I inherited a class set of both books when I moved to 5th, so I do have plenty for each kid to read their own book.

We have specific purposes for each meeting. Starting with making norms, timeline to read the book, having specific tasks each time. They have to read the group assigned pages either at home, or during silent reading, they have to be ready to be part of the group discussions.  

This year with distance learning they didn’t have the novels at home, so we used our anthology. They only had one to two weeks to tackle the entire process. We went through the process a few different times during the unit.  Starting with shorter stories in the anthology and bumping to larger options.

I flipped it from a normal year and first randomly sorted the kids into groups.  Each group had their own channel, and I put the specific daily task into their channel that they had to respond to. I didn’t start meetings every single day, but they did have to respond each day. 

When I did start the meetings, it was just like a normal year. All the reading was done on their own time, they had to show teamwork. They had to complete the tasks.

The choice came in as they were able to choose which story from the anthology they wanted to read. I did give them 3 options each time.  The groups had to vote on the story they wanted to read for that week. The groups then came up with a reading plan. 

Each meeting had to include:
Character Traits and Growth
Setting description 
Action and Plot 

Then they would have other discussions as well. Each kid has to say something.  Even if they don't want to.  There is accountability.  No one wants to let their group down.  The kids always love having Book Clubs, and it's a huge thing for me as it's finally time for me to hand off the reading process completely to them.  

Usually it goes:
1st trimester - novel studies mainly whole class
2nd trimester - we split it whole class and partner/groups
3rd trimester - book clubs, whole class, and partner projects

It's one of the things I love about these upper elementary kids - their growth as readers, their independence, and the discussions they are capable of having.  I love being able to sit on the sidelines and listen to their discussions.  My mom always said Readers are Leaders... and I love being a small part of their learning story.

Hope this helps!

June 16, 2021

DARE Program

In 5th grade we have a DARE program that we use. Our officer usually comes into our classroom once a week (for 10 weeks) for about an hour and tackles 10 lessons. The lessons cover everything from stress to confident speaking to staying healthy. This year he joined our TEAMs meetings to deliver the lessons. Kids had to be responsible to fill in their workbooks at home. 

It’s a big deal.

In a normal year we have a lot of community building and community service activities that we complete. Walking field trip to the park to clean it up, a bus field trip trip to a local nursing home, and then a lot of food and clothing donations. Kids earn community service points. 

All students must participate in a DARE Idol competition. They work together in small groups to take a song, and change the lyrics to make it DARE related. To show off some things that they learned.

When we tackled it this year we were still in full distance mode. We had already tackled Book Clubs in special channels, so I had the kids do the same thing. We picked groups, then daily I started meetings for them in these channels for them to work on their song. 

We were given a date to have all groups share their songs with the class and with our DARE officer. The kids met with me the week before and I used Screencast -o-Matic to record them. I simply put the record screen over the TEAMs meeting screen (while I was in large gallery with my camera off) to be able to get the kids as large as possible. It worked great! 

Even in this crazy year, the kids still completed the other requirements. Our officer still had them fill in their workbook lessons, complete their DARE essay, and tackle their DARE homework. The kids had to turn in their workbook and essay to the office for him to pick up and read. They had to have a passing grade on the homework and complete the requirements to be eligible to graduate. The simple thing of turning in a completed workbook to the office really showed their amount of dedication. 

In a normal year our graduation is a big celebration. It’s usually in the packed gym with parents, grandparents, and extended family there. Kids are presented with their awards, there are speeches and presentations, kids sing the DARE song. Parents tear up. 

This year was a lot simpler, more low key, but definitely more personal. We had a drive thru graduation. Kids wore their DARE shirts. Parents drove through our front driveway, we had balloons tied on chairs. Kids were announced over a loud speaker boom box as they drove up. They were handed their certificate by our officer and police chief. Some got out of cars to pose for pictures with them. Teachers waved. It was nice. It was nice that something was simple this year. 

Do your DARE too? 

June 14, 2021

Math Review - Shout Out

Backtracking a bit today... Wanted to share a few math review activities that my kids enjoyed as we were reviewing full class.  Now in a normal year we do a lot of playing with task cards and Jenga year round, and then they create their Math Board games for the major end of school review... but this year it was just hard... for a lot of reasons... I was searching for that classroom magic. I started searching through my purchases on TPT and found these math mysteries.  I had picked them up last year before the world shut down...  

These Math Mysteries by Mrs. J's Resource Creations definitely helped and are awesome! For a couple of weeks we did them together on our full distance days (Wednesdays). I would take screenshots of the pages to drag into our TEAM meeting conversations. The kids click on the images and it went larger so the kids could see, and then we would work together to find the codes. I tried doing them in breakout groups so the kids could work in small groups, like I would have had them do in the classroom.  But they needed the accountability that came with whole group.  We did them together.  The kids were so engaged. 

So a little different than what was expected. 

We did the Case of the Bee Bandits. It reviewed a little of everything which was perfect for one more review of those tricky units.  The kids used copy paper to solve the problems, and we had full class teamwork to figure out the bad guys. Major detective skills!

We also did Case of the Puzzled Pirate. Another winner! It reviewed Place Value.  Next year I think I'm going to add this to my Pirate Day.

I picked up some other Math Mysteries so I’m ready for next year. She has a lot to choose from.  I focused on the areas that I know kids usually have a hard time with, a little extra review is never wasted. I now have her Case of the Disappearing Donuts (Decimals) and the Case of the Divided Dragons (Division)

What other awesome resources do you use to review at the end of the year?

Hope this helps! 

June 13, 2021

Teachers in the Word Bible Studies

Today I wanted to share a little about the summer Bible studies 
I've done over the years.  You might totally already know about 
them, but in the off chance you don't, 
and have been looking for something... well I wanted to share.  

Teachers in the Word started years ago, and every year 
Bonnie and Bethany have put together a Bible study. 
The studies are geared for teachers.

Grace Changes Everything covers the book of Ephesians.

God's Promises for Life's Battles covers the book of Joshua.

Fruited is all about Galatians.

Just James covers the book of James.

Pits to Praises is this summer's, and it covers Psalms.  It just started.  :)  

There are also holiday ones for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  
I've learned a lot over the years through these 2 ladies.

Amazon has copies to pick up if interested, 
and Bonnie Kathryn Teaching on TPT has digital downloads of many of them.  

Hope you have a great day!

June 11, 2021

Our Class Musical

One of the highlights of every spring is our class Musical from Bad Wolf Press. 

Check out their products! (not an ad, just want to share what my team does)

This year I still wanted to do it, even though it couldn't be in the normal acting, songs, costumes, props kind of way... so we did it on our distance learning day as a Readers Theatre.  

In a normal year, starting in March, I start playing the songs during our independent work time.  Then eventually we choose parts, kids start working with their scene teams on lines and songs, and we practice the songs full class. After spring break we always kick it into high gear with staging and props. Then at the end of the year, parents are invited to 3 performances where they watch their kiddos shine.

Each class in my grade level has a different musical they are working on, so during those 3 performances, each class is able to take a time to come and watch their grade level classmates.  It's really a highlight of the year.  

The plays we normally do:

Mrs. P - 13 Colonies
Miss P - American Revolution
me - US Presidents: Washington to Lincoln
Miss H - Incredible Westward Movement

Last year the world shut down before we could even start the songs.  I'm kind of glad that we hadn't started yet.  That would have hurt even more.  

This year, I chose a Wednesday in our end of year countdown - our DL day - and we picked parts. Everyone had something. I shared my desktop screen with the script so the kids could all see, and had the file folder of songs open so they could hear.  They read their lines with emotion. They didn't sing, like they normally would, but they were still able to hear the lyrics.  It was good and it did my heart good.  

When it was all done, they turned their cameras on and they took a bow.  I'm really glad I was still able to give them this experience, even in distance learning mode.  I'm also looking forward to being able to get back to normal next year.  :)  

Hope this helps,

June 9, 2021

USA Paper Pillows - End of Year Project

One of the projects we did in the countdown to summer were USA paper pillows. I learned about this idea years ago from Teaching in Room 6.  She would have her kids make pillows about the 13 colonies.  Back in those days I taught 4th grade, so would have the kids draw the outline of California (since that's what our SS was all about), decorate it, cut it out, staple most of it shut, and stuff it with the left over paper before the final staple. 

I stopped doing that project when moving to 5th... don't know why. I think because other projects started taking over. This year I needed to go simple with projects that the kids could do at home.  I was reminded about it when Timehop popped up with my old 4th grade Open House pictures.  Seeing the California pillows hanging from the ceiling, I was reminded of how easy it was.  

When I was in 5th grade my elementary school used to have all the 5th graders head to the gym, where we had a huge USA state test.  Big paper on the lunch tables where we each had to draw the USA outline, and then fill in all the states and capitals.  So I decided to combine the ideas to make the pillows. 

It was fun.  It took a good 30 minutes, easily could have taken more.  Kids online and in class were both able to do it at the same time. 

I had the kids get 2 pieces of copy paper.  Then I showed them an outline of the USA, did not have them try to free draw it - posting a picture in our TEAMS conversation for the kids at home, and leaving under the document camera for the kids in class... 

Here are the student directions:

1. Draw the outline of the USA on copy paper or construction paper. Make it big to take up the whole paper. 

2. Write our units in the middle of the map and decorate with little pictures. You can use color.

3. Put your map outline on top of another paper and bubble cut both papers out. One cut for both papers. Do not try and cut the lines perfectly. 

4. Tape or staple the 2 papers together, leaving one end open. 
(This year I gave in class students a long piece of tape, and they just used their scissors to cut little pieces - they couldn't share a stapler.)

5. Scrunch up the scraps of paper, fill the pillow, and finish closing. 

Then being almost 6th graders they tried to use the pillows to take a nap... silly kids.  :)  

This project is great as a review.  Choose a shape that has significance and have them review what they have learned on by writing notes on top. 

Hope it helps,

June 7, 2021

Virtual Field Trips

This year I used my email drafts to store important links for easy access.  Everything was just a click away.  One thing, maybe the best thing, I learned this year was this link for virtual FREE field trips.  

Here's the link: Virtual Field Trips by Wide Open Schools

A lot of them tied into things that my class was already going to learn about... and then others that I used in the countdown to summer, when I added onto my own "theme" days. Here are the ones we watched and how it connected.  

(The images below are screenshots from their webpage, look for these images over there.)

Lego - this was one that I had the kids watch during an asych. time.  They then had to give me a RACE paragraph to explain the steps of engineering that they observed.  

Pencil - This was one that we watched during the final summer countdown - I screenshared the webpage and the kids chose this.  They got a kick out of listening to the accents, but also learned how pencils were created.  

Tesla - We watched this together in class when we were discussing how machines are built to make things easier.  It tied into our science unit.

White House - We watched this in our summer countdown on our White House Day, and this one as well to go inside.  Then we created our USA Paper Pillows, and also used the Art Hub for Kids link to draw the White House.  

Mount Rushmore - we watched on our Presidents Day countdown to summer. We had gone over the musical that I normally do with the kids, and watched this as well.  When we were done with the field trip, I let them spend some fake money in the real online gift shop. They had to review adding and subtracting decimals, and then share what they decided to buy. We ended our time with having them drawing Mount Rushmore. 

Animal Shelter - We live about an hour away from Sacramento, so in our countdown to summer, the kids asked to watch this one about the animal shelter.  

National Parks - Back in March I had to take a day off of school.  We were in the midst of our earth sphere's unit, and this tied in perfectly.  It was an easy thing for my sub to do with the class, love how it was guided.  

Chocolate Chip Cookies - the kids asked to watch this in our last week countdown to summer.  It was really interesting!

Space - we watched these during our Space unit. It tied in perfectly.  

Toilet Paper factory - We watched this because they are 5th graders... :)  

The link above has a ton more, sorted by grade spans.  These were all from the 3-5th grade level. 

Hope this helps, 

June 5, 2021

End of Year Countdown - Shout Out

Summer started a week ago and I'm now starting to feel like a human again.  :)  Today I wanted to share what helped me fill the last 2 weeks of school - you know, when life was crazy.  

The Core Coaches has this incredible resource that I've used the last couple of years.  

When I picked this up a few years ago, I was more thinking for easy sub plans or random theme days for Fridays to spice things up a bit.  This year it was completely used for the end of school.  I wasn't able to do all of them, but we did tackle a lot of the theme days.  Each day comes with a math review and ELA activities, and then some STEM, research, art, fun stuff, etc as well.  

To make this work with my hybrid classroom, I printed off the papers I needed and added them into file folders, then wrote the "to do" list on the outside so I could keep my plan in order, as I was adding in other links and activities as well.  During the actual lessons I took a quick picture to add to our TEAM conversation, and then put the paper under my document camera for my in class kids.  TEAMS was acting glitchy, so I was trying not to screen share for a long time. 

For the most part I did use it as is - highly recommend the articles and activities.  It's a complete unit. There are digital links as well, and those helped to find links for online read alouds, etc.  The kids just used copy paper to work on the activities, we did them whole class.  It kept them engaged over the last weeks of school. 

The days we did tackle: 
Aeronautics Day - tied in perfectly with our Science Design Parachute Challenge. We also made reflection 3D Hot Air Balloons about our dreams for the future, and had a Paper Airplane challenge.

National Parks Day - the kids loved to research. I added in a virtual field trip to Yellowstone, and I did take the kids outside to do the Mentos and Diet Coke. I had joined our class TEAM conversation on my phone so kids at home could participate, and my colleague dealt with my phone when I was dealing with the soda and candy. 

Weather Day - I added in some youtube links with Natural Disasters and the reminders how we can help others that have experienced them.

Summer Safety Day - Oh, the kids were also so good at brainstorming "rules" for their younger siblings of things to remember and why... The articles included were awesome. 

Summer Holidays - This was a fun one. I added in an Art Hub for Kids drawing. We used youtube links for each of the holidays as well.  

Reflection Day - This I used over a span of 2 days as I added in our ABC's of 5th grade, our Class Memory Jar, and Yearbook.  

Like I said, I highly recommend this.  Even if you don't know when you will use it - it really is a complete day worth of material, and you don't have to print tons of papers if you do things full class. To prep for each day, I simply got the specific file folder with hard copies and had added the links to my email drafts so it was an easy access. 

Hope this helps,

May 12, 2021

Super Hero Ninja Grader

It’s been over a week since I last checked in with you. I’m still over here in the piles of paperwork. If I had a super power I’d like to either have super speed or being a ninja, tackling all this grading. 

We finished state testing. We have 2.5 weeks until summer. 13 school days until the bell rings for blessed vacation. But yet, there is so much to do.  

This Friday is the cut off for grading. The report card portal opens tomorrow to start filling it in. I went lite with homework this week. We are taking tests (math and reading) during class, and the final projects for social studies and science are done in class too. Presentations, group things, etc. At least the stuff that is being graded. Really the kids are just needing to upload after class. They need a break, and a chance to catch up. I’m really tired of nagging. 

There have been a lot of missing assignments these last few weeks with state testing. We were still moving forward and having homework during asynchronous time. Some kids “seemed” to completely forget their responsibilities. I had recorded mini lessons to walk the kids through the material that they had to do independently. But even with daily and weekly reminders some still didn’t turn it in.

So my nagging moved next level with the weekly countdown of reminders to parents about due dates and cut offs. The reminder that I want to give credit and kids can redo assignments. That I care about their kid. That I know their kid can do better. 

Then I have been sticking the grades front and center in the kid’s private channels. Some don’t have their own access to view grades without their parents’ help. The reminder to the kids about GPAs and the award criteria. They want awards, which means they have the earn them. Finish strong...

Since we are standards based, we allow kids to redo assignments as they feel more confident to bump up their scores. It gives them motivation to succeed. Motivation to grow. Motivation to not give up, because grades aren’t set in stone until the cut off dates. 

I feel like I’m knee deep in strategy sessions with the kids. 

“Did you get a 3 last time? Well check the rubric one more time. Did you forget to do one part to extend your answer? Can you aim for a 4?”

“Did you get a 2 last time? You were so close to achieving proficiency. We’ve been reviewing that, want to try again?”

“Did you get a 1 last time? What have you been doing to learn that material better? Did you do all the parts of the question? Let’s reread the directions together.”

“I’d focus on your reading/math/writing scores... I know you know that now... Check the rubrics one more time, is there anything else you can add or change?” It makes my day when kids are popping onto our afternoon question sessions to want to improve. Maybe they will remember that motivation next year. 

But Friday is coming. And the moments of grading are almost complete, and I can celebrate them on the report cards. Then we can have some fun to wrap up the year.  Finish strong.

Hope you have a great day!

May 3, 2021

Virtual Mother's Day - 3 Free Ideas

Mother's Day is right around the corner! It's next Sunday, the day after my birthday.  I get the whole weekend to celebrate.  I'm just a tad excited.  :) It's probably because I'm a mom that I always like to make sure to do something for the parents in my class.  Or at least give the opportunity if kids want to create something.  

Last year when we were totally virtual and using Zoom, my class brainstormed ideas of things they could do around the house to help out.  They shared full class, gave us all ideas, and then they made a card or wrote a letter to their parents to say thank you.  I didn't have the option to secretly upload files into a virtual classroom for them to download.

This week while in class the kids are completing their math state tests.  That means that anything other than testing has to happen at home during their asynchronous times.  I wanted to share some resources that I've used in past years. This year I uploaded these files into our TEAMS account for kids to download if they need ideas for Mother's Day. They can print if they want, or just use them as inspiration. It's optional, but I do give them a spiel about how parents love to be loved.  Even by their 5th graders... or by their high schoolers... :) 

The Perfect Para has created this free Mother's Day resource.  It gives idea for kids to do with their mom and for their moms.  It's a challenge, and kids love challenges.  

Sarah Tighe has this Mother's Day freebie poem as well.  I always give the class a spiel about how as a mom I love this kind of stuff that shows what my kids are thinking.  Her sentence starters are absolutely great!

Amy Carver has this free Mother's Day Questionnaire. Questionnaires are just fun, yet they do bring tears to my eyes.  

I hope this helps. Hopefully next year we can go back to some art projects as well.  What are you doing for Mother's Day?

May 1, 2021

Deep Down Dog Tired

This time of year is not for the weak of heart. I’m exhausted, and just need to talk to people who totally get it. 

State testing vibes...

I know we are in the final stretch of this absolutely crazy year. I could barely drag myself out the door to school yesterday. I am just so done. 

I’m tired of pulling teeth. I’m tired of the apathy. I'm tired of having to be positive all the time. I’m tired with being on duty 24-7. I’m tired with all the paperwork. I’m tired of state testing. I’m tired of nagging. I’m tired of the Swiss cheese looking gradebook- full of holes.

It has never been this hard before.

It’s hard enough in a normal year to get kids to understand the importance of doing their best effort. Right now, virtually and with hybrid, it feels impossible.  I’ve gone from most turning in their work on time to now half my class. What changed? Spring break... they came back just done.

They are tired. Families are tired. I think everyone is over it.

We are 2/3 through state testing.

But we aren’t done yet. 20 more school days. 10 more days of grades then time to fill in the report cards. 5 more days until textbook check in starts. 4 more days of math state testing, then 4 days of Fast bridge testing. Then finally the last 2 weeks when we can have a little fun to wrap up the year.  

I ask them to finish strong. I put their grades in their private channels and remind them of their missing work. I hold afternoon question sessions to help with intervention, and no one shows up. I give opportunities to retake past district tests to show mastery. I email and Class Dojo. I don’t know if anyone reads what I write anymore. I’m so tired. 

20 more days. 20 more days to make a difference and shine a light with this group. To hold these kids accountable. Then they are in middle school. 

Every Thursday is Thankful Thursday. Every Thursday so many kids tell me that they are thankful for me. That makes me feel good. I’m thankful for them too. But I’m just so done. 

How can I finish strong?

I write that and verses pop in my head, things that I’ve read and memorized. I need to rest. I need to close the laptop and recharge. The Lord gives strength. 

Isaiah 40: 29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 41:10b "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Where does my joy come from? It comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth. Automatic response, but am I really living like it? Or am I trying to do every thing on my own strength? 

Thanks for letting me just talk and for being real.  I needed that today.  I'll get back to sharing the positives next time. There are positives right now too. Even when all hard things seem to be overwhelming.  

How are you doing?

I hope you have the most restful weekend.  


April 26, 2021

Backdrops of My Life

My name is Emily.  I have realized I can't say no to a good deal, or a good sale, or a good backdrop. I also have a very supportive family that goes along with my crazy ideas.  

I wanted to share the backdrops that have made their appearance into my corner cabinet... you know the one in the classroom where things go to hide...  And by hide, I mean put away until I decorate for a mini room transformation.  

Oh no, you say, this is all about Room Transformations?  Why yes, I say... 

A couple of years ago I read The Wild Card by Wade and Hope King and it totally opened my eyes to the impact of the little things.  How it's so easy to throw a backdrop/banner up and create a new-ish environment and transport my class to somewhere new. I want to be known as Miss Frizzle, and take my kids on crazy field trips, without having to pay the bus fee.  So that's been my purpose over the last 3ish years.  To add to my menu of different ideas to spice up my teaching. 

Disclaimer - these are not ads, I don't get anything for sharing.  I just like to share.

The first backdrop that kids see during the year is this slide from Head Over Heels for Teaching.  I project this slide for our Book Tasting that Friday of the first week of school.  It's a way to celebrate the 5th day of 5th grade.  Projecting images onto the screen is so easy. We've also used the Olympic Medals and the NASA logo as well over the years.  

The next one is my global travel banner.  I use this when we go galavanting around the world on a Context Clues adventure by Teaching with a Mountain View. I also have the different flags of the world in a bunting that hangs around the classroom, and each country station also has some pictures of the location that I have printed for kids to feel like they are there.  I use this at the end of August/beginning of September when we are wrapping up our unit.

Another banner is the ocean/deserted beach one.  In October for Talk like a Pirate Day, we are also knee deep in our Explorer unit.  I use this for both. Pirate day and our Explorer Simulation.  

Then I have some other pirate, sailing, explorer items that I put on tables to decorate, and we listen to the theme song of Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland ride over and over as background music.  

For reviewing roots, I have decorated the room as a hospital.  I hung plastic tablecloths on our hanging lights for the different operation rooms.  Kids wore masks (before they were cool), gloves, and I picked up syringe pens for them to use. They had paper people that they had to operate on to attach the roots to the prefixes and suffixes. I use this Affixes resource by Your Thrify Co-teacher. I play a heart beat over our sound to start us out.  It was so fun.  

Another one is a Minecraft one that I use for Volume.  Teaching volume makes me think of building blocks, and since the kids are Minecraft obsessed, it totally works.  We make a gallery of our volume designs.

I have a Game On banner that I use as the center of a bulletin board.  When the kids come back from winter break, we always have a talk about New Years resolutions and what they can do to step it up a notch.  This year I put it up when we moved from distance learning to hybrid. It's the final push for the new trimester.  Our goals usually hang around it as a reminder of what we want to accomplish. And yes, I know it says Leve Up, instead of Level Up.  It might be why it was such a good deal. :) The kids get a kick of telling me, as if I don't know, but it's so much fun that I don't really care.  

For review I love to make special days to spice it up a bit.  I have all the materials for a Glow Day.  I was gifted it from Donors Choose.  I use a banner to help cover my big window.  It blocks out a lot of light. I also was given black lights, reflective tape, glow sticks, and some cool pens that glow. This year my skylights have decided not to completely close, so it doesn't get dark enough to use it.  I'm super bummed... at least my neighbor can use them though.  :)  

My newest addition is a concert themed one for our Rock the Test review.  I picked up some inflatable instruments as well (that can easily be sprayed down). My son had a music inspired birthday a while back, and I kept his record decorations to hang on the lights.  It just makes it fun.  

I'm sure by now you are thinking that I have issues.  But it's fun and it's memorable. :)  Kids remember what they were doing and learning on these special days.  You know, when something is a little different than the ordinary. We have plenty of ordinary days too. Right now I have a bunch of these banners hanging back up in the classroom, to cover my boards for state testing.  All banners are found over on Amazon.  

Do you do theme days too? Hope you had a great day!