Learning and Having Fun at the End of the Year!

25 May 2015 / Leave a Comment

Whew!  I don't know about you, but I am so ready for a little summer R & R to get refreshed and energized for next year.  However, we still have 3 weeks and lots of standards to cover.

I decided to incorporate those standards into a thematic unit by letting my students choose a Fun Day activity.  It has been a hit so far and the kids "own it" so they are ENGAGED!

We began by each student giving input on a large graphic organizer.

Next we added details as a brainstorming activity for the opinion writing piece they would complete later in the week.

Reflecting, I realize my special needs students needed more modeling for getting the most bang for your buck from this activity.

After discussing our organizer, we played a game of Quiz, Quiz, Trade, a KAGAN Structure.  This is wonderful for getting the kids moving and thinking.  It is a team building activity and works on language skills.  I really wanted them to think about details related to choosing an activity they would ultimately vote on. We used the cards below.  I have a small classroom, so you could use these cards in a small group activity.

Next we used a graphic organizer to pre-write our opinion writing piece. We talked about how this writing would be used to convince our classmates to vote for our idea as the best choice.  I presented an anchor chart to give them sentence stems for their organizer and final copy.

After editing, we wrote and illustrated our final copies.

Then we built fluency by reading our writing 3 x's and partner reading.  Lastly we read and recorded our writing using an iPad app.  Since this was a new activity, they couldn't wait to use the recording and hear their reading!

We then presented our ideas to our classmates by reading our writing and participating in a question and answer session about their idea. I tied this into social studies by discussing elections and how candidates presented their platforms.  I tried to get a flag on the whiteboard as a backdrop, but the best I could figure out was using google images. Maybe you have a better idea for me to use next time!  I would love to hear it if you do!

Afterwards we discussed citizenship, as well as voting rights and responsibilities.  Each of my students then voted on the idea they wanted as their end of the year Fun Day Activity.

To make it more authentic, each student signed their name before placing their vote in the ballot box.

The last thing we have done is to create a graph showing our votes.  Next week we will develop and answer questions about the graph.  As you can see, making ice cream won, so we will incorporate science by making ice cream.

You can find some great ice cream ideas and a pinterest board to follow by reading this Classroom Tested Resources Post.
If you liked these ideas, you can grab this freebie by visiting my blog, Burke's Special Kids!


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