My kids came to school last Friday to find that it was a surprise classroom transformation. If you don't know what that means, you need to follow Hope King and Kim Bearden from The Ron Clark Academy. They are EVERYTHING!!!
My kids walked in to see me looking like this....
When you go about a day like this, especially for young students, you have to be really tough. I promise, the kids will still go home and say they had the best day...but you have to be very strict or you WILL lose control of the room and it will be a free for all with no learning. Start off (just like the beginning of the year) super tough and loosen the reins as they perform better and better through the day.
I began by reminding the kids of my expectation, "If you can't handle the fun, you won't get to do the fun."
I give super boring packets to those who get too loud at inappropriate times, who lose control of their bodies, who talk while the speaker is talking, or who ignore my directions. It usually only takes once for my students to figure out that I mean business.
I always have a new cheer/chant to go with the day. A call and response that connects with what we are doing. I do that for the holidays too, why fight what they are excited about...use it to your advantage.
For this Lego Day, I said "Mini-Figs" and they responded with motions of robot arms 3xs and then stopped and stared at me. Normally I have them say something, but this one was cracking us up...so we went with it. I use ClassDojo for behavior management, but I added another level this day. For the "house" or team that earned the most points by the end of the day, they would win a Lego themed notepad. They were hyped and they worked hard for it! I got a pack of 24 on Amazon for $7. Although I have 26 (27 as of this Monday), so got 2 packs. Turned out they tied! And not because I gave all groups the same pts because I didn't want a group to feel sad....I am ok with that. It's how people learn to work harder... but they really tied.
For each house, dependent on the amount of points earned the people in the group would earn "bricks" of Legos to create with at the end of the day. So, if a house had 5 pts by the end of the day, all the members of the group would get to pick 5 Legos and then the group would create something as a team using all the pieces chosen.
I used ClassFlow as the delivery system for our math lessons...see below for info about ClassFlow.
After one of the hard lessons, I had embedded the Lego movie song, "Everything is Awesome" for us to dance to for a brain break and a reward for the hard work.
Have you ever used ClassFlow?
Donor's Choose project. That would allow me to have a few more tablets to use in small groups with ClassFlow and several other programs we use in the class.
Well, last week a ClassFlow Ambassador randomly contacted me! She emailed me (on my school email) mentioning that she "noticed I use ClassFlow" and offered to meet me to support any needs I might have. She was super flexible with her timing, as I didn't want to take off work. She let me meet her later in the day after work hours.
When we met up we discussed some ways I could use the program in the class that I hadn't thought about. I will be trying several of the "learning activities" such as flash card and categorize soon. Looks easy and fun!
Have a great weekend!