19 August 2016

Class Olympic Games

This week we've been doing lots related to the Summer Olympic Games!

Students worked in research groups to gather factual and Olympic-related information for their respective countries. Our class is made up of Team Australia, Team Brazil, Team China, Team Great Britain, Team Jamaica, and Team USA. Students synergized to put together Google SLIDE presentations on their country and after teaching the class about what they learned, they demonstrated and hosted an indoor event. The events are our way of celebrating after working hard/getting the job done!

 To kick-off our Class Olympic Games, the class participated in my indoor event first: Finger Flingers! (I found these irresistible toys in the Dollar Spot section of Target.)  Whoever could launch the squishy flinger the farthest, determined the rankings. A member of Team USA clenched the first gold medal by sending his Chicken Flinger the farthest distance in our class! (silver: Jamaica & bronze: Australia) 
Also, Team Great Britain planned out an Obstacle Course event in which Team Brazil earned a gold medal, followed by Team Jamaica with a silver, and Team USA with a bronze.
In keeping with the spirit of the actual Olympics, after each event we hold a Medal Ceremony and play the National Anthem of the country who won gold. Today we were able to pay tribute to both USA and Brazil for their gold wins!
On Tuesday, students had a chance to do "ice skating" in the classroom.
Our class was excited to take part in these events (except not so happy after Tug-of-War) and we look forward to the rest of the week as well as our Closing Ceremonies on Friday where we will honor all students' "Olympic efforts" and participation! 
Check out what other great teachers and their students have been up to this week with Doodle Bugs Teaching linky party:

15 August 2016

Back To School: "Most Wanted" Bulletin

 This is my 3rd year in a row making sure I let my students know that they are the "Most Wanted" kiddos around out of the entire school.  Of course, that's just because I'm biased they're mine for the upcoming year!  Even better, it makes a pretty darn stinking cute Back to School "Most Wanted" Bulletin!
I happened to succumb to the peer pressure of my teaching colleagues and supplied props for my students to take a photo with at "Meet the Teacher" Night!  My teammate who did an "ocean theme" had arm floaties, goggles, a snorkel, a lei, and a beach ball for her students to pose with!  I tend to just stick with a black & white color scheme, so I went with a "Western Outlaw / Bandido" idea since 4th graders study state history and I teach in Arizona!  Luckily, while I was at Goodwill on one of their 50% off Sale Saturdays, I found what I needed (a cowboy hat & a red bandana) for less than $5.  Pretty good deal since it's already given me three class sets of precious photos!
Typically I can't waid to read aloud the book, Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner, which is a favorite 1st day of school tradition of mine because it connects to me in many ways.    I love humor - this always guarantees laughs!  I love singing - there are many festive tunes which require group particiption!  I adore chihuahuas - yes, I own 3, and not to mention Skippy is obsessed with being one!  Finally, I enjoy getting to show off my Spanish-speaking skills and connecting with my students from similar backgrounds!
 After reading, we go through the steps of the writing process for our very first written assignment of the school year!  We discuss what "Most Wanted" qualities means.  Then, we brainstorm a list of Skippy's "Most Wanted" qualities and add them to a bubble map / web.  Next, after I've emphasized we'd like to focus on positive attributes for this assignment, and I've created an example of at least 6 attributes, we're ready to move onto the students listing impressive qualities about themselves!
The two student work samples above are from my very first class I completed this project with.  That year, I found some "aged" looking stationery on clearance at Hobby Lobby, so I just printed the WANTED heading on address label stickers which we put at the top of each page.  Then, I had students publish their final copies on a 4x6 ruled index card.  Each year after that, I haven't had the same luck with finding the right paper, so I decided to make my own printable WANTED posters.  Click below to add the COMPLETE resource to your Back-to-School plans!

Well it's past my bedtime on a Sunday night, so in a muy, muy soft voice, I will whisper: Buenas noches, mis amigas!

14 August 2016

Rio Olympic Torch Craft

To kick-off the new school year and the Summer Olympic Games, I had my students create Rio-inspired Olympic torches using the materials I had on hand in my classroom.  Due to my role as the school's Creative Crafters committee lead, I had leftover purple & silver tissue paper squares from a previous project.  Purple & silver are our school colors but I also feel they coordinated well with this year's torch colors.  I mean, isn't purple a big color used at Brazil's Carnaval / mardi gras masks?

To create this DIY Rio Olympics Torch:

  1. Gather white 8.5 x 11 paper, coloring supplies (markers, crayons or colored pencils), tape, tissue paper squares (for the flame), and a hot glue gun.
  2. With the paper oriented as a portrait, begin to color the torch like this:
  3.  Roll the paper into a cylinder with the mouth slightly wider than the end.
  4. Use tape to hold the shape.
  5. Hot glue tissue paper squares inside the mouth of the torch to represent the Sacred Flame.
Watch the lighting of this year's Olympic Cauldron in Rio here:

13 August 2016

Team USA Olympic Biography Posters

Since the first day of school, August 1st, we've been studying the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.  We started off by learning about the Ancient Olympics with an entertatining TED video, moved into Olympic symbolism and the Modern Games and then ended our first week of school by creating our Rio-inspired Olympic torches to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies later that evening.

This past week, we separated into six work teams of 4 students each to complete country-specific Olympic-related research on Google Slides.  Now, the students are preparing their oral presentations and unique events to demonstrate and hold our own indoor Olympic Games.

During the week of group presentations, we'll move toward our individual study of a certain sport and profile a respective Team USA Olympic Athlete competing in that event.  Naturally, I had to update my Olympian Bio writing posters.  I can't wait to use it this year!
 I am using Simone Biles as my example because she is probably the most well-known among my class.  I have more girls than boys, Michael Phelps would surely be a close second!  I won't allow any of my students to research her as this will be the example I show when explaining the assignment.
 My school is a Leader in Me school, so I'm also teaching my students the Habits - which there are now 8, so I'm having them infer a connection to the 8 Habits while they conduct research, watch video interviews and/or live Olympics footage.

I've also created a list of medal hopefuls at this year's Summer Olympics for Team USA which correspond with specific pages on biography.com and teamusa.org that give athlete profiles.  There are 24 athletes, so each of my students has their very own Olympic Medalist to research.  As far as medal standings go, I really love the aesthetics of the Google Olympics interface.  Very sleek!
Being one of the first products I had ever created for my TpT store back before the London 2012 Olympics, I finally updated this resource and it's better than before!  Check it out below!