Tuesday, May 29, 2012
So, I just tried the Balloon activity with a First Grade class and they LOVED it! What is the balloon activity you may ask? Well, I saw some teachers on Pinterest doing a countdown to the end of the school year with balloons. Each day, the kids would get to pop a balloon and a random, fun activity would fall out.
I thought this was a great idea- but if I was counting down the last music classes, I would have had to start months ago so I changed it up a bit. I had the first graders write down their favorite music games from the year on little strips of paper last week. We ended up with about 15 games/ stories once repeats were discarded. Today I took those little strips and put them inside balloons. When the kids got here, the balloons were all over the floor. Kids got to take turns popping them to find out which fun activity we would do next. It was so fun to hear their excited squeals when each game was revealed. I did let them pop the balloons on their own- some used hands, some feet and others covered their ears :)
We ended up with a great variety of activities- some chase games, some partner games, some stories, etc. Next year I might even color-code for myself different types of games to be sure that we get a variety. (All the chase games in RED, all the partner in Orange, Stories in Yellow, Listening activities in Blue, etc).
Now, I know we have to be careful as some kids have Latex allergies so make sure you know your class before you try this. Tomorrow I am doing something similar with another first grade class, but their favorite activities are going into the RANDOM WORD GENERATOR on my SMARTboard. Then a kid can touch "generate" and it will pick an activity. This is a good way for those classes who maybe can't handle balloons (or who have allergies) but you still want to make the last day fun.
I try to practice concepts right up until the end of the year, and many classes do that- but sometimes we have short weeks where I only see 1 or 2 classes in a grade OR the classes I see are already ahead the last week and these are great ideas for those groups. The kids love to remember the whole year and all the stuff we started with. Some groups even request games from past years. It's a lot of fun!