Sunday, February 12, 2017

Swap Fun Friday cupcakes with creative curriculum extensions

The students expect it but it can be an automatic teacher headache. You know what I’m talking about…it’s Fun Friday! Even if you dedicate just 15 minutes to it at the end of the day you might be taking time away from instruction especially if you have recess in there too! Then, no matter what you need them to do after their “fun Friday”, it’s going to be 10x more difficult than it needs to be. {envision peeling students off the ceiling, desks flying and cupcake frosting smeared on the floor} Oh, is that just my class? {insert embarrassed face here}

My special needs self-contained kiddos work hard to earn the Fun Friday party aka fiasco every single week, but I tried something different this past month and I loved it! Swap cupcakes for creative and exciting curriculum extensions. Here is what I did.

Week One
This month we are learning about the 7 continents! Each week is dedicated to a different continent. We are using our beloved interactive pocketbook units and to enhance this, I found these Continents and Animal Sticker Scenes at Oriental Trading in their Classroom Crafts section. At the end of the day, the students enjoyed some quiet, but fun working time. The students were able to do this craft independently because the animals were color coded…which this Friday teacher tired girl like very much! The students were really excited to display these on their lockers when they were completed and not a single kiddo realized they didn’t get their “inner party animal” out at school this week. #teacherwin

Week Two
This week we exchanged our usual Morning Work routine with a fun and engaging writing station. I don’t know about your class, but mine will do anything to use dry erase markers! I really should use this to my advantage more often. Since we were still learning about the continents, I pulled out all of the Continent related prompts on these adorable dry erasewriting prompts with realistic photography which can be found in the Classroom Must-Haves section of Oriental Trading’s website. The students did not even realize they were working and expanding their writing skills while continuing to demonstrate their knowledge of the world during “morning work”. To make the morning even more exciting, we used these ridiculously cute googly erasers too which I brought out for the first time. Let’s just say we took writing to a whole new level on this day! #teacherwin

Week 3
As I mentioned, my students love unique and fun writing tools. Some of my friends are working on their hand strength and writing can be tiring. I know that I need to make it exciting for them so I had this in store for the last of my continent fun Fridays. We finished up our MEGA continent unit with learning about Europe. By this time during the unit, I think we were all a little Continent-studied out, but I can’t let them know that I am right there with them. Sitting on their desks, standing up and looking as inviting as ever was an Eiffel Tower pen that they could use during all continent related work for the rest of the Europe unit. Let’s just say that I was a teacher rock star on this day and this gift is the gift that keeps on giving because my students are still using these pens every day and I just cannot say no to them about it. They look so adorable sitting on their desks and if there is one thing that I know these kids won’t forget, it is all of the important information they learned about the Eiffel Tower. #teacherwin

Needless to say, we have reinvented the idea of what our students think of as “Fun Friday”.  No more pulling students off the ceiling before dismissal and no more cleaning up cupcake frosting off the floor every week. We will save that just for holidays and birthdays. If you have any other ideas we would love to hear them! The products in the blog post were sent to us for review from Oriental Trading and the feedback we have given is our honest opinion on the products.
As always, thank you for stopping by! 

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