Fabulous Fall Freebie Linky Party & Thoughts from Great Expectations

Fun 2B in First is having a Fabulous Fall Freebie linky party!  What a great way to get ideas (free!) for Back-to-school! I am going to combine this post with my GE experience to kill two birds with one stone :)

Last week I spent 4 days in Great Expectations workshops. I absolutely love going to GE because it gets me ramped up for the new school year. This year I was fortunate enough to take Allan Johnson's classes on differentiated learning and raising test scores through brain-based learning. Both workshops were fabulous and I brought home some great activities to introduce into my classroom. Here are just a few ideas:
Synergy - in order to build the classroom community we have to think like we're all on the same team. One great way to emphasize that we need everyone in the class is to use a Touch-n-Glow ball. You have everyone stand or sit in a circle and hold hands. Place the ball between 2 people and have them each touch one of the metal contacts, this completes the circuit and the ball lights up and makes noise. If anyone in the circle lets go then the circuit is incomplete and the ball will not function. Thus we need everyone working together in order to accomplish anything.
Bounce - this game can be adapted to practically any subject. Using a ball that lights up (like this one) play a game where students bounce the ball back and forth while reviewing what you've taught. For example you can use math facts and have the students bounce the ball to another person in the circle. Whoever has the ball says the next step in the problem. For example, student 1 says "3", the next person might  say "plus", the next person says "4", the next "equals" and the next says "7". This also works with reviewing spelling words, with each student saying the next letter. I plan to do letters and sounds!
Little Honda - Have students stand in lines of 3 students. Make sure they know the ordinal number for their position in line (1st - 3rd). Play "Little Honda" by the Beach Boys. Each line moves about the room waiting for the chorus (they can walk or dance, as long as they are not running or bumping into other lines). When their position is called they move to the front of the line while the person who was in front goes to the back. It's a fun way to get the kids moving while they still have to focus to hear their cue to move up in line. Not only does this reinforce ordinal numbers (something my kinders struggle with at first) it's also a great stress reliever because everyone ends up laughing and getting their energy released in a positive way. Here are the lyrics for the chorus:
First gear, it's all right (honda, honda, go faster, faster)
Second gear, I'll lean right (honda, honda, go faster, faster)
Third gear, hang on tight (honda, honda, go faster, faster)
Faster, it's all right.

Finally, I will be adding some new scents to my Scentsy! Allan recommended peppermint, basil, lemon, cinnamon and rosemary scents for promoting alertness while chamomile, lavender, orange and rose promote calmness and relaxation. He told us about a Texas teacher who was allowed to have her Scentsy on during state testing since she always had it on while she was teaching. This aided the students in recalling what they had learned and test scores went up (here are some other interesting ideas on raising scores). Since I teach kindergarten I don't have to worry about high-stakes testing in my grade-level, but there are still things I need to teach and have my kinders remember!
My freebie for Back-to-School is my list of Farewells. I borrowed this idea from The Virtual Vine and added some clip art since my kinders can't read at the beginning of the year. As I let children out at the end of the day, they point out the farewell they want me to use. This gives me a quick second to scan the crowd outside so I can make sure their parent/sibling/guardian is there to pick them up, if not I direct them to wait next to my door. My kinders love choosing their farewell everyday. Some will do the same one all the time, while others like to mix it up. I put up only 2 pages at first so half way through the year I can switch them out for new ones to try to keep it fresh.

2 Rustle Up A Response!:

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

I love it, thanks for sharing!!!
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I just joined your blog :)

Desiree said... Reply to comment

What a cute idea with Little Honda. I had to pull up iTunes so I could get the melody right but I LOVE IT and can't wait to try it with my students next week. Thanks.
Kinders on the Block

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