Most of us are nearing the end of the school year and I cannot believe how quickly the year has gone. Maybe it has crawled for some, but I think for everyone it is truly a great time to look back and reflect.  The progress and memories you have made with your students should not be overshadowed by how exhausted you may be. Celebrate yourselves!  With that being said you still may have at least a few weeks ago.  I like to take this time of year in my classroom to really have some extra (still structured) fun with my kiddos.  I break out some new games and let them get a little messier with some newer activities. We also try and stay out for recess longer as everyone could use the fresh air and sunshine!

Learning Games

Lucky Ducks and Storyteller are two favorites of my kiddos.  Lucky Ducks gets them so excited about reviewing shapes, taking turns, and working together.  My kiddos love to see the ducks go around and are so excited when they find their shape! Storytellers is a game I introduced in the four-year-old classroom and I love knowing they’re learning valuable literacy skills while playing.  There is something about them turning over each card and making a whacky sentence that makes us all laugh. 

Field Day

Our school has an annual Field Day that is always so much fun.  The whole day is filled with team games, hot dogs, bounce houses and sno-cones!  While I’m usually assisting with Field Day, this year I have a class of three-year olds, several of which are elopers.  The thought of being outside on such a busy day brought about safety concerns so I reorganized our morning.  I am sure that many of you have safety concerns in your classroom as well but want to include your kids in a fun day.  Thankfully, our gym teacher is incredibly generous and adaptable, and he gave me free use of the gym and his games.  Our Field Day will only be about an hour (they do not last much longer than that) and it will consist of activities we have engaged in throughout the year.  Our schedule will look like this:

9:00-9:20- Scooter boards, ball toss in cut out boards, cone stacking

9:20-9:40– Parachute and hula hoops

9:40-9:50– Shaving cream tables

Following our Field Day, we will return to the room for clean-up, toileting, popsicles and snack cakes!

Wrap- Up Units

Around this time of year, I love to wrap up with bugs, creepy crawlers and insect life cycles.  We look for bugs around the playground, sketch bug jars and make “dirt pudding”.  When I co-taught in second grade, we would always make pretzel sparklers and it is something that as kids age, they still come back to Mrs. Stutzel and I talk about it!  I’ll roll out the water tables and let them use pitchers and cups.  We make sensory bins with creepy crawling plastic bugs and work on language building skills.  I also love to use leftover art supplies and let them make masterpieces.  I plan on mounting them with frames from the dollar tree for some end of the year take home gifts. 

Overall, take this time to really reflect on what an amazing teacher you are.  If you feel like this year was not your best just remember that we are so fortunate to get a fresh start each year.  Happy Celebrating!

Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed
Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed

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