Wednesday Missions- Weekly Team Building Activities

Have I mentioned how much I love teaching 5th grade? I truly have found my place and I couldn't be happier. It does help that I really have an amazing group of students! 

One thing I think has really helped my class have the perfect little community where students have great conversations, work together, everyone gets along, all students participate without fear of feeling like they're not smart, are my Wednesday Missions. 

Every Wednesday I take time out of my day to do some kind of team building activity. Some activities take an hour while some might be 30 minutes. My students seriously look forward to these. If for some reason we don't get to one, they are so unhappy! 

We have done all sorts of missions such as Marshmallow Challenge, Candy Corn Tower, School Supply Shuffle, Gum Drop Challenge, STEM-Quake Safe and a story writing challenge. Some were very hard, while some seemed too easy. But the outcome has always been the same-focus on collaboration, creativity, discovering and sharing.

One of the hardest, yet fun challenges I did was a Shelter Challenge.

We have been reading Hatchet, this was the perfect challenge. I found the idea for this challenge HERE

We first had a discussion about how Brian built his shelter. We also watched a video of how to build a shelter. 

Students in their table teams got an iTouch for photographs, a stack of newspaper and 1 roll of tape. They had a set amount of time to discuss and plan how they were going to build their shelter.

Their mission was to build a free standing shelter out of newspaper and tape where their whole team had to fit inside. (I ended up changing it to have only 1 person fit inside). 

It's safe to say, they had a lot of fun!

In the end, only one team actually succeeded. After we cleaned up, they had one more task as a team to complete. 

I was so proud of my students for the way they worked together on this challenge. Their Google Slide reflections show me how much they learned about the book, teamwork, and showed their creativity. 

If you're looking for a way to encourage your students to work together and communicate more, I highly recommend taking time out of your week to bring in some team building activities. You can follow my Pinterest board for other team building activities I have found.

Crazy Sock Exchange

I can't believe it has been over 2 months since I have blogged last! Life really has been so busy that I have not had a second to sit down and blog!

As of 2016 I will be taking my blog into a new direction! My focus will be more on content and examples of what I am doing in my classroom. 

I have looked back at some of my old blog posts and all I did was prompt my TpT shop, linky parties and freebies. Don't get me wrong, you will see some of my new products I have had in the works, but this blog won't be that focus. 

To start off this new focus, I want to share something super fun my 5th graders did this year for Christmas!

For the past 6 years, I have always done a mug exchange with a Polar Express party. Since I'm teaching a new grade this year, I wanted to try something new. I bring you...the Crazy Sock Exchange!

Every student brought in a pair of crazy socks filled with goodies. Their max spending cost was $10, which included the cost of the sock.

The day of the exchange, the students grabbed their own sock and sat in a circle.

Next, I read a story I found on Pinterest. Every time they heard RIGHT, they would pass it to the right. Every time they heard LEFT, they would pass it to the left.

(don't mind my horrible voice)

You can get the story {HERE}

Once we were done, everyone was able to open the sock they ended up with! It was so much fun!

I had everyone put on their sock and we took a class picture!

I did have a few students who brought socks that were not holiday socks, some boys ended up with more girly socks, some girls got more boyish socks, and some socks didn't fit. But overall, I would totally do this again. Maybe a boy/girl circle instead.

To end our week, our Hawaiiana teacher came and helped my students sing The 12 Days of Christmas...Hawaiian Style!

{Daily Graffiti Wall}

Happy Saturday Friends! 
How is your weekend going so far? Today marks the first day of my fall break and I am so excited to enjoy a week off! I have two days of a digital leadership conference, plenty of TpT things to catch up on, sleeping in, going to the beach, catching up with friends and family and a ton of yard work. Now that I think of it, that doesn't sound like much of a break. 

I wanted to start of my break by sharing with you something my 5th graders look forward to every day! I call it my Daily Graffiti Wall. I got the idea from Miss 5th over in IG. Every day I post some kind of question on the board and the kids get to answer it. It's so simple, yet so engaging! They look forward to it every morning when they walk in. Here are some of the pictures from my wall!

If you want to see some more posts from me, make sure you follow me on IG. Don't forget to follow Miss 5th too! She has some great posts! 

I hope you all have a great weekend! 

I'm sorry:(

I just have to say I am sorry! 
Sorry for not blogging, sorry for being absent, sorry for not reading blogs, sorry for not making new products, and sorry for not being around. 

What I am not sorry for is...

The time I have spent with my husband
The time I have spent with my friends and family
The time I have spent getting to know my amazing 5th graders
The down time I have given myself

I have been in school now for 6 weeks! It's crazy! 5th grade is a whole different world...But...I LOVE it with every ounce of my body! I think I have the best class I've ever had. They are amazing, talented, they ask questions, they listen, they don't fight, they all get along, they respect me, they don't argue, zero behavior problems, they're such nice kids, and we just click! I am truly blessed!

Over the course of 6 weeks, I think I have changed the way I teach my literacy block and math block like a bazillion time! I have gone from handwriting lessons plans, to typing them, now back to handwriting them. I am all over the place. I am trying to find my groove and what works for me and the kids. I think I finally found my groove and I feel so much better! 

5th grade moves SO fast and the curriculum has been a HUGE learning curve for me. A few times I have found myself teaching the wrong way. I am getting there. Any tips in 5th grade land would be great!

I have never in all my 10 years of teaching asked for the kids input into how they are learning. This year I am finding myself doing that all the time. I want them to feel ownership in their learning. I want them to want to learn. It really has changed the way I do things. 

I will promise to be back more often. I have a long list of things I want to share and create! 

I want to leave you with some pictures of my year so far! I promise to take more and share with you all the great things my class is doing this year! 

Welcome to my classroom! Hopefully I will take some better pictures soon!

My 5th grade blogging club has started! I will be blogging more about this soon!

July and August Birthday Celebration! I do once a month birthdays to cut back on wasted time and treats brought into the classroom. 

Student's working on their Passion Project Proposals! They LOVE this! Next week they will be giving their 60 second pitches to the class! 

Compare and contrast projects with our second grade buddies

Have an awesome weekend!

August currently

Happy August! I can't believe it's already here! I haven't linked up for a currently in a long time so I thought since I had some time today I would:)

It is so quiet in my house...I love it! The air is going upstairs and it's just me and my kitties! No music, no tv, no hubby! 

I am in LOVE with my new move to 5th grade! I have had the best week ever! My kids are wonderful and I think I have built a positive bond between us over the past 3 days! I hope this keeps going. I will be back soon to show you my room and discuss some more about my new adventure in 5th grade land! 

I really think I want to take a nap! I have so much work to do {needing} but it's kinda hard when I can't keep my eyes open! That's the reason why I think we should have an extra day in our weekends{wanting}! We all need that day to catch up and recoup! Right?!?!?!

Like Farley, I too want to do Mailbox surprises. I did them a few years ago during Christmas time. I would like to do something all year long! It's just a simple and easy way to say thank you and hello to your coworkers! I am thinking small card and maybe a piece of candy, hand sanitizer, gum, or a new pen. 

Do you have any ideas?

I hope you're all having a great weekend! I am off to check out more currentlys over at Farley's blog!

Classroom "BE" Board part 2

Happy Saturday friends!

I posted a few days ago all about my new BE board unit! You can read about it here!

Since that post, I was able to get started in my Hawaii teachers go back this week:(

The first thing I did was put up all my new fabric and boarders. 

I am going with a grown up, earthy, sleek, clean feel! It's been years since I have changed my colors and I love the new look!

Next, I decided to get started on my BE board. I found some wooden letters from the craft store. 

I painted them the color I wanted and then got busy hot gluing the push pins on the back! Thanks to the worker at the craft store for this awesome idea! 

Finally I was able to put it all together I LOVE it!

Here's a better look at the full board!

I really hope the kids like it as much as I do! 
For the rest of the weekend, you can snag my new Character Education BE Board unit (wooden letters not included) for just $1!

I hope you all have a great weekend!