Saturday, April 20, 2013

Five for Friday Carnival Day Edition

This week is OVER and I cannot be thankful enough! It has been one of THOSE weeks- and I haven't had one that stressful in a long time- ugh.

But today the sun is out and I feel tremendously better! I feel so good that I have decided to link up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky!

My partner and I at the last minute, and I mean the LAST minute, decided to do a little carnival themed fun day!

I set my room up to resemble a carnival. The decorations were minimal. I already had this stuff from when we did an all-out blitz a few years ago.

I LOVE to do rotations on days like this, so I set up FIVE different stations. Here's a brief description of each of them:

1. Books!
Of course my kids would never make it through a day in my classroom without reading a book! I'm kind of a book hoarder so when the Scholastic Book Fair came to our school last week, I went a little crazy. I had to have so many! The kids were thrilled to have the opportunity to dig through the new stuff.

2. STAAR Bingo
Y'all I am not even proud to show you these! Good 'ol hand written words on blank bingo cards and hand written calling cards on index cards. Not pretty, but effective. I focused on all of those pesky testing words that can stump kiddos- selection, section, passage, you get my drift. I remembered AFTER I had hand written all of these cards that we live in the 21st century and we have electronic bingo card maker websites. Big sigh. You can bet I'll remember that for next time!

Now to my favorites!

3. Vocabulary Bean Bag Toss

Every day we do a buzzword of the day to increase our vocabulary. We always learn the definition and then put a motion or hand signal with it. The kids love it! For this station, I put all of our old words in a bucket and taped down this board on the floor. The kids had to choose a word out of the bucket, toss their bean bag, and then complete the activity written on the space they landed on. It was a hit! I had dry erase boards and materials on hand for the activities that required writing.

4. Bucket Dive

This had to be the favorite by far. Way back when I did my Knowledgeable Knight activity, the kids went absolutely crazy when they had to dig through the buckets to find words. I wanted to create a different version that activity. I really wanted to use the plastic balls that you find in fast-food restaurant's ball pits, but I didn't have time to search for them. So, I went for a cheaper route- balled-up paper!

I filled the bucket with the colored paper balls made from butcher paper and hid copies of Rachel Lynette's
Context Clues task cards, also balled up, but on white paper, in the bucket. The kids had to dig through the bucket and look for the white paper balls. When they found one, they pulled it out and filled out their recording sheet using the card (card number, underlined word, definition). They repeated this process until they found all the hidden cards.

5. Synonym Duck Pull

This station was a hit as well! I created a very crude duck pond using a hula hoop and blue butcher paper. On the bottom of each rubber duck was a plain word- happy, sad, make, mad, etc. Also written in smaller print  were synonyms for that word. One at a time, a student would pull a duck from the pond and read the plain word to the rest of the group. Together they would come up with synonyms for the word using the smaller words on the duck only if they got stuck or needed other ideas. Then they wrote a sentence using one of the words.

And of course, we had to have snacks!

Carnival Day was a great change-of-pace and a fun way to sneak in some targeted practice. It was the perfect way to end the week on a positive note.  I'm thinking Bucket Dive and the Duck Pull will be constants in our station rotations from now on!

Now to get some rest this weekend before the big test next week!

Have a great weekend!!!


  1. I love your bucket idea of having to hunt for words! That is so stinkin' cute!!! Sounds like a ball. Good luck on STAAR next week : ) I teach 1st but am having to give it to a small group (sigh). So glad to have found another Texas blogger!

    For the Love of First Grade

  2. I found your blog through the 5 For Friday Linky. I am a new follower.
    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

  3. Love these vocabulary ideas! Just pinned them! Good luck on testing, your kids will do great :o)

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang


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