So I heard from a little birdie that lots of you are either approaching your last week or are days away from your last day. Lucky y'all!!! HA!!!
For those of you with a little more time on your hands, I'm going to be posting about different theme days for the next few days. This is how I survive the end of the school year. Our schedules are already wonky...guided readers have to be turned in and accounted for...nothing resembles normalcy WHATSOEVER!!!! Theme days get me by during these last few days of the year. They're fun for me and a BLAST for the kids. No better way to end a school year!!
Today's theme day....ICE CREAM!!!!
I mean, who doesn't love ice cream?!?! If you're from Texas, then you're suffering the ice cream drought just like me. Blue Bell is the only ice cream that exists in my world and well..the freezer shelves are bare. I miss my Blue Bell like crazy!!!!! In the meantime, the plain waffle cones from Dairy Queen will suffice.
Let's get into our ice cream theme day!!!!!
Here's just a little sample of what my plans might look like on this day.
For a closer look, you can download them, too.
Most of those activities mentioned come from this resource....
And these freebies....
Now let's break it all down, shall we?!
These are the books I typically have on hand for ice cream day. We use these either as read alouds or material for independent reading...
When my kids come in in the mornings, I love for them to start their day THINKING!!!!
A couple of ideas....
You can start the day on WONDEROPOLIS (project this page on the white board) and get your kids wondering. I WONDER ...What is the best ice cream flavor?
You can check out the website for more info. This is a great way to start the day!
And when your kids are finished wondering, it's time for them to get creative. Have your kids come in and complete a Draw Start using an ice cream cone as they're starting point. The objective of this activity is to have your kids think creatively to turn the ice cream cone into something else. You'd be AMAZED by their thinking! The first district I ever taught in would use activities like these to help identify students for the GT program. This wouldn't be the deciding factor, of course, just a little something extra to help them identify those gifted thinkers. After your kids complete their draw start, have them flip over their papers and write about their creation on the back.
Once the bell rings and it's time to start the day, we head on over to the carpet for a read aloud and some poetry. As you can see in my plans, we're reading The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger. We'll read the story aloud and then give them a follow-up writing prompt to complete when they visit their independent literacy stations. I've also got a poem they'll visit during this time, so we'll sing that before heading off to stations, too.
During their independent literacy station block of time, I'll be walking around and helping my kids where it's needed. Since guided readers have to be turned in, I'll use this time for some small group work focusing on various phonetic skills. Lots of review! The activities mentioned in my plans all come from my Ice Cream Literacy/Math/Science packet. As for the poetry, I'll write the words on sentence strips, cut them apart, and have the kids assemble it in sequential order as they recite the poem/song. THey will each get a copy of the poem for their poetry folders as well. I'll have them use highlighters to find different spelling/phonetic patterns/rhyming words, too.
After our literacy stations, we'll move into a quick ice cream themed read aloud and then I'll have the kids go back to their desks and brainstorm their very own brand new ice cream flavor. Their responses are nothing short of adorable and it's so cute to see how excited they get at the thought of creating their very own ice cream!!!
They're usually SO excited about this writing opportunity that I'll make sure to schedule enough time for them to share aloud. Depending on how much time we have, I'll either have them partner share, share in small groups, or volunteer to stand up in front of the class and read. SO fun!
After lunch it's IMPERATIVE to make ice cream sundaes :) It is for me anyway. I love doing this with the kids and...as you can imagine...they get SO excited about eating ice cream in the classroom. I bring one big ol' tub of ice cream and then lots of toppings...caramel sauce, chocolate syrup, pineapple chunks, bananas, sprinkles, cherries, whipped cream....the works!!!! If you have parents itching to help you out these last few weeks, this is a great activity for them to be present!
I give them their bowls and have them eat their sundaes with a partner. While they're enjoying their sundaes, they'll compare/contrast them both. I also give them a Venn Diagram to take back with them so they can work as they eat :)
We'll also use this time for a little expository writing activity....how-to make an ice cream sundae!
Then we'll start our graphs...a great transition into our independent math stations. Again, the math activities I included in my plans come from my Ice Cream LIteracy/Math/Science packet. Of course, you can use whatever you have on hand!
At the end of the day, we'll finish with a science experiment. We take time to hypothesize, experiment, and record our observations. Such a fun way to end the day!!!
I'm sure you know that there are a MILLION and one different things we could incorporate on ice cream day. Too much to even write about. However, I do want to give you some additional ideas that you may....or may not...have seen already.
Grab your chalk and get ready for some hopscotch fun. I would definitely incorporate this somehow, but instead of hopscotching, I'd use this as a skill review.
For math, I'd write various sums/differences in each box (as pictured) and then I'd give my kids a red pom pom (like a cherry :) to toss onto the numbers. Then I'd have them toss the cherry, read the sum/difference, and write or orally tell me an equation to match.
For literacy, I'd write different blends/digraphs or even vowel teams in eachbox. GIve them that red pom pom again and have them toss and give me words to match the spelling pattern. If you don't have a sidewalk available, just draw your popsicle on some butcher paper, laminate, and then use in the classrooom year after year :) This would be great for a whole group or small group activity!!!
How fun is this science experiment?! Erupting ice cream cones!!! Can you imagine the fun?!?! (and the mess?!?! Hahahaha)
You REALLY need to visit this post!! She has SO many more ideas for a "frozen treat day" that you could easily adapt to fit the needs of your kids!!! I could see some of these activities being modified for all ages!!!
We've also made Ice Cream in a Bag in the past. My kids LOVE this!!!! It gets a little messy and if you're not paying attention, you might even pour lots of salt into the ice cream mixture (not that I'm speaking from experience or anything ;) At the end of the day, I send home the recipe with my kids and encourage them to make it at home, too (much to their parent's dismay...hahaha)
Here are some fun math ideas from Amy at Step Into 2nd Grade...
And I love the idea of having your kids color their own summer reading bookmarks at the end of the day (or even first thing in the morning), and then letting them take them home to encourage summer reading. I would have my kids make theirs and then slide it into their portfolios I send home on the last day of school along with a suggested summer reading list....this way they don't lose the bookmark between now and the last day of school.
As you can see, there are so many ideas to incorporate into an Ice Cream Day that you could easily spread out the activiteis over several different days :) And as you can see, this is definitely not a "play day" or full of "fluff'". There's still lots of learning going on. I love that days like this not only excite the kids, but they fire me up, too!!! And when I'm more excited about what I'm teaching, the kids tend to soak in the information that much more...and they're so much more engaged!! That's sort of key these last few weeks of school...keeping them engaged in their learning!!!
If you already own my I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream Literacy/Math/Science packet, please go back and download it again. I've added a couple more printables/activities and updated all the graphics and fonts to be more current. That was one of my first additions to the shop and ohmiword....it was outdated and SCARY!!!!! Here's what it looks like now....
Stay tuned for more Theme Day ideas!!!!
Anything in particular you'd like to see next?? Here's what I have on tap:
Lemonade Day, Bubble Day, Watermelon Day, Pirate Day, S'More Day....and MORE!!!
Also...would you like me to continue to add the visual plans?? Does that help??
HAPPY (almost) FRIDAY!!!!