Keeping them ENGAGED! The last week of school...

Do you struggle with what to do the last week of school?  I always do!  It's usually the time you want to start putting things away or completely packing up so you don't have to stay for WEEKS after school is out.  Once stuff starts coming down they get straight up crazy.  So this year I was determined to fight those last week of school blues and try some fun stuff to keep them engaged and most of all HAPPY!

First off....I call it Oobleck but I know it's not.  It's more like slime.  They loved watching it change from a liquid to this slime and then we wrote how to stories on how to make the stuff.  It was a complete afternoon of learning with no craziness!  (ok....just a tiny bit of craziness)
Here is how we made "it": 
  • 2 cups of water (warm/hot)
  • 1 cup of glue
  • 2 tsp of Borax
  • 1 cup of water (warm/hot)
Mix the 2 cups of water with the glue and stir to get it all mixed in.  (great activity for busy hands!)  In a separate container mix the Borax in one cup of water.   Dissolve the Borax completely. 

**I did this next part under the doc cam so they could all get a good view

Mix the 2 mixtures together slowly stirring the whole time.  It will start to turn into goo right before your eyes!

I grabbed a little handful out for each of them and put it in their hands.  They played with it for awhile and then we sent it home in a ziplock bag with their own How To story on how to make it.  It was a fun afternoon!

Our next project was today.  My classroom is (halfway) packed up and my room is looking pretty bare.  I knew it was going to be a long day so I planned a little painting for the morning.  We read A Color of His Own by Leo Leonni and then made these amazing little chameleons.  
This lesson plan is from Deep Space Sparkle.  I love all of her stuff, I have stalked her for years!  

This was one full hour of blissfully engaged first grade students listening to instructions, using fun materials, and more importantly being risk takers.  There was not one "I can't do this" or "This is too hard" and every single one turned out beautifully.  It was the icing on the cake to our year.  

So there you go!  2 great ideas to keep your kiddos engaged the last week of school.  Tomorrow is my last day!  Woohoo!  However it's my last day as a first grade teacher for a little while anyway and starts my new adventure as a Kindergarten teacher.  I have LOTS of feelings about this....but that's another post all together!

Happy happy end of the year to you all!