I'm linking up with Hanging Around in Primary to share my best Back to School Tip!
I'm all about those Emergency Activities.
You know, the activities for when a kid pukes right before the Whole Group lesson and you have to figure out what to do with the 25 other kids staring about you while you deal with this incident. The activities for when my goodness I don't feel well, but I don't want to make sub plans so how on Earth can I get through the next 15 minutes before Specials? Or, similarly, the activities for when WHOOPS my lesson went faster than I anticipated and now we have an awkward 15 minutes to spare before Specials. Or, the activities for when that one student finishes early and you need something meaningful for them while the rest of the class finishes up.
Yes, often times you can just have the kids pull out a book.
But Heaven forbid they're a little too wiggly for that today. Or needing a social outlet. Or just needing to move because they're so excited for that assembly/full moon/holiday/etc.
This is where Emergency Activities come in.
And it's my BTS Tip because my kiddos learn how to do the three activities independently and accurately within that first week of school.
#1 Playdoh Mats
Surprisingly popular with fifth graders! This was probably the top pick for early finishers. We talked about how we commit to one tube of Playdoh and if we don't follow this rule (as in, if we MIX Plahdoh colors), we lose our Playdoh privileges for the year. GASP!
This was quite motivating for them to do it right.
Playdoh mats are my hands-on, kinetic, and even therapeutic way for the kids to review vocabulary.
The pictures show the Playdoh Mats from my Greek and Latin Roots pack.
I switch out the mats to also include my Playdoh Mats for Testing Vocabulary.
AKA my shameless plug to keep the kiddos continuously exposed to terms like "convey" during their down time.
I came upon a very large collection of alphabet stamps.
When I learned I was teaching 5th grade before my first year, I toyed with the idea of donating the stamps elsewhere.
But then I thought, why can't the big kids enjoy them, too?
Much like the Playdoh, the kids like the stamping because they have to look through my big bucket for just the right stamp and to them that's both kinetic and therapeutic.
While my girls may have preferred the Playdoh, my boys definitely loved the stamps.
Something about all that searching and all that ink.
The first week we talk about how we refer to our vocabulary cards, our Word Wall, or our vocabulary list in our Enrichment Folder to choose words to spell.
In other words, we totally practice the expectation that STAMPS ARE NOT FOR SPELLING OUR CRUSH'S NAME.
Shown above: my vocabulary cards. We use them on our Word Wall, as well as kept on a binder ring with the rest of stamping supplies. We also use our vocabulary lists, depending on what unit of study we're on.
And lastly, a favorite by all (although there are definitely audible groans when the kids are still getting comfortable with this writing), are the cursive sheets.
Be forewarned, this emergency activity is especially amazing to calm a class.
Like, after recess.
I purchased a Cursive Pack on TPT eons ago, and had the whole pack laminated. The laminated pages stay in a drawer so that kiddos can grab them to practice with a dry erase marker.
So yes, we practice the expectation that first week of cleaning off any sheet that we used.
Thank you for sticking around for my Emergency Activities.
The earlier they're taught, the earlier these gemstones can be used. :)
I just love big kid word work!
Speaking of Word Work, enjoy my freebie! Another great Emergency Activity to have around. :)