Friday Flashback: I'm Alive...Barely!

Oh.My.Word.  It has been two weeks since I last blogged, friends!  Is anyone else feeling the end-of-the-year-crunch, too?  I'm sure you are!  In fact, I just saw a couple of my blogging buddies' posts say that they haven't posted in nearly two weeks either.  Whew!  So glad I'm not the only one!

Here's a little look at what's been happening in our class lately....

We did host our Poetry Picnic celebration!  It was a fun way to end our poetry unit.  Parents came...students sang poems, read poems, and shared projects that we completed during the unit.  We set the tables...
We served our "Simile Sandwiches" with our "Pyramid Napkin" poems and our Acrostic Nameplates helped parents find their child's seat.
I love all of our learning celebrations.  Students get SO excited to actually share their work with families and be the "center of attention!"
This week was particularly busy because we had a field trip.  We visited our local science center for a couple of programs.
We reviewed matter with experiments with dry ice.
Then we explored lego robotics as students had to follow instructions/diagrams to build a chomping alligator.  They loved making it eat the paper fish and adding sound effects to it!

As if that wasn't exciting enough, we also had Field Day this week!  Have I told you how much I love Field Day? *insert sarcasm*  It *may* be my least favorite day of the year.  At least I didn't get a sub this year. HA!  I've never liked Field Day (even as a child), but I despise it now that the whole competition component has been taken out and it's just a glorified recess.  BUT, the kids do love recess, so they had fun!

We made monster visors to help keep us cool a bit.  It has finally warmed up here and was a toasty 90 degrees for our field day.  Trust me, I have the sunburn to prove it! (I love this weather!!!)
These sweet girls are taking a break from the action and keeping cool with freeze pops!  Such cutie-pies!
At least there was still one or two stations that required teamwork instead of just free-for-all play!

Speaking of keeping cool, with these great temperatures, we've had to pull this back out...
I think I posted about this last summer, but thought I would mention it again since it would make for a great end-of-the-year team gift.  Just pick up the spray bottles at Dollar Tree, tie a ribbon around them, and paint or Cameo a monogram on it!  Super cheap and easy gift!  We take these to recess with us and when students get overheated, they come up and ask for a mist.  They LOVE it...sometimes the teachers need one, too! :)

I've also been keeping busy trying to organize all of that end-of-the-year stuff - like my "student bucket" end-of-the-year gifts.

I decided to put away the paint pens and break out the Cameo this year to add students' names and some designs to the buckets.  I picked these buckets up last year (always thinking ahead) in the Target Dollar Bins.

This is what I include in my buckets....

1) A list of "100 Things to Do Instead of Watching TV or Playing Video Games" - We read Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Effect by Patricia Polacco....a book about a town of people who love their TV sets so much they watch them ALL the time and even have pictures of them on their mantles!....then students work in groups to compile lists of 25 things they would like to do that do not include TVs.  I compile the lists into 100 things and include them in the buckets.  If students complete and highlight at least 25 activities from the list and return it to me at the beginning of next school year, I'll give them a little reward!

2) An envelope with my name/address so students can write a letter to me over the summer.  They love this and I love that they are writing!  In fact, I just got a letter a couple of weeks ago from a past student (now a 5th grader at a different school) who still had my address - so sweet!!

3) A book - purchased from Scholastic (hopefully with bonus points) - still waiting on these to arrive!

4) A deck of cards and a little booklet of all the math games we've learned to play with them this year to keep up with that fact fluency!

5) Freeze Pops with a tag that says "Stay Cool, Kid"

6) An individualized Candy Award - something that tells them how special they are for their unique qualities!

7) An end-of-the-year DVD that is filled with pictures from the year set to music in a video format (still to come) - this will fill my entire day tomorrow, I'm sure!

What do you give your students at the end of the year?  I'm always looking for fresh ideas!


  1. I love your end of the year bucket idea! It can get expensive, but I like seeing the cheaper things you were able to find and include! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Whew! You have been busy!! We missed your Friday link up last week...glad it is back today! Your poetry picnic looked adorable! We're busy making EOY gifts that have educational purpose...a few math games, writing idea, a bookmark with reading ideas. Your bucket looks great! Hope you have a nice weekend!

    :) Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  3. I love the Triple Creek Book! Making a list of reading alternatives is fantastic!

    Chickadee Jubilee

  4. Sorry to hear your Field Day is not so much fun. We have one in the fall and one in the spring. Fall is 100% teamwork activities/class games. Spring is 50/50. Each station is 15 minutes and we are out there an hour and a half. Love both of them! (PE teachers teach them all the games in class, so classroom teachers don't have to do much but get them from station to station.)

  5. I *LOVE* your idea of making a list of non-TV activities. GENIUS! I am so *stealing* that! :)

    We have Field Day coming up - we call it Olympic Day - and we do it a little bit differently. Instead of each class being pitted against another, the whole school is divided into 4 teams. The whole day is team competitions and the kids LOVE it! I am going to need to invest in a water spritzer - for me...and the kids too, I suppose :)

    Thanks for hosting - glad you're back after a couple of hectic weeks!

    Joy in the Journey

  6. Girl, you go ALL out with end of the year gifts! Whew, more power to ya! Love the idea of the "mist"!

    For the Love of First Grade

  7. I've been MIA as well. I think that I pinned three things just from this post - such great ideas!!

    Fifth in the Middle

  8. I LOVE, LOVE your bucket of end of year gifts!! The "100 Things to Do" and letter writing are amazing ideas! I have to do that!! I also make an end of the year DVD with pictures to music. We always watch it the last day and it makes me cry every time:) So happy to see you back!!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  9. I love a poetry picnic and yours looks fabulous! I love the food on the plates. Cute, cute! Thanks for hosting the linky. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  10. Oh my goodness! What fun your class is!! I love your picnic fun and your adorable buckets! This is my first time linking up :) Thanks for hosting!

    Corinna (✿◠‿◠)
    Surfin' Through Second

  11. I love your ideas of the buckets for the end of the year! I usually give my kiddos bubbles as a part of their end of the year gift. Since we have at least an hour on the last day, we go outside to blow bubbles and the kids love it! Our team is also giving the kiddos a journal to write over the summer, dice, cards and a booklet of math games to play. Thanks for hosting this linky party! It's our first time linking up!

    Table Talk with C & C

  12. I just love your poetry picnic and your buckets are adorable! Your kiddos are so lucky to have you to spoil them!

  13. Your end of the year bucket idea is fantastic! I am constantly inspired by your and what you do with and do for your kiddos. They are blessed to have you for a teacher. I just have one question; do you answer the letters the kids send you?

    1. Kathy,
      I do take the time to write the kids back if they send me a letter. Sometimes it's just a quick postcard, but I do respond. I know they look forward to it! ;)

  14. Hi Amanda, I actually found your blog through Pinterest. Your poetry picnic was pinned. Your poetry pack looks fantastic, it's now on my wishlist to remind myself to go back & purchase it. I absolutely LOVE the buckets that you give your students at the end of the year. I have to make a note of it for future ideas. So excited to be your newest follower.


  15. LOVE your poetry stinkin' cute!!! I make buckets every year, too, but I get parents to donate the I just have to find time to put it all together :)

    Thanks for sharing your awesome-ness!

    First Grade Fairytales

  16. Is there anyway you could share the list of 100 Things?

    1. I have just posted the entire 86 page packet for Summer Buckets and the list is included. It's FREE for one week, so be sure to go and grab it -


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