May 2015 - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey

If you have never played Minute To Win It in the classroom, you have been missing out!! We played these games almost the entire last day of school! It's a super cheap and fun way to "play" with your kids. *I did NOT create any of these games- these are games that you can easily find by doing a search on the internet!*

GAMES WITH CUPS:
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Moving On Up is a good starter game- most of mine could complete it! You will need two colors of solo cups. I got mine on sale at Kroger! They come in bags of 50, so with this game, you can have multiple players competing at once. Change out one cup in each stack for the opposite color. In one minute, students should try to move the bottom (different colored cup) to the top by taking the top cup of the stack and moving it to the bottom. They can only use their hands (no leaning the cups against their body).

Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Stack Attack is a bit trickier! Students not only have to build a tower with the cups, but then unstack them and put them back into one stack! Almost all of them got their stack built in one minute, but only a couple could unstack them without them falling all over the place! They still loved this one though!
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Finally, students had to knock cups off of their desk using only the air they blew into a balloon in the game, This Blows. Most could do this with no problem! They love the noises it makes too, of course. ;o) Once they finished this game, I had them blow up the balloon and we used them for a couple of other games...
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
In Point Up, they all had to keep their balloon in the air for one minute only using one pointer finger. After this game, we split into two teams and had a "relay race" to pop all of our balloons (one at a time) in one minute. The balloons were on one side of the room and the chair they popped the balloon in was on the other side of the room. I was worried some wouldn't want to pop it, but they all loved it!

GAMES WITH FOOD:
They will be hungry after all that, right? Give them a little snack!
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Face the Cookie is as fun to watch as it is to play! Students put a cookie on their eye (close it!) then wiggle their face muscles to bring it down to their mouth. It's so funny! They aren't supposed to use their hands, but I let them hold their hand on their face in case it fell so they could start over. (They just weren't allowed to touch the cookie!)
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Students use a spoon in their mouth to scoop M&Ms from one bowl to the next. They were all able to complete this in one minute! If students don't touch the candy, you can reuse it for the next game!
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Suck It Up uses M&Ms, but most don't want to eat them when they are done because they tended to drool down the straw. Ha!! Students sucked through the straw to "grab" an M&M, then carried it to the bowl. I gave them 25, and almost all of them were able to finish in one minute! I gave them milkshake straws because they have a bigger hole, but the game works with regular straws, too.
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
Noodling Around was hysterical! Using only a spaghetti noodle between their lips, students had to get as many penne pastas on their noodle as they could in one minute. Some were GREAT at it, and ran out of room on their noodle before time was up! Some dropped the penne pasta they had loaded on their spaghetti as they tried to get another. This one is easy to have multiple competing at once!

The last game we played was super easy and just for fun.
Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey
I put a dab of Vaseline on the end of each kid's nose, then they took a "Nose Dive" and got the cotton balls from their bowl! It was a fun way to end the games because they were all successful (and laughed the whole time)!

To play all of the games we played, you need:
Shopping List for Minute To Win It With Ideas by Jivey

If you are like me, you have many of these items lying around your classroom or house already! Enjoy these fun games this year, or in years to come!

And P.S.- there are SOOO many more games out there- check out some more!

You might recall from my previous post that I do an ABC Countdown at the end of the year. Even if you don't do a countdown, you can easily incorporate many of these "days" into your end of the year! One of the days my kids loved was Jigsaw Puzzle Day. We put puzzles together and made our own puzzles, too!

I have a cabinet full of puzzles I've acquired from places like the Dollar Tree that my kids like to put together sometimes when we have indoor recess. It's amazing how many of them don't even have puzzles at home! We work on puzzles throughout the day on Jigsaw Puzzle Day.
Jigsaw Puzzle Day withIdeas by JIvey

We also make two fun displays. Both are freebies on TPT!

First, my kids thought of their FAVORITE thing we did this year in 4th grade. They decorated a puzzle piece and we made a quick door display! (As you can imagine, I got a lot of "winter party" pieces, but there is some content in there, too!)
Favorite door display with Ideas by Jivey
Here's a close up:
Favorite door display with Ideas by Jivey
You can find this puzzle piece to download for free here!

We also made puzzles all about 4th grade. This was during Teacher Appreciation Week, so you'll also see all of my gorgeous flowers they got me! :o) The finished puzzles are something fun and colorful for the wall- and my kids loved looking at everyone else's when there was some free time.
Puzzle days with Ideas by Jivey
Puzzle days with Ideas by JiveyPuzzle days with Ideas by Jivey
You can download this freebie here!

Don't teach 4th? Here is a puzzle template freebie!
Puzzle template freebie with Ideas by Jivey
If you want to make a smaller puzzle, Krista has some free puzzle piece clip art you can download!
Free puzzle piece clip art by Krista with Ideas by Jivey
I hope this will be a fun way for your kiddos to reflect back on the year! I know mine sure enjoyed it! :o)

This time of the year, we need some serious bright ideas to finish out the year, don't we?
I'm here to bring you an idea that my kids absolutely loved!! And the best part- it took them about two hours to do! ;-)

If your social studies curriculum is anything like mine, there is a ton that can be shown on a map! Locations, events, landforms, tribes... the list goes on and on. I printed a map of the Unites States and blew it up on our poster maker at school. I split my class into groups and gave each group a poster map, then I told them we were having a contest to see who could put the most of what we learned this year on a map. (Contests always make kids work harder, don't they?)
Social studies bright idea with Ideas by Jivey
I allowed students to use their resources to help them. My kids were so excited and worked so hard to complete their maps!
Social studies bright idea with Ideas by Jivey

Social studies bright idea with Ideas by Jivey


Of course, I could not choose a winner because they all worked so hard and did such a great job, so I rewarded them all. :o)

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram, or my TPT Store for more great ideas.

For more bright ideas from other bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!



We have had so much fun in Science the last few weeks! My kiddos have loved learning about ecosystems and food webs. I wanted to give my kids a chance to put together food webs before creating their own, so I made this Interactive Ecosystems Unit:
Interactive ecosystems with Ideas by Jivey
Since several of my students don't have a lot of background information about what animals eat (other than the ones that live in our ecosystem), I gave them the passages from the unit that give information about all of the ecosystems and the animals that live in them. I allowed my students to work on these in partner sets and groups, which really made them use the evidence from the passages to prove their thinking with each other. Their conversations were really awesome!
Interactive ecosystems with Ideas by Jivey
The last activity in the unit allows them to figure out how to place the organisms so that they can create a food web. 

Interactive ecosystems with Ideas by Jivey
Instead of printing the freshwater organisms page full size and giving them the large-sized construction paper, I printed two sets on one page and didn't give them the arrows. It fit perfectly on a sheet of copy paper, and the students drew in their own arrows instead of trying to make them fit in between the animals. 
Interactive ecosystems with Ideas by Jivey
To wrap up our unit, I had the students create their own food webs!
Interactive ecosystems with Ideas by Jivey
Disecting owl pellets with Ideas by Jivey


And then, of course, we had to get our hands a little dirty! We dissected owl pellets!
My kids love doing this every year, and even the ones who act like they think it's so gross and don't want to touch it end up being the most excited! :o)


I am so lucky to have met so many friends through blogging and TPT. There are several of us that have become very close, and we call each other our BBBs-best blogging buddies! It was super hard to choose just one that I wanted to highlight for being a support system and an inspiration to me, because they are all so wonderful!! But since I was lucky enough to just recently visit Boston on a short trip and got to meet Theresa from Pinkadots Elementary, I chose to pay it forward to her!

She is one of the most positive, energetic, creative people I know! I love to see what is going on in her classroom, and get her feedback on how things are going in mine. She is a great listener and just an all around fabulous BBB! She also got me hooked on Cheryl's cookies. If you have never heard of this company, oh my gosh. RUN. They are fabulous!
Inspired by Theresa from Pinkadots Elementary with Ideas by Jivey
She will be receiving a surprise in the mail very soon this week from Cheryl's! :o)

If you want to celebrate a teacher that has impacted you, head over to Layla's blog and link up! We'd love to see you pay it forward, too! :o)


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! As a teacher, I know how under-appreciated we often are... so I was SO excited to be able to be a part of this fabulous link up to help spread the love! Over fifty teachers are sharing with you "what works" in their classroom in hopes we can make your life easier! I am sharing how I use mentor texts and mentor sentences to save precious time in my classroom, as well as help my students become awesome authors! 
If you are like most teachers, you LOVE to read to your class! There are so many great lessons you can do with so many fabulous books- but if you read a book before every lesson, you wouldn't have time for half of what you'd need to get done, right? Mentor texts are books that can be used for several lessons, and often in several subjects. You read it one time, then refer back to parts, only re-reading what you need to for your lesson that day. Luckily, these books are usually your favorite books that you already read! I like to find books that have a theme or topic that I'm teaching in science, social studies, and even math and then turn on my "language arts brain" to see how I could integrate it into other areas of my day. Take the book, Henry's Freedom Box, for example!
What works with Ideas by Jivey
This book is wonderful if you are studying about the Underground Railroad, so I read it during social studies time... but it is also fabulous for several reading skills like vocabulary, interpreting meaning, theme, and using evidence! I love to use Head Over Heels For Teaching's awesome unit for this book during my Reading Workshop!
What works with Ideas by Jivey
This way, I am covering some social studies content WHILE we are practicing our reading skills!

But wait... I'm not done with this book yet! Check out the next secret...
Students need to SEE good writing to become good writers. It only makes sense, right? So why do so many programs only show them sentences filled with mistakes?? For the last six years, I have been using mentor sentences in my classroom, and I've never looked back at DOL and DGP! With mentor sentences, students are seeing an awesome sentence from the mentor text you are also using in your other subjects. Over the course of the week, they really dig into this ONE sentence. They figure out what makes it awesome, and they also see how the parts of speech (grammar) work together to make it such a great sentence. They revise the sentence to try to make it better than it already is. (Yes, even a published sentence could be better! This helps them see that they are NEVER done when they are writing their own stories...) Then, they imitate the sentence - they keep the structure the same. This DOES carry over into their own writing! My students become such brilliant authors every year, and they learn to LOVE writing! 

What works with Ideas by Jivey
If you'd like to read even more about mentor sentences in upper elementary grades, you can read here!
Oh, but wait! First, second, and even third grade teachers, I can't leave you out! Mentor sentences work in ALL grades! You can do all of those same skills the upper grades teachers are doing to help your students learn how to write good complete sentences and spice up their writing, too!
What works with Ideas by Jivey
Marissa from Inspired Owl's Corner uses mentor sentences in her class and agrees that the more the students are exposed to good sentences, the more will "stick" with them and transfer to their own writing! Check out these awesome imitations!
What works with Ideas by Jivey
If you'd like to read more about how to use mentor sentences in lower grades, click here to read!

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers! Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.


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