This is the time of year that I can NOT stay organized!  We have so many papers and deadlines flying at us that I am just holding on for dear life!  Anyone else feel this way? Must.Keep.Swimming!

Most years I do our big pirate unit, but with being so pregnant and packing up to take leave next year, I just couldn’t do it! I wanted to be more simple this year.  Behavior wise, I also think it was the best possible decision.  It makes me sad- the kids really love it and look forward to it!

Our last day of school is Thursday.  Both Wednesday AND Thursday are early release days so the children are, um, quite excited!  We were just told  on Friday that we needed a second DRA of the opposite genre for students to have passed that level (for example a fiction and a nonfiction).  This was news to many of us so we scrambled today to find independent activities for the students while we tested.  Add that to the fact my co-teacher was pulled out of the classroom and it was adding up to be quite a day!!

BUT we prepared and it actually was a pretty good day. I wish I had taken pictures, but I am waddling around so much hoping to see my feet at the end of the day and my camera was a WHOLE 5 feet away.  Sigh.  Tomorrow.  Pictures.  I promise!

We declared today Reading Camp In.  Yes, camping in- not out.  Out is very hot and I do not like hot lately!

Kids brought in pillows and beach towels.  They could either lie ON the towel or cover up with the towel.  Kids spread out throughout the classroom and got cozy with the towel, pillow and book box.  They LOVED this!

Then after the read a story in their book boxes they created a reading s’more.  This was a quick craft I made that reflected the standards for this nine week period.  Students had to identify a fiction book first, then record the character, setting, problem and solution.  Then they had to identify a major event or challenge and how the character responded.

Then while kids worked on their reading s’more and camped out I gave them s’mores.  Not exactly the traditional kind, but enough for the taste.  I gave each student a baggie filled with golden grahams (like graham crackers), chocolate chips ( for the chocolate bars) and mini marshmallows.  They were in heaven!
Then we finished off the day by watching a movie. I normally try not to do much of this too early, but I needed something else to fill the time while I tested.  We watched the movie Brother Bear.
 It was as close to camping out as I could find!!! I know, a bit of a stretch!  They loved it and most had not seen it since it was made in  2003.
And the BEST part?  I had built in reinforcers.  I told students if they were off task then the first consequence was that the pillow and towel will have to be put away and if it continued I was taking the snack away.  They were so good!  It made a NICE, easy day for me!

Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website ( and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.

2017-07-05T22:38:20+00:00 Categories: Uncategorized|

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