Winter break is a great time to rejuvenate and reflect. This year, I had an extra long break because of shifting to B track in a year-round school. I have to admit that I spent a little too much time in my PJs and my favorite blanket curled up reading. It was awesome! Part of my time was spent planning for the next chunk of time with my kids at school.
While most people will be groaning and dreading going back to school in a couple of days, I'm completely excited! The anticipation is almost more than I can stand! I haven't seen my kiddos for over a month and I miss them!
Tuesday morning, I'm going to take my kids on a field trip to ancient Greece. Earlier, I sent out invitations to them to come prepared to wear their chiton/toga for the next couple of weeks. I'm sure that they're wondering, "What is Ms. King doing now?" I only had a little over an hour to decorate the hallway and classroom. I don't have everything set up yet, but I'll get there! (A disadvantage of year-round schools is moving classrooms. It's a lot of work!) Things don't look exactly how I'd envisioned them, but it'll be enough for the kids to get the idea.
Here's my plan:
There will temporarily be an empty room next to mine. I'm going to take my kids in there for attendance, lunch count, morning announcements, etc. When everyone is dressed and ready, we'll go next door into our classroom where we'll be on Mount Olympus complete with fog and music in the background. Kids are divided up into city-states. They will work with their polis to complete the QR hunt to build background knowledge of ancient Greece.
When I taught sixth grade, the study of ancient Greece was a five-week simulation. But since I teach fifth grade, I only want the kids to have a little bit of background knowledge. I'm tying ancient Greece in with our study of government, Latin-Greek roots, speaking/debate, Olympics, and science. Of course, reading and writing skills are embedded into all of our learning.
After the QR hunt, we'll play a game to test their newfound knowledge. Our next activity is the one I'm most looking forward to. While sitting on the floor in a circle, eating olives and fish crackers, we'll discuss their off-track activities and the books that they read. It's downtime to some, but I see it as an opportunity to build relationships and get to know my students a little bit better. The day will continue with hands-on activities centered around our science unit of magnetism and electricity. I hope it'll be a fun day. I hope to create a MOMENT to be remembered.
I haven't done this before in fifth grade. I don't know exactly how things will go, but that's the fun part. We'll see!