Since it was Snuggle Up and Read (part of our two-week long Read-a-Thon), I focused most of our day on reading. I knew that some of my kids thought they were too old and cool to wear their pajamas to school, but I still wanted to make this day fun with lots of reading. So what did I do? Bring a tent to school! My roommate had a tent and graciously allowed me to borrow it so that my students could read inside of it.
At the beginning of the day, I didn't have it set up. I wanted to be sure that we were clear on rules first. It was treated as a privilege that most of my boys didn't want to lose (this helped with the no tears part). Then, my class was sent to take their Bible verse quiz and a math quick check (might as well get the boring stuff over with) while I set the tent up with help from students who were called upon (everyone wanted to help or at least watch). Our tent was huge! Everyone who walked past our room commented on it. The rest of the day, we did our version of Daily 5 with Read to Self and Read to Someone in the tent, read with our little buddies (taking turns in the tent), had a small Valentine's celebration, and finished by fitting our whole class into the tent to read Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg (the author that we are studying for Read-a-thon).
|Read to Self|
|Read to Someone|
|Reading with Little Buddies|
Why did Friday go better than other days? (a little reflection)
-Having a tent to read in acted as positive reinforcement of behaviors. They didn't want to lose that privilege.
-It was still in routine, even though it was special. We still did our work; we just added a fun twist to it. This worked to keep my students focused while having fun and enjoying the day.
-I was excited, but cautious. My students responded the same way. They weren't overloaded with excitement to make them crazy, but they were still excited enough to have more fun than a typical day.
What makes some days more fun than others for you? How do you balance fun with work and behavior boundaries?