Monday, June 6, 2016

CAMP! -A Great End-of-Year Activity for your Classroom

WOOAH!  It's been a LONG time since I've written on this blog! I had shared my "First Grade Camp" pictures on my Class Facebook Page and a teacher friend of mine asked me about camp and I realized THIS IS SOMETHING EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AND DO!!!
Which is why I just shouted that...
So you may be wondering~ What is this camp???
In a nutshell, it's a fun way to end your school year and make fun memories with your students.
If you're interested, I will certainly write more blog posts but I'll just give you an overview.
First, you transform your room which is actually SO much fun for the kids!

I (along with help from my mom, husband and three of my four kids) transformed my class to a pretty cool camp site. It has trees made of paper and a few from my house along with some little Christmas trees a parent let me borrow for the week... YES ASK PARENTS FOR DONATIONS!).

I got some table cloths (very camp-like, don't ya think?) to cover my regular tables and put them in a "picnic" area which is also where they work on their camp journals (AKA work).

I got a little tent from Meijer for 20 bucks. It's a two-person tent but that translates to three first graders.  We draw sticks so everyone gets a turn to read in the tent.

And speaking of reading, they also get to read under the stars so I strung up some of my white Christmas lights for the night sky and have been showing THIS on my interactive white board for the sounds and awesome visual. The kids bring sleeping bags and pillows which they keep in my room for the week and we get them out twice a day to read (about 15 minutes each).

What you can't see (but can smell) is I have some evergreen plug-ins so we even have that outdoor smell going! I told you this was cools stuff!!

You also need a camp fire! I used real logs and some left over pavers my folks had and stuck some tissue paper and these little candles I found at the dollar store to look like fire.  The kids LOVE it.  We sit around on the fire on our "Sit Upons" that we make the first day and learn about science and other things. It's also where we do mail call and have class meetings.  
Mail Call is awesome! The families write to their child each day (and for those kiddos who may not get a letter, we get letters from upper ele kids and staff members) and care packages.  We end the day writing about what we did at camp that day.
Of course there are lots of other fun things we do like hikes, songs and a craft because this IS camp after all!

Us teachers also made Camp shirts for us. I made this one for our team last year with those iron-on things you can get at Michael's (or probably anywhere).

My kids also get to make camp shirts.  I was playing around tonight (which is what made me think I should write on here). This is what I'm going to have them do (this was my playing around with it).

So write on a shirt with sharpie markers (I have loads of colors at school but I am at home so only had black). They can color it anyway they'd like.

I then put some rubbing alcohol in a squirt bottle (actually, that's what I'll do at school- I just took the spray bottle top off and put it right on the top of this baby and it fit! whoo hooo!).

I squirted the shirt with the rubbing alcohol and it's pretty neat what happens...

The colors start to run! Of course this would look better with more colors and a better design but I think I just got myself another camp shirt to wear to school (my teaching friend who actually taught ME about camp also made a shirt for us so now I have three shirts- I should take a picture of her's but it's late and I have camp tomorrow! ;-)
Happy Camping!!