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Showing posts with label drama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drama. Show all posts

How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School?

What do we really need to do those last few weeks of school?

How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!

Hopefully, by this point in the year, you are done with testing, and pretty much finished with all the "have tos."  Even if you're not quite done teaching everything, I hope you have some time for some end of the year fun!
 

Here are some things you can put into your plans for the last few weeks of school:

 
1. Deepen Learned Skills
 
How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!
 
Brain research tells us that we need to review skills in order to maintain them and to deepen them. That means fun activities and games to practice those important skills you've built all year! 
 
This bundle has several fun options for reviewing and deepening skills!
How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!
 
2. Prepare for summer habits

How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!
 
We want our students to continue some important habits they've developed through the school year. This is a great time to introduce some fun games!
 
Here are the links to a few posts that tell about classroom games that can be played at home:
 

 
How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!

Plus, here's one to encourage them to enjoy reading! (This is one you can work on all year!)

How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!


3. Make the Last Days Special

 

It's time for using those skills they've worked on all year for some fun projects!

It's a perfect time of year for putting on a play or performance of some sort. These activities build important reading skills as well as building community and team work.  Here's a post with more information on Dramatics in the Classroom


I absolutely LOVE Boom Learning Digital Task Cards! These are easy to assign, and the students love them! Check out this bundle: Science and Social Studies Vocabulary Building Bundle
 

These are a great way to develop vocabulary for Science and Social Studies. They use brain researched strategies such as Retrieval Practice, which is explained here:

How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!

4. Share Memories


How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!

This is a great time of year to sit back and enjoy the special memories the group has made this year. 
 
It's easy to make a memory book, or a slide show with photos from the year. I've always had the children write down their favorite memories from the year a few weeks before the end of the school year. This gives me time to type things up into a nice book. I've also found parents are quite helpful in donating photos from school events.

These are special memories for them (and you) to cherish forever. I still have memory books from many years past, and I love remembering my former students!
 
5. Enjoy them
How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!
My favorite thing to do at the end of the school year is to take the time to enjoy these special children. I know, it's not easy! Between end of year testing, packing up the classroom, and report cards, there's little time left. But these kids are totally worth it, aren't they?  Here's a blog post that suggests some fun ways to enjoy the students. Take time to Enjoy them!
 

Enjoy these last few weeks with your students!

How Can I Prepare for the Last Weeks of School? This post has 5 suggestions for making those last few weeks special!



 

Dramatics in the Classroom

Children learn in many ways. 
I'm particularly partial to the arts. 
Research on the brain proves that the arts make strong connections with the memory. 
Today's post is about one of my favorite arts, dramatics!


There are many ways to use dramatics in the classroom, and many reasons to do it!  Here are some of the "whys!"


Yes, it's true. It's a great place for those shy kids! It sounds odd, but seriously, when you give a shy kid a character to play, they really come out of their shell! Did you ever hear that many movie stars are actually introverts? It all makes sense!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Reading scripts gives the children practice with reading skills. And, of course, children need to learn to speak clearly. Dramatics give them plenty of opportunities to practice speaking in front of others!

Actors depend upon each other when performing. If someone misses a line, that affects all the others. Therefore, if all team members live up to their responsibilities, they will all be successful.

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!


When pretending to be a character, children need to put themselves in the shoes of the character, and think about how that character feels. They learn empathy!

 Actors must pay attention to the script and focus on what is happening in the performance.  


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

In the context of a performance, problems always arise. Children easily solve these while working together toward that common goal: a successful performance! 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Both verbal and nonverbal communication are important when putting on a play! Children learn to show their feelings with and without words. 

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

When children put on a skit or a play, or act out a scene, they work hard together toward a common goal. That's the kind of thing that builds confidence and self-esteem! When it's over, they beam with pride!


Now that we understand why dramatics are beneficial to children in the classroom, here are some ways to fit dramatics into your busy day!

Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Not only is it fun to act out stories of the past, but as the children act out different parts, their movements settle into their memories. I often had my students act out the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, including saying goodbye to loved ones, the constant rocking, eating the ship's food, sea sickness, (they loved that part) seeing a newborn baby on the ship, and sighting land. As I described each detail, they went through the motions, and were totally engaged in the trip! The best part? They remember it because they were physically involved as well as emotionally involved.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Similar to the above, but this one doesn't have to be from factual information. It works particularly well with group read alouds, or if a group is all reading the same book.  It might sound something like this, "Show what Wilber's face looks like when Charlotte wove her web." Or maybe, "Show Max's face when he realizes his dinner is still warm."
Having to recreate these moments helps them build empathy and develop feelings for the characters in their stories.


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

I remember having to memorize a list of vocabulary words every week. Do I remember those words now? Not many of them! Acting out the words makes them real. Plus, it works across the curriculum! Yes, even math!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!
Encourage writing stories that have characters having conversations! Kids are so creative, they might enjoy a writing prompt that encourages unusual "personalities" having a discussion, for example, "What would your pencil say to your paper?" or "What would your desk say to your chair?"  This really gets them thinking about conversations and personalities.


Reader's Theater is a favorite of the students as well as the teachers! Why? The kiddos like it because it's fun! The teachers like it because it incorporates so many important skills: reading, speaking, thinking, building empathy for others, and working together, to name a few! 

Here are a few Reader's Theater resources for you to explore:


Here's a series of character Reader's Theater where the children make up the ending:

Here's one more fun resource that the children love, especially when they can make up a voice for each character:

I hope you enjoy using dramatics in the classroom as much as I do!


Dramatics in the Classroom: There are many reasons to use dramatics in the classroom, and many ways to use it. This blog post explains HOW and WHY to use dramatics in the classroom!

Paper Bag Dramatics: A Fun Activity for Team Building and Developing Community

Here's a fun activity that's easy to put together, gives the children a chance to be creative, and gives them a chance to work together. It's called Paper Bag Dramatics.

Paper Bag Dramatics: A fun activity for Team Building and Developing Community. Here's an idea that can be used just about anywhere at any time. It encourages groups to solve problems, think creatively, and work as a team.

You'll need enough paper bags for as many groups you'll have. They can work in pairs or small groups, depending on your group.

In each paper bag, you'll put a few items.These can be any items you happen to have hanging around.You can make all the bags identical, or totally different, that's up to you!

You'll need 3 or 4 items per bag.

Here are some ideas:

Paper Bag Dramatics: A fun activity for Team Building and Developing Community. Here's an idea that can be used just about anywhere at any time. It encourages groups to solve problems, think creatively, and work as a team.

If you want, you can have all the items in the bag follow a theme, possibly including areas of the curriculum!

This is the task: Create a skit that includes all the items in the bag. The group will need to write, practice, and perform the play for their classmates.


Some ideas about the process:


1. The time allowed really depends on your group. It's more likely that older groups will require more time than younger groups.

2. Make sure each group plans a beginning, middle, and especially an ending for their skit.

3. Make some ground rules before you begin: one person speaking at a time, someone to write down ideas, what to do if there is a disagreement, and, of course, using good manners.

4. Resist the urge to "help". This challenge is all about problem solving, so let them solve problems as much as they can. I can't help but remember the comments of one of my former students concerning problems in a group project: "We argued at first, then we started listening to each other, and we worked it out." It was one of those moments you really wish an administrator were there!

5. Don't forget to allow time for bows and lots of applause!

6. After all performances, debrief by having the children discuss questions such as: What did your group do well? What was tough for your group? What do you wish you had done differently? What do you want to remember next time you work with a group?

Enjoy your Paper Bag Dramatics!


If you need more ideas for team building, see here: 60 Team Building Games and Activities 
 
Looking for something that can be used for socially distant or remote learning? 20 Socially Distant Team Building Games

Paper Bag Dramatics: A fun activity for Team Building and Developing Community. Here's an idea that can be used just about anywhere at any time. It encourages groups to solve problems, think creatively, and work as a team.






How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness?

There is a whole lot of hate in our world. 

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths

It's very concerning when we work with little ones and we want them to be successful. 

Although I'm not going to delve into politics, I'm sure you're aware that political changes here in the USA are pretty uncomfortable for many right now, and people are angry. Yes, BOTH sides of the political system are angry, and it's not helping our children. 

How can we help them learn about kindness? 

Well, here are three ideas!

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths
There are tons of great books with the theme of kindness! I've linked some of my favorites below.

                            

I have a special softness for Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch and The Invisible Boy

Be sure to read the books and let the children have plenty of conversations. 

Bring up the topic of kindness and let the children talk about how the characters showed kindness in the stories. 

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths

We know as educators that children are more likely to do what they see than what they're told to do. That means we need to let them see us showing respect and kindness to them, and the people they see us interact with. Let them see you performing little acts of kindness for children as well as adults!

Let them see you writing fun little notes for them and their classmates.

Let them see you leave a treat for the teacher next door.

Let them see you bring flowers to the nurse for Nurse's Day.

Let them see you go out of your way to tidy up to make things easier for the custodians.

Bring the whole class to the Library to sing Happy Birthday on the librarian's birthday.

I'm sure you can think of more examples of showing kindness, and I'm sure your students can think of plenty more!

How Can We Help Them Learn Kindness? This post shares three different strategies for helping children learn to be kind to one another. It includes a Readers Theater freebie and links to several other freebies. #kindnessnation, #weholdthesetruths

When problems occur in the classroom, which we know happen often, be sure to address the group with the question, "How can we solve this problem with kindness?"

To help you out, I've got a Reader's Theater freebie that does exactly that! It's a little play for 4 people with a problem children can relate to. Here's the twist: after a discussion on how to solve the problem with kindness, the performers get to make up the ending!




One last thought: my singing group sang this song years ago, and it helps me deal with many difficult situations. Although this isn't my singing group, the song is just as beautiful.
 

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