Virtual Beach Day Theme Plans

Are you as ready as I am to celebrate the end of the school year? I am starting our final countdown with a FREE BEACH DAY! Below is a full day of plans just for you! I am going to have the students dress up in some summer gear, wear hats, sunglasses and whatever else they would like to get into the beachy mode.

Beach Day Plan:

  • The day starts with a few STEM activities. I put 2 different ones in the plan so students could see what materials they already have at home. When they create their tower or castle, they can take a picture and add it to the slideshow.
  • Next, the students will write a bucket list of all that they want to accomplish over the summer. This is a great writing activity. It also can be extended into an art/design project by making a bucket list poster!
  • For math, I will be using my Escape to Summer activity to review 5th grade standards. The students will be working on the escape on Google Slides. For the answers, they will be typing them into a self-grading Google Form. Perfect, no prep, no grading activity for teachers!
  • For science, the students have a choice board of summer videos where they can learn about the science of summer. They will write 3 things they learned from the videos. You could have them in breakout rooms and assign a certain video to each group. Then, they can come together and share what they learned!
  • For reading, I am going to play some ocean waves and let them enjoy a good book “on the beach.”
  • Just for fun, I have included some summer coloring directed drawings.
  • In the Done Early? section, I will be putting the June, July and August Project Morning Menus for my class. These include some more summer fun activities! See all the PROJECT MORNING MENUS here.

That is what I have planned! If you wanted another morning meeting activity, you could include the End of Year Would You Rather Activity which makes a great bulletin board!

I would love to hear your feedback on the activity and let me know if you want any more theme days like this in the comments.

Math Talk Bulletin Board

Let’s talk about math! Creating a classroom environment where students talk and discuss their math thinking is so important to their deeper understanding of math! Using math talk prompts can foster those math discussions and help students learn how to explain their mathematical thinking! These are great discussion prompts as well as questions students can ask themselves when they are explaining their answer in writing.

I love to have the math talk prompts displayed in the classroom so students can refer to them as they are having discussions or during our math talk class discussion time. It helps eliminate students talking down to one another or looking at you with a blank stare!

How do you use math talks in your classroom? I would love to hear! Leave a comment and let me know!

Math Review Activity Mazes

Are you ready to have a little fun with a math review activity? Admittedly, there are times that math can feel a little dry and repetitive. I like to keep the students on their toes and have lots of different review activities! One of my favorite activities are these mazes. These mazes can be used as done early activities, enrichment, homework, and just a fun way to review the 5th grade math standards! Let me tell you how I use them in my class…

To Check out all the mazes:

I have the students complete these for every math topic! I give the maze to them at the start of the chapter and when they felt confident in that standard, they could complete it to show what they learned. Sometimes, we just don’t want to make copies, I get it! So, I made them digital so the students could cover the correct answer and still “color” the maze.

Ways that you could use the mazes:

  • Give students a packet of the mazes to complete throughout the year.
  • Use them as a math station for math workshop.
  • Send them home with the students as a nice and easy homework sheet.
  • Give the mazes to a pair of students so they can work collaboratively.
  • Send home for a summer review!

Why I love them:

  • The mazes give students the chance to practice their skills in a new way.
  • Students who enjoy coloring are immediately engaged in the math activity.
  • Students can color the way they like which adds a mindfulness element to math.
  • They are SO easy for teachers to use and there is NO PREP!

Try out a FREE MAZE here! If you like that, you will LOVE all 25+ mazes HERE.

To Check out all the mazes:

Brain Puzzles for Morning Meeting

Have you ever heard of rebus puzzles? Well, if you haven’t you are in for a treat. These brain puzzles are a great way to engage your students and it is a great activity for morning meeting. I have been using them in morning meeting and it is a GAME CHANGER!

Here are some ways that I have been using these puzzles in my class…

  • Whole Class – I project the puzzle on the board. The students try to take a guess what the answer to the puzzle is and write it down on the whiteboard. I usually give one or two minutes for the students to take their best guess.
  • Whole Class – I project one of the puzzles as part of my morning message. The students can think about the puzzle while they unpack and get ready for the day. I have the students share what they think the puzzle means during our morning meeting.
  • Small Group – I put 5 of the puzzles into their own slideshow. Then, I put the students in breakout rooms so they can work together to see how many of the puzzles they can solve.
  • Individually – I have also used this as an enrichment activity for those students that finish early or just are interested in the puzzles!

Try one! Can you guess what the answer is. Alright, I started you with an easy one! Don’t worry – answers are included!

ANSWER – Sitting on top of the world!

How would you use these puzzles in your classroom? I would love to hear!

Looking for more morning meeting activities? Check these out!

End of the Year Memory Book

Well, this has been a year to remember! Because it was such a unique school year, I want the students to have a memory book as a place where they can remember and write down different aspects of their year. I feel like this year is going to be a blur and almost seem surreal when things go back to “normal” and I want the students to hold on to the memories that they have and the difficulties that they have been through.

I am going to have the students fill in the pages on Google Slides because I am a virtual teacher. I love that the pages are black and white and the students can print them out after they fill them in in order to color the pictures! You could also have the students write in their answers if you are an in person teacher this year.

There are so many pages to choose from. You can do them all or just some of your favorite pages! So many options. This has me dreaming of all the end of the year activities!

End of the Year Bulletin Board

Are you ready for the end of the year? I know I am! This is one of my favorite end of the year activities and guess what… it is so easy! I display the end of the year bulletin board for the last month of school and then I cover it with plastic and it doubles as my back to school bulletin board! Let me tell you how I use it…

First, I print out the banner (which has all grade levels!) and the alphabet letters. That is pretty much all I have to do! Then, I let the students’ creativity run wild!

Each student gets a letter and they design and color their letter based on something unique about our classroom. I a lucky and my class is less than 26 students. With the leftover letters, I let the early finishers make another one! (If you have more than 26 students, I also included 1- 10 is for…)

My favorite part of this bulletin board is that it is so different every year and it shows off each class’ personality and creativity. Also, it saves me time during classroom setup in the summer – one less bulletin board to set up!

I included bunting banners, all the alphabet letters and numbers 1-10 for classes that have more than 26 students. You could make your own or CLICK HERE to grab yours now! Let me know what you think!

Math Bulletin Boards

Do you love to decorate your math classroom as much as I do? Who says a math classroom has to be academic and boring? Not me! Here are some of my favorite math bulletin boards. You can use these bulletin boards for reference, get to know you activities, and to share your passion for math!

Let’s talk about my favorite bulletin board first! Alright, this is the math reference bulletin board that I have up every year. Sometimes, I put it up slowly and introduce each piece as I need it in the curriculum and sometimes I just have it up right from the start. I put a table in front of this bulletin board and use it as a station in my math workshop. The students who sit at that station usually need a few extra reminders or their notes may be a little messy. Anyway, you want to check it out? HERE is the free PEMDAS part of the bulletin board.

Next up, this Elements of Math board! It is just a fun way to start the year. I have it on the bulletin board right outside my classroom. It sparks a lot of conversations as the students read through the math terminology and ask questions about what some of the words mean. This would be great in a middle school math classroom but also a great addition to an elementary school room. I have it displayed in my 5th grade classroom.

The dreaded question, “when will I ever use this in my life?!” Well, this math career bulletin board helps answer that question for you! There are 50 different careers that are displayed on the paper airplanes! Here are some examples:

  • Scientists use math to graph and analyze data
  • Teachers use math to inspire the next generation of mathematicians
  • Cryptographers use math to encode and decode data
  • Floral Designers use math to make sure the ratio of flowers is proportional

Do you need a get to know you activity for the first week of school? I have you covered with the My Number Story bulletin board. I use this every year as a way of teaching my math procedures. The students will have to answer a number of questions about themselves and put the answer in the designated part of the flag. I have the task cards around the classroom and we can work on transitions, time management, rotations, following directions, etc. And the bonus is the students are able to socialize and get to know each other in their small groups. Then, I have the students either introduce themselves to a small group or I have a student introduce someone else to the class!

All of these bulletin boards can be found HERE.

What other math bulletin boards are you looking for to display in your math classroom?

Virtual Class Meeting Ideas

I have never done so many class meetings in my life! Because we are fully virtual, we now have a specific built in virtual class meeting time. Now that I have done so many, I wouldn’t change a thing! I love getting to know my students more and have fun with them! Here are some of a few ways that I have been filling my time in our virtual morning meetings.

Scavenger Hunts: One of the easiest activities that I do at least once a month is a scavenger hunt! I make a FREE new one for every month which you can grab in my TPT store. I like to use these scavenger hunts on days that drag a little bit because it gets the students moving nice and early! Here is how it works:

  • First, I read through the directions which just tells the students that they have 5 minutes to gather all 10 things on the scavenger hunt list.
  • Then, I set the timer and the students run around their houses for the items on the list. Like, “something that makes you think of fall” or “something that gives off light.” I love to see what the students come back with!
  • When they return, I repeat each item category that the students had to gather. They hold the item up to the screen so I can check it out! I comment on a few people each time by saying things like, “wow, that is so cool Jeremy” or “tell me more about what that means to you Charlotte.” This sparks a great conversation and the students love showing off the items they found in their homes. I try to touch base with everyone with all the 10 items.

Games: Games are also a fun way to start your day! Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Kahoot! – This is the most requested activity in my class! This is a virtual survey or quiz platform. You as the teacher can create a game or find one that is already created. Then, you can start a quiz and all the students will join with a code. Students answer questions on their own devices and compete against one another. I like to keep the topics lighthearted so it really is just for fun. Some of my favorite topics are name that logo, animals, memory games. I always search and there are so many options, that is the best part!
  • Put a finger down if… I like to use this game as a way to introduce a topic or after a break. After winter break, I asked questions like: “put a finger down if… you made a snowman”, “put a finger down if… you read a book” etc. You can choose to call the student with the most fingers down a winner or the one with the most fingers left up – depending on the topic!
  • Guess the Gibberish: This is one of my favorite games so why not play it virtually! I found this game FREE from The Science Stalker! Students have to decipher the words meanings by saying them out loud. I have the students type their answer in the chat so I can really tell who was first to solve it. It’s so fun.

Ice Breakers or Discussion Starters:

Sometimes, you just want to spark conversations! I love Would you Rather questions to spark conversations. I also like to open the discussions up with more thought provoking questions. I make new discussion starters for every month! Check them out HERE.

Directed Drawings:

We do a directed drawing once a month. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for a reminder, sometimes to make a card, but always for fun! My favorite website to find directed drawings is Art for Kids Hub on YouTube!

Looking for more morning ideas? Check out my monthly Project Morning Menus!

Virtual Science NGSS Review Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a fun way to review those NGSS standards for 5th grade? This is one of the ways that I will be reviewing for the standardized tests given in 5th grade. This scavenger hunt is a great way to engage students and bring all that they learned in science back to the forefront of their memories.

I found that I needed to make my review classes a little more exciting! I mean, let’s face it, students are reviewing before standardized tests or the end of the year in every class. I found that students were getting a little tired of the same review methods in every class. Then, I started to utilize scavenger hunts!

First, you can assign the Google Slides™ through Google Classroom™ and you can assign the slides to “make a copy for each student.” The students will be able to work through the scavenger hunt at their own pace. The students will click the “start” which will lead them to the first question.

The students will read the first question and try to recall the answer. Once they have the answer, they will click the “home” light bulb that will lead them back to the 1st page. Then, they find their answer and click the correct answer with their answer to lead them to the next question! The review will touch on topics relating to Matter, Ecosystems, Earth’s Spheres, Space, and more! Optional: the students can type in the letters to the cards in order into the Google Form™ that is included for you to check.

If that sounds too complicated or too digital, there is a printable version too! This is how I liked to do scavenger hunts before I taught virtually. The students answer a question and then search the classroom for the correct answer! This is a fun and interactive way to review and it is included HERE as well.

Looking for more scavenger hunts to review throughout the year? CLICK HERE for the bundle of fun!

Virtual Boot Camp Math Test Prep

I was having a really hard time as a virtual teacher keeping math class interactive in a virtual environment. The students were doing too many worksheets and I wasn’t able to easily check their work. I started using these boot camp Google Forms™ and I can tell you that the engagement in math went up dramatically! The students were having fun and they were learning – win, win!

Here is how they work:

You assign the Google Forms™ to the students which contain all different types of review questions like multi-select, multiple choice, and open-ended questions. After the students work through a few problems, they will click to continue and be prompted to complete a boot camp exercise! It forces the students to take a little break and refocus before moving on to the next set of questions. The Google Forms™ are self-grading so it takes the pressure off of you to grade their questions. I don’t always use them as a graded assessment, sometimes I just like to see what concepts I need to reteach or review before a standardized test.

Here are some ways to use these review stations:

  • Assessment: You can use a single Google Form™ as an assessment of a unit. There are over 20 stations that can be broken up throughout the year!
  • Classroom transformation: – This would make a great classroom transformation! There are printable task cards as well that you can use as stations throughout the classroom. You can set a timer for the students to complete as many problems as they can in a station before the timer goes off. Then you can do some of the boot camp exercises as a whole class in between stations.
  • Homework: At the end of the unit, you can use a single Google Form™ as a homework assignment.
  • Small Group Review: Want to have a little fun with a group that needs a little more reinforcement? Use these as a tool for small group instruction or review.

I can’t wait to get back in the classroom and use this boot camp as a WEEK LONG review at the end of the year! The students will all dress in camouflage and we will get to do some boot camp exercises while we review! Until then, I will just watch them do their exercises and math from across the screen.

Need something for your high flyers or students that work quickly? There is even a station for them! The “Mess Hall” station is filled with puzzles and activities that can be used as a done early activity or even morning work!

Want to try a station out for FREE? Click Here!

Looking for all the stations? Check them out HERE.