Let’s be real, the end of the school year is CRAZY hectic. This year, I had folders that needed to be completed by a certain time, grades to put in the computer, AND not to mention packing up the classroom. Oh yeah, let’s add that I was seven months pregnant and telling my second graders to “make themselves learn something” and “Mrs. Johnson is super busy right now.” I feel this way EVERY YEAR.
Several years ago, when I was teaching in North Carolina, I was dealing with the same thing – super busy and needed to keep my first graders busy. That’s when THIS PACK was born. To view it in my store, CLICK HERE.
Here are what some of my buyers have said about my Camping in the Classroom pack:
I wanted to make the activities simple and the directions easy for my first graders so that I could send them into the sunset and work while I got my stuff done.
At the same time, I was told by administration to keep it educational. Done and Done! Not only did they have to read the signs to understand what to do, but they had to complete a variety of writing activities as well.
Here are some pictures of what our camping day was like…
So once again, I was in the same predicament. Up to my elbows in paperwork and exhausted. I kept seeing adorable beach and luau decor at Dollar Tree and decided that I wanted to create THIS PACK.
Same concept as the camping pack, just in a beach theme. I will be honest, I did have a parent come in and help get all the copies ran and supplies ready 🙂 The first thing I did was get my stations set up around the room and ready with examples so my friends weren’t coming up to me and asking me how to do an activity. This day was meant to be completely independent with students choosing which station to visit on their own.
The station signs were purchased years ago at Wal-Mart. I’ve used them every year for a variety of things. They were perfect to slide the station signs into and post around the room.
As with the camping pack, I had the students answer a question that morning and we took the information and graphed the data. I forgot to take a picture of the graphing pieces, but this is the sheet we used to compile all our data.
Then I let them have at it! I created this station checklist so they could keep track of what stations they had visited.
Here the students are making leis for their luau. I actually had one of my students cut all the string for the necklaces, and then my room mom cut all the straw pieces and ran the flowers on Astrobrights and cut those into squares. This activity took a nice long time and some of the students where happy to sit and make patterns.
Even second graders LOVE to play with play dough! I found tiny little containers of “modeling dough” that were 8 for $1 at the Dollar Tree. I told them they could choose one color and create a shell of their own.
Some of the shells were VERY detailed. I was impressed!
For this station the students got to create their own “beach buckets.” I put a bunch of permanent markers in a sand bucket and they used them to create on Styrofoam cups. I thought maybe the marker would smear but it worked out quite nicely. When they were done they simply poked a pipe cleaner through the top. If I had been allowed, I would have let the students use these buckets to hold their beach snack. But food at my school is a HUGE NO-NO. So some of the students put pencils and things in the cup instead.
Once again, some of them took their sweet time, letting me get my work done!
These little guys turned out so cute!
YEARS ago when I taught Kindergarten (back before Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers was a thing) I showed my Kinders how to cut and roll a piece of blue construction paper to make an octopus. For this pack, I actually created a template and included directions so they could do it independently.
You can see in the picture below one of my students with the directions card…
I feel like little pouches are always fun for the students to make. So why not make a beach bag??? Once they were done making their list of things to put in their beach bag, they just slide it into the pouch. Some of the students even put their play dough shell inside!
And as you can see, three staples on the sides and two at the bottom because, well, we like to staple.
I once had a parent say that anything with handprints she keeps because her babies hands will never be that small again. So I always try to include an activity that involves handprints.
Like the octopus activity, this one came with picture directions to show students step by step what to do. Also, this one didn’t require any printing. Just blue, red and strips of tan construction paper.
And of course we want to include an opinion piece to go with it!
Some of the other fun activities included were Write the Room…
A luau complete with tropical Hawaiian music….
Grass skirts courtesy of Dollar Tree…
and yes even the boys participated…
and read by “the beach.”
YouTube has a station with beach sounds and waves. The students brought in beach towels for the day and used them to lay out at the beach. I wanted to get cute little beach chairs to set out but at seven months pregnant I was going a little overboard.
So all these activities were completed independently. Yes I did get up from time to time to take some pictures but the students were BUSY. If you look at the background in the pictures, you can see students working. Reading, writing, socializing, and HAVING FUN. At the end of the year, they know the routines and procedures and they know your expectations of them. Let them GO! I always love setting these stations up because the students have been listening to me teach, teach, teach all year and this gives them a chance to be free!
Thanks for taking the time to read my post!