Thursday, May 19, 2016

Classroom Transformation: Bowling Review Game

Need a fun way to review information? Give your kids a bowling ball, some pins, and a disco light, and you'll have a SUPER engaging review session ready to go! The best thing about it? This transformation can be adapted to all content and topics!

The Preparation:

Materials needed:
  • Bowling pins
  • Butcher paper or table cloths (for the lanes)
  • Bowling ball
  • Disco light (get the one I used by clicking here)
  • Optional: Chromebooks
  • Optional: glow sticks. There are great packs at Walmart, Five Below, and Amazon (click here)
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

I was able to get the bowling pins and jelly bowling balls from my school's gym closet, the butcher paper from our stock, and I had the construction paper already. The only items that cost money were the glow sticks and disco light, but I can honestly say that these two items TRANSFORMED the lesson. My kids were SO excited about the glow sticks, and the disco light, for such a cheap price, lit up my entire classroom. Even the kids walking by couldn't help but look in! 

If you do not have access to bowling pins/balls, and you're not sure about investing too much money into them, I have seen lots of DIY ideas for bowling using soda bottles! Check out some ideas on Pinterest. You can make this work!!! :)

The preparation took about 1 hour. I covered my windows with butcher paper to black out the room, lined the floor with two lanes of butcher paper, plugged in the disco light, and BOOM, a bowling alley was created!

I also printed out this sign to wear. I constantly pretend to be other people, and my kids buy into it. I'm a bit of an alliteration abuser (see what I did there? :D), so I just had to make this sign! I just attached it to my lanyard, and the kids called me Becky all day!

The Lesson:

Over the course of two days, my students traveled to the Arcade Room, Burger Bowling, and the Concession Stand. Those were code names for the different stations at which the students would work.

The students walked into the classroom and were shocked at the transformation. We started things off at the Arcade Room in which students played Pac-Man (if you haven't played on ClassTools, you are missing out!). Students reviewed how to cite evidence (check out my game at Citation Pac-Man). They played for ten minutes, and the highest scorer earned a special spot on the score board!

After Pac-Man, the students moved to Burger Bowlerama! They each received a Burger Bowlerama booklet. We played just like real bowling with 10 rounds. After each round, students had to answer four questions in their booklets. The questions were all review questions for what we have been learning. I am all about rehearsal and practicing!

We turned the lights off and the disco light on for this! It was just like cosmic bowling. I also had music playing like Cascada and some old Britney Spears, so it gave it the old-school skating rink vibe. After each round, I kept track of their scores on the bowling score chart (see bottom of post for link to this). The students motivated each other, clapped for each other, and it was pure awesomeness! Follow me on Instagram to see videos of this!

In between turns, they used their glow sticks to light the way to answer their booklets!

Finally, they ended at the Concession Stand. I saw this idea on Pinterest before, and I knew I wanted to try it! I gave each group their Team Pack complete with construction paper, scissors, glue, and Emoji Self-Evaluation Tool (grab it for free here). They had to cut out the parts to create the BEST burger in town and build a paragraph about it. They had to have topic sentences, detail sentences, supporting sentences, and a summary sentence. We have a specific writing program in my district, so this aligned with those requirements.

The end result of the burgers:

Some of them actually look pretty tasty!

If you want to take a peek at and/or use my resources, check them out here (for free!):  
  • Burger Bowlerama booklet and Becky signs: click here!
  • Slides from my PowerPoint, including the bowling score chart: click here!
Overall, it was a cheap transformation and well worth it to break up the end of the year and keep them engaged! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you do this transformation! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Team Packs

You know when you see a cool idea, then you obsess about it, and you realize that you HAVE to have it? That's what happened with these team packs. I saw them from Kagan, and I loved them. The Kagan ones come with markers, super thin whiteboards, crayons, and a spinner, and they retail for around $15. I wanted the same concept, but I didn't want to spend upward of $75 with shipping, so I decided to turn it into a DIY project! :)

I went to The Container Store to get the bubble envelopes. I was able to get them for $2.99 each. You can see them online here: Bubblopes.

After that, I used some Astrobrights paper to make the labels. I laminated them first and used Glue Dots to keep them down. Advice: Glue Dot the entire thing down. I did just the corners, and then the kids were putting their hand through it like a pocket.

As far as what I put in them goes, that changes all the time. That's another positive thing about the DIY method. For example, when we were working with persuasive techniques, I gave the kids blank paper, markers, and a mysterious item in another small bubble envelope. 

I think I'm going to use them as close reading toolkits, participation packs, and more. The kids  really like them both because they're different, and they're pretty. I had them out for a few days before we used them, and one girl said, "They are so pretty!" and another boy said, "I am very intrigued by these." Of course, I also received questions like, "Can I pop the bubbles?" Nonetheless, they were a hit, and I'm very excited about my $12.00 investment!

Leave a comment if you have any questions! :)

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