Fun With Zoom!

Each week my teaching partner and I host a class Zoom to connect and have fun with our kids.  The challenge has been coming up with ideas that the kids will enjoy and require little preparation for both us and our students.  Here is a list of ten ideas that will make your next Zoom a hit with both you and your kids!


Show & Tell

Our first fun Zoom was a class Show & Tell!  This was super easy to prepare for, as all we had to do was send out an announcement to the kids to find something that they wanted to share with their classmates.  The kids simply took turns sharing their special something.


Guess Who?

This week we played a fun game of Guess Who!  The students were told in advance to come up with a weird or unusual fact about themselves and not to tell it to any of their friends prior to the game.  The only other materials needed are a piece of paper and a writing utensil.  Once in our Zoom, the students were told to send the fact to the teacher using the Chat feature.  Make sure the students send it only to you and not to everyone.  Then start with the first fact that was sent to you and read it aloud to the group.  Everyone takes a few seconds to write down their guess as to who it was about.  Then ask the person to reveal themselves to the group!  If you guessed the correct person, you give yourself a point!  


Scavenger Hunt

We did our first Zoom Scavenger Hunt last week, and the kids loved it!  I created four Editable Scavenger Hunts that you can find in my TPT Store or just make up a quick list of your own.  



Good News

I love this idea, and it is definitely something we all could use more of right now!  Ask all your students to bring some good news to share with the group!


Art Hub

We have used Art Hub at school for an indoor Fun Friday option, and the kids really enjoy it!  Tell your students to bring paper, pencil, and coloring utensils to the Zoom.  Before the Zoom, go to Art for Kids Hub and choose the video you would like to show.  You may want to start the video in advance, so you can get through the ad at the beginning.  Then once you are in the Zoom, share your screen with the students and play the video.  At the end, have all the students hold their pictures up to the camera so everyone can see them!


Hide & Seek

No prep is needed to play Hide & Seek on Zoom!  When you are ready to start playing, have all your students turn around and face away from their devices.  Then choose one person to send back to the waiting room.  Tell everyone to turn back around, and see if they can figure out who is missing!


Four Corners

Four Corners is an oldie but goody when it comes to classroom games!  Four Corners Zoom version can be done a couple ways.  Have one student be the caller, and he/she will turn around and face away from their device.  Everyone else then indicates which corner they are choosing by either holding up a number with their fingers, or designate particular corners of everyone's video box as a number.  If you do it that way, each student would point to the corner they are choosing.  The caller then announces a number, and everyone who had chosen that number is out.  Have all the students who are out because their corner was called, stop their video.  This will make their video box go black, and you will be able to tell who is still in the game.  The last person in is the winner and can be the caller next time!


Charades

To prepare to play Charades, you need to come up with a list of verbs that are easy to act out like fishing, sleeping, driving, swimming, etc.  One person at a time takes a turn as the guesser, and they turn around and face away from their device.  Everyone is muted except you and the guesser.  Write the word on a piece of paper and show it to the rest of the class.  Then, have the guesser turn back around.  Everyone acts out the word, and the guesser tries to figure out what the word was.


Hangman

Another oldie but goodie is Hangman.  Before your Zoom, come up with a list of phrases for your students to guess.  Maybe they could relate to your curriculum in some way such as...General George Washington or Remember to annotate the text!  Have the blanks for the phrases already written out on paper, and you are ready to go!


Talent Show

Kids love showing off their special talents in a Talent Show!  At our school, we had a fifth grade talent show every year right before school got out for the summer.  If you are going to have a Zoom talent show, I would give the kids a couple weeks notice, so they can begin practicing what they want to share.

Feel free to comment below with your own ideas for fun ways to use Zoom with your class!

Interested in Google Drive distance learning units for social studies?  Check out my first one, American Revolution Google Drive Distance Learning Unit here!



Connecting With My Kids While Distance Teaching

Connecting with my kids is definitely a challenge as I continue to navigate teaching from home.  I have put several things in place to try and maintain and grow the relationship that I had developed with my students from September until March.

One thing I did was create a private Facebook group that I invited all of my parents and students to join.  I have found this to be a great way to reach parents, as many people are on Facebook on a daily basis.  I have had parents and students alike use this forum to reach out to me with questions and comments.  This was also the perfect place to try to keep our classroom community connected by creating posts like Throwback Thursday, which I did last week.  Throughout the day, I posted pictures of the kids that I had taken this year, and I invited kids and parents to add their own pictures from school activities in the comments.

The fifth grade team at my school knew that many of our kids wouldn't want to participate in activities at home unless it was fun.  So, it was our job to try to figure out how to offer fun opportunities for our students.  One of my grade mates had the great idea to set a time each day when kids could count on interaction with their class.  So, Monday through Friday, from 1:00-1:30 my students have the chance to engage with their teachers and classmates in a few different ways.

On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, that half hour is our Prodigy time.

Prodigy is a video game that involves math, and my students love to play it!  All year long we have played it on Thursdays, and the kids really enjoy it.  The game reinforces math skills, but they also have the opportunity to battle their friends within the game.  My students know if they log in to play from 1:00-1:30 on those three days of the week, they will be able to play with their friends.

Another way that my teaching partner and I are continuing to connect with our kids is with a weekly Zoom meeting.  Our meeting is every Tuesday at the same 1:00 time slot.  This isn't for instruction, but for fun with their teachers and classmates.  Click here for ten fun ways to use Zoom with your class!

So, that just leaves Thursday, which is the day that we play Kahoot!  Kahoot is another fun game that my students have enjoyed throughout the year.  If you have never used Kahoot, you need to check it out!  The kids love it, and it's free!  In class, we would play it all together, but you can easily set up the game as a challenge, so students can play from home and at a time that works for them.  I suggest that they play from 1:00-1:30 just to maintain that routine, but I set the challenge so that it's available for at least 24 hours.  As you play, you can see how you are doing against the other people that are playing.  I wanted the Kahoots that we played to be fun and not necessarily for one particular subject.  So, I spent a couple hours searching for games that had general trivia questions with graphics included for each question.  I found nine different Kahoot games that fit that bill, like the one below.



 I pinned all the games I found to a Pinterest board where I would easily be able to find them again.  You can find that board here or by clicking on the image below.


While I was searching for these games, I stumbled across a few games that people created that had questions that were specific to particular teachers, and I thought great idea!  You could create your own Kahoot with questions about you and your kids to see how much they know about your classroom family!  You could even add pictures of your class that you have taken throughout the year.  Any Kahoot game you create, can also be made private, so other people can't find or use it. 

Distance Learning for Social Studies

With the recent sudden shift to home based teaching and learning, I began working to see how my students could continue learning their Social Studies curriculum.  We were in the middle of our Road to the Revolution unit and had just begun using Liberty's Kids to supplement our class work.  I knew Liberty's Kids would be a great way for kids to continue their learning at home!



My students have always enjoyed watching this animated series, and last year I created crossword puzzles to go with each episode to reinforce the important people and events depicted.


Some adjustments to the crosswords would need to be made to allow for distance learning.  The first thing I did was create files for each crossword, so that teachers can post them individually.  I added a cover sheet to each file that includes a link to the episode on YouTube.  The word bank for the puzzle is also included on the cover sheet, just in case students need that support in completing it.  I knew many of my students would be unable to print the puzzles, so I created a new online puzzle for each episode as well.  



Students can even complete them on their phones!  A link to the online crossword puzzle is provided in each episode's file.  You can find the complete set of Liberty's Kids Crossword Puzzles in my TPT Store.


In addition to the Liberty's Kids episodes, I will be using the online resource Ducksters.

Ducksters: Education Site

Ducksters has a multitude of informational texts that relate to our 5th grade social studies curriculum.  Kids can click on a recorded reading of the passage and take a 10 question quiz.  

I just finished my first Google Drive unit, perfect for distance learning or as a supplement to the instruction in your classroom!  You can check it out here!



Making Mother's Day Special!

Need an easy gift idea for Mother's Day?  Your kids will enjoy this special project that you can make as simple or as fancy as you like!

Start out by having your students write Cinquain poems about their moms.  Click here for instructions on how to write one of these simple, five-lined poems.  Here's an example of a Cinquain that one of my students wrote:

Mommy
Considerate, creative
Caring, loving, laughing
To moon and back
Mom

Type up the poems and copy them onto colorful scrap-booking paper.  I put a border around the poems to dress them up a bit.  You can turn this into a thoughtful card for mom or frame it for a special keepsake.  I picked up frames at the dollar store and had my students make tissue paper flowers for another little special touch.


I've had my students make these beautiful tissue paper flowers before and turn them into Mother's Day corsages!  You can watch my instructional video on how to make these flowers by clicking here.  

What a sweet gift for mom's special day!






Swat the Vocab!

Need an easy game to play with your students to review academic vocabulary?  Swat the Vocab is the perfect game.  It's easy for you and a blast for the kids!



Materials needed: 

1. A list of vocabulary words and definitions
2. A board to either put word cards on or just write them on
3. Two or three fly swatters




Directions:

1. Divide your class into two or three teams (depending on how many fly swatters you have).
2. Have one person from each team come forward and take a fly swatter.
3. Read the definition of one of the words.
4. The first student to Swat the Vocab word wins a point for their team!



Sun, Sand, & Savings Summer Sale - More $1 Deals!

Another day of $1 deals is coming your way!


My $1 deal for today is my editable version of my Classroom Signs & Labels!  I use these all over my classroom every year.  Here are a few ways I use them.  Student name tags...


Name tags for my student book racks...


Labels for bins with math manipulatives, social studies games, etc...


I'm sure you could find all kinds of uses for them too!  Pick them up today for just $1 in my TPT Store!


Be sure to take a look at all the other $1 deals by clicking here.


Sun, Sand, & Savings Summer Sale - $1 Deals!

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It's $1 deals week, and I'm starting out with my newest product!


You can create a one of a kind birthday cupcake display for your classroom or hallway that your students will love looking at all year long!  Here's the one I created for my students last year...


Today only you can grab this for $1 in my TPT Store!  Check out all of the other $1 deals today by clicking here.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next $1 deal!