Sunday, September 4, 2011

Snowball Fight!

This week has been a total whirlwind. Monday was a staff day and Tuesday the kiddos came to school. My new kids are the sweetest and I just love seeing my former students when they stop in for a visit. They have all been commenting on my new room decor, which I can't wait to show off soon. If only I could keep my eyes open long enough after school to take some pics! Whatever the word is for more than exhausted, that's what I was by Thursday of this week. Thank goodness we had Friday off because I don't think I could have made it one more day! I am loving this four day weekend and hope to be caught up on sleep by Tuesday so that I can hit the ground running this week.

Every year it amazes me that the first day of school is such a blur. You anticipate it, plan for it, stay up all night having nightmares of the alarm not going off and showing up to school in your pajamas, y'all know what I'm talking about! Then the day comes and goes so quickly you don't even know what happened!

We spent a lot of time going over procedure and routines, especially because for my kiddos, this is their first year of middle school. I always let my students make the class rules to begin building our community. They need to feel like the room is theirs, too, and I find that when they make the rules, it's a lot harder to break them! Once our rules were established, we had a snowball fight! Perfect for the hot day we had! :) This is one of my favorite ice breakers but over the years I've learned to make sure that it's done once the rules are established so that the it will be managable when the kids get excited.

I found this activity online and I have seen it done many ways. Here's how it works. I give the kids a small piece of paper and tell them NOT to write their name on it. They have to write three things on it. 1. favorite food 2. a place that they have travelled 3. something other people don't know about you. Once they have these three things written down, I tell them to crumple up the paper in a ball and that we're having a snowball fight. I always do it in that order, telling them about the snowball fight when they crumple the paper, to build excitement. Clear rules and expectations need to be set for the "fight", that includes how to throw the paper, how long it will last, where they can throw/stand, etc. When I say go, we toss the snowballs around, trying to keep them off the ground, and when I say stop, everyone needs to grab a snowball and sit down. We then go around and read the snowballs, and try to guess who it belongs to. This is a fun activity that brings a great energy to the class and it's nice to learn about the students this way.

The third fact, something other people might not know about you, is always the best. I always hear some really funny things and they really help me to learn about the kids. This year I heard, "never been kissed" {in fifth grade, I hope not!}, and "I've been stabbed" {when I asked, he said oh, I think it was accidental, it was my brother, and it was more of a sharp poke - dramatic much in middle school?! haha!}, among other things. If you're ready for a lively first day/week of school activity, this is it. A bit of a warning, though, I have only done this with groups that have excellent behavior on day one and that do not come with any reputation of rowdy behavior.

We have a big week ahead full of... are you ready for this? Testing! What a surprise! I hope to be back with pictures and updates of what's been going on in between, in the next couple of days. As for now, I will be enjoying my day off tomorrow. I have to get a few errands done {which includes Fall decorating! Yay!!!} but I fully intend on snuggling up on the couch with my cat and finishing my book. Bliss!

ps. I was excited to see the new followers when I logged on this afternoon! I just can't get enough of the upper elementary blogs popping up everywhere! :)


  1. I just found your blog through another teacher blog I follow. I teach 5th grade as well, although in my state 5th grade is the final year of elementary school, not the first of middle school. I LOVE this idea. I'm always searching for something new to spice up the first few days and I think this is great. That's for sharing! Although I don't blog primarily about my teaching, there are a few tidbits here and there. Check me out if you get a chance, I'd love to gain followers!


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