Friday, May 27, 2016

Super Hero Week

I feel that people always have some preconceived notion about middle school. They are smelly. They are rude. And they are too old for themed units. While the first two may be true occasionally, I have found that my students LOVE themed units when they are used as a treat and break from the normal routine.

Last year, around winter break, my 8th graders asked me if we could do some fun stuff like watch some Marvel movies. I told them that we would only get to do superhero stuff if it was in conjunction with some math lessons. I truly did not expect the positive reaction I received from the students!! Them immediately began thinking of ideas and ways that math could tie into superheroes. They practically planned out the entire Super Hero Week with me just finalizing their plans! And that is how our 1st annual Super Hero Week was born.

The students loved the 2014-2015 Super Hero Week so much that they began planning this year's Super Hero Week as soon as the last finished. We held this year's Super Hero Week last week as a break since we finished our state assessments the week before. It was a huge success again this year and will become an annual staple in my classroom from now on.

To prepare for Super Hero Week, we went up to the school on Sunday to decorate. My darling husband assisted with the decorating since he is almost a foot taller than I am. He is a trooper!! We had everything ready to go for Monday morning so that it was a surprise for my students.

These signs are in my hallway leading up to my room. "The fate of...the world...RESTS..."

"In your hands."

A peek into my classroom...

On Monday, we did a lesson involving the Flash. I wish that I had done better at taking pictures of the students doing the lessons. We went outside and clocked each student running a marked distance on the sidewalk. When we filled up our time boxes, we went back inside and calculated the mean, median, mode, and range of their times.

On Tuesday, we did a Wonder Woman logic puzzle. I used the summer logic puzzle created by Lindsay Perro found here. It was tough for my resource students to figure out, but I ended up with one student diving the puzzle by the end of the day. However, they all enjoyed getting to think outside of the box and do something different. 

On Wednesday, we used Batman as our theme. The students had a Batman bouncy ball that they had to bounce and hit targets with. Each student got to bounce twice. We kept record of how many targets they hit with their two bounces. Once all of the boxes were filled, we went back to the classroom and calculated our percent of accuracy. Using that percentage, they then had to figure out how many time Batman expects to hit his target if he threw it 150 times.

My darling husband made these awesome Batman targets for us to use.

 Every student got a chance to bounce the ball towards the targets.

The students on the side were in charge of catching the balls so they would not bounce down the hallway.

Even my principal got in on the action!!

On Thursday, we deviated from the superhero idea a bit and used the Joker as our theme. Each student had a whiteboard to complete the math problems on. If you got the answer correct, you stepped a pace forward. If the Joker caught up to you because you got too many wrong, then you were out. If you beat the Joker to the bat cave, then you were safe. Those that made it to the bat cave in time got to have a reward at the end of the day.

On Friday, we made Aquaman baggie ice cream. The kids were enjoying themselves so much that I forgot to take pictures. The students has to measure out all of the ingredients after calculating how much we would need from the original recipe. From there, we took the ice cream outside in baggies to shake. When the ice cream was ready, we poured into ciups and I let the student pick out toppings to put on.

This was his favorite phrase this school year in math.

If you are unsure of what to do in you classroom after state assessments, think about doing a themed week. It is a lot of work and prep, but the students truly enjoy it. It is such a nice break for them after the weeks of stress they have been through right before that. It also ensures students are on their best behavior because they are not allowed to participate in ice cream on Friday if they misbehaved anytime in my room that week. 

What are some things you implement in your own classroom after state assessments?

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