Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Title I Night

I hope everyone's Easter was fantastic! I'm on break right now and away from the computer for the most part. But I wanted to share about the activities we did for Title I Night last week.

Last Thursday, we had Title I "Night" at our school. In the past, we've always had trouble getting parents to bring their kids back out and participate (even when we invited a local author to come in the Fall, we only had 6-10 kids from our programs. Fortunately we opened that night up to the entire school and had a decent turn-out) So our K-2 specialist and I sat down and started brainstorming ways to get the attendance we desired. She had the idea of doing our activities immediately after school and then intentionally running the event past the time when activity buses leave so the parents had to come pick up their kids and meet with us, even if it was just quickly.

We sent out permission slips and ended up with the highest turn-out we've ever had (at least as far as we know of)! I had 13 of my 26 students participate and two more who tried to call their parents and stay the day of - I didn't let them because I didn't have enough supplies for them. Plus it was at the VERY end of the day. K-2 ended up with eighteen students, and we were able to talk to ALL of their parents!

Students were encouraged to dress as their favorite book character and bring pillows, blankets and sleeping bags to "read under the stars".

Here's Cinderella!

We started with some Easter eggs. Inside the eggs, I put the names of a few popular book characters (Pete the Cat, Harry Potter, etc.). 

Students chose an egg and then had to give a few clues to the rest of the group. The group could ask yes or no questions to figure out more. When they guessed correctly, they came up and chose another egg. They had a lot of fun with this activity, and it was a simple, fun way to add some eggs to our evening! I believe with the younger kids, they had sight words in the eggs that the students had to read. I wanted to adapt it to something a little more difficult since I have grades 3-5.

Then I split students into grade levels (which I needed because there were HUGE differences in maturity levels even from 3rd to 4th), and they rotated between a craft with me (keep reading for more on that), "reading under the stars", or playing this Fact and Opinion game they love on my Promethean board. The winner of that game from each grade level got to pick a book to take home for free. Our K-2 teacher was much nicer and bought a book for each child who came, but mine were happy enough with one winner from each grade level!

Moving on to the craft because this was my favorite part of the evening: I was browsing Pinterest last week for a perfect little Easter snack that they would have to assemble using some directions. Then I came across this:

Isn't it just the cutest? I knew I HAD to do it with my kids! So I adapted the recipe to make it work for me. Then I went and bought all of the supplies. I almost wish that I hadn't included a picture or title in the recipe because then they would have had to actually read all of it to know what to do. But there was at least some reading required to clear up any confusions they had because I WOULD NOT tell them what to do if they asked. They had to read the recipe first to see if it said (and it almost always did). Here's a picture of how my Bunny Buggies turned out. I'm so proud of them!

My cute little bunny buggy ahead of time
All set up ready for them to come (I couldn't find the Bunny Peeps when I went shopping)
Some of my kids finished with their craft, ready to eat it!

And if you want the recipe to use for next year, grab your copy here:

Yes, I changed the name. I liked the flow of "Bunny Buggy" more than "Easter Bunny Racecars". I like alliteration.

After centers, I found this adorable Reader's Theater for 11 students (I was supposed to have 11 when I planned activities, then two more turned in their slips last minute) with The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieska. We had a lot of fun with this, and I would love to practice it with a group and let them actually perform it. It was so cute!

At around 5:30, I put in Horton Hears a Who for the students to watch quietly as I began to meet with parents. I found the movie for $4 at Target. Score!

I found this wonderful resource to give to the parents, courtesy of Carrie from A First Grade Teacher's Passions and Obsessions. It even shows where students should be for their grade level at the end of each marking period. This was a great visual to give to my parents and really highlighted the growth that each child has made!

It was a busy evening, but it was a lot of fun and much more successful. Plus we were done just after 6, and I was able to see my son before he went to bed! I think this will be a new tradition (with a few tweaks) for our Title I Night!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you had a great Title 1 night. We are always looking for ideas. I don't know why we never considered doing it right after school. It seems like that really boosted your attendance. Great idea. Like you, we have had an author, but decided to scrap that this year. We had a writing theme instead and displayed students' work throughout the building. We had a "book walk" that was supposed to be outside, but it was too cold. The story is broken up into boards that take the students on a walk.

    Eclectic Educating