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Sunday, September 22

Classroom Construction Day

“Hard hats on means we are ready to do hard work!” This is what I told my students Friday morning as they walked into our “under construction” themed classroom. I had decorated the room using construction symbols and typical construction themed colors. In addition, each student had a hard hat sitting at their spot. As soon as my students walked in, the excitement was high. This heightened excitement was a key factor I was counting on for the hard work ahead today.
Toy Construction Hard Hats | 20 Pcs. Soft Plastic Yellow Kids Party Hat | Children's Engineer, Building Dress Up Hats | Theme Favor Caps | By Anapoliz
Hats Linked in Picture

The day began with morning meeting. Here I laid out the blue print plan for the day including expectations for how to use their hats and new supplies correctly. I explained that there would be a series of challenges today and our “houses” could earn a “nailed it” point for each challenge. What is a nailed it point? What is that for? Well, because we had a construction theme I thought I would be punny and continue our theme on to the challenge points they could earn by completing each task to the best of their abilities and displaying great teamwork. The kids REALLY wanted to work hard for these points because each nail earned represented an extra topping choice for our sundae party at the end of the day!

Building Better Stories Challenge

Our students switch teachers for reading this year, so our day as a construction crew began when they all returned to me for writing. I told my crew that I was expecting a lot of detailed writing today (our target for the day was writing detailed drafts). In order to do this, I taught students how to use a writing partner to flush out their ideas, as well as add details they had forgotten to include in their brainstorming paper.

Students spent the first fifteen minutes of work time, using their writing partners and filling their draft/ note page with ideas they wanted to include when they do their first draft. After fifteen minutes of collaborative work, I gathered the students together and instructed them to write their first draft, writing as much as they could (using their new note sheet) in twenty minutes. Ready. Set. Go! Guys, you would not believe the increased effort I saw in my writers! Pencils were nonstop for about 17 minutes. In the last three minutes I had two students say they were done. I instructed them to return to their seats, reread, and add more details (our focus point for the day was writing a draft with details). When twenty minutes was up, I had 90% of my students hand in work that was an impressive amount longer than anything they had passed in before! SCORE! After reading the prompts this weekend, I am happy to say not only their writing length increased, but their quality for writing detailed narratives did as well! Insert happy teacher dance here. All teams earned their “nailed it point” for that challenge.

Looking for this Narrative Writing Graphic Organizer Pack? Click the Picture below!

Addition Tower Challenge

After lunch and recess, we had a series of two math challenges. The first math challenge was for each student to solve 16 multi-digit addition with regrouping problems. For each problem answered correctly, they would earn a unifix cube.
Edx Education Math Cubes - Set of 100 - Linking Cubes For Early Math - Connecting Manipulative For Preschoolers Aged 3+ and Elementary Aged Kids
Click the Picture to be taken to

The team with the tallest tower would win! Ready. Set. Go! I had students work independently for the first 8 minutes of our tower race. Then, to make sure all learners felt successful, I had them work as a “house” to help any teammate who needed assistance. Students were NOT allowed to just give answers (if that happened I took a cube away). Instead, this presented them an opportunity to coach and teach the skills they knew to others. When I called time, I had five tall towers, 288 correctly answered math problems and 18(one student was at band lessons) smiling kiddos. We had so much fun drilling our math skills and collaborating together! Every house earned their nailed it point again!

Multi-Digit Addition with Regrouping PowerPoint Bundle 
Grab the Addition Task Cards we used HERE for FREE!

Perimeter Challenge

For our final challenge of the day, students needed to work together to measure the perimeter of the shapes I taped to their desks. I assigned roles of 2 measurers, 1 writes, and 1 adder. The students rotated through their “jobs” at each new station. This challenge focused on practicing perimeter skills and using collaborative efforts to get the job done. My kiddos had so much fun with this challenge I think they actually forgot they were doing math work! No surprise, every house earned their final point.


Wrap Up

At the end of the day, we celebrated with our ice cream party! When we reflected on the day, both the students and myself decided  we cannot wait to have another day like our “under construction” day.

Want to have a construction themed day in your classroom? Yes? Awesome! To help you get started planning, I’m sharing the posters I created for our day with you for FREE! All you need to do to access this awesome resource is subscribe to my email list using the side bar. What are you waiting for! Join and snag your free posters as well as another great freebie every single week!

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