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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Old West Day

My class filled their cotton ball jar and got to choose a reward. They picked "Old West Day." (Yup- 100% their idea.)

So we turned off the technology, dressed old-fashioned, and took a Western spin on learning a little more like kids long ago might have learned.

Yeeeehaw! Here are some snapshots of our day.

First, I wrote a poem about a cowboy on the board and the students had to copy it in their best penmanship and then try to memorize it. SIX of them were able to do that!

Of course, we did a little reading comprehension, too, and talked about the meanings of some words, like "harkin'"and "brand."

Next, we played a game called Gold Rush, and talked a little about how that was some people's reason for moving out West.

In my hat, I put pieces of "gold" with different values and let each kid draw one. Then, the boys and the girls, who were sitting on opposite sides of the room in rows (a la one room schoolhouse), combined their totals to see who got more gold.

While the kids were out at a special, one of my kids' moms came in with a couple of decorations.

And she was sweet enough to make them some trail mix, too! She had also stopped by Texas Roadhouse and they donated enough hats for every kid to have one- so awesome!

She even gave them a little cow eraser so they could be true cowboys and cowgirls.

Next up, we got out slates and chalk.

Now, we use white boards and markers, but this was still apparently a fun treat! We did some handwriting and some "arithmetic" that they copied off the board.

In the afternoon, we wrote campfire stories. Each student wrote a sentence and then passed it on to the next person in their row.

To signal when to pass, I used this awesome, authentic farm bell, borrowed from the same awesome parent.

Then, we gathered around the construction-paper-and-tissue-paper campfire and shared our stories.

It was definitely a fun day, and it was perfect for a couple of days until Spring Break just after 3 days of state testing! And, of course, we ALL had a blast dressing the part.

Am I a mean teacher because I keep taking my kids' rewards and turning them into learning experiences? :)



  1. I just saw your blog on pinterest and thought you had some great activity ideas! I am a teacher too and just started this website/blog for teachers and their students to use to integrate learning about world cultures into the curriculum! Maybe you could use it in your classroom!



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