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Minute To Win It

Yesterday was the day I look forward to all year!  Surprisingly it was not the last day of school.  It was our end of the year party with our fifth grade reading buddies.  To give a little background, a fifth grade teacher and I paired up last year to help connect the older students and younger students in our school.  Each first grade student is paired up with a fifth grade student for the duration of year.  My colleague and I spend a lot of time creating these pairs, trying to matching interests and balancing personalities. Every other week, the fifth graders come to our class and read to us, usually with some sort of theme.  We also get together to celebrate holidays and special occasions.  Our buddy project has been a great way to build community in our large school, and my first graders feel so special when their fifth grade buddies wave to them or give them high-fives in the halls.  Also, by the end of the year, my first graders are all readers, and take they great pride in being able to read some of the words to their buddies.

So how do you celebrate the wonderful friendships and community created?  With a MINUTE TO WIN IT PARTY of course!  If the minute-to-win-it concept is foreign to you, it is essentially a competition made up by a ridiculous series of tasks that you are given one minute to complete.  Depending on how many students pairs of students we have, we have half that many stations.  For example, this year we had eighteen pairs, so we had nine stations.  We invited all specialists to join us to oversee a station, as many of them are wrapping up their sessions.  This year we had a great turn out!  A primary Spanish teacher, a music teacher, our building aide, our librarian, a math specialist, a learning center teacher and my brother all came to take part in the fun.

Some of our stations were inspired by the great ideas posted by Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade. Others found their way into the mix from a variety of places.  Here are this year's nifty nine!

1.  Shake, Rattle & Roll- Students tie a tissue box filled with ping-pong balls to their waist.  By jumping and jiggling, they see which team can get more out of their box in one minute.

2.  Noodling Around- Using a piece of dry spaghetti, students try and pick up as many pieces of penne pasta as they can in under a minute… WITHOUT using their hands!

3.  There She Blows- Using a straw, students see how many times they can blow their cotton ball back and forth through the maze in one minute.

4.  Sticky Situation- Students receive a dollop of petroleum jelly on their nose and a pile of cotton balls.  Using only their nose, students try and move cotton balls from the pile to a plate.

5.  Stack 'Em High- Each pair is given 21 cups.  The goal is to create a tower using all 21 cups in under a minute.  (It seems that the group below accidentally snagged two extras from their competitors!)

6.  Tweeze These- Using tweezers, students try and move as many tic-tads from one plate to another.  The team with the most moved tic-tads in one minute is the winner.

7.  Gummy Towers- Pairs compete to create the tallest tower with gumdrops and toothpicks.

8.  Face The Cookie- Place a cookie on top of their forehead.

9.  A Little Fruity- Students attempt to stack Fruit Loops on the end of a popsicle stick that they hold carefully in their mouthes.

It's an amazing day for students and teachers.  We laugh, we celebrate and we have fun!  If you are looking for a great end of the year celebration, I highly recommend this one!

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