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Usually on a Friday afternoon I allow my class to have an hour of finishing off time where students who had finished all their work would get free time.
This worked great in my lower school classrooms where I knew students would be entertained with blocks, lego, colouring and board games.
But I didn't think that would work now I am in upper primary.
So I wanted something that would keep them occupied, not take too much prep on my part and be a nice way to end the week that students would look forward to.
I chose to do 'Minute to Win it' type challenges.
I thought they would make the students use different parts of their brain, give everyone a chance to succeed and be a great bonding time for us all. Not to mention I thought it would end Fridays with a laugh!
We have assemblies every second Friday so we only do these class challenges on the other weeks.
Today I am going to share with you the challenges I have used this term and how I have adapted them for a whole class!
The first one we tried was seeing how many blocks (I used 2cm cubes) we could stack on the end of a pop stick. The catch is the pop stick has to be held in their mouth! I gave students a chance to practice before having some come up the front and see how many they could get in one minute (if it fell they could start again).
Students were only allowed to nominate themselves for the final competition if they had achieved a certain amount during practice. I made this rule so that we weren't spending 29 minutes going through everyone.
Our winner got 11!
I really wanted to do the cookie challenge in my class. This is the one where you put the cookie on your face and have to get it into your mouth without using your arms. I didn't want to waste 30 cookies on the floor so I cut up 30 circles out of thick cardboard.
Some cardboard is really smooth so it helps to rough it up a bit using sandpaper of the side of your scissors.
I found that I had to tell students they couldn't use any part of their arm including their shoulders. I also found a couple of students had great reflexes and could toss the circle off of their forehead and catch it in their mouth. The next time I do this challenge I will definitely be stipulating it must travel down their face.
Paper Pick Up
Another simple one involved students using a straw to transfer small pieces of paper from one cup to another. We had a set practice time to test different methods out and then had whole class competitions. After one minute we counted how many they had transferred. I found it was more of a challenge if you made them stand up to do it and had the paper pieces randomly mixed up (not nicely stacked up). The winner in our class managed 50 pieces.
This challenge was definitely the one that made us laugh the most. Students had to put a stocking on their head (I bought a 4 pack for pretty cheap at Coles).
In one of the legs I had placed 2 brand new glue sticks to give it a bit of weight. The other leg was just wrapped around their head.I would have preferred a tennis ball in each but I couldn't get a hold of any that day.
I split the students up into 4 groups (If I had more stockings I would have done more groups but 4 still seemed to work nicely.)
We lined up 4 water bottles that were a quarter filled with water about 30cm apart. Students had to race the members of the other teams to be the first to knock down all their bottles. You could only use the end of your 'trunk' and no hands were allowed at any time.
Students had to knock them down in the correct order, for example if they accidentally knocked over the 2nd without having knocked over the first, the second would be stood back up. This prevented the bigger boys from just plowing down the middle and trying to take them all out with one almighty swing (which worked 50% of the time in one go).
I haven't had any issues with nits at this grade level but I did give the kids the option of wearing a hat underneath the stocking if they were at all concerned.
I hope you try some of these challenges out with your class and have a great time! Let me know if you have tried any others as I am on the hunt for challenges to use next term.