Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Carnival Craziness and Dunk Tank Drama

Every year we hold a end of year carnival for our sweet third graders.  It's something they have all come to expect at the end of the year.  It's so much fun and SO MUCH WORK!  There are 7 third grade teachers in my building, and each of us has  taken on an area of need or committee in order to help share the work load in 3rd grade.  One of my sweet colleagues/friend does most of the behind the scenes of our third grade carnival.  She does such a fabulous job, and I can't take any credit for what goes on behind the scenes but I wanted to share with you our carnival.

Generally about 30 school days before the carnival, we begin passing out tickets to our students.  They each have a bag with their name in which to place the ticket he/she receives daily.  The ticket is also a good behavior incentive.  Students lose a ticket for not following the rules during the school day.  These tickets are a helpful reminder about expected behavior especially as the school year comes to a close.  Even some of my students who have a tendency to forget about some of the rules seem to need only one reminder.  No one wants to lose a ticket.

These tickets also teach  responsibility.  We spend a great deal talking with our students about responsibility.  Fourth grade is a big jump for our third graders especially in the area of responsibility.  Students are responsible for keeping their tickets in  a safe place.  They do not get new tickets if old ones are lost or misplaced.  This can be a hard lesson learned for some students. 

We send a note home to parents about our carnival.  The note asks for volunteers to help with the various games on that day, and asks for each student to bring in $5.00.  We use the $5.00 to rent the dunk tank ( most popular hang-out on Carnival day) , purchase prizes from dollar stores, and purchase snacks.  Each game or snack costs 1 ticket.  Some of the games we have are: ring toss, face painting, darts ( magnetic), photo booth, duck pond, put put golf, ball toss, grab bag, cake walk, guess the  baby picture, and the dunk tank.   There is also a toy store where each student can purchase one item.  The most popular item is the silly string which is not sent home with the students until right before they go home.

Then the day arrives.... we work together to get the gym set up for our carnival.  Some of us show a movie in our room or play games with two or three classes of third graders while the rest of us work in the gym to get things set up for the afternoon.  The first year was a little rough.... but now we have a map of where every game should go.  We have it down to a science... almost.

I'm not sure who decided to begin the tradition of a teacher dunk tank... it sure wasn't me, but I think it's safe to say we are stuck with it for awhile.  Actually, aside from the frigid water, it's a lot of fun.  I have to say my first year was so EYE OPENING.  I never realized how that little window in front of the dunk tank magnified everything.  I'm always so paranoid about what I wear into the dunk tank.  Silly I know... but one you get dunked everything's  clinging to you and not to mention the magnification that's going on from that little window view once you get rocketed into the  dunk tank.  Fortunately, there are 7 of us so our time in the dunk tank is limited to about 10 minutes each. 

Here are a few pictures from our Carnival Day.   

Face Painting
Bean Bag Toss
Duck Pond
Sucker Pull
This reminds me of the miniature version of the Plinko Price Is Right Game.
Grab Bag
Ring Toss
The hats were one of the prizes students could win.  They were a hit.

 The funny glasses and stick-on mustache prizes were also a big hit.
I'm sorry I have no pictures of the dunk tank in action. Maybe next year.... I forgot to have another 3rd grade teacher take a picture while I was out there, and I wasn't about to take a picture of any of my friends in the dunk tank. 

If you are looking for a fun way to end the year, I highly recommend a Carnival Day.  The tickets work well for good behavior incentives, and it's relatively inexpensive to come up with most of the games.  When we first started, we found several games from Oriental Trading that we purchased. I'm sure Pinterest has some fabulous ideas as well. The students have an amazing time, and now that our carnival has become  a tradition ( this was our fourth year) most parents are more than willing to send in money to help with prizes and so forth towards the carnival while also lending a helping hand on this day.  We usually have so many volunteers that we are able to simply walk around and monitor the carnival.

Happy Wednesday!!!  It's FINALLY the middle of the week....

I would love to hear about the fun activities you do at the end of the year.  Do you have a field day, beach day, races, or a carnival day?

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