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Fun Day

Last year, we had the Fun Day before our AIMS testing to pump up the kids. This year, we decided to have it as an award, after the AIMS testing was finished.


Our students are divided into teams. The teams are the names of our colleges in Arizona. For Fun Day, the teams rotate from station to station.


In the morning, our students attend all of their classes for a shorter period of time. After we  have our 2 lunch periods at an earlier time, we begin  the Fun Day rotations.


Our two coaches, Shani Kmetko and Chris Hannah, really help organize the rotations. Also, our testing coordinator, Cristal Bradley did all the scheduling. We have 5 physical activities and one rotation is a 25 minute cartoon video. We have 2 elective teachers at each station who are in charge of keeping that station up and running and helping the core teachers organize their students. Each student on each team has to sign up for 2 events. We do not give prizes. They earn the right to attend Fun Day by working hard and behaving during the 5 days of testing.

I am attaching our schedules so you will have an idea how to plan a fun day or a field day at your school.

Download FUN DAY 3 

Download Aims-fun-day-schedule-2-2 

Download FunDay.Sign-ups 2 


We encourage the students to wear sunscreen, hats and bring bottled water. 

CoachKmetko        CoachHannah      Basketball      Kickball     Soccer      Tugofwar      Movie     Volleyball

Picture 1: Coach Kmetko     Pic 2: Coach Hannah    Pic 3: Basketball   Pic 4: kickball  Pic 5: soccer   Pic 6: tug of war    Pic 7: movie    Pic 8: volleyball

Next year, we will have our rotations in the morning. It got a little "warm" during the afternoon.

Math Hunt

I received my monthly Scholastic Teacher Update, grades 6-8. Make sure to get on their mailing list. You can find lots of valuable teaching resources. If you do not receive this, click on the following:   


This month I found a game called Math Hunt. Even though I do not teach math, what grabbed my attention was this description: Send your students out on fact-finding missions that test math skills, provide practice researching on the Web, and boost reading comprehension.  I'm always looking for ways to boost my students' reading comprehension. So I first read the overview in the Teacher's Guide and then the General Objectives. Next, I actually clicked on the game and selected a topic and played. If you don't know the answer, you can click on Hunt for the Answers, which will send you to a different area where you can find the answers or at least find clues to help you figure out the answers. It is really a great way to motivate your students with a cross-curricular activity. My students were challenged playing this game.  I hope your students will enjoy it, as well.
This is the website to go directly to the game:


Multi-Sensory Grammar

Jean Saragosa is one our language arts teachers. She sent out an email asking for several different colors of dry erase markers. That got my attention. I emailed her and asked her to tell me what she was doing with all of those markers. Here's her response:

"After attending a wonderful workshop on teaching and implementing the multi-sensory grammar program I decided to design a game to practice the skills I would introduce to my students.  The trainer of the program asked if she could visit our class and see how the program was being implemented.  I invited her to visit on a day when we were ready to review.

My students had been learning about and practicing the multi-sensory grammar model.  With this program each part of speech has a specific color.  We finally finished covering all the parts of speech so I decided to review and play a game.  The review (and game) are attached in a keynote.

The game-- students were paired up (or in threes) and given a small white board, a black dry erase marker, a mini eraser and enough colored foam squares (squares of colored construction paper could also be used) to cover all 8 parts of speech.

Each team was to re-write the pre-determined sentence (in black) and color-code it on their white board as quickly as possible using the foam squares (sentences were displayed on the overhead one at a time).  When the partners were done writing down and color-coding the sentence, one person from their team stood up (I took the first 5 students -- and gave them a index card with 1,2,3,4 or 5 written on it--this helped me determine who was 1st, 2nd, etc.)  My student teacher helped keep score.

For scoring:  If the team (with index card 1) had the sentence properly color-coded they received 3 points, the team (with index card 2) received 2 points if they successfully color-coded the sentence, and the 3rd, 1 point.  We played to 20.  I chose the first 5 in case a team didn’t have the sentence color-coded properly.  This kept all students actively involved and even teams that got behind could easily catch up quickly.

I found that all students actively participated and helped their teammate to properly color-code each sentence.  The students did not want to stop playing!"

 The prizes were:

 1st place = a weekend off from reading plus a piece of candy (my students read 30+ minutes EACH NIGHT including weekends :)

 2nd place = one weekday evening off from reading plus a piece of candy

 3rd place = a piece of candy

Download Multi Sensory Grammar 

This download may be a little faster:

Download Multi Sensory Grammar2 



Presidents' Day

Since we are out of school on Monday for Presidents' Day, I thought after we finish our lesson in class on Friday, I would give them the following word search. I hope your students will enjoy this, as well.

Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine's Day. Love is in the air (like middle school kids needed an excuse for their  racing hormones). Students are more concerned about getting balloons, cards, candy, and stuffed animals than school work.

So why fight it? Since I'm a Read 180 teacher and everyday they are either reading books silently, working on Read 180 on computers, or reading at the table with me, I thought I would surprise them with a change. This is the website that works well with my students: http://www.vocabulary.com/

Once you are on the website, click on Valentine's Day. Your students can either complete the puzzles online or you can make a hard copy for each of them. Here are the different choices:

This will give you several options to choose from and I think your students will enjoy any of these. You could allow them to work with a partner and discuss the answers at the end of each class.  

Another interesting website for Valentine's Day:


 On this site you can choose the following: word searches, crosswords, word ladders, math puzzles, unscramble messages

These range from beginner, easy, medium, to hard. You can make hard copies of all of these, as well.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Sandra's Middle School Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.