Why Escape Rooms Are Great For Elementary

You probably already know that escape rooms have become hugely popular in primary grades recently. They’re exciting, unique, engaging, and make your students think! What’s not to love? They’re perfect for any grade in elementary.

If you haven’t heard of this before, you may be wondering what escape rooms are. 

An escape room is an escape game where your students have to work together in real life to discover clues, solve puzzles, and complete tasks in order to escape. But how do you do an escape room with 5 and 6 year old kindergarten students? 

It may seem obvious, but you don’t actually  need to have expensive locks, fancy boxes, or big prizes. My escape rooms meet standards, don’t need locks, encourage 100% engagement, and get kids to work together in teams to help each other open any box and escape their room. The activities and puzzles are grade level appropriate so they will be just challenging enough to be fun. 

My escape rooms have 3 to 5 tasks for students to solve in order to get their next clue.  They also have video hooks to build anticipation. You can make it fun by letting them escape the room and go to recess, the library, or really get the excitement up with a cookie party!

Escape rooms make a GREAT Halloween activity, especially. The Halloween theme will add a spooky and fun twist. 

This Halloween Escape Room is for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. It includes step-by-step instructions that will guarantee student engagement while your students work together to find the missing classroom pumpkin that was stolen by the werewolf.

escape rooms

Check out this escape room Halloween Mystery video to hook them in! 

 

Want to see this Halloween Escape Room in action? Check out this fun video from The Magical Teacher to see how she used in her classroom for a thrilling Halloween mystery. 

 

 

Do you use escape rooms in your classroom? Let me know in the comments!

escape rooms

Looking for more Halloween activities, check out my post here for Halloween crafts and center ideas! 

Teaching Forms of Energy

Energy is the ability to do work. We know this, and we appreciate the ways we use energy in our everyday lives. For our students however, this is not necessarily something they would think much about. Our kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd grade students may not even know a lot about the energy they use every day like sunlight, food, and electricity. They also may not think of light, sound, and heat as types of energy. This is a very important topic for students to understand. 

Something that is important is to know your students’ misconceptions. Most likely, they don’t know what energy looks like. They may think that light can’t move through objects. They may have never thought about vibration creating sound. Teaching these concepts can be really fun with a little prep work!  

Here are some tips for teaching energy forms to your students. 

  • Take it slow. It can be a challenging concept for younger students to grasp at first. You don’t want to overwhelm them right from the start. Plan it out ahead of time and take it one step at a time. 
  • Explain what energy is first, and then start offering examples of energy (sound, heat, and light). Breaking it down will make a difference in student comprehension. 
  • Try reading some books about energy forms. Usually, books are a great way to learn more about subjects from a different source, which can be a great thing for the trickier topics. 
  • Do a variety of activities to get lots of practice. You can do fun science experiments if you want, or you can keep it simple and straightforward. Tell your students that they are the scientists and their job is to understand forms of energy. 

This Forms of Energy Activities resource for kindergarten and first grade would be a great addition to your forms of energy lesson plans. It covers sound, heat, and light with a 3 week plan including 3 inquiry lessons, data notebook, rubric, home project, and more. forms of energy

Here’s some more information on what is included in this Forms of Energy resource:

Lesson Plan (What is a Scientist?) WEEK 1

Lesson Plan (Science Tools) WEEK 2

Lesson Plan (Scientific Method) WEEK 3

Act It Out (Teacher calls out the energy word, students act it out)

Draw or List forms of energy

Forms of Energy Writing and Drawing Printable

Forms of Energy – Heat, Light, Sound Interactive Notebook Page

Energy Mini-Book

Venn Diagram – compare fire and the sun

Ask a Friend – Practice collecting data, predicting and collecting evidence

I SPY Sound Items

Draw what you think sound looks like

Interactive Notebook pages for making a pocket full of things that make sound

Sound Energy Mini-Book

Venn Diagram compare the soft sound of the beach to the loud sound of the music room at school

Writing Page about Sound Energy

Draw 3 forms of energy in the circle.

Inquiry Lesson Light Experiment with various Items to see if light passes through

Inquiry Student Page to collect

Hear and See Sound Experiment

Hear and See Sound by showing vibration

Melting Ice Teacher Instructions for Inquiry Lesson

Student page to collect data on melting ice experiment

Fun Science Hat/Headband 

What is energy? Poster

Vocabulary Posters (sound, soft, vibrate, loud, heat, light)

Energy Notebook Journal with Rubric

Forms of Energy

 

What activities do you like to do to help your students understand forms of energy? Let me know in the comments below!

forms of energy
For more science activities and lessons, check out my post here! 

5 Ways To Help Students Master Their Names

One of the first things we teach our little learners when they come to kindergarten is how to write their own name. It is so important for students to get plenty of practice and learn this readiness skill early on. It is something they will write often and for the rest of their lives. Knowing how to write it will help build their confidence in their own abilities in school and help set the stage for learning the rest of the alphabet during the school year. 

Here are some different ways to practice and make learning names fun: 

  1. Handwriting. You’ll want to place a lot of focus on good old fashioned handwriting when it comes to learning their names. This is one of the most important ways to practice. It feels like second nature as we grow up but learning to hold and control a pencil takes lots of practice for our younger students. 
  2. Tracing with a finger. Write the letters to their names out and have your students practice tracing the letters with their fingers. This will help them get used to the shape of the letters and help with memorization. 
  3. Dry erase board practice. There’s just something about a dry erase board and dry erase marker that students love. It is just more exciting to use than a plain old pencil. Pass them to your students for an engaging and fun way to practice writing their names. A bonus is that it is easy to wipe away any mistakes! 
  4. Painting or shaving cream. What is more fun for kindergarteners than getting messy? Make this fun and educational activity by spraying some shaving cream on their desk and having them trace their name into it or by pulling out some paint and brushes. 
  5. Digital practice. These days, it is just as important to practice digitally typing and identifying letters in their name as it is writing it. Your students can practice this by identifying the letters in their name, counting the number of letters, and typing it out on their keyboards. 

These interactive, Editable Name Practice Google Slides will help your students master this skill.  They can be easily personalized to make sure your students will know their names, letters, and be engaged in learning. It is perfect for virtual or in personal learning. You’ll get 20 colorful Google Slides with titles, editable text boxes, directions, and moving parts.  

names

You can also get this resource in Spanish if your students are not English speakers!

names

You can try out the Editable Name Practice Activity by checking out this freebie!

Here is a video tutorial for how to use this resource! 

 

Do you have any fun activities to teach your students to write their names? Let me know in the comments! 

For some more kindergarten resources, check out my post here. 
Names