Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Fun!


Hi friends!  Whew!  It's been almost two months since my last blog post!  Can you say CRAZY.  TOWN.  I forget how insane the first quarter of kindergarten can be.  I am finally starting to feel like I can breathe.  A little. 

What better time to get back into the blogging rhythm then the presidential election!  While my personal feelings regarding the election are preventing me from getting too pumped (I'm honestly thinking about fleeing the country...think Canada will take me?...) I have been excited to share the democratic process with my students!  Here are a few fun and easy ideas!


In a typical school year, my students have many opportunities to vote and express their opinions and choices in our classroom.  However, for today, my kindergarten team wanted to kick it up a notch.  We decided we would have all of our kindergarten students vote on their favorite cookie - Oreo or chocolate chip.  We set up a 'voting booth' in the hallway using old testing cubbies and hung curtains on them for privacy.  Then students from each class took turns making their vote.  The results will be tallied this evening and our kindergarten students will get to enjoy our yummy winner in the morning!  I'm secretly hoping Oreo wins!  ;)

  





While I was excited about the idea of the entire kindergarten voting as one (especially on a cookie...) I felt that I needed to do something additional within my classroom to help my students understand just how important the presidential election is and how long term the results are.  While scanning Instagram one night, I came across this blog post from Crayons and Cuties and I instantly fell in love!  Take home reading buddies has been something I have been wanting to start for some time now.  Students will be able to take home a special storybook character, along with several books starring that character, for a few days to read with their families.  I love the idea of putting literature into the homes of my students, as well as getting my lower readers excited about spending time with a book.  Jennifer's idea for an election to choose the class reading buddy for the year was PERFECT!

I started by choosing three characters by students would know and love - Elephant and Piggie from the beloved Mo Willems books, Clifford, and Bear from the Karma Wilson series.  I then created 'campaign speeches' for each of the candidates to explain why that candidate would be the best take home reading buddy, and why my students should vote for them.  




We discussed the importance of our votes being private and using our own mind to make the decision - not being influenced by what a friend is choosing, but using your heart and brain to make the best choice.  We used a collapsible writing center set on our stage as a make shift voting booth.  All of my students were very serious about their peers not seeing their answers and they were so proud to have the opportunity to vote in such an important election!  (P.S. Elephant and Piggie were the winners!)




After voting, we talked about how proud people in our country are for the chance to be able to vote for their president - not everyone has this opportunity and that's why we show our pride by wearing stickers.  Of course, then  we HAD to have stickers to show off how proud we were!  :)



We read My Teacher for President and discussed the qualities a president needs to be a good leader - which were very similar to being a good teacher.... ;) 


We also make an American flag snack....because why not?!  I found these blue Sixlet candies in the birthday party section at Wal-Mart!!!! #winning


We wrapped up our election focus by discussing our future and that anyone can be a future president.   You just need to be a good, kind person and work hard!  Can't wait to see where the future takes this class of sweet little Kindergartners!  Cheers!