Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Please Welcome Hilary Marciano, Guest Teacher-Author

   

 In my spare time, I like to go on walks and adventures with my husband and pup, Cincy, that we rescued last month. 

About Hilary
   I am an Educational Technology Specialist from Fort Myers, Florida. This is my third year in the classroom, and I love the new position in technology that I took on this year.  I teach K-5 technology as well as MS and HS Computer Science at a K-12 school. I enjoy incorporating all sorts of activities into my technology classes, and enjoy finding useful tools that the teachers in my school can use in my classroom. I recently started my journey on TPT to share a little glimpse into what my classroom is like. I also started blogging resources that teachers can use in their classroom to easily incorporate technology.

Pumpkin Olympics

   There is never enough time for students to get up and get moving in a classroom. We always hear that student minds can only stay focused for such a short period of time, yet sometimes they are fed so much information in one setting that their mind can’t comprehend all of it. This is where my idea for a Pumpkin Olympics came to play.


   I love all things fall. I didn’t know much about fall (growing up in Florida) until I moved to Virginia to go to college. I spent this season doing all things fall (pumpkin patches, apple orchards, corn mazes, etc) and just loved the changing leaves. After college, I moved back home, and now crave that fresh crisp fall air. Since we don’t get to experience fall down here in Southwest Florida, I try and bring as much of the season as I can into my classroom.

   There are many different ways to use the Pumpkin Olympics idea I had. One would be to take a whole afternoon and just have an all-out fall bash. The way I chose to use it was to introduce a little bit of pumpkin fun each day. I started out with splitting my class into teams. I split them so that they were around different people than they usually chose to be with. We spent the first day brainstorming team names and team logos. We spent the next two days during pumpkin time decorating a poster board with their team logo and making it their flag. We hung them in the classroom for the remainder of the pumpkin activities. This made it feel like the “Olympics” since they are representing teams (instead of countries).

   One of my favorite parts of this activity is the unity that it brought to my classroom. Even though it was a competition between groups that I had made, there was a camaraderie that came with the friendly competition. They also loved and looked forward to these brain breaks each day. It was something different than we had done before and I will definitely be doing it again with the next holiday season. I designed these activities with simplicity in mind. I spent some money on pumpkins, but most of the supplies that I used for these Olympic games were items that I already had in my classroom. I love inexpensive activities that my students will talk about for years to come.

   My students would probably tell you that their favorite part was that I turned one of my bulletin boards into a massive score board. I added each of the team names and added gold, silver, and bronze medals under who got which for the activity we did that day. They loved that they could see how well their team was doing and could see how much they needed to improve in order to take home gold for their country at the end of the Olympics.

   Most of these activities you can do in a classroom, but some might require hall space or a gym if you try and do them all at the same time. You can also incorporate lots of your other fall activity ideas in your classroom while these Olympic games are taking place, so that the students get all things pumpkin from each and every angle.

  Whatever activities you chose in involve in your classroom this fall season, be thankful that we have seasons worth celebrating! Spend a little extra time this season enjoying fall with your family. Carve a pumpkin, make homemade applesauce, light an orange colored candle, and enjoy the season that some of us only dream of! 
                                                                              
                                                                               Best,
                                                                               
                                                                               Hilary


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