Every teacher knows that novelty aids in memory retention. How many of us remember any one specific spelling test? But I'll bet you can recall at least one school field trip you took as a child.
At the end of a successful unit of study, students will have acquired some new skills and knowledge. What better way to review this than with a theme-based classroom party!
Before you roll your eyes with visions of classroom chaos, take a look at some of the suggestions below.
Many of these suggestions can be used independently as well as in a party format.
All the themes here are based on the Ontario Curriculum. If you like my sample activities, stay tuned to this site for ways to access more curriculum based activities.
Classroom Party Basics
For a successful classroom party that doesn't turn into a free-for-all, you will need to provide some guidelines. Students will need a few days to prepare if they are to provide food, costumes or props for the party. You will need to gauge how much your group may be able to provide according to their age and available resources. Be sure to provide alternatives for those who forget or are unable to provide the items you ask them to bring.
Allergies and other dietary restrictions need to be taken seriously. Likewise, you will want to structure the event in a way that allows every child to participate in a meaningful way. Students who participate in the planning process are often better able to participate without becoming distracted. Be sure that specific jobs are assigned to specific students when appropriate.
Be considerate of nearby classrooms. Try and schedule your party when other classes are away, or invite them to join in. It is very difficult to concentrate on writing a test when party sounds can be heard. Let the rest of the staff know about your event in advance, and be prepared to re-schedule if necessary.
Keep your party to a limited timeframe. Afternoon is best as it is difficult to get back to seatwork after the morning celebration.
Be sure to bring along your camera and / or camcorder to capture the event.