Sunday, January 20, 2019

FBI Academy

Welcome to the FBI Academy!!

The past two days in my classroom have been filled with SUPER engaging and high energy activities. What started as a simple need (students needing to learn how to highlight) simply got larger and larger and larger! Eventually, I ended up with a full classroom transformation that really wasn't too complicated. 

Step 1: Use black butcher paper to darken my windows. 

Step 2: Spread black lights throughout the room. My room is pretty large and I kept getting worried that I didn't have enough lights! I ended up using 4 lights. 

American Dj Black 48 Blb 4Ft Blacklight Tube And Fixture

I used 2 of the 24 inch lights and 1 of the 48 inch lights. 

This one was perfect for a spotlight on the back corner!

Step 3: Find a teacher friend who isn't afraid of heights to help you string yarn throughout your classroom. I only did the "spy lasers" in the back corner of my classroom. 

**If I were to do this again, I would honestly skip this step. It was exciting for my students, but I didn't really want them playing back there and we didn't have enough time for everyone to get to sit and work in the spy corner.**

That's it! It was definitely the easiest set-up and tear down of a room transformation that I've done yet!


We have an amazing secretary. I had her call down to my classroom with an important message. I wish I had taken a video, butttttt her message essentially said "Ummm 3 men in dark suits and sunglasses just dropped off an envelope and asked for ______ and ______ to come get it from the front office."

The envelope was addressed to our classroom and had a return address that said FBI Headquarters Quantico, VA. The two boys that had been sent RAN all the way back to our classroom and yelled when they got in that the FBI had sent us a package!

Inside the large manila envelope, each student had their own envelope with this message.
This was great! They were all so excited and SO many came in black or dark grey the next day!!

So, how does this connect to curriculum?? Well I noticed that my students did not know what to do with highlighters and were RARELY going back into texts to find answers. This became the basis of the room transformation "finding evidence."

Reading A-Z has great Close Reading passages that are short texts paired with questions that progress from basic to higher order. I took the activity and glued it onto anchor chart paper so that students could complete it in their groups of 3. 

In math, we are preparing to begin our fractions unit. I always do a few days of 3rd and 4th grade fractions review before digging in. This year's fraction review came in the form of a real-life breakout. 

When we went to get our Chromebooks on Thursday, the students were greeted with this sign. 

Students then worked through different activities that included finding equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions, converting mixed numbers and improper fractions, and adding/subtracting fractions. Each activity gave them a different clue which led to them realizing that our principal had "stolen" our Chromebooks! 

You guys! The cheers that erupted when they finally figured it out after day 2 of hard work made it all worth it!

In the end, this was one of the easier room transformations that I have done. The lights were the only expenses, and though they were more than I would have liked to spend, I know I will use them in the future!

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