It's time for another Rock Your School Day, detective style! We celebrated this RYSD in October, the perfect time to tie in some spooky Halloween themes, ideal for a trip in the Mystery Van with Scooby Doo! My costume was simple, just black leggings and a Scooby shirt from Amazon. Hint: shop in the kids section! This hooded t-shirt came from the BOYS category.
Whenever our RYSD themes are announced, I start with the direction I want to take with my little ones. This time, Scooby was a great fit, so I started thinking about what that might look like for us. I pictured us diving into detective work by solving mysteries throughout the day. Between lessons, we hopped in our very own Mystery Van by simply sitting behind the table, pretending to take a drive!
When students arrived at school, they were surprised to see their teacher dressed as Scooby Doo, along with a a school filled with mysterious decorations!
They got to join in on the fun right away by dressing like Scooby, too! (I now incorporate hats with every RYSD, as the kids LOVE dressing up, too!) Upon completion, they colored their detective coloring pages.
Their tables had question marks and paw prints, along with grass for the puppies to play!
When the school-wide announcements came on that morning, we found out our students had a mystery to solve. The school swings had been stolen! There were looks of shock and concern. The first mystery of the day had been revealed. We talked about what the word mystery meant and how this swing mystery made us feel. Kids described their feelings as scared, sad and surprised.
Then I told them that their good pal Scooby Doo was here to help! To introduce those who didn't know Scooby and also to get them hooked, I showed them this Scooby Doo movie trailer LINK.
Then there were more classroom mysteries to solve when I showed them today's mystery bags.
The first bag held dauber pages and watercolor paints. I had written the letters we had studied up to that point (A, M, S, P) with white crayons ahead of time. Shaggy told me the kids had to paint each dot to find a mystery letter! They loved this! While working, I encouraged them to tell me the letters and sounds. Students were completely engaged.
The next bag held a number hunt for around the school, but I forgot to take a picture. Here's the FREE LINK to the download, though. Since number identification was included in our math goals, this was a fun activity for kids to be number detectives! This also allowed us to see all of the hard work other staff members put into our Detective Rock Your School Day! Kiddos took clipboards and crayons, and off we went on a mysterious adventure!
The next mystery bag held Daphne, who revealed some Halloween riddles. Since it was near the beginning of the year, I projected this sheet, and students completed simple directed drawings of the answers. Find the FREE riddles HERE.
Bag number four was my favorite lesson of all! This was my highlighted lesson that I also shared with the other three kindergarten classes. Every RYSD, we do a grade level rotation, so we can engage more students with our collaborative efforts! Students were curious to take a trip to Scooby's!
My focus was a social emotional lesson, something that I have really focused on this year after attending the Breathe for Change professional development. (It changed my thinking completely, but that's for another post.) We started our lesson with 3 collective breaths, ghost style. Breathe in as you put your hands up in the air. As you breathe out, wiggle them down, letting out a "wooooo" sound. Next we did a mindful movement activity, which included making a witch hat (triangle yoga pose). The next activity included a community connection, making a a spooky forest together (tree pose). We pretended the wind blew through our forest, making us sway from side to side, challenging us not to lose our balance. The focus of the lesson was next, which was MYSTERY of course! I showed them the mystery bag, and Wanda Witch told us about the mystery ingredients. The kiddos guess what each ingredient might be.
I poured the baking soda into Wanda's pot first, followed by the green food coloring. For extra fun, we added bone and skeleton sprinkles. For the grand finale, baking soda!
There were ooos and aaas and squeals of delight, and of course we had to do it again and again. As we repeated the process, we connected to expression, discussing about how the reaction made us feel, from the explosive bubbles to the remaining bubbles that slowly popped in front of us. This led us to a tense and release activity, followed by our closing. We talked about good surprises and not so good surprises, connecting to the school-wide swing mystery and and Wanda Witch's mystery. It was AWESOME to hear kiddos from all four classes describe their feelings for both mysteries! Mission accomplished!
To end our day of fun, we reminisced on all of the detective work we had done as we enjoyed Scooby Snacks, of course. After hints being revealed throughout the day, a school assembly revealed that it was, in fact, our secretary who had stolen the swings! Her punishment...silly string attack by students!
I hope you gain some ideas of how to incorporate these SUPER simple, affordable activities and decorations into your classroom! Remember, RYSD is about engagement; that starts with how you make students FEEL about learning. I'd love to hear about them, so feel free to comment below or tag me on Instagram or Facebook @KrazyforKindyland!
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Each new RYSD theme challenges me to create new materials for our classroom lessons! Here's what I created for our detective theme, puppy dog style!
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