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distance learning

Fun Friday Ideas

Fun Friday
Photo for Fun Friday Ideas blog header with pictures of student drawing sea turtle.

So as we know – the 2020-21 school year has been crazy and not like any other. Many things have needed to be revamped including how I do Fun Friday. I typically have all kinds of building activities out for the kids to work on, but obviously that is not an option with social distancing. So I’ve come up with a few new Fun Friday ideas that can be used in the virtual classroom, in-person classroom, or hybrid classroom.

Name Change – Mystery Time

First, Fun Friday has gone through a name change in my classroom. It’s now called Mystery Time. At the beginning of the year when everyone at my school was virtual, Mystery Time was built in to everyone’s schedule for the last 30 minutes on Friday. Mystery Time is pretty much Fun Friday except it’s a mystery each week what it will be. So every Friday it’s a different activity and throughout the day I give clues about the activity. Students then guess and get to see if their guess was correct at the end of the day. The kids love the suspense and every Friday during Morning Meeting they start hounding me for clues, so it definitely motivates them and keeps them engaged.

Ideas

Here are a few ideas that I have used for Fun Friday or Mystery Time in my classroom:

Virtual Field Trip

Virtual Field Trips are a lot of fun virtually and in-person since field trips are off the table this year. One of our favorites was the Nickelodeon Slime in Space trip. Everyone love slime and space and it was cool to see what happened when astronauts played around with the slime.

Picture of green slime on paddle for virtual field trip for Fun Friday Ideas.

Themed Breakout Rooms

I got this idea from Carolyn over at A Primary Kind of Life and it is a fantastic way to build community and provide the kiddos at home a chance to socialize. I’ve only done this one virtually, but I’m sure you could tweak it a bit and do it in person.

For Themed Breakout Rooms, I first had a discussion with my class about fun themes they’d like to talk about. Pokemon, Minecraft, Legos, arts and crafts, music, and toys all made the list. Then, I would narrow it down to 2-3 themes for that specific Fun Friday time. I would let the kids know the themes – say for example – Legos, Arts and Crafts, and Toys and they would tell me which room they would want to go to. Then, I would assign them to that specific room and the kids could just hang out, talk, share Legos, create art, and more together. I then popped in and out of the rooms to make sure things were running smoothly and staying on-topic. They honestly did great with this and I think they were so excited to be able to socialize with each other since that piece is often missing from distance learning.

Art Hub for Kids

This is one of our favorites! They have many different pictures you can draw and the kids love learning how to draw different animals, foods, places, etc.

Photo of Art Hub for Kids lesson for Fun Friday activity.
Photo of student drawing of sea turtle.

Building Projects

While students can’t build projects together in a group, they can still build on their own. We had a think outside the box challenge where students had to use a box and materials from home to create something they could wear. This could also be done in-person with students bringing in items from home that they could use to create their project.

Games

Games like Pictionary, Scavenger Hunt, This or That, and Finish the Doodle are also fun for Fun Friday.

Google™ Creations

Sometimes I assign my students a blank Google Slide™ with a specific task to complete with it. We’ve used a blank slide to create a jack-o-lantern, a disguise for a turkey, a snowman, and more.

Photo of Google Slides™ Create a jack-o-lantern activity.

For more ideas, be sure to follow me over on Instagram @teamjclassroomfun.

Morning Meeting Activity Ideas

Morning Meeting

Are you looking for ways to freshen up your Morning Meeting Activity time for virtual learning or in-person?? Then, you are in the right place! These activities below can be used in a virtual, in-person, or hybrid classroom. I have used these as activities during Morning Meeting, but you could also use them in different ways!

Let’s check them out…

Boggle

Boggle is not only fun, but also academic! Students have to create as many words as they can using the letters given on the board. The tricky part is that the letters must be touching! I always challenge my class to see if they can beat the number of words that they came up with the last time.

Image of Boggle Directions for activites
Image of Boggle Board for Morning Meeting Activities

Noggle

Noggle is just like Boggle above, but with numbers! For this activity, students create as many number sentences as they can with the given numbers. They can use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division.

Image of Noggle Directions
Picture of Noggle Game Board for Morning Meeting

Mystery Word/Make a Word

This is another great ELA activity. Students are given a mystery word with the letters scrambled up. They have two tasks. One – create as many words as they can with the letters. Two – figure out the mystery word.

Image of Directions for Mystery Word
Picture of scrambled up letters for the mystery word activity

Guess the Picture

For Guess the Picture, students are given a photo that is mainly covered up with only a tiny part showing. (I’ll be honest this is not the best example since the photo was dark. Normally you can see the small circle that is uncovered much better). They then have to guess what the picture is. You give 3-4 clues before revealing the hidden picture.

Picture with tiny part of image being seen for activity
Picture with tiny part of image being seen for activity and clue
Photo of 3 jack-o-lanterns

Finish the Doodle

This Morning Meeting Activity is great for your creative artists! My class loves to use their imagination with this one. Students are all shown a doodle (it can be honestly anything) and then they get to turn it into whatever they want! After students share in breakout rooms or in a small group or with a partner.

Image of Finish the Doodle directions
Finish the Doodle Image- two lines angled to start a triangle
Directions for sharing Finish the Doodle

Scavenger Hunt

This activity works best for virtual students, but could possibly be done in person. For this activity, students are given an object or something to find in their house and then they come back and share it with the group.

Photo of Scavenger Hunt example - Find something that makes you happy

This or That

This is a great Morning Meeting activity to get to know kids and get them up and moving. Students are given 2 different choices and they have to choose if they’d rather have this or that. Then, to show their choice they complete the exercise chosen. This day’s activity was done with breakfast foods, but you could do them with all sorts of topics.

This or That example photo.  Photo of waffles or cereal.
This or That example photo.  Photo of pancakes or cereal

Quick Draw

My kids love this activity! For Quick Draw, students have 2 minutes (you could change the time) to draw the item you tell them to. They love sharing these in breakout rooms or with a partner.

Directions for Quick Draw Activity
Quick Draw example - Draw a castle.

Mystery Bag

Mystery Bag is a super easy activity for Morning Meeting. You hide a mystery item in the bag and the kids have to guess the mystery item. I give clues to help them guess what I put in the bag. I often just use things I have around my classroom.

Image for Mystery Bag Morning Meeting activities

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

This is another favorite game! I love this game because you can have more than one correct answer and you can cover many different areas and categories. Students have to decide which item, number, or word doesn’t belong. When they make their decision, they also have to explain why. It’s always very interesting to see the different ways the kids look at things. For this activity, I’ve included numbers, words, and photos (and I try to include an academic focus when I can.)

Image of One of These is Not Like the Other Activity. Includes numbers 22, 44, 88, and 65

Scattergories

I’ll be real about this – I have no idea if this is how you play Scattergories, but this is how we’ve been doing it in my classroom and it’s working for us. For my version, the students have 5 minutes to come up with as many words that begin with the chosen letter and fit the categories. Then, we see how many words people came up with and the kids share their responses.

Image of Scattergories Slide for letter D with 5 minute timer

Story Starter

This activity is a great way for students to be creative with their writing. Students begin their story with the story starter and can then take it wherever they want! I love seeing them use their imaginations and try to choose fun and silly story starters. Afterwards, students can share their writing in breakout rooms or with a group/partner.

Image of Story Starter Slide with prompt - 3, 2, 1 - Blast off! The rocket ship was headed to....

FREE Morning Meeting – Digital Planning Page

To help make planning Morning Meeting easier, grab this FREE digital planning page. This planning page is in Google Slides™ so you can type your Morning Meeting plans right into the table. I’ve also included a little cheat sheet of a few of the activity ideas that I shared above. Grab this FREEBIE >>> HERE.

Image of Free Morning Meeting Planning Page and Morning Meeting Activity Ideas