Thursday, December 29, 2016

Superhero Training School

Attention Superhero Trainees!!!

We wanted an engaging way to kick off our school year as we focused on learning classroom procedures and routines.  We also wanted a fun way to tie in content such as learning letter names and sounds. What better way than to kick off our year with a Superhero Training School!  

At our Meet the Teacher Day which happens before school starts, parents were given a special note with superhero confetti attached to read to their child the night before school.  This could also be mailed home, given out to parents, or however your kiddos find out who their teacher is.

Superhero note to students with superhero confetti

Now it was time to turn our classroom into Superhero Training Headquarters!  We painted cardboard boxes black and stacked them together to create towers of buildings.  We cut squares out of yellow construction paper and glued them on to the boxes (although another student said we could have used yellow sticky notes!)  Then we drew kid-sized silhouettes of flying superheroes on black butcher paper and cut them out.  We used plastic tablecloths from a dollar store and cut them out to look like capes.  The superheroes were hung from our ceiling to create the illusion of them flying through the air in our classroom.  We hung four, but the next time we do this, we will add one more layer of boxes to the buildings to make them a little taller. 
Superhero skyscrapers and "flying" superhero





We wanted to be in costume when we met our superhero trainees, so we made a design on the computer (Superhero Training School), printed it on t-shirt transfer paper, and ironed it onto our shirts.  We ordered our capes from Amazon, but we could have also made them out of Dollar Store plastic table cloths. We were officially Superhero Training Instructors!
Our TK/Kinder Superhero Training Instructors

Once our superhero trainees entered the classroom, we wanted a fun way that went along with our theme for them to learn their classroom number (we use their classroom numbers for lots of things (line order, cubby number, etc.). We had seen the scratcher idea on Pinterest and thought it would be an exciting way to reveal their "Secret Superhero" numbers!  All you need is dish soap, clear packing tape, and silver (or any color you would like) acrylic paint (the cheap craft kind)!  We used one small bottle of paint to make 88 scratch offs. Simply put some  paint in a bowl and add the dish soap.  The recipes vary the ratio of dish soap to paint.  Some say one to one ratio, and others say two parts paint to one part dish soap.  We started with the the two to one ratio, and that seemed to work just fine.  We figured that we could always add more if we needed to. Print your design and put a square of packing tape over the area that you want to reveal.  Paint a layer on top of the packing tape and let it dry completely.  Then paint a second layer so that you cannot see the design underneath (in some of the projects we have done, it took three coats).  When our students walked in the door, they found their name on the table and scratched off the square to find their secret superhero numbers.  They were SO excited!  Most of the parents were even more excited than the kids!

Two parts of paint to one part of dish soap
Dish soap and acrylic paint

Painting the first layer

We created the wording on the computer using the Jumping Jack font by MTF, printed it out, and cut out our student superhero silhouette out of butcher paper.  We then glued everything to another piece of butcher paper and hung it on our front door with magnets to make it look like the entrance of Superhero Training School.  The kids loved it!  We saw this idea on Pinterest and recreated it.

Superhero Training School front door

We gave our students their official training badge.  We bought lanyards and badge holders off of Amazon, and slipped the badges that we created inside.  The students wore these all week as everyone was learning each other's names.  It really helped when they went to the cafeteria or any other place on campus.  To be perfectly honest, it helped us as well get to know their names more quickly.  The badge holders and lanyards were an expense, but we wanted them to use throughout the school year.  We could have easily made the lanyard with yarn and just printed on card stock (laminated or not).  We also could have printed in black and white.

Official Superhero training badge 

We took each student's first day picture in front of our cityscape (Amazon).  We had planned to create this with butcher paper, but we ran out of time!  At that point, we had more money than time!  LOL

First day school picture in front of the city scape

We created a superhero call and response that we taught the students.  We would call out, "Superhero Trainees!" and they would respond with, "Shazaam, Kabam, Yes Ma'am!"  They punched their arms forward on the first two words and put their hands in the air for "Yes Ma'am."  It was a fun way to get their attention!

Throughout the first month of school, our trainees learned classroom routines and procedures.  They also learned our alphabet song and movements for each letter, practiced writing each letter, and so much more.  But that's a whole other blog post!  

At the end of the month, we wrapped up our Superhero Training School with a special ceremony. We purchased capes from a dollar store (we ordered online), and two of our awesome class parents affixed each student's initial onto a cape.  These also could have been made out of construction or butcher paper or plastic table cloths. Each student also received an "official" certificate of completion from us and had his or her picture taken wearing the cape.  



After 20 amazing days, our Superhero Training School was officially complete!  It was a ton of fun and the students were SO engaged!


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