This topic came to my mind because Friday night was our annual school carnival. It's a big event! Leading up to the carnival, each classroom builds a themed basket for the silent auction. Ours was "Sweet Treats" this year, but other popular ideas have involved pets, game night, babies, etc. Students contribute items to the basket and parents bid against each other all night at the carnival to win.
Each classroom also competes in a door decorating contest before the carnival. This year's carnival theme was Dr. Seuss so I printed images from his books and had students cut them out and glue their faces on. They also wrote cute notes using my polka dot freebie that all started "I love the carnival because..." to tape to the door next to their character. I wanted to post a picture, but I'm afraid the Dr. Seuss copyright people will get me (did you hear about all that?!). Instead, here's a picture of my husband and me sporting our carnival shirts in my friend's classroom. Everyone wore them while working the game booths, which were sponsored by area businesses. The bank in town even sent their mascot over to the carnival for a while. In addition to traditional carnival games, there are also big blow up bounce houses and obstacle courses.
Yes, the carnival makes for one long, exhausting day. However, I think it's totally worth it. Watching the students and their families come to play together for an entire evening is priceless. I love seeing former students too. They move to the other end of our building after they leave third grade, so I don't see them very often during regular school days. I miss seeing their little faces! The carnival is also a great way to get families who usually wouldn't come to school under more traditional circumstances into the building. It takes a team effort, but it is definitely doable. I'd encourage you to try something similar at your school. You can do it!
Oh, and one more thing... April at A Modern Teacher is doing a fun series of posts called Classroom Crashers! If you're in her area, she will literally come crash your classroom and then blog about all of your fabulous ideas. If you aren't near her in Texas, you can do it via email. Click here to see her post about our room!