Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lunch Bunch- Whaaaaat?!

I recently received an e-mail from a teacher wondering what in the world my "lunch bunch" is that I do on Fridays and I thought you might like to hear about it as well!

"Lunch Bunch" is when students who have earned the privilege to come, can bypass the cafeteria and eat their lunch with me in our classroom on Friday.

Yes.  Earn the privilege.

To be able to come, you can either be directly invited by me OR you can do one of the following:
*make some kind of amazing, wonderful, stellar choice
*fill in one side of the AR test log sheet (they write down the tests they've taken and their scores)
*complete a level in the 100 Club
*write up to an increment of 500 on number scrolls (500, 1000, 1500, 2000, etc...)

When a student earns the right to come, I give them a sticky note and they write their name on it and put it on the "Lunch Bunch" poster on our bathroom door.

Here is the sign I made at Vistaprint last summer...

And here it is being used by my Lunch Bunchers...  I'll have tons of friends in for lunch this Friday!

We love "Lunch Bunch".  It gives us a time to eat and have conversation together, work on manners, laugh, and just get to know each other better.  We get to talk about all sorts of random things and, as an adult, nothing is sweeter or more hilarious than listening to conversations between 1st and 2nd graders!

Last year I also had two girls that I ate lunch with every Wednesday in the classroom.  These two girls worked on social skills with me while we dined together.  It was kind of a "fake" situation that I created for one of the girls to be able to make a friend- inviting the one that needed the social skills and the other who I thought could be a good friend to her, and it worked really well!  I plan to begin this with one of my sweeties this week too.  Eating together with kiddos is a very non-threatening way to truly get some good conversation in and work on manners and social skills!

My kiddos get so excited and work so hard to get to come to "Lunch Bunch".  I have one who has taken over 100 AR tests this year (13 gets you "Lunch Bunch") because she just wants to come and eat with me!  She's got sticky notes up on the chart for the next three or four weeks out!

So, if you are able, you should try it!  If you need an incentive for something in your classroom, this is a good one.  And it's a super great way to build community, work on manners and socializing skills, and just have fun with your kiddos!

And, just because, here's a copy of my AR log.  They keep these in their folders in their Daily Five book boxes and just come show me when one side is filled up.  When the whole thing is full, I file it away.  We love pulling them out to see how many tests we've taken!  :)  Now, I don't love AR and that is a totally different rant blog post, but if I have to do it, at least I can enjoy hanging with my kiddos!

On a side note, I just posted a project on Donor's Choose that I would LOVE to have funded!  I've had loads of luck with Donor's Choose thanks to extremely generous people- some who I know and others who are strangers!  I know sometimes they send out random gift cards (my mom got $125.00 in gift cards from them once that she posted to one of my projects!) or offer special promos to earn credits to put towards projects... if you have some laying around and don't currently have a project to fund, I'd love it if you would keep me in mind!  :)  I put a project up to get a Mimio Pad of my own so I don't have to worry about the possibility of potentially having to share the ActivSlate that I'm using in my room!  Yes, I'm being selfish!  This would get me my very own interactive pad so I could ensure being able to keep one in my room at all times!  Anyway, here's a link to my giving page if you do happen to have any codes or unused gift cards- Mrs. Bainbridge's Donor's Choose Giving Page.


  1. I used to do this too! but apparently, our cafeteria nazi makes us use to go tray whenever ANYONE needs to leave the cafeteria with food, and well, we just don't have enough trays for us to keep doing that...we have to jar a certain amount in hand at all times in case of emergencies. ugh...sigh. poo. drats. bummer.

  2. That's a great idea! Unfortunately we all eat lunch in our classroom anyways, so I can't single anyone out for lunch. We're having an add-on built right now and the plan is to have lunch in the now-gym once the add-on is complete so maybe I can implement this next year!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  3. I love the Lunch Bunch idea! I always have tons of fun when we go out to eat at restaurants and the kiddos work on manners and conversation skills!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ms. Rachel’s Room

  4. We are required to eat in the lunchroom everyday! uggh! No breaks for us! But this is a wonderful idea! The kids would sure love it!

  5. heeheehee
    I'm pretty sure I could use "Lunch with the Teacher" as a punishment for my sixth graders!
    : )
    I think this is so sweet that you do this with your bunch. I especially appreciate the social skills and friendship building efforts.
    YAY for you!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  6. I always did lunch with my kiddos when I taught third when they reached their Reading Counts goal. Thanks for the reminder of how much they loved it, it inspired me to start having lunch with my kiddos again! :)
    Stories From Second

  7. Loving Lunch Bunch! Really cool idea (and I like the name!). Although I'd have to have mine on a different day -- we always go out to eat on Fridays and I can't miss that!
    I like your trickery on the social skills, too!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  8. I used lunch in the classroom as a reward in my classroom as well. However, I am definitely going to have to steal the name lunch bunch. I also love the idea of sharing lunch with a student and a friend should they need to work on a skill of some kind. I have had some unbelievably shy students that this would work wonders with I am sure. Thanks for the idea!


  9. Last year, I had Starfish of the Week lunches in my room with my star student and their group of friends. We all loved it! Unfortunately, I'm on the 2nd floor this year and it's "frowned upon" by the lunch staff to bring all the food upstairs. Boo! :( I will be having my "lunch bunch" back next year :) Your sign is adorable by the way :)

    Lisa :)
    Made In The Shade In Second Grade

  10. It's so funny that you posted this - didn't see it until today! This week I started a new program, Munch Math! I'm finding that a whole lot of my kiddos are missing some basic math skills. Today was the first day and I had five of my second graders. We had such a great time! Once we sat down and got eating, one of my sweeties says to me, "Ok, Mrs. Olson! So why don't you tell us about yourself!" HA. Too dang cute!

    Sorry for the super long comment - Amanda

  11. I do this, too! My littles earn tokens for behavior/good choices, and when they save 15 tokens, they get to have a lunch date! But I love the idea of using it to build friendship...I usually just let mine pick a friend to bring with them, but I may try that!

    Teachery Tidbits

  12. Linked to this post from an new one, but I am so glad I did! :)

    Lunch bunch is such a great idea! I would love to implement this next year as a reward for a reading log. Love it! I just might have to get a cute banner, too!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Adventures in Teaching


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