Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Fun

     So, even though we are in sunny Florida, it is still WINTER! When my class completes the weather portion during our daily Calendar Math, the kids always comment on how it is mostly sunny. And why do I even include 'Snowy' on the Weather Graph? I try to explain to them that even though we are in a tropical climate, many others around the world are experiencing cold, cold, winter weather. They shrug their shoulders and color in the sunny bar, again! "Sure, Ms. M," my little cuties say.
     In spite of our 70 degree days, we will entertain some winter themed activities. Thanks to the awesome blogs I follow, like First Grade Parade and Swamp Frog First Graders, I have some great lessons to teach my class. First, last week we read Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner. Next, the kids made hexagon snowmen pictures. Then, we wrote about what we thought our Snowmen would do when we go to bed. The kids were very excited while they were writing. Zada wrote that her snowman got married and had snowkids. Meadow wrote that her snowman went to the Groovy Smoothie for a smoothie. Too cute! Even though we finished the writing for this project, I have some students still writing about their snowmen in their journals during their Work on Writing time. The ideas are endless. Andy said he thinks that since it doesn't snow in Vero Beach, the snowman that comes alive for him is the paper one he created in class. This thought evolved into all of the paper creatures he's ever made coming to life at night. What an imagination!

      This week, the Winter themed activities move into Math with Snowflakes. We've continued our discussion about patterns and extending patterns with the use of pattern blocks. Then, I gave them four pieces of blue paper strips (9x2") and a boat load of pattern block pieces. The kids were to complete four patterns on the strips and connect them in the shape of a snowflake. The kids had a blast working on this project and they loved to see them hanging inside the classroom. This is another good assessment on patterns. Who's got it and who's got more work to do?

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