Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lesson Theme: Winter and Snowmen!

I had planned to post this a while ago, but we had a critical family emergency almost two weeks ago and it is still an ongoing situation.  Some family members flew in and are staying with us - at this point, we just have to wait and pray.  

Needless to say, my attention has been focused elsewhere a majority of the time, but today I have a few moments to spare and thought I would hop on here and post this.  Keep in mind a good chunk of this was written much earlier in the month...

We've spent quite a few days on our winter activities in school.  Hope you are "snow" (cheesy, but I couldn't resist) excited to see what we've been up to...

With winter things on the mind, a visit to the Snow Fairy Shop was in order.  Miss A could pretend to be a snow fairy buying snowflakes to scatter across a winter scene.  Great practice for money and double digit number addition!  

The snowflakes she purchased, she later added to a winter coloring page we found online and printed (she could pretend to be a snow fairy causing it to snow on her picture).

Another great winter activity - building snow forts!  The forts will hopefully grow as we come up with more word snow bricks to add to the appropriate forts.  

I saw this here and thought it was such a cute idea that I decided to make one for Mr. J to play with after reading the story "Katy and the Big Snow".   (The buildings are just empty boxes - cereal, crackers, etc. - with a piece of paper on the front.  Very cheap to make, and your city can grow all week long depending on what you have finished up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.)

And what is winter without the occasional snowball fight?  For practicing our number facts, Miss A would choose a number sentence paper, figure out the answer, crumple it up and then throw it at the appropriate face (the answers below each head match the number sentence snowballs).  

To make this, I slipped each of the faces into a sheet protector and put a bunch of double stick tape on the front in hopes that the snowballs would stick when they hit the faces.  Sadly, they didn't, so we went to Plan B...

Plan B:  If Miss A hit the appropriate face, she could then pick up the paper and press it onto the face.  Doing this often worked out better for having the snowballs stick to the faces at least for a few minutes.  If we do this activity again next year, I think we should try using tissue paper snowballs instead which I think would stick a lot better to the tape.  Anyways, it was fun just to toss the snowballs at the correct faces.

Snowflake fact matching was another way of practicing our math facts.  Just connect the number sentences to the correct answer to make a snowflake.

We also practiced a bit of symmetry using snowflakes.  I would give Miss A half of a snowflake and some q-tips and she would have to finish it by creating the other half on the other side.

I gave Miss A a few seconds to hunt for words in the "snow" and gather as many as she could.  She then used the words she collected to write a story in her journal.  She did such a good job using them all!

Catching snowflakes on your tongue is overrated - why not catch them with your mitts instead?  I wrote words on some foam snowflakes we had, and we first sorted the snowflakes by NOUNS, VERBS, and ADJECTIVES.   We then gathered them together, and I threw them in the air a couple of times.  The ones which Miss A caught, she used to come up with some sentences and write them into her journal.  

I saw this cute snow globe activity, and just knew I wanted to try to make our own!  After Miss A finished her snow globe scene, we pretended she lived in a snow globe and had to answer the questions about her life inside.  It was cute to see what she came up with...

Using small plastic cups, we tried to see how high we could stack them (no glue) to make a snowman - we then used my son's new measuring tape to practice measuring the height.  I believe the record to beat was 27.5 inches.  :)

We are supposed to be practicing fact families on a daily or almost daily basis.  Because of our winter theme, I decided to sneak a snowman into the process.  I made him with scrap paper and slipped him inside a clear plastic sleeve - that way I can continue to write the facts on the snowman and erase the whole thing after Miss A is done writing her math sentences for the day.  The next day, I can just write a new fact family on the snowman (I try to write the smallest number on the top and go in descending order with the biggest number on the biggest snowball at the bottom).  

Side note:  I can see using this to practice making three letter words as well!

We also came up with a simple dessert to go along with our chilly theme - see more about our Snow Bars here.

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  1. This is a wonderful winter project filled with so many ideas for learning. We'd love it if you linked this up to our After School Link Up! These are exactly the activities we'd love to see in homes everywhere! Here's the link

    1. Thanks for the invitation, Kim! I'll try to link up! :)

  2. You have really inspired me in many ways with this post! I love the creative way you incorporate measuring and imagination! Amazing!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I appreciate the encouragement. :)

  3. Wow! You have some incredible school ideas! I have a lot of ideas on pinterest, but they don't always make there way to our house. It must take a lot of time to get this stuff set up!

  4. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.