Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snow Much Fun Learning

Hi Friends,

Happy February! I don't know about you but I am so looking forward to the four-day weekend coming up, that's right we get an extra day. Oh, and I guess I'm looking forward to spending Valentine's Day with my special sweetheart too :). I just got done making some red playdough for the kiddos following the same recipe found here. A couple weeks ago they got in quite some trouble for leaving the lid off their green playdough and getting lazy with cleaning the center up once activity time was over. Hopefully the short playdough hiatus I enforced will serve as a reminder for them to be more responsible with their classroom materials. As far as my kids are concerned, playdough is a finite resource so they need to learn to take good care of it and make it last. This is an important concept in general but I think it's even more applicable to the current movement in education to teach 21st century skills.

 Last week marked the end of our winter/snow unit and thank goodness my attendance was much better than the week prior. I was starting to get frustrated with the thought of having to teach subtraction for a third week given all the absences, but luckily the students that were out last week were relatively high so catching them up this week shouldn't be too difficult.

We had some engaging subtraction centers these past couple weeks including Hungry Snowman Subtraction and Snow Globe Subtraction Stories.

For the Hungry Snowman Subtraction center I laminated a sheet of construction paper with a snowman to create a mat for each student along with a bag of 10 laminated snowflakes and a die. Students start with 10 snowflakes on the right side of the mat first counting them, then drawing them, and finally writing the amount. Then they roll the die. They draw the amount on the die and record the number after the minus sign. Finally they feed the hungry snowman the amount of snowflakes they rolled and count, draw, and record how many snowflakes are left. When they are all finished they go back and read their number sentence out loud.

The Snow Globe Subtraction Stories were a ton of fun. Students got to choose a number of snowmen to start with and then decide how many melted away. They brought their number stories to life by illustrating their number sentence and using X's to take away snowmen and count how many were left. I think this activity was a nice way to provide students with some context for the concept of subtraction while connecting it to other themes we were covering across the curriculum. It also held students accountable for the language component when they retold their number stories orally.

For our literacy block we finally retired our Snowman kinesthetic poem. It goes along to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot". The kids loved it and kept wanting to do it over and over again.

Last week our LOTW was the letter Ff. For the paint center, we brainstormed words that started with the letter Ff together whole class so that when it came time for students to paint they already had an idea of words to choose from. I also did a quick illustration under each word in the bubbles. This is a great way to scaffold the center activity for students such as English Language Learners (ELLs) who may not have as an expansive vocabulary as non-ELL students.

F is for Fins.
F is for Flower.
F is for Fish.
F is for Fox.
F is for Frog.

Lastly, we completed our Winter Mural last week! I think it turned out fantastic don't you?

Here are some close-ups of our winter facts and illustrations. I think the hippo bear is my favorite by far!

This week we'll be learning about President George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in addition to celebrating Valentine's Day under the guise of "Friendship Day". As always, thanks for reading and until next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment