Sunday, January 26, 2014

Snowmen....or lack there of!

So, I feel like I've been lacking in the blogging world.  I've had my hands tied in three different house projects that I'm trying to finish within the next 30 days!  Not to mention I'm still finding Christmas decorations throughout my house.  I think Elfie may have come out of hiding and is starting to play tricks one ME!  **Speaking of Christmas decor, Ballard Designs has allllll of their Christmas goodies on sale!  Like REALLY on sale! So, if you have any room left in your attic for storage, I suggest you hop on over there before I take it all for myself!

This past week has been totally cray with No school for Martin Luther King Jr. day Monday, and a 2 hour delay Tuesday, my little ones have been off their rocker this week!  So, we did some fun snowman activities to chill them out {no pun intended}. However, one thing that has been lacking is some beautiful, white, crisp and clean snow. :(  I'm still hopeful it will make an appearance before the month is over.

One of my favorite {series} of books are the Snowmen at -- books! They are so cute and I just "melt" over the illustrations {ha}. We've read most of the Snowmen books so far, so this time around was Snowmen All Year.  To get our brains warmed up, we discussed the different things you do for fun {depending on the season} by brainstorming our ideas on a post it.

I guess everyone has summer on the brain...including me #wishfulthinking

As we read, we checked for understanding based on what we brainstormed at the beginning of the lesson, and of course added some more ideas once we finished reading.  Students were then given the task of writing a PERFECT PARAGRAPH with a topic sentence, three details, and an ending.  If they were successful in their task, they were able to make the snowman/girl they wrote about out of shaving cream and liquid glue during one of our Fun Friday centers! Let me just say, I've never seen them work so hard! Sometimes you have to dangle the carrot....nose :) {I do apologize for all the puns, but they just keep coming to me!}

I'm not sure where I first read about the shaving cream and glue theory, but it was waaaaaay before the days of Pinterest!  I want to give credit to one of my Teacher Created Resources book, but could very well have been mailbox too.  Whoever came up with this is brilliant and I would love to hear how it first came about.

Do you wanna build a snowmaaaaaaan? Oh yes, it feels like GOO! #LoveFrozen
I'm not sure of the exact ratio--I usually just start pouring until it looks nice and sticky :)

I first had my kiddos draw their background and any other "accessories" they wanted their snow person to have.  The key is to accessorize while he/she is still wet.  I also let them dry over the weekend before displaying them.  Didn't want to have our snowmen running away on us!

The kids loved making them and they keep asking me when they're going to get to take them home!  For an extra added bonus, it was a great states of matter discussion, which we will be turning into an opinion writing piece next week. Boo-ya!

We also read a super cute book called, "Snow Globe Family", which is a newbie I added to our winter theme book collection this year.  I've done the "If I were trapped in a snow globe" writing and cute little craft to accompany it for a few years, but this time I wanted to do something just a little bit different.  Second graders sometimes have difficulty understanding Point-of-View, especially when writing, so you know the old saying, "Practice Makes Permanent!"  Students first decided what character they wished to be {from the story} and wrote from the POV of that character welcoming others to their snow globe life!  Sloppy copies were finished Friday, so we will be editing, revising, and publishing next week.

We also starting learning all about data and graphing last week, so of course we had to incorporate some Munchie Math to add to the chaos.  This was an individual yet, partner activity.  Each student was given one package of fun sized Skittles. Side Note: This is the first year I've used the fun sized bags (I had some left over from Halloween) rather than buying in bulk and making up zip lock baggies myself to try and save two dollars.  SOOOOOO NOT WORTH IT! #lessonlearned

Students completed the top part of the graph on their own, then swapped papers and answered questions based on their friend's data.  They could not eat their candies until AFTER I had checked their paper to make sure their answers were correct.

Grab your free download HERE!

We also started working on a MLK mosaic, which are not yet finished BUT if you haven't heard of or watched "Our Friend, Martin," with your kiddos you must!  It's a great story {cartoon} of MLK's accomplishments and what the world would be like if he didn't pursue his dreams.  You can buy the video HERE or watch it on Youtube HERE.  I will say for some reason the audio cuts out on the Youtube link during his speech--not sure why, but you can always show the actual speech to make up for it!

We are starting our Penguin Unit next week to conclude our "winter theme" lessons.  During one rotation of Daily 5, students will be doing some Penguin research in groups using our Nonfiction Research Pack {they have used this before which means no wasted time since they already know the format and how to complete it! Yay for no headache research!}  Thursday is also the 100th day of school! However, this is school picture day, soooo we will be celebrating the 101st day on Friday! Time to break out the glue gun to update my 100th day T-shirt...

It's then off to Once Upon a Time time! I can't wait for Fables & Fairy Tales month!  I guess that means it's going to be all "Happily Ever Afters," everyday right? ;-) A Dream is a Wish, You're Heart Makes!!! <3


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