Today I tried to get some good snow vibes going since we have not had any snow yet this year. In fact, it's supposed to go up to 50 degrees on Thursday and stay warm for the rest of the week! Usually we get a few snow days in January and early February, but things are not looking good for that this year.
So, today we wrote about building snowmen and started making the snowmen ornaments I found on sale at Walmart right after Christmas. I'm thinking they'll look wonderful in the hallway! Of course, I should have specified that we were not writing about homicidal snowmen - I got a couple of stories from some of my boys where the snowmen were serial killers :( Guess that will teach me not to be suspicious when they approach a writing assignment with so much enthusiasm!
Here's a great book that I read aloud today in preparation for our writing, I love the photographs in this book!
I got a new student today - she seemed sweet and quiet, but at the end of the day as I was helping her put her pencil box and homework in her backpack I discovered she had helped herself to a double fistful of my manipulatives - and this just after I had commented on someone else's blog about how I didn't have any sticky fingers in my class this year!
One of my darlings is forever trying to butter me up - today she said "You're the nicest teacher in the class!" I guess that's not much of an achievement when you're the ONLY teacher in the class!
In preparation for some of the other writing we'll be doing this week, and because we're studying penguins, and just because it's fun, here's what I did to my sand and water table today!
I used Insta- Snow powder that you just mix with water - it expands like crazy - you can even use food coloring to color it, but this time I just left it white since I wanted to simulate the Antarctic. Then I added the penguins from the Safari Penguin Toob along with the seals, orcas and whale from this Animal Planet playset. Since polar bears and Eskimos are from the arctic, those pieces went into our block center to stimulate pretend play there! We don't always get a chance to use our sand & water table or our block center in 1st grade, but I can squeeze it in there as part of our geography and writing - I have them write down the story they were acting out while playing. Plus, we've been having inside recess a lot lately - so there's always someway to incorporate play into our day! By the way, did you see this article about the importance of play in The Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics this month? I am printing it out and saving it just to cover my butt in case anyone ever questions the amount of play in my day - so far no one has (and my test scores are on par with everyone else's) but I live in fear of having to justify my teaching style!
Oh and can I get a woot woot?! Our district finally lifted the youtube restriction! Access was blocked in early December due to it eating up too much bandwidth while the high schools were doing online benchmark testing. Thankfully testing is over for now so I have youtube access again! My kids were sooo excited to sing our songs - I felt like a dj as they called out the educational songs they wanted to hear! It truly is amazing how much they remember through songs - not to mention how much skip counting practice we get in while we wait for videos to load! I've got the trained so well - as soon as they see the loading circle thingy appear on our Smartboard they start skip counting by 5s to 100. If it hasn't loaded yet they skip count by 10's to 100. If it still hasn't loaded we do our 2's to 100! Needless to say, we are getting very good at skip counting!
Ok, it's time for me to go watch Glee and finish working on the prizes for the giveaway I'll be posting this week! I'll leave you with this video - my husband showed it to me this afternoon and I loved it! Hope you enjoy it!