It has been cold outside, but no snow here … yet!
Weather predictions are ZERO degrees this weekend. Our pond is frozen already and I told the kids I’d be buying everyone a pair of ice skates if it got cold enough to skate on it. The Prez says I might have opportunity to make good on the promise.
We are enjoying some snowy-themed learning here.
We’re reading these books, which we found at our local library or we own in our library …
We will be checking out some more when we go back to the library. I highly recommend Snow for young readers to read aloud as it uses rhyming and has been a great encouragement to my young readers. I am trying to build up their confidence, so some books below their level has helped with that and fluency as well. They read from the Bible, which from what I can find here is at least a 6th grade level, but they don’t think they can read from chapter books (though I know they can).
We tried our hands at making snowflakes using a couple of pins I’ve found and their links here and here. This was more frustrating than I thought it would be, but I definitely enjoyed cutting out mine! 😉
We have a new garland in our library. I like it!
While some of us cut out snowflakes, Li’l Bit made snowflake patterns with magnetic pattern blocks. She loved this and after copying my example, she came up with her own designs.
I decided to spend some time on word work. I love it when one activity naturally sparks interest in another. In this case, our spelling led to a mini-lesson on compound words!
I was very pleased and so were my 2nd graders with their spelling.
After a few more calls, we talked about how adding endings to words will change them. So they spelled freezing and snowy, both of which they found tricky but when prompted to find their error they both did!
We talked about how adding -ing often requires the removal of the silent e. We also talked about how y can be used as a word ending. This was all review but it was needed and heeded!
Someone asked about spelling snowman, and I said yes it is a compound word. And then like clockwork someone asked, “What’s that?” So I told them it is two separate words put together or combined to make one new word. I asked them to look at their words and figure out which one they could add to. They both easily added man to snow to make the word snowman!
Here is where one thing led to another. I pulled out a quick resource I made from word cards found at the Dollar*Tree. It is just words we can put together to form compound words. They did great with this!
After watching several videos about snowflakes, which I’ve inserted below, Li’l Miss and Li’l Bro made snowflakes with the pattern blocks.
This is Li’l Bro’s finished pattern block snowflake.
This is Li’l Miss’s finished pattern block snowflake.
I found a recording sheet, which I can’t find a link for at the moment, for them to add up the blocks used.
We cut these down and put them in our interactive math notebooks
where we’ll also add and added a photograph of our finished snowflakes to our notebooks too!
While we worked on these math and ELA activities, Li’l Bit spent quite awhile exploring her wintry sensory tub.
I used epsom salt for the base. While it is not something they can’t ingest, I wouldn’t use it with a child who will try to eat it as it is a laxative and too much of it could be very dangerous. And a little of it would probably lead to undesired results!
I added objects in blue and purple shades such as unifix cubes, pipe cleaners, shapes with holes for putting on the pipe cleaners and different containers and scooping and pouring implements. I am going to add some snowmen when we get our ornament boxes back out, because I know we have some snowmen ornaments not currently in use that are not breakable.
I saw another idea on pinterest. I decided after our somewhat lackluster snowflake cutting experience that we would try another art approach: painting (which is usually a big hit here). This did not disappoint!
We started out by painting swirls on our papers with watercolor paints.
Then we worked on drawing trees on our black paper while our paintings dried some.
After our art session, which they loved and reminded me we need to do more of this, I gave them a writing assignment with this paper I found for free on-line (you’ll find several options of lines as well).
I instructed them to write a five-sentence descriptive paragraph using at least one of the wintry words we had spelled the day before. I also told them to spell their best and to utilize their new dictionaries, which they had added the wintry words to the day before.
Their finished paragraphs read as follows:
Once upon a time there was a snowflake it is small and then the snowflake was groen big. Then the snowflake was fixin to land on the snow. The snowflake was foling to the grown and landing on the snow and more! Then children want to go outside to play.
Li’l Bro, author
One day it was snowing. we wish we would go ask or Mom to bild a snowman. so or Mom said yes so we want. So we want out side and we bild a snowman. and then the son came out so the snowman melt.
Li’l Miss, author
I clearly have some work to do on helping them edit their work. I also need to work on capitalization and punctuation with them. We really haven’t done a lot of that as in the past I have had them dictate their creative writing to me. I write it out; then they copy it on their paper as copywork. I want to encourage them to begin writing it as their reading has improved so much that I do feel they can start sounding out words more now. Plus they can utilize their dictionaries to double-check and find words they aren’t sure about hopefully.
We have also played a few rounds of Snow Day Take Away and will continue using this to review and master our subtraction facts to 20. By using some of the optional game boards, we are also reviewing addition facts within 20 as well.
You can find this product in my TpT store if you’d like to try it out! For anyone still reading, I will gladly email a free copy of the resource to the first person to ask for it. Be sure to include a valid email with your post (which no one will see but me).
It has been a productive couple of days of wintry-themed learning. I have some things planned for tomorrow. Today several of our children are at various family members’ houses where they spent last night. So Momma is trying to catch up on laundry, blogging, de-decorating, school planning and product creation (though not necessarily in that order!). Hope you have a blessed (and possibly wintry) day!