Wow! The snow came just in time for us here in Illinois!
Hi, my name is Carie and I teach Kindergarten in a K-1 building.
As a part of PBIS, to prepare for the winter months, we have a "cool-tool" lesson that teaches our K-1 kiddos about proper play in the snow. This year we got lucky because with the lack of snow, we were able to go over this "cool-tool" before it actually snowed. Our school social worker put a sign-up sheet in the office where 2-3 classes signed up for a 20 min time slot. The room is set up with fake snow, a fake snow hill and fake snowballs. When we first enter the classroom, she has the students go over their calming exercises...deep breathing, pushing and pulling of their hands and reviewing our good listening rules - eyes looking, ears listening, voices quiet and bodies still. then we go over things they CAN do in the snow and things they CANNOT do in the snow. I have attached a picture of our CAN Do and CAN'T Do chart below. Once she has discussed this with our students the teachers role play, first doing things that they shouldn't be doing (throwing snowballs, putting snow down each others backs, pushing). We then stop and ask the students what they noticed. The teachers then role play again, this times doing what they CAN do in the snow. And again, ask the students what they noticed. Then after a quick review of what they just learned our cool-tool lesson concludes with hopes that the information will be retained with some re-teaching included of course! :)
After our cool-tool lesson, it still had not snowed...but we could tell it was coming soon...and so was the FULL MOON!!! The kiddos were anxious and talkative, and unable to sit in their seats for the whole week! But we pressed on and spent a whole next week talking about snowmen and how to build them. To begin our Snowman quest, we began with our poem titled "I Made a Snowman" It not only taught the students how to make a snowman but also focused on the sight word "on". During the course of the week students were able to "build" our class snowman while reading the poem by putting on the peices of the snowman. By mid-week I gave each student a book that I had made using the poem. This book was to help students to read the words and to practice writing our new sight word. We did a couple pages each day, reading, writing the sight word and drawing the different parts of the snowman. There are two versions of the book; one where the highlighted sight word is "on" and the other where the highlighted sight words are "put" and "his". To download a copy of the book click on the sight words you want!! The books are set up so that if you use the double staple option on the copier, all you have to do is cut them in half and you have 2 books!
Book 1 - on Book 2 - put, his
Then we read the book, "The Biggest, Best Snowman" by Margery Cuyler. This book not only shows and teaches how to build a snowman but it also teaches children that although they may be little, they are still capable of doing lots of things...sometimes they just need a little help! After we read and discussed the story I had the students complete a sequencing worksheet. Math and Literacy all in one small activity! I love multitasking!!!
Lastly, we made snowmen using only construction paper, glue and scissors. No pencils, crayons or markers allowed. I love doing these snowmen because their little kinder personalities really show through in their snowmen!
Then FINALLY...This past Thursday the pretty white snowflakes started to fall and by Friday morning my Kinder kiddos were rolling around making snow angels and trying their hardest to make a snowman with snow that didn't pack very well! But regardless, they were happy and enjoying every moment of it!!