If You're Sick of Snow... February 11 2010

This has been a strange winter season. For me, in the Pacific Northwest, we had one day of snow in December, and the rest has been pretty mild. Sure, there's rain - but that's typical for pretty much every season up here.

It seems strange that while we are having alternating periods of sun and rain, the rest of the country is buried in snow. And I mean buried. If I were in pretty much any other state, I would be absolutely and completely sick of snow.

In that spirit, if you are sick of wintry weather, I've come up with several fun ways for your class to make it through until spring starts making an appearance!

Embrace It

The first way is to just embrace the fact that it's still snowing and cold. Use the following lesson plans with your students to help brighten up the dreary days.

Math
Have your students play a probability game using the Snow-No Snow Spinner. The first spinner is a bit wonky and the second one is set up with a 1:2 ratio. Give a copy of both to individual or pairs of students and teach them how to use a pencil and paper clip to make a spinner. Have your students keep track of how many times the spinner lands on Snow and No Snow, keeping a separate tally for each spinner.

Have them spin first with the wonky spinner. Stop kids after a few minutes to share – how many spins? How many Snow and No Snow? Have them spin 20 times and share, then 50 times and share, and finally 100 times.

Then have your students use the second spinner. When all of the spins have been completed, debrief your kids on how their tallys turned out. Which spinner did they like better and why? Which one is more accurate or fair? How much more do they think it will snow before the weather starts warming up?

Writing
Have your students work on a writing project and craft with this Writer's Workshop and Winter Scene Shoebox activity. Then they'll have a story to share with a project to display!

Science
Teach your kids how to make a Crystal Snowflake with this science lesson plan.

Arts and Crafts
Here are a few fun activities to beat the winter blues and brighten up your classroom.
Snowflake Cards and Classroom Decorations
Snowman Paper Bag Puppet
Winter Warm Fuzzy Craft

Celebrate the Olympics

The Olympic Games were held February 12th through the 28th in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Take this historic opportunity to build your students' skills in reading, geography, and math using these fun lesson plans!

Use A Brief History to teach students how the Olympics got started.
Have your students write about what they've learned in this Olympics Writer's Workshop Book.
Geography and Flags
 is a great lesson plan to help teach kids about mapping and having a birds-eye view.
Run your own Classroom Olympics with this post - Let the Games Begin!
Finally, have students test their speed and endurance with keeping time with this Olympics Speed Skating Game!

Deny It

Maybe you're not in the mood to embrace winter anymore. Let's look ahead to spring! Here are some easy lesson plans in a variety of areas to help focus your students' toward warmer weather.

Reading
Spend some time with our first president using this free printable book, George Washington Facts, Firsts and Onlys.

Writing
Teach Writer's Workshop using Life Cycles. More details can be found in this article, Hopping Into Writer's Workshop!

Science
Maybe it's time to focus on how you and your students can operate a greener classroom. This article, Go Green in the Classroom, has great suggestions and strategies for wherever you are in this process!
Use this Science With Squanto lesson plan to compare plant growth with and without natural fertilizer.

Crafts
Feed the birds with this Bird Feeder craft, adapting it for any theme for your kids to design.
This Spring Flower Craft will help brighten the dreary days and reinforce a planting and growing theme!

Easter

Check out our Easter-focused crafts and reading/writing activities:

Usually this is the time of year where we become tired of short, dark, wintry days. Whether you decide to embrace or deny this transitional time, at least there are plenty of fun lesson plans to help your students build or review skills!