I’m back! I haven’t blogged in a REALLY log time. I loved blogging, but I took a planned month break from it last year… which turned into almost a year. Inertia got the better of me.
I live in the Mid-Atlantic, right in the bulls-eye of the now dubbed Snowzilla Blizzard. When you saw those highest snow totals on the map on the news… that’s me.
For the past two days then, I’ve been issuing my students “Snow Day
Challenges” (something I started last year when we had SO MANY snow days) as a fun way to keep them engaged in learning while they are off. It’s fun, it’s a favor to the parents, and I know with my own children if I tell them something they won’t do it – but coming from a teacher has a WHOLE DIFFERENT level of authority. The kids love sending me what they’ve done, and I give them feedback in the comments section and email them back. It’s supposed to be fun for them – but I have to admit – it’s fun for me too.
And then I thought I’d issue myself my own Snow Day Challenge to get back into Blogging.
Nothing deep this time. Just thought I’d share what I sent out to my kiddos in case someone else there in snow-bound land would like to do the same.
So here was Mrs. Smith’s 2016 Snowzilla Day Challenges!
Day 1: How much water is in Snow?
This is a super simple experiment that I found on many different sites. The kids go outside, scoop up some snow in a container and either using a measuring cup or measuring the inches and look at the capacity/volume. Then, they predict if the final volume of water will be greater than, same as, or less than snow.
I sent the kids the directions (I thought the ones from Home Science Tools the most user-friendly).
I posted to our Google Classroom a Google Slide, where each slide was a step in the Scientific Process. I invited them to use pictures and create a Google Slideshow of their experiment – or just write it up if they didn’t have access to Google from home – and share it with me.
What I loved most were their predictions. I was really surprised how many predicted there would be more water and loved it when they realized it was less. Of course, I also provided in their Google Slide a slide that explains why this is, but I could see that they didn’t quite “get it.” They just thought snow was bigger. So that inspired me with Snow Day Challenge, Day 2.
Their extension was to measure their snow in their front yard and see if they could figure out how much water would be in that.
Day 2: Snow Crystals
We have just begun are studying rocks and minerals in science, and I saw a great opportunity to begin them thinking about crystals.
For today’s challenge, I sent them/posted on Google Classroom a link to a BrainPop video on snowflakes as well as a link to a Scholastic Digital book on Snowflake Bentley and a video from the National Science Foundation and allowed them to get artsy.
After watching the Brain Pop, I challenged them to create the different kinds of snowflake crystals they talked about. They could cut them out, draw them, use craft supplies, use the computer…. and label them.
Their Extention was to use a storytelling means – typing, handwritten, digital media, graphic novel/cartoon – to pretend they are a water molecule and to follow their “life” from cloud to melt.
Day 3: A handful of Legos vs. a block of Legos.
I hoping Day 3 will be something we can do IN the classroom. 🙂 My thoughts are towards having them see that if things are arranged without any spaces, you can fit a lot more into a space – like if I take a handful of legos and put them into a bucket vs. building a solid cube out of them. Seems intuitive to us, but that’s the fun of teaching – the surprise of what they don’t know. Hopefully then, it will really click with them. (No pun intended Lego). We won’t even discuss the
We won’t even discuss the possibility of Day 4. Three Snow Day Challenges are my limit.
My Snow Day Challenge to you: I’d LOVE to hear your ideas for Snow Day Challenges for Kiddos in the comments!