Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Snowstorm of Snow Poems, Plays, Free Resources, and Activities

Everyone is fascinated by snowflakes. Kids want to catch them on their tongues and make them out of paper. Living in Alaska there was plenty of snow but I still loved to go outside and catch snowflakes, especially with my students. I also loved to read books about snow. One of my favorites was "Snip, Snip. Snow!" by Nancy Poydar. It's about a girl named Sophie who is waiting for it to snow. Everyday she has to wear all her winter clothes because it's very cold but no snow. Although the weatherman forecast snow, she wakes up the next morning and there's no snow. When she gets to school she asks her teacher if they can make snowflakes. While they were cleaning up all the paper scraps from the floor, she looks outside the window and sees snow. Sophie is so excited and finally gets to have fun in the snow. I found a free activity packet from Shawna Devoe to go with this book that you can download by clicking HERE.
If you are looking for some fun Snowflake craft ideas, I have found a few websites for you. You can find some by clicking on the image below. You will find all the directions for making this pretty snowflake.
I also found this great website with 30 ideas for making snowflakes. Just click on the image below.
If you are interested in having your students examine snowflakes as they fall, you can click on the image below to get some ideas and activities.

I  finally finished remaking my Snow Poetry and Plays Packet and added more poems, writing, and literacy activities, plus a 2nd Snow Play. Most of you know how much I love to write poetry and plays as well as use them for building fluency and incorporating the 5 key components of a Balanced Literacy program. You can read the description and download the Preview file by clicking on the image below. The Preview file has sample pages of all the poems and activities in the packet.
If you are interested in Winter Poems and Plays you can check out my blog post by clicking HERE.

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Writing: Tips, Activities, and Freebies

Over the last year I have been talking about helping students with the writing process. By now those of you who teach 1st and 2nd grade have been spending lots of time on teaching writing and having your students write. With winter approaching many Kindergartners will begin writing, too. In order for students to write they need ideas. Seasons offer so many wonderful ideas for writing. Whether you have a long winter, short winter, or no winter, kids love to read about winter activities, winter weather, and things that happen in winter. For ESL students and students below grade level writing is a very difficult task. That's why I like teach teaching with themes and teach language standards through the theme or subject.

To begin with, students need to know:

  • What a sentence is
  • How to construct a sentence-Word order
  • What parts does a complete sentence need to have
  • Capitalization, Punctuation, Spelling rules
  • Lot of words
You can read a lot more about writing by clicking HERE.
You can download these free Sentence frames by clicking on the image below: They are included in my packet and can be used for whole class instruction with understanding the parts of the sentence as you see in the image below the frames.
Last spring I wrote my first Writing Sentences Using Sentence frames and then added one for Fall and Back to School. I had such a good response and feedback that I just uploaded my Winter Writing Activities Packet.  It is very similar to my other packets except it uses winter words and ideas. I actually added more activities to give students more writing practice. There are some whole class activities to assess students' understanding before students do the activities independently in your writing centers. First, students need to learn the vocabulary words and then learn what a sentence is and is not. Then they get to practice using sentence frames to make 12 sentence and writing 5 of them on their recording sheet. They will need to capitalize the first letter and end each sentence with a period. There are both 3 sentence frame part sentences and 4 sentence frame part sentences depending on the needs of your students.
Then students will match a picture with a sentence that describes it and write each sentence part on their recording sheet.
After that they get to unscramble sentences, write the complete sentence and draw a picture to go with their sentence. Finally, they are assessed with being able to write complete sentences by using winter words that are written in a snowball. There is one for 1st grade and one for second. 
You can read the description, table of contents, and download the Preview file to see all the materials and activities in this unit by clicking on the image below.

I also just uploaded this Winter Writing Activities Freebie Packet which would make a great companion to my unit. Students will label and write about the picture like the one below.
Or write a short story about one of two photos like the one below.
To download your free packet just click on the image below. Please don't forget to leave feedback.

Don't forget to checkout all my Pinterest Boards.  Click HERE to follow. Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope your students enjoy writing about winter.

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