Thursday, December 6, 2012

If I Lived in a Snow Globe...

Here it is!  My favorite writing activity of the year!  I love all things winter, add in some glitter and you have a project that is sure to be a hit!  I did this project with my students last year, and the haunted houses I did this year was a play on this snow globe writing activity.  They write about what they would see, feel and do if they lived in a snow globe.

I began by building some background knowledge.  Living in Central Florida, a vast majority of my students have never seen real snow.  We talked about what they knew about snow and winter.  They said that it was cold and wet.  I then had them describe what they had seen or heard that lead them to believe that snow was cold.  They made connections to movies or TV shows they had seen that had people wearing coats, gloves, etc.  They talked about it getting so cold that you can see your breath.  They also talked about Christmas lights shining on the sparkly snow.  (Some of them even captured that in their snow globes!)

To enrich this introduction lesson, I read them a couple of short books that were set in snowy settings.  (I admit, these were pretty easy books, but the point wasn't to challenge them, it was to get them fully immersed in all things frosty and frigid!)

This is a wonderful classic!  I was even able to find a claymation
version of this on YouTube to show my class!

This book is beautifully illustrated.  It was a wonderful read.

The best part about this book... The four super elated gators on the
cover are all school PRINCIPALS!!
 LoL  Funny twist for the kids!
I told them that EVERYBODY loves a snow day!
 After reading these books and brainstorming some great descriptive phrases and words, we spent day 2 writing rough drafts.  We then wrote our final copies on the layered booklets, cut out the globes and bases and let the fun begin!  After drawing and coloring, they outlined their pictures with extra fine point black Sharpie markers.  Then... GLITTER!!!  I managed to control the chaos and keep the glitter on the tiles.  Glitter just seems to make everything better.  Normal snow scenes are transformed into magical fantasy lands!
Glitter station.  3-4 kiddos at a time = minimal mess!

A snow globe base.  Nothing fancy, just need to
be sure that the flip book the kids write on will fit.

Final copy of the flip book placed on the base.  

To get just the right size "globe" I used an Easter bucket I bought
from Target a couple of years ago.  I actually used it for a game at the
Spring Carnival during my first year teaching.  I love reusing things!
Here are a couple of close-ups of my students' amazing work.  They were so into this project and couldn't wait to show me what they wrote and how they illustrated it.  They have added some much needed sparkle and shine to the 4th grade hallway!  Hope you love them as much as I do!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Geez!  Where did November go?  I didn't get a chance to do a single post the whole month.  I am fortunate to work in a county that gives us a full week off for Thanksgiving so I was able to spend the whole time with my family back home.  At the beginning of November, one of my student's dad, who is a fire fighter, came to speak to both of my classes about fire safety.  The kids loved getting to hold all the gear and learned a lot of helpful tips to get out and get safe!  The Friday before Thanksgiving, my writing classes made "I am thankful for..." pumpkin pies out of paper plates, construction paper and brads.  I had each student share what they are thankful for this year.  They had a lot of fun and were very insightful.  We had a Veteran's Day parade at school shortly before and some of the students said that they are thankful for our rights as Americans.

Our visit with some fire fighters.  The kids LOVED it!

The beautiful Veteran's Day parade!  One of the county High School's band and color guard came to perform and many  relatives of our students who are veterans came out to be honored.  I work at a great school!

One of our "I am thankful for..." pumpkin pies.  I enjoyed hearing about all of the important people and things in my students' lives.  
My classroom is now all decorated for Christmas.  This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year!  (Confession- I decorated my apartment for Christmas on November 1st!)  I bought all of the supplies for my class Christmas ornament project in mid-November and have already gotten the ornament balls prepped!  We are going to be making snowman heads with earmuffs.  I saw the idea on Pinterest and thought it was just too cute to pass up.  Last year we made melted snowmen with glue and those turned out so cute, but I want to do something that sparkles this year!  This past week we completed what is probably my favorite Writing project of the entire year.  I did it last year and had to do it again this year.  It's my "If I Lived in a Snow Globe" project.  The students write what they would see, feel and do if they lived in a Snow Globe.  I had to let the finished projects dry so I don't have my bulletin board completed yet, but I will get the details on the whole project posted this week!  It is the absolute best!  (Bonus: It involves lots of GLITTER!)  You can find pictures of it from last year on my Pinterest board titled "My Classroom".

Melted snowman ornament I made with my students last year.

My Christmas tree at home!  It makes me SO happy!

Look at all of the fun sparkles and shine I added to my Christmas stash this year!  I love that jewel tones are so big, these perfectly match my tree that I've had for 3 years now!  These won't be on my tree though...

My new sparkle and shine ended up on a new deco mesh wreath I made!  (Another Pin-spired project!)  This is my first ever mesh wreath and I think it turned out pretty well.  It took me 3 attempts to get the ribbon the way I wanted it.

I showed my students 2 options for their snowman ornaments.  Half of them wanted glitter, and half wanted garland so I got those ready because the 2 1/2 days that I plan on doing Christmas gifts and activities do not leave much time to work on things because the staff always puts on a Christmas show and lunch and specials cut into my time with them.

Itty Bitty Christmas tree above the computers.

The Christmas tree I had in my bedroom as a kid.  I don't have room for it in my apartment,
so it has a new life as a school tree!  

Giant plastic snowflakes from Dollar Tree.  Making it snow in sunny Florida!
I hope you found something you like in this post.  Stay logged on this coming week to see my fantastic Christmas and winter writing project.  Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest!