Friday, January 13, 2017

Writing All About Books 5 For Friday!


I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey!


       
We are working on our All About Books in our Lucy Calkins Writing  Units.My kids are really having a lot of fun with it, but his year I just seem to have a LOT of children who just aren't developmentally ready for the actually physical writing part of writing. They just can't get down on paper what they want to, so anyone can read it.  

Other years, I've had several strugglers, but then I also had some who made me feel better.  This year's group has needed a lot more time building those fine motor muscles and practicing.

When I  take a deep breath, I can see such huge growth from September when they had even less idea of writing- but...  some days I just wake up at 2AM and think, "HOW CAN I GET MY KIDS TO WRITE NEATLY?"    Really- I  do that.  I might need more of a life. 

Anyway, one thing I tried that has made them think a little more about neatness, spaces, and rereading to see if 1. They can read it.  and 2. They didn't leave out any words,  is to give them each a "Teacher Name" for writing time.  Since they are writing All About books to teach others about something, they need to be teachers!  So I taped these new name tags over their regular ones, and I call them Miss Webb or Mr. Jones during writing time.  They love it!  I do a lot of modeling to show them how I (a teacher) need to write neatly so they can read it, and how hard it would be if I didn't leave spaces or didn't take my time writing.  

I also let them use the Spaceman Spacer (That I got from Kinder-Gardening's awesome Sight Word Sentence Construction Packet and just love!).  This paper is morning work- so they copy the sentence I wrote.  I know... that is old fashioned and whatever else- BUT it is really helping my kids understand HOW a sentence is supposed to look.  I figured out that the problem so many had was that they don't have enough practice writing correct sentences.  Copying mine has given them a lot of confidence as they write their own.  

I have also enlisted the help of their writing partners for this task.  Even when we do a practice write, like the paper above, I have them switch papers with a writing buddy to see if the writing buddy can read their writing.  They seem to try harder and "get it" when a friend is going to be reading their paper.  

Once the children feel like REAL TEACHERS, they get very serious.  This is an example from one of my boys who has come SO FAR, and I am so proud of him.  He wrote about "Rools" (Rules) and came up with some for our class to follow.  He used spaces and heard so many sounds.  He could barely hold a pencil for the first couple months.   I wanted him, and the other children, to see how their work can really be useful and used in the classroom.  So, I enlarged his page of rules and hung it by our door as the kids line up.  He was beaming from ear to ear.  
Be quiet.  Be good.  Do what the teacher says.

That about sums it up, doesn't it?! 
We brainstormed ideas that we could teach about.  The kids did well coming up with their first story idea, then they got in a rut- after only ONE.  So, we came up with some general topics, and talked about ways to narrow those topics down from there.  


I added this anchor chart to my Writing Prezi (in the Non-fiction section), so I can just put it up on the big screen and the children can look at it during writing to get ideas. If you have my Writing Prezi, you can bring it up on your screen, too!  


My final desperate attempt   helpful tip for teaching the children All About books came about when I realized that they didn't really understand HOW to teach something to someone.  If they were writing about Valentine's Day, the story might be, "I like Valentine's day.  It is fun." 

As the children write, I walk around and pepper them with questions about their topic... "Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day? What do people do on Valentine's Day? What is a Valentine?  What colors do you see a lot at Valentine's Day?  Who do you give the Valentine's to?  so they understand that their job is to answer questions someone may wonder about their topic, but still, this wasn't enough.  

SO to help us out, I enlisted the aliens from our toy area.  I explained that these aliens JUST landed and have  no idea about anything.  What is ice cream?  Is it hot?  Do you sleep on it?  How do you eat it?  Is there only one flavor?  ANY silly questions you can think of for a topic make the kids realize- HEY- these aliens don't know anything! 

I put four aliens around the room, so as the children write, they can see them and remember that those poor aliens don't know anything about what we have on earth! (We practiced pretending we were them holding up our arms saying "WHAT is a dog?  WHAT is summer?  WHAT is a color?..."

 

The kids LOVE the idea of writing to teach the aliens, so I'm taking it one more step, and printing out an alien picture for each of the children to keep by their writing area as they write- sort of a "pen pal" to teach.  I'm printing out lots of these so the kids can choose their favorite.  Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes...   

If you'd like your very own set of alien pictures, just click on the picture and you can download them!


Last week I posted in Pre K and K Sharing about how I love to use the Healthy Body Healthy Me packet that Dr. Jean and I made.  It's a great time of year to teach the children about their bodies and keeping their bodies healthy.  



This packet has two comprehensive Prezis with videos for each topic to teach and reinforce lessons. These are so much fun to use during those extra minutes you have each day- or as a lesson on its own!
This part of the Prezi is great for talking about emotions. I also use this when I'm teaching the children about adding details and feelings in their writing.
This part of the Prezi helps teach the children ALL about safety in different situations. 
We watch these videos a lot as reminders...
This is the second Prezi- full of our favorite shake breaks. 
The packet also includes Dr. Jean's songs Feeling Fine and Macarena Bones.  You'll hear your students singing these songs over and over.  They don't even realize all they're learning as they sing!
This packet is so much fun- the kids can't wait until we do our next activity.  They learn SO much about their bodies, it's amazing.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by!



Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year Odds and Ends!

Happy New Year!  I'm excited for a brand new year!

Image result for 365 new days 365 new chances
Here are some things I've been working on and wanted to share.

Here is my new bulletin board for back to school.  It seems like a Valentine's Day bulletin board, but actually, it's going to be our new theme for the new year.

I'm teaching my kids one of my favorite little poems:
Every time we do a Random Act of Kindness or any time one of the kids does something kind or loving, we're going to remember and say this poem.  I want them to always keep it in their hearts- and years from now remember it and remember learning it in kindergarten.  That would make me happy.


Next, I made a Winter Prezi that is free now at my TpT store.  I use it a lot in the winter for those extra minutes we have in class- and for a lot of teaching.  I added a section for Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day with videos, songs, and stories for each.  I keep adding to it every time I find a good video.

We always do a lot with snowflakes- from snowflake sight words to studying snowflakes for science. I included lots of links to interesting sites that teach all about snowflakes.  It is really fascinating- and the children love learning something different like that!
I used this Prezi all the time during snack before Christmas.  I put on carols for the children as they ate or worked quietly.  It was perfect.  I love the carols that play in the fireplace.  I made a fireplace background and added a YouTube video inside to make it look like a real fireplace.

HERE is a link to my post alllllllllllllll  about snow with lots and lots of ideas and freebies, in case you missed it!

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I sort of enjoy January when we get back to school, because the rush from holiday to holiday is over. The beginning of the year goes so fast from Halloween-to Thanksgiving- to Christmas!  Plus, the beginning of kindergarten is busy with letters and sounds, letter formation, beginning writing, and classroom expectations.  By January, we settle in to some real learning.  

Our district uses Lucy Calkins for reading and writing.  We've been using the writing program for a while, but are just beginning the reading program this  year.   I just made a Super Reader Prezi (free) with the Reading Super Powers she talks about in her program.


This is part of my Beginning Reading Prezi that I use all the time.

I  don't know what I'd do with out my Reading and Writing Prezis during my teaching.  I don't have a lot of wall space for anchor charts, and after a while, the walls get so cluttered with "words" that I don't even think the children know where to look or what they are looking at!  I love to use my Smart TV as a wall chart space that I change to fit what I'm teaching.  I can show a quick video to reinforce a concept, or zoom in on one particular anchor chart and reteach those concepts,  then leave that chart up during our reading or writing time.   Here is a picture of what is on my Writing Prezi:

I keep adding to both Prezis as I find another great video or chart.  I just added more to my nonfiction section, because that's what we're working on when we go back in January.
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Finally, I love to start the year with some quick assessments using ESGI.  I  wrote earlier about how I use ESGI in the beginning of the  year.  It's a great tool to help get to know the children and have data to guide your instruction and create resources to help students both at school and at home- all on my iPad, easy to access whenever and where ever I need it- and no paper mess!  (That's key for me!)

This time of year, my favorite parts of ESGI are our sight word assessment and the ability to create flash cards for each student to reinforce the words they miss.  I keep a set of flashcards at school to use for RTI, and I send home a packet of words each week for students to practice at home.   It's so easy for me, because I just have to hit "print" and the professional looking flashcards are printed (with each child's name on top- so they don't even get mixed up!)
I can also print out a parent letter for each student which explains exactly what each child needs to work on at home.  

Our school doesn't send homework in kindergarten.  We send books to read each night, but not paper/pencil  homework.   I send the flashcards on Friday along with some games or ideas to do with the flashcards so it's fun for families.  For example, set a timer and see how many words the child can get in a set time.  Time the child to see how quickly he can read the cards, then, do this again and try to beat that time!  (They love contests!),  Keep piles of "yes" and "no" words.  See if the child can get all the words in the "yes" pile!  Hide the cards around the house and have the child find each card, then read them to you (or write them ) as she finds them.   Put one word on each stair and have the child read each stair as they climb to the top.   There are so many fun ways to play with flashcards!

My other favorite this time of  year is the name tag generator. The students are now working on first and last names, so I make several sets of names for practice. I use them for seating, but also for the children to make rainbow names, find sight words or chunks in their names, and as a matching game with pictures. 
(This is a sample of the first names on Table Name Plates.)

There are SO MANY other benefits EGSI offers.  We all need to show more and more data, it seems, and ESGI makes it so easy to do!  Not only easy- but useful!  Sometimes it seems we collect data for the sake of collecting data- but the information I collect on ESGI is what I use to guide my instruction with each individual student each day.

ESGI has a great explanatory video with all the details.  This Intro Webinar (17 minutes) is a very thorough explanation of the program.  If you want to learn more about ESGI and to get a  free trial of the software, click here.

ESGI has really changed my life in the classroom. I posted ALL about the benefits, bells and whistles, and some examples of what ESGI offers HERE.  If you like using it and want to purchase the program, you can use my special PROMO CODE B1119 and receive $40 off your purchase for the first year. The price is usually $199 a year, but with the promo code, it will be $159 for the first year. Check with your administration because they may be able to purchase it for you. They can use the code and get it for $159 for the first year, too.  It's a great time of the year to try it out. 

It has made me actually enjoy assessments now, because I know I'm not going to be wasting time. It's quick and neat. The results and data are easy to see and use, and the materials for RTI are already made for me!

So- go ahead and give it a try FREE for 60 days,

I wish you all such a beautiful, healthy, happy year!  Thank you so much for stopping by!
Image result for 365 new days 365 new chances gif



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Everything SNOW! (Lots of FREEBIES!)




Happy New Year to all of you! Today I want to share some snowflake ideas and snowy day books that I like to use in my classroom.  

Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa- because I have lots of ideas to share! (It's a long winter...) I updated TpT links to be sure all the freebies still worked.

I love those first few flakes.  They are magical  in the classroom- so magical that anything that had been planned for the moment the children see snowflakes in the air for the first time is no longer the plan.  There is a new plan- called watching the snowflakes! After those first flakes, we need to think of lots of activities to keep us busy learning.



I have MANY books about snow and winter.  It seems like winter is L-O-N-G, and we have lots of opportunities for read-alouds.  Here are some of my favorites.


The Snowy Day is such a sweet book, and good for so many things. This story works great as a mentor text for small moments during my Narrative Writing Unit.  Everyone notices right away when the snowball melts in Peter's pocket. It is as if they can each say, "Yep- that's what happens!"

 
We read this story a few weeks ago, and will revisit  it this winter, I am sure. Next time we read this, we will  play the sight word snowball game afterward. This time, we made snow with Q-tips. This activity is completely student directed and just plain easy and fun.  I made and copied little Peter  characters on red paper.  The children cut these out and drew on his face and buttons.  Then, they could experiment with chalk and paint with Q-tips to make their own snowy days.  I taught them how I make snowflakes, and it was a very relaxing, quick little activity.  Some kids had forts and blizzards.  Some had a few flurries. We shared our pictures after we were done.  It was fun to hear the explanations to go with the pictures. You could also have the children write about their snowy day.



I love this Snowy Day Song by the FussKee Brothers!


Here is a description of Snow by Uri Shulevitz from Amazon: No one thinks one or two snowflakes will amount to anything. Not the man with the hat or the lady with the umbrella. Not even the television or the radio forecasters. But one boy and his dog have faith that the snow will amount to something spectacular, and when flakes start to swirl down on the city, they are also the only ones who know how to truly enjoy it.

On a random side note, this book reminds me of a couple sayings that I like:


Back to the snow books!




















After we read some SNOW books, I love to let the children draw and write sight words in shaving cream snow- just a new twist on shaving cream writing... call it snow! They have so much fun, the tables never look cleaner, and the room smells great.  Win-win-win! You can also do this on trays to keep it more contained.

Disney Family Fun had this idea of painting snowflakes with pine needles!
Snowflake painting with pine needles!
Or make these cute Snowflakes from Frugal Family Fun. 


Making Learning Fun shared the idea to use pasta or Honeycomb cereal for snowflake counters. I love it!


Snowball books are lots of fun, too!

My class thinks this one is hysterical!  The snowball goes down the pants and starts them doing a snowball dance. 



 

(Such sweet illustrations!)
Powdered sugar donut holes make great snowballs for a winter snack after you read a snowball story.  
 
We play Snowball Sight Word Bingo or Snowball Number Bingo, using mini marshmallows as counters. You could use cotton balls, too- but for some strange reason, the kids like the marshmallows better.  hmmm...

We also play Snowball Sight Word Pass!  The kids love this game.
                              

I LOVE Stella, Queen of the Snow.  Her brother Sam has his usual many questions, and Stella always has an answer for him- right or wrong!

We also had a ball with Here Comes Jack Frost.

 This is a really fun book to share with the children.  Some of them weren't familiar with the word "frost," so we talked about that first.  The book is illustrated with blue and white, and just feels chilly. 




The boy in the book has lots of fun with Jack Frost, but Jack warns the boy not to mention anything warm, or he will go away.
Right then and there, we stopped the book and I had each child tell me what they would NOT mention to Jack Frost!  I got lots of great answers from lava to hot chocolate to cozy slippers. 
Then, we kept reading until...
(I loved introducing the  children to snowdrops, because they're my FAVORITE flower!)
The kids actually gasped at this page when Jack was gone.  
They really enjoyed this story. 

At the end, I had them each think of something they could say that might bring Jack back- (so something cold).  That was fun, too.

During free choice time, I had groups of four do this little activity.  First, they wrote, "I like to play in the snow."  (We are reallllly working on neat writing, spaces, capitals, and ending with a period...). Then, they drew a winter picture with a white crayon, followed by some blue water color painting over that to make a Jack Frost winter picture, just like the book. If you do this, remind them to draw a lot of details with the white crayon in their winter picture.  They loved this because nobody else could tell what they had drawn before it was painted- and then it came to life magically before their eyes. I think I love my crayon resist activities as much as the kids do.



After all of this COLD reading (wow... lame literacy joke) the kids took home this little activity to do at home for some writing practice. 



 Ten on a Sled is great for retelling, acting, sequencing, and math word problems.



 The Snowstorm Surprise and Ice-Cold Birthday are stories that my children loved to hear over and over when they were little, so they hold a special place in my heart.  My middle daughter's birthday is in January, so when she was little we made Ice-Cold Birthday cakes for her sometimes. We layered  ice cream sandwiches,  hot fudge sauce, Coolwhip, crushed Oreos, then repeated with a different flavor of ice cream sandwiches and the rest of the goodies.  YUM.  You can use any kind of crushed candy instead or with the Oreos- depending on how much of a sugar overload you are going for...

 (This picture is from Mom's Cooking Club's BlogSpot.)

 


Snow Sounds is a great introduction to onomatopoeia.  From Amazon:
Sweep, crunch, swoosh, scrape . . . All night long, snow falls silently, bringing forth a world blanketed in white—and a very noisy day.  It is also a fun story to read before you go outside for a winter sound walk.



The kids like to dance to this Eric Herman Snow Days song. It's silly.
                              

We play a Snow Day Sight Word game that I just call SNOWSTORM! Everyone has a snowflake on a headband.  I write a different sight word on each snowflake.  (You could use math facts, ten frames, letters, numbers- anything!) Here are two different versions of the headbands.


Each child also has a clipboard with a recording sheet.  I wrote before that since I don't have enough clipboards for everyone, I just put a big clip on the end of  old dry erase boards that  I have, and they work great.  If you want to get fancy, you can get some magic snowflake pencils at the Dollar Store.

When I say, "SNOWSTORM!" everyone starts walking around looking at each other's headband word and writing that word on their recording sheet.  This is a simple and fun way to practice writing sight words. They kids have a ball.

Here is a copy of the recording sheet if you want to play!  I always use the 3rd page one,  but I made the others just for fun- so the game seems a little different if we play it again.  :) Just click on the picture if you would like a copy!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw4BuVZdT_UxSE5Xd1RVTktaSEk/edit?usp=sharing


Another fun game is like  Mingle- but I call it Snowballs!   Everyone walks around the room and is an individual snowflake.  When I say "Snowball group of 4!" the children have to quickly get into a group of four.  Then, I say "Snowflakes" again, and the walk around until I call out another "Snowball group of 3!" or whatever.  They LOVE this game. 



We LOVE Katy and the Big Snow just like we love Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel!









These are some of my favorite books to teach about snowflakes and use for Science:




I love the sweet illustrations in Snowflake Bentley, and the children love that he was a real person!






I also love taking my class outside when it is snowing to do our snowflake observation lesson. I used to do this with my own children when they were little. It is always fascinating.

I put some black construction paper in the freezer and just get it from the staff room freezer on our way outside. You probably don't even have to freeze the paper. The kids get a kick out of it. Sometimes it seems like those extra little steps make a lesson more memorable for the children, and it may keep the flakes frozen a little better.  I cut the paper in quarters so the pieces aren't that huge for the children to handle.  You can use black felt or other fabric instead, or even dark mittens would work well to catch snowflakes.  I found this picture online from The Chocolate Muffin Tree because we haven't done this lesson yet this year and I didn't have a picture.

Each child has a paper or fabric and a magnifying glass.  They catch the snowflakes and observe the beauty. It is simple, and always one of our favorite outings.  The children love learning that each snowflake has six sides and is unique!  I have everything ready to go, and just pick the best afternoon to get outside when it is snowing, otherwise, it turns out like the day we were going to look at clouds after our cloud lesson- and the sky could not have been more perfectly blue!

I found some pictures online to show you some gorgeous snowflakes. It's fun to look at these with the children once you come inside.



Snowflake


(from SnowCrystals.com )
SnowDays is one of my new favorite sites. It isn't a new sight- just new to me! It lets you create a snowflake online- without paper! (They come out MUCH better for me than the real paper ones...  I actually feel a little artistic!)



The Kidz Page also has a snowflake maker game!
Game Title:Online Snow Flake Maker
Game Information:Use your computer mouse as you would a pair of scissors to cut away sections of virtual paper to make beautiful virtual snowflakes!
Game Type:Flash, Online Game
Game File Size:11 KB (approx)
Game High Scores?No
Click here to play this game!

I put these snowflake sites all together on my Winter Prezi.  I use this all the time in Winter for those extra minutes we have and to reinforce or teach winter themes.   I just added the Valentine's Day section!

It's FREE- and the snowflake section makes a wonderful science unit for winter.


My brother-in-law made me these gorgeous snowflakes for two bulletin boards I made at school last year. My principal wants to put the snowflakes on a wall and spray paint them using the snowflakes as a sort of stencil.  

 
The idea for this bulletin board came from The Butterfly Jungle. I loved it.  Not only did the idea come from her- but so did the bear. I tried my unartistic best to draw my own, but they kept coming out like giant white rats, which are NOT as precious blowing snowflakes, by the way. Finally, I just enlarged her wonderful bear.  She described drawing the bear as "easy-peasy."  :( Nope.
  
I found a couple other fun online snowflake games. (All are on the Prezi.)
Sid the Science Kid has a snowflake symmetry game.
National Geographic has some fun online snowflake puzzles.

Kids Games has a fun Catch the Snowflakes game.  (Yes, I played it- and it is fun!)

 Literactive has a great snowflake CVC game!



I found some good snowflake videos. This video is from  Activity Village, along with these facts.
Did you know that large snowflakes can measure up to 2" across and contain hundreds of individual crystals?
The largest snowflake ever found was 8" by 12"! It was reported to have fallen in Bratsk, Siberia in 1971.


This is a sweet story to go along with a snowflake study.  It's a great way to start a discussion about how people, like snowflakes, are each special and unique.



 

Glue snowflakes are always a beautiful craft to make- easy and never fail (remember- all snowflakes are supposed to be different!).  They look so pretty in a window  or even on a little "winter tree" if you want to go with The Tree that Stayed Up Until Next Christmas idea.


Factory Direct has a good tutorial about making glue snowflakes.

 DIY Glue Snowflakes3 DIY Glue SnowflakesDIY Glue Snowflakes4 DIY Glue Snowflakes
Martha Stewart gives directions for making snowflakes with pipe cleaners and borax at her site.  This would be a fun experiment to do with the class so they could watch it "grow!"

Martha also shows how to makes some snowflake marshmallows at her site.  They look so pretty in hot chocolate!  Her process is pretty involved- so I tried freezing marshmallow fluff and making them that way just to see if I could cheat.  Nope.  The fluff was too sticky and didn't work.  Martha knew what she was doing, of course.

If I made her snowflake marshmallows, I would put one in a bag for each child to take home with a packet of cocoa-and this "How do you stay warm?" homework to complete as they enjoy their cocoa.  (Poor things- nothing comes without some work!:) Or you could just enjoy the cocoa after your outside adventures and share your experiences!  I have the children draw and write inside the mug, about how they like to stay warm in winter.  I  have them color the top of the mug brown like cocoa is inside, and then glue on cotton balls for marshmallows.
Here is a sample:
Just click the picture below if you would like a copy of this simple little activity.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw4BuVZdT_UxNmZORGZ2TGE1UGM/edit?usp=sharing 
If you wanted to really celebrate a snowy day, you could make no-fail snowflake pancakes!  These are easy- even I can make them.  Again, since snowflakes are all different, you cannot fail!  You can dress them up with powdered "snow," white chocolate chip snow, coconut (if kids like that) or a mountain of spray cool whip snow (my kids favorite when they were little still.)   The easiest way I found to make these "designer pancakes" is to put the pancake mix in a large Ziplock baggie, cut off one corner, and make the snowflake design like you are decorating a cake by squeezing out the batter.

This picture is from Having Fun at Home.  She worried about having symmetrical pancakes, bless her heart.  Mine don't always look so great- but the kids LOVE them!  Plus- once the powdered sugar or cool whip is on them, symmetry doesn't seem important at all.


With the "just add water" pancake mix, making pancakes in school is an easy way to cook in my classroom.  One year for the 100th day of school, we made 100 mini pancakes.  I just bring in my electric griddle, and we are good to go!
You can also make white chocolate snowflakes that are beautiful to add to a special cup of cocoa.
These are from Prudence Pennywise.
 
These are from Geek Sweets- and out of my league, but beautiful.
White chocolate snowflakes

Although- Haniela's blog has a great tutorial about how to make these, so I may give it a try!

You could also put a pretty, intricate, paper snowflake on top of a cake to use as a template, and sprinkle powdered sugar over it for an easy snowflake cake. These are Martha Stewart's templates:


but I was thinking more like this from BrownievilleGirl:



I also love having lots of Snowy Centers for the children to explore during the winter.
Khrys Bosland shared these cute Frosty Fluff Fake Snow Recipe labels and the recipe for Frosty Fluff.
FREEBIE Frosty Fluff Fake Snow Recipe

I love this Snow Much Fun (with Playdough) center from Christie at First Grade Fever.
Snow Much Fun {Playdough/Literacy Center}

It will go great with our sparkly snow playdough.  I like my Bisquick playdough recipe because it lasts so long and always turns out great! I just added some colorful glitter and no coloring. You could add some peppermint or vanilla extract for fun, too. The kids LOVE smelly playdough.

 
Bisquick Playdough
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup salt
2 cups water
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp oil 

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Scrape and stir the bowl. Microwave for another 3 minutes. If it is not quite ready,  microwave for another minute.
(I made a double batch and put it back in my microwave for one more minute, which worked perfectly.) 
These are some other snow centers we have fun using.  If you have a bigger tub or sand/water table, you could have a ball!  I have a bigger bin that I use, but not a water table.  I would LOVE to put real snow in a water table- or even a long bin.  We don't have bathrooms or sinks in our classrooms, so that would be tricky.  It's so much fun to do at home, though, if you have young children at home. Even putting  some snow in the bathtub or sink with some snow toys would be so much fun. 
Meanwhile, in my classroom, I use a bin or big box for my "snow sight words."


Here are some snow  ideas you can use, shown in large bowls.


The children dig through the snow to find sight words and record them on their Snowy Sight Word Sheet.  I have ten words in each bin with more of the "snow" than I have shown in the pictures to cover up the words.  The children rotate through the bins.

First they put on their snowflake glasses, of course...  (Dollar Tree...)


 Pearls
 (I had LOTS of these left from my daughter's wedding. They came is a big container from Walmart.)

Rice
(This is just showing the sight words hidden in the rice.)

Snow Storm!  I used packing peanuts, cotton balls, plastic snowflakes I had, beans, and rice.  This makes a really fun sensory table in a big tub or bin!
Cotton Balls
Plastic Snowflakes
Packing Peanuts


Beans 
Beans are some of my favorites.  I put them in the freezer before center time, and they stay really cold! Plus, I can write the words right on the beans.  I actually have two sets, so I keep one with an ice pack in a freezer bag to switch in the middle of center time so the groups all get cold snow beans.


Here is a copy of my Snowflake Word Recording Sheet. Click on the picture if you would like a copy of it.   I used Susanna Westby's adorable snowflake background for the first page in color, and just black and white for the other page.

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw4BuVZdT_UxYkFoZlg5MUY3YTA/edit?usp=sharing

Here are some fabulous TPT freebies that I found in my search for everything snow! Enjoy!

Welcome Winter: Snow Much Fun! from Heather's Heart is a great packet!

Welcome Winter:  Snow Much FunWelcome Winter:  Snow Much FunWelcome Winter:  Snow Much FunWelcome Winter:  Snow Much Fun

This Fun in the Snow packet by Penny Waddingham is a wonderful resource! She includes a sweet original winter story as well as math and literacy activities.
Fun in the SnowFun in the SnowFun in the SnowFun in the Snow

Kimberly Edgerton shared a Snow Fun Letter Match activity, great for reinforcing capital and lowercase letters and sounds.
Snow Fun Letter MatchSnow Fun Letter MatchSnow Fun Letter Match
Mrs. McKown made an adorable Sight Word Find magnifying glass activity. My kids will love this!
Sight Word Finds-Let It Snow! K-1Sight Word Finds-Let It Snow! K-1
I like this Winter Syllable Card Center Activity by Jennifer Drake!

Winter Syllable Center Cards ~FREEBIE SAMPLER~Winter Syllable Center Cards ~FREEBIE SAMPLER~

Sharp's Kindergarten shared a fun Blizzard of Words Game to practice CVC words.

Winter - Blizzard of Words - CVC Game (FREEBIE)Winter - Blizzard of Words - CVC Game (FREEBIE)Winter - Blizzard of Words - CVC Game (FREEBIE)

Kate Drew shared some Snowflake Literacy Activites at her TPT store.
Snowflake Literacy ActivitiesSnowflake Literacy ActivitiesSnowflake Literacy Activities

I love this Winter Sight Word Reader from Zdoodlez. It is goes perfectly with a snowflake study!
Winter sight word readerWinter sight word readerWinter sight word readerWinter sight word reader

Roll a Snowflake by Sharp's Kindergarten is a fun center activity.
Snow Sums - Roll a Snowflake (FREEBIE)

Here is another cute Snowman Roll and Cover activity from Christina's CafĂ© of Creations with numbers 1-6.
 Snow Man Roll and Color 1-6
Christina also made a Roll and Cover with numbers 2-12.
Snow Man Roll and Color 2-12
Fern Smith shared a fun January Snow Theme Plus One Center Game.
FREE! January Snow Theme Addition Plus One Center GameFREE! January Snow Theme Addition Plus One Center GameFREE! January Snow Theme Addition Plus One Center GameFREE! January Snow Theme Addition Plus One Center Game
Kinder Doodles has a cute Snow Buddy Number and Tens Frames Activity!
Snow Buddy Number & Ten Frame CardsSnow Buddy Number & Ten Frame CardsSnow Buddy Number & Ten Frame Cards

Warm Up With Winter Math is a fabulous packet from A Special Teacher for Special Kids with lots of great activities.
Winter Math Fun {Freebie}Winter Math Fun {Freebie}
I think that I am trying to rediscover the magic of snow each year through the eyes of the children.  I do think the falling snow is beautiful-
 

I always love the idea of this quote- until I realize that shoveling really isn't exactly a "choice..."
This is more of my idea of shoveling!

And always a favorite...


Have a beautiful New Year!

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