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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snowman Fun: Math and Literacy Activities for the Little Ones

It doesn't matter if you live in the coldest of cold or the warmest of warm, we all want to talk about snow! It doesn't even matter if you like cold weather or warm weather. There is just something about a snowman that makes us all smile.  Here are some of the fun activities we are doing with our kids to bring a smile to their faces!
Comparing Snowmen
In this fun comparing activity follow these directions.
  • The children play with a partner.
  • Each partner gets 10 cubes and snaps them together. 
  • Say "1,2,3 break."  Each child breaks their cubes in half.
  • Each child puts one part of their break onto the snowman game board.
  • Compare for more and less cubes.
  • The child with less cubes spins the spinner.
  • If it lands on less, he gets all of the cubes on the game board.
  • If it lands on more, the child who had more gets all of the cubes on the game board.
  • Color the cubes on the recording page.
  • Record how many cubes each child had.
  • Circle more or less to indicate who won.
Snowman Phonemes
In this fun activity, the children will segment the phonemes in a word.  Here's the questions, what is the difference between phonemic awareness and phonics? A long time ago, a smart teacher told me, "Phonemic Awareness can be done in the dark."  Makes sense, right?  For phonemic awareness we are only dealing with the sounds, not the letters.  In the picture above, coat only has 3 phonemes, even though it has 4 letters.  To play this game the children name the picture. Then, they slide a snowball onto the snowman as they segment each of the phonemes.
Snowman Phonemes
This snowman activity is a PHONICS activity because we are using the letters. In this activity I used only 3 letter words. As the children say they word, they record each letter to represent the sounds they hear.
How to Make a Snowman Step Book
In this fun activity, the children will use this step book to sequence the steps for making a snowman. First, I made a snowman book for each child. To make the book:
  1. Stagger 3 pieces of paper by overlapping them about one inch. (It looks like steps). Fold the paper in half.
  2. Using a pattern, cut the  snowman shape from the folded paper.
  3. Add an additional circle to the top to make a head.
The children follow these steps to make their snowman books.
  1. Cut apart the pictures. Sequence the pictures to make the snowman.
  2. Glue one picture under each flap.
  3. Cut off one of the sentences. Cut between the words.
  4. Put the words in the correct order to make the sentence.
  5. Add a face and a hat!
 Snowman Tree Map
I made this tree map to use during the week. Here's how we are going to use it.
  • Each day we filled out one of the 3 columns.
  • First, we thought of possible ways to finish our sentence.
  • Then, we used interactive writing to record three of the suggestions.
  • As I was writing on the large chart, each child has their own chart to complete.
 Making Snow
During January and February we are working hard on learning to write nonfiction text. One thing we know is that we can only ask kids to write on schema they already have, or schema that is developed through the experiences that we provide. This is a super fun activity for making snow! (Especially for us southerners!)
 Here's what you do:
  1. Use powdered laundry detergent (instant snow) and water. Mix together with a mixer. NOW---it doesn't look like real snow! I know, but my kids have a great imagination and most of them have not seen real snow! ;)
  2. Drop three blobs of snow mixture onto their paper.
  3. Invite the children to swirl their fingers to make the 3 snowballs.
  4. Once dry, use paint to add details.
  5. NOW we are ready to write our procedural piece. The children can write the steps for How to Make Snow or How to Make a Snowman.
 Five Little Snowmen Fat
I made this tree map to use during the week. This is a fun song to teach number combinations. We used the song during literacy to work on things such as print concepts, sight words, beginning sounds, what makes sense, etc. We also used the song as a transition activity while moving from student focused work back to our class meeting area.
 During math we use the song to help us learn the combinations for the number 5.  First let's discuss this standard. Number combinations is found under "Number and Algebraic Thinking". Every wonder why? (Maybe you already know! :)) In number combinations we know the sum and one addend. We know the number for which we are making combinations and one of the numbers. We are solving for "x".  For example, 3 + x = 5.
Here's what we did:
  • I used the color game board and made a black and white board for each child.
  • The children cut the snowmen off of their recording page.
  • As we sing the song, we move the snowmen from standing in the snow to melting in the sun.
  • After singing each verse we record the combination on our recording page.  
  • Select which recording sheet your child are ready for!
 All of these ideas are from Snowman Surprise: Math and Literacy Activities. If you already have this unit, be sure and go to your my purchased and download the updated version. This unit has undergone a major facelift with better graphics, frames, and fonts.  New activities have also been added.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Snowman-Snowman-Games-and-Activities-for-Literacy-and-Math-v20-108177
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