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    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Snowy Winter Fun in the Special Education Classroom

    Since we have returned from break we have been enjoying lots of fun snow-related books and activities.

    The first week we studied The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I love talking about Peter and all the fun snowy day adventures he goes on. My favorite activity with this story is our snowball experiment. The kids LOVE getting on their mittens and making big snowballs to place in their pockets (inside plastic baggies). Throughout the morning we check on our snowballs to see what "state" they are in: snowball, melting, or water. Interested in using this story with your students? Click the image below to grab my Communication and Comprehension Support unit on my TpT Store!

    We have a recording sheet that we use with 6 boxes for 6 different observation periods (put in my pocket, after 5 minutes, after 15 minutes, after 30 minutes, after 1 hour, after 2 hours). I did not make the recording sheet and after searching all over the internet I wasn't able to find it so I am not sure where it came from!!

    To go with our sheet I made Boardmaker picture options for my kiddos with limited writing and verbal skills. It was very easy. Unfortunately I was short an aide the day we did the experiment so I had my hands full and did not get a chance to take pictures :(.

    However I do have some pictures of a couple of the other activities we have done during our snow unit:

    After several weeks of holiday treats it was nice to have a healthy treat! We made these cute snowman faces out of toasted bagels with cream cheese, olive eyes, carrot noses (of course), red pepper lips, earmuffs made of broccoli and spray cheese.

    How cute are they?!

    Also, I have a student on a gluten-, dairy- free diet and he was easily able to make a similar treat with a gluten-free waffle. Usually we use powdered sugar to make it while but on this day he did not feel like it. He did however enjoy making vampire teeth on his snowman!

    Another activity we did were these cute salt dough snowmen. The recipe for the dough did not go very well and they ended up very dry and then we added too much water and they were too mushy so we tried more flour and we never really perfected the measurements BUT the kids still had fun and it was definitely a learning experience! A few days later one of the other classrooms tried this activity and they added more water gradually using a spray bottle (a trick for pie crusts apparently!) and theirs had a much better consistency! After making the dough and creating the snowmen, the kids used yarn, pipe cleaners, sequins and buttons to decorate them.

    After The Snowy Day, we read The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel. 

    Our focus was winter clothing and we had fun dressing up in different winter clothes and making this cute class clothesline of clothing that the kids painted with watercolors and decorated with anything they could find in our art cabinet (buttons, cotton balls, foamies, glitter glue, etc).

    We also made these cute flip posters. All of the kids colored the poster of the boy or girl any colors they wanted. Then, my kids who were writers used a color word bank to complete the sentences and my kids who are non-writers used my modified sentences where they had to just color in the circle to match the clothing item named. The kids really enjoyed this activity and they turned out super cute!

    To go along with the story I also created some vocabulary and communication supports, reading comprehension activities, and progress monitoring sheets that you can grab by clicking the image below:

    Next week we are learning all about polar animals so check back then to see our cute polar animal activities!

    And for more wintertime Thematic Group Activities, grab my Snow & Winter Unit on Teacher Pay Teacher!

    Or grab all three of these awesome resources and be ready to tackle lesson planning all winter long with my bundle!


    Sarah said...

    Looks like a lot of fun!!Did you make your snow out of conditioner and baking soda? I just found that recipe on a blog this morning and can't wait to try it this weekend!

    Unknown said...

    So cute!! I love the snow experiment. We are reading A Snowy Day next week - I might steal that cookie idea :) My guys love a good cooking activity!

    - Sasha
    The Autism Helper

    Allison Officer, M.S.Ed said...

    Sarah, there were still big piles of snow in the parking lot after break so we were able to use real snow thankfully. Conditioner and baking soda sounds like quite a combination though! Sasha, steal away!