Yesterday around 11:00 when it began to snow outside, first graders marveled at the magical white flakes while they made snowmen. One student excitedly shouted “Its snowing and we are making snowmen!” to my delight (yay for making connections.) Little did we all know that the next few hours would bring a dystopian mayhem that would ultimately shut down the entire Atlanta area and create a frozen wasteland of abandoned cars, stranded people, and wintry chaos. In a city where people drive like maniacs on sunny days, this polar fiasco has caused complete insanity and a traffic nightmare.
During my 4 hour commute last night (a 12 mile distance that usually takes 20 minutes) I was amazed at the kindness of people to each other. I saw people shoveling roads, checking on each other in cars, and helping neighbors. I am very lucky to have gotten to a safe place in a relatively short amount of time. My heart goes out to all of the people who were en route for 7, 8, 9 + hours and those who are even still out there stuck in their cars or sleeping in stores. Mimosa Elementary had several students and a couple dozen teachers spend the night — what a crazy situation! I am beyond thankful that everyone is safe and sound.
This project (inspired by this project) began innocently enough and who would have known that it would end on what is being called #HOTHlanta #snowpocalypse #Atlantarctica #snowmageddon #snowJAM2014 ? We began by reading Snowmen at Night and noticing the parts of a snowman (arms, noses, scarves, hats, body, head, mouth, eyes, etc.)
First graders learned all about symmetry when they created snowflakes out of white paper. This process was as complicated as Atlanta traffic has been over the past 24 hours:
Researching YouTube came up with beautiful examples of snowflakes that were just a bit too complicated for my 1st graders. Before even attempting this I had my BFF over at fitnesscrEATures.com try to make some snowflakes. I figured if a 25-year-old Fitness Creature can do it then so can a bunch of 6 year olds. I found that the “best” way — I use that word generously — was to have the kids fold a square up and draw triangles on it while I went around and drew a curved line.
They created the body and head on day one. Some of the snowflakes ended up being cut in half and flipping it around to make a whole shape reinforced both symmetry and math concepts.
Day two was spent adding details. Students used painted paper scraps to create a nose, hat, and shoes. They used crayons for the arms and mouth. Two buttons became the eyes. (Check out those neat-o loop/loom bracelets . . . those things are all the rage!)
A ribbon became the scarf.
One finger dipped in white paint made snow.
I love how these turned out, they are so fun and unique just like snowflakes and just like first graders!
* * * * * Stay safe in the snow, y’all! * * * * *