Sunday, March 12, 2017

Learning in a Winter Wonderland

I have loved classroom transformations ever since I got back from my training at the Ron Clark Academy last February. I love how the transformation of a space can promote student engagement and excitement. Afterall, that is my main goal everyday. This classroom transformation has been in the works for a while, and it wouldn't of been as amazing if it weren't for my amazing teammates.

Since we didn't have much of a winter this year in Atlanta, we decided to bring winter to our classroom. Our classroom became a winter wonderland filled with excitement, engagement, learning and fun! The winter "learning land" consisted of four different stations.

1. STEM- Snowball Catapult

This station was the students favorite! With thier small group, they had to create a catapult that could launch their "snowball" the furthest. They were given supplies and a limit on the amount of supplies they could use. The supplies were popsicle sticks, bottle caps, glue, string, tape, rubber bands, and pencils. At the end of the two day transformation, we launched the catapults!

2. Virtual Fieldtrip and Simulation to Alaska

At this station, the students got to take a virtual field trip to Alaska and learn all about the 1925 Serum run that brought vaccines to children in need. After learning about the serum run, the students got to complete a simulation activity about this.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/serum_run/

http://www.alaskakids.org/layouts/alaskakids/games/Alaska/index.htm

3. Really Cold Research

At this station, the students were given a variety of winter topics to reserach using our school's online research such as, Antarctica, Polar Bears, Snowy Owls, Icebergs, and Mt. Everest. After reading this information, the students had to write a nonfiction summary and put their summary on an online





poster with pictures and "fun" facts they discovered.

We used piktochart.com to make our multimedia posters.

4. Wintery Descriptive Writing

This station was another crowd favorite! The students were given an ominous wintery picture and in partners or indivudually, they wrote stories about this picture. They really put their descriptive writing skills to work, and used figurative language, strong word choice, show not tell, and sentence vareity to make their writing come to life.

Each of the four stations were about 40 minutes long and the students were engaged the WHOLE time! It was amazing to see. We even had some special wintery drinks to share with the students- hot chocolate! My favorite part of the day was the reflection when I asked the students about what they liked and learned, and only one said that the hot chocolate was their favorite part! I consider that a win!