Friday, December 16, 2016

A Warm-Weather Snow Day? Yes!

In the past, the week before Christmas break always included a Polar Express day.  I issued tickets for kids to come aboard, and students arrived in pajamas ready for the ride!  I would set the seats up in rows like a train, and prepare hot chocolate for students as they watched the movie.

I know I am in the minority here, but I really don't like Polar Express.  It kind of creeps me out.  I don't like the whole computer-animated Tom Hanks.  The meaning behind the movie is great and all, but it's just not for me.  So, you ask? It's not supposed to be for me!  It's supposed to be for the kids!  But that's the problem, too.  The kids never actually pay attention to the whole movie.  They're antsy, and would much rather have something hands-on to do.

So last year, I had the idea of having a SNOW DAY instead of a Polar Express day.  It's unfortunate to me that the kiddos in Georgia never get out of school for snow.  In Virginia, it felt like we missed almost all of February year after year!  Here, kids ask, "What's a Snow Day?" *gasp*

There are definite pros to this.  The kids don't get off schedule, they have more instructional time, the roads aren't dangerous, it's not below freezing outside.  But what about getting to just play in the snow? Go sledding? Make a snowman? Have a snowball fight?  How can it really be winter without some snow?!

So here's how snow day goes:

Kids get to wear their pajamas!  They come in to a decorated classroom.  Paper snowflakes hang from the ceiling.  Torn-apart styrofoam packing material is scattered all over, in addition to some fake snow made from stuffing material.  (Yes! It makes a huge mess! But it's worth it, and easy to vacuum!)

Students get to enjoy a North Pole breakfast (see the previous post regarding our elf, Jolly, helping with this part).  Obviously when you stay home from school on a snow day, you wear your pajamas, eat a delicious breakfast, and watch some TV.  As the kids ate their breakfast, we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas.

When breakfast was over, we made our snowman art project.  Kids write about what their snowman is looking at. 

Then we read lots of Snow Day books!

We played with fake snow, made from conditioner and baking soda and frozen overnight.
You need 3 cups of baking soda for every 1/2 cup of conditioner.  I buy the Suave Daily Clarifying conditioner because it's cheap and it's white.  Make sure you DON'T buy a coconut conditioner if you have allergies in your classroom!

We make some snowmen with the snow and have a mini snowball fight.  This is definitely one of the kids' favorite days of the year!


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