Sunday, 15 December 2013

Gingerbread, snowflakes and penguins

And we continue to create a little bit of winter in  a tropical island classroom. :)

Last week was a BUSY one.

We celebrated our annual surprise Gingerbread Day on Monday. My team teachers and I were ready to greet our kiddies, wearing our gingerbread crowns and "as close to brown" clothing as we could get.

We started with fun gingerbread glyphs

and then gathered the whole yeargroup into my classroom to do the now traditional Gingerbread Body Part graphing activity. The kids LOVED it - and my team teacher who leads this activity was as awesome as ever! Our kiddies were rolling with laughter. All my other colleague and I had to do was demonstrate how to secretly eat a body part. :)

After recess we moved on to Language and completed little booklets on adjectives and verbs and read Gingerbread stories.

After completing a pictograph - a quick little Math review - in the afternoon we finished the day with icing gingerbread cookies (and eating them, of course) and making gingerbread house cards. It was a fabulous day!

On Wednesday our reports were due - I managed to get them in a day early!!! (unheard of) so decided to celebrate by starting Borax snowflakes.

No-one in my class had ever done these before so it was a brand new activity for them and a lot of fun for me. I've included the recipe below if anyone wants to try - it is the single BEST science activity and always works brilliantly!!

Mixing borax into boiling water

Pipecleaner snowflakes suspended in solution

Carefully making sure the snowflakes don't
touch the sides of the jar

The next morning - great excitement as snowflakes
are taken out of the jars

Not the greatest photo but here's a crystallized snowflake.

You'll need:

a pipecleaner (we used pink, purple and blue ones) 20 Mule Borax, boiling water, glass jars (we used the mason canning jars) measuring cup and tablespoon, pencil, string, masking tape, spoon to stir solution.

Cut the pipe cleaner into thirds (actually we cut ours into quarters and then only used 3 parts - it was easier for my little people to divide into quarters than thirds :) )
Twist together to make a snowflake shape
Tie the string to one end of the snowflake. Attach the other end of the string to the middle of the pencil.
Label your pencil with masking tape (child's name)

We used TWO cups of boiling water in our jars and added 4 heaping tablespoons PER CUP. (A lot of recipes call for 3 tablespoons but we've found you sometimes don't get any crystals so we pile in extra) 
Stir the solution until as much dissolves as possible. It's usually pretty cloudy to start with.

Suspend the snowflake in the solution and leave it. If you do your snowflakes first thing in the morning they'll be ready by 3.30 (one of my team teachers did it on Friday morning and it worked beautifully) or make them in the afternoon and they'll be ready the following morning. Be prepared for chaos - my kiddies had to take their snowflakes all over the school to show every single teacher, they were so proud of them. :)

I thought it might be fun to try to make trees or bells or hearts (for Valentine's day maybe) - it's such an easy and spectacular experiment. We've also used white pipe cleaners and food coloring or just white pipe cleaners. It's pretty versatile - play with them. :)

And finally - our penguins. :) I think they're very cute - and they all have snowball facts above them. :)

Have a great week :)

1 comment:

  1. Super cute! I have never made the borax snowflakes...maybe I will in January with our matter/chemistry unit!