Friday, January 8, 2016

Ice Castle Day!

Happy 2016!

Life brings us many blessings and joys, as well as trials and tears. The last few months have been challenging and I am thrilled to be back blogging, creating, and sharing! I’m wishing us all a FABULOUS 2016!

Let’s talk about SNOW!  There seems to be no PERFECT amount of snow in the eyes of young children and their teachers! For Southern California teachers, the majority of our little ones have only experienced snow in movies and books. Anytime that it rains or hails is an EXCITING DAY!  It ACTUALLY did snow ONCE, our entire school went out and played in it! WHAT A MEMORY! 

Don’t think that I don’t understand the other side of the snow debate, after all I was born in Maine! As a little girl I remember taking so long to put on my coat, mittens, boots, and hat, that recess was over before I finished preparing to go outside!

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in TODAY, snow is still fascinating for young children to explore. And what better way to investigate snow than with a unit on the WATER CYCLE! My kids love learning about evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. We study the water cycle for 2-3 weeks and culminate our unit by building an ice castle!

 After sending home a NOTE to parents, the children bring ICE to school in all different shapes, colors, and sizes! We build our castle as soon as possible, so we can OBSERVE it EVAPORATING throughout the day and keep a log of the progress!  When the next rain falls, we KNOW that a few of those rain drops include the water from our CASTLE!  Thus, we’ve witnessed the complete WATER CYCLE!  

If you DO decide to build an ice castle, be sure to bring rubber gloves! Each child “builds” the castle by adding an ice sculpture  one at a time. You can see me in the picture below: I guess you could call me the architect! Notice the shade umbrella and my sunglasses!

Another activity that the kids love making and sharing with mom and dad is the WATER CYCLE WHEEL. The kids color the sections of the water cycle, glue them on a blue circle, and move the WATER DROP around the wheel as they recite the water cycle song. 

Teacher's Sample. The children color their own. The child colors each 
triangle and writes the word in the box.

The Water Cycle Wheel is part of my Water Cycle Unit on TPT. The teacher's sample is above; the students' paper is below. The children color, print, cut, and glue their own wheel to take home.

Keep in mind, that after building an ice castle in 72 degree weather, there is nothing more important than hot cocoa and marshmallows to warm you up again! LOL!

Wishing you many BLESSINGS in 2016!


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