Winter with the K-Crew

Winter dreams
photo © 2008 James Jordan | more info (via: Wylio)

Perusing for winter ideas, we came across The K-Crew's website - a fantastic resource for kindergarten teachers created by (in their own words) two real teachers who teach real students in real classrooms! We decided to check out their winter thematic unit and there were so many great ideas we just had to share!

Math & Science

  • Experiment with Static Electricity. Ever notice the boom in static electricity during the winter? The K-Crew set up a "Static Magic" station where students explored this very concept using felt, balloons, confetti, and other interesting materials.
  • Graphing. Ask your students a simple yes/no question (i.e. "Have you ever thrown a snowball?", "Have you ever caught a snowflake on your tongue?", etc.) or provide them with a multiple choice question (i.e. "My favorite winter activity is...A.) Sledding, B.) Ice skating, or C.) Building a snowman.") and graph the results. Discuss concepts like "more than", "less than", "most", "least", etc.
  • Estimation. At the beginning of each winter month, place a jar of winter-themed counters at the front of the room (i.e. marshmallows, candy canes, etc.) and accept student estimation submissions. As a class, count the number of objects in the jar and compare it to the predictions. Create a chart or graph showing the number of student guesses within +/-20, +/-10, etc. of the actual number.

Other ideas including growing snowflakes, discovering states of matter and density with ice cubes and oil, and learning the importance of warm clothing in the winter. Check out the full post for more information and instructions to these cool projects!

Language & Literature

  • Winter Journaling. Invite students to prepare and decorate a winter journal - from scratch or using small store-bought notebooks - then take a look at the great writing prompts and journal activities at The K-Crew's website! You're sure to boost their writing confidence and journal entries make great opening, transition, or ending activities!
  • Read, Read, Read! The K-Crew duo provides an excellent list of children's literature as well as appropriate lessons and discussions for each selection at their site including Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin, Here Comes Winter by Janet Craig, and My Favorite Time of Year by Susan Pearson among many others!

Learning Stations

The K-Crew offers many learning stations throughout the winter unit targeting different skill sets like fine motor, art, writing, etc. Here are a few highlights:

  • Sewing mittens
  • Puffy snow painting
  • Scribble art (they have two incredible resource books for this type of activity!)
  • Stamping

And the list goes on and on! The K-Crew really knows how to put a thematic unit together so be sure to check out their site and all their wonderful early childhood resources!

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