Snow, Winter, and 3D Shapes

Hello Friends!

This post is going to be short and sweet as it is Saturday morning and I have SOOOO many errands to run and things to do! Because of our snow days at the beginning of the week, I was unable to get to the grocery store which really cramped my resolution of eating whole foods! Oh well, that seems to be behind us now - yay!

Here is a picture of the front of our house during the storm. It wasn't the snow so much that was the problem, though, it was the COLD! Yikes! We were so very lucky that our furnace was a faithful friend and our pipes did not burst. Some people, unfortunately, had to deal with these types of problems as well as handle the extreme temperatures. We were blessed, indeed!

Here is a picture today..... You can see the snow is starting to melt. The temperature is supposed to be in the 40's today, so that will help the melting!

Since we were only in school for 3 days this week, we, of course, were unable to get everything covered that I had planned. We did, however, start our Winter unit. It is always a nice way to transition back into school AND since we live in Illinois, it is usually a typical Winter scenario when we return! We do our scientific instrument experiment during this unit. This year we were able to use SNOW to hypothesize and gather our data for how thermometers are used. After watching the temperature in the snow go down, we then put the thermometers into really warm (not hot) water and watched it go up! This is such an easy experiment to do! If you don't have snow, use ice - it works just the same!

We also started our "What Happens in Winter?" book. I WANTED to get this book finished this week, but of course, did not have the days to get this goal accomplished! We discussed how the tilt of the Earth causes us to have seasons. We discussed the differences between the Northern and Southern hemispheres and we discussed how some animals hibernate to survive the winter. My Winter packet was highlighted in the TPT newsletter this week and a sweet buyer gave me a suggestion for a change in my definitions of hibernate and adaptation. Her idea was absolutely correct so I changed my definition of hibernate to "In the Winter, some animals hibernate. Hibernate means to sleep for a very LONG time." My original definition was "Hibernate means to sleep." She felt that this did not give children a strong enough feeling for what happens to animals when they hibernate and I totally agreed with her! This is why I LOVE writing for teachers! Teachers are always encouraging others to be the best they can be; even their peers!

So this is one of my students creating their illustration of hibernate. (I love this time of year when I have to do is show my students the step by step illustrations and they create their illustrations independently!) We make a bear; even though I tell my students that bears are not true hibernators. I tell them bears experience something called topor which is like hibernation, but animals that in a torpor state will wake up at times; especially on warm winter days.

Another unit we started this week was 3D shapes. I know some teachers have already covered 3D shapes, but I like to wait until after Christmas to introduce these shapes. My kiddos seem to be more prepared to understand the differences between 2D and 3D shapes now than if I had introduced them earlier. I am so happy with how this unit is going! I have been working to tweak this unit for the last couple of years and finally am pleased with it. I wanted something that was fun for my students to do, yet rich in content. A big part of this unit is understanding the differences between 2D and 3D shapes. Here are the definitions that I use... 2D shapes have a front and a back. They have length and width. They are flat. 3D shapes have length, width, and depth. 3D shapes have many sides and space in between. My kiddos TOTALLY got this! We are creating 3D shapes from toothpicks, marshmallows, paper, aluminum foil...... and then creating a book about 3D shapes. I have been showing them how to DRAW 3D shapes, too, which has been a hoot watching them try to envision the process!

Well, that's it for now... I will try to share more later in the week! I wish you all a glorious weekend!!
 If you are interested in my Winter and 3D Shapes packets, click the images below to take you to them!

Until next time!



  1. Hi Cindy,

    Your winter packet looks great!
    I was thinking about you this past week at school because my students learned how to use the stapler. ;)


    1. Ha, ha! I was just thinking about YOU this week because I put a center in Word Work where my littles COULD have used a stapler, but I chickened out and thought I would wait until I had more time to teach it. I AM going to teach that skill this year, though! It's an important one, I think!