Sunday, January 19, 2014

Let It Snow!

Hi everyone!  I am Jane Feener and I am so excited to be a part of this blog.  A big thank you to Hilary for inviting me to contribute as I am newbie when it comes to blogging.  I have enjoyed reading all of the daily blog posts and I have already gathered up a number of ideas I can't wait to try in my class.  I am a grade 5 teacher from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.  In case you are wondering, Newfoundland is a beautiful island located in the north Atlantic.   We are also located in the most easterly part of North America. When you live where I do you need to embrace winter and the snow.  This is what can often face you when you open the front door after one of our nor'easter storms.

You might be asking what are some of the ways we make the best of our long winters.  One activity we always enjoy is decorating our classroom doors and holding a competition for the best decorated door.  Using a combination of ideas I saw on Pinterest my class managed to receive a honorable mention with this one.

Due to all the snow outside our students usually have to stay inside during recess and lunch.  This can be challenging for my class at times because I have 13 boys this year who love to get up and move.  Since returning after the Christmas break my students are slowly beginning to settle back into their school routines.  To help with classroom management, I have created a bulletin board in the class which helps students to work towards a group reward.  The students refer to it as the "OSCAR board".  I guess you figured out that I have a Hollywood theme going on in my room this year.  O.S.C.A.R -stands for "Our Students Can Act Responsibly"

Basically, the way it works is that students can receive compliments from the teachers who are on lunch and recess duty for displaying good behavior.  If a teacher compliments them on their excellent behavior they earn numbers which we track on our whiteboard.

On Friday afternoon the student of the week gets to draw numbers from a box which contains the numbers 1 -100 which have been cut into small squares.  The number of numbers drawn from the box depends on how many points were earned that week.  This week so far my students have earned the right to have 9 numbers  drawn.  As the student calls out the numbers, another student uses a whiteboard marker to place an X on the corresponding number on the hundreds chart that was called.  The students try to form a straight line either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.  If it sounds like playing Bingo, you are correct.  It is a big hit in my class and the students are so excited when they get Bingo and earn a class reward.  Our last class reward was a movie and popcorn. 

Finally, the best way I have found to embrace winter is to incorporate it whenever I can as part of our daily curriculum.  This year I am so excited about the upcoming winter games.  I plan to use this theme to cover many of my learning outcomes or standards in the upcoming weeks.  In math, we will be graphing the medal results for Canada, United States, Russia, and Germany.  We are learning about double bar graphs so we will be comparing our results with the medal count from the Vancouver winter games.  As part of our guided reading program we will be completing word work and work on writing activities using writing prompts and vocabulary that pertain to the winter games.  I created some vocabulary cards to help my students with spelling all the different sports.  You can grab this freebie by clicking (here)

15 Sporting events word cards
How are you planning on embracing winter and having your students take part in the upcoming winter games?


  1. Hi! Wow, that's a great picture! I'm in New York so we get some snow too, but rarely that much! I love your management idea- hits math skills too! Thanks so much for the freebie!

  2. You are welcome. My daughter recently moved to New York for work and she finds there is hardly any snow compared to what we get here. We can usually count on having a few snow days for sure!