Rewind {Snow & The Mitten... }

January was a strange, long month... filled with 2-hour delays, snow days, sick days and other odd interruptions to the usual routine. I'm glad to say that the month is over, but looking back, I realize that I blogged about only a few of our classroom activities from last month. Here's a quick recap of the month...

Snowball Counting Tray  - The kids counted out white pompom snowballs on to the numbered mittens and then checked their work with a filled out tens frame on the back. We used one of our 'Fine Motor Gloves' to practice pinching one snowball at a time with thumb and pointer finger.

Salt Tray - A simple, but classic tray! A little iridescent glitter makes the salt look a bit more like snow too. Students traced sandpaper letter cards with a finger, then copied the letter in the salt tray with a finger. 

Magazine Letter Cut & Paste -  For this tray, I used my printable magazine letters and alphabet worksheet. This tray was time consuming and we worked on it over the course of a week+ Students found & matched letters, cut them out and then pasted them on top of the matching letter on the alphabet worksheet.

Pipe Cleaners & Beads - I really love this activity & have many seasonally coordinated sets of pipe cleaners & beads for other times of the year! Preparation was simple - just hot glue little laminated mittens to the ends of the pipe cleaners, write a numeral on the mittens and provide beads for stringing. Some students worked on making sets of beads to match the numeral, while others just worked on the fine motor aspect of stringing the beads - there's one of our fine motor gloves again!

Foam Alphabet Puzzles & Hammers - What preschooler wouldn't be motivated by the opportunity to hammer something? I found these small individual letter puzzles at a dollar store a while back and was smart enough to by several sets of them. I've sorted out the letters needed for each child to construct their name and added a fun little wooden hammer - students find the letters they need for their names, put them together and hammer the pieces in to make their names. I provide a picture of the finished product for students who still need a model to correctly order the letters of their name. 

The Mitten Cut & Paste - After looking all over the internet for a cut & paste activity with the animals from the mitten, I ended up making my own - that had straight lines for simpler cutting! 

We used this as both a retelling activity & a vocabulary/preposition practice activity. The students had to listen for the name of the animal & the location to place the animal. With more advanced students, I gave longer directions that included a list of 2-3 animals and their locations all at once. It was great practice following orally given directions!

Roll-A-Mitten Color Game - We used this game, from my Roll-A-Mitten activity pack, as a small group game for color practice, waiting for a turn, following directions and more. Students rolled the dice, named the color, found a matching crayon and colored a mitten.

Tubes & Balls Exploration - I bought a variety of tubes (black plastic drainage pipes & dryer vent tubes) at the hardware store and collected a basket full of white balls of different sizes & weights - snowballs. (Our favorite balls are these 'Snowballs' that are like giant pompoms) We cut and hung the tubes along the window using suction cup hooks (the kind you'd use in the shower) and rubber bands. Then we did experiments to see which balls would go the furthest and/or fastest. The kids also explored the tubes using other toys including blocks and animal figurines - some things got stuck and others did not. It's been a great activity for students of all ability levels - with so many great concepts to talk about and try out!