Tag Archives: reflection

3rd Grade, Snowflake Bentley and Snowflakes

I am repeating this project for the third year with 3rd grade students. We start out reading the biography of Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Marian Azarian and follow (the next week) with the students researching snow using atlases, dictionaries and encyclopedias (online). The third week we review the information they gathered about snow and go on to cutting out paper snowflakes.

Cutting Paper Snowflakes

The first time I did this activity with students I was amazed that not one student had ever cut out paper snow flakes.  I spent hours as a child cutting snowflakes out of white paper, pages from magazines, any kind of paper I could get my hands on.  So it is so much fun watching them unfold their snowflakes and almost universally gasp when they see their creation!

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Exploring Websites with Thinglink

I revised my Thinglink image and attempted to have the students use their tablets (we are a 1:1 device school).  https://www.thinglink.com/scene/479319938847211522captureI tried out the Thinglink on a tablet and the links all worked, so I had the first class  bring their tablets.  However, the best laid plans…only 2 out of 21 tablets displayed the website correctly! So, plan B was to use the 8 desktops in the library.  This meant the students had to share, but otherwise it was smooth.  I figured out that I could use Livebinders as I have used it successfully in the past; it’s just doesn’t look as cool as Thinglink!

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=2164842

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Reflection Component

I designed a graphic organizer to guide the students as they used the Thinglink (or Livebinder) and explored the various websites.  I think it helped the students stay on task.  It also gave the students a way to think about what they were watching, reading or exploring.

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Students creating digital snowflakes! It’s very addictive.

 

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Researching Snowflakes, Paper Flakes & Blogging

It doesn’t snow very often here in south Georgia, but I thought we could still enjoy learning about snowflakes!  I started off reading Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin to all of the 3rd grade classes.  I also wanted the students to review and practice using reference sources.

Reference Practice

I had the students partner up and use either a dictionary, an encyclopedia or an atlas.  They looked up the definition of snow or snowflakes or wrote one fact about snow from the encyclopedia.  The students used the atlas to locate the city of Snowflake and to determine what state it was in.   Reading the Snowflake Bentley book and doing the research used all of our time for the first week.

Photograph by Snowflake Bentley

Image from Creative Commons

Sharing our Research and Cutting Paper Snowflakes

The next week we reviewed what they learned about snow and snowflakes.  I summarized the facts on a whiteboard and then we proceeded to the fun part.  The students cut out 6 sided paper snowflakes.

Students showing off their paper snowflakes

Students with their paper snowflake creations!

Thinglink and Digital Snowflakes

I created a Thinglink page that included 2 websites where you can cut “virtual” snowflakes.  The sites are so much fun and a bit addictive!   Check it out…http://www.thinglink.com/scene/479319938847211522.

My Thinglink post about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley

  My Thinglink post about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley

I sent the link to the teachers and they let the students explore the Thinglink page which also had links to the Bentley museum and the NOAA website containing many of Bentley’s photographs.

Blogging on Edmodo

On the 3rd week I created Edmodo accounts for every student and they had the oppourtunity to blog about all of their “snowflake” experiences from researching to cutting snowflakes (paper and digital).  I had the students write down their thoughts about the whole process, from reading the book, Snowflake Bentley through research and cutting snowflakes.  I asked them to use the International Baccalareate (IB) PYP concept questions, the IB Learner Profiles and Attitudes while reflecting on the experience.  They wrote on index cards so when the time came to blog, they already had their thoughts down on paper.

Student writing on index card while looking at IB PYP Learner Profile and Attitude

Student using the IB PYP Learner Profiles & Attitudes to write reflection.  Girls reflecting on snowflake activities

Students reflecting on snowflake activities prior to blogging.

We also reviewed some internet etiquette.  I think they did a great job for the most part on reflecting on their experience and sharing it with their classmates on Edmodo.  Here are a few samples.

Jalen S: What are the points of view?The neighbor was excited because he knew nobody had ever taken a picture at a snowflakes before. I wondered- How can you cut straight lines?

Kameron: So the snowflakes have 6 sides. I got a dictionary for snowflakes and found out what it has.It snowed on Wednesday and I felt excited. What does it look like in real life?

Abi: Snowflake Bentley is open-minded.He thinks that snowflakes were cool.When I had to create a snowflake it was difficult.

By the way…I think I made it snow in Albany, GA!  We actually saw a dusting of snow on January 29 which was one of the weeks we were doing our snow instruction.

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Filed under Books, Information Literacy Instruction, Students using technology, Uncategorized