Saturday, December 10, 2011

stupendous snowflakes!

I feel like I've posted mostly about logistics, or little funny situations, or quotes from my class. I haven't talked much about what we're actually doing.

So. Here we go.

Normally, we have at least one activity a day that specifically targets following directions. Now, we follow directions all day at school, but I usually try to work on this behavior during a fun activity (a game, a craft, etc.) that is relatively non-threatening and doesn't really involve heavy academics. This keeps lack of academic skill and low motivation from being huge variables in the activity.

I was looking for a winter time craft that we could put up in our room when I ran across  a tutorial for snowflakes on Teaching in Flip-Flops. I immediately wanted them in my room. . . but I wasn't so sure that the activity would go that well with my guys and girl. She has third grade regular ed, while I have mostly first (and one second) graders with low tolerance of group activities, low rates of following verbal directions, etc. Also, first graders generally don't have the same fine motor skills as third graders. 

I decided we would try. And . . .

It went amazingly well! There were some hiccups:
- My guys wanted to pick their own colors, so we don't have an amazingly coordinated winter wonderland. I did not even bother to fight this battle; I only gave one prompt for how cool it would be if we had all blue/white, but they didn't bite. One even said, "Snowflakes are not blue, anyway." True that.
- They didn't have a whole lot of success with the cutting part. After we made one with them doing it all by themselves, I did all of the cutting/stapling and they did all of the folding/taping. Teamwork! I think if we ever do this again, I will get them into triangles and draw cut-lines on them prior to the activity. 
- One of my kids flat out was not interested. Could not have cared less. After the first mandatory snowflake part was done, that was it. She read a few books to herself while the boys got amazingly crafty. 
- I didn't have any fishing line or something transparent, so the black yarn is kind of a buzzkill. I'll be prepared next time.

Here are some pictures of our success!

This one was our "All By Ourselves" one, with extremely limited assistance. There were many do-overs, but they loved the finished product. They did two more mostly independently (not pictured.)

These two were our "I'll cut/staple, you fold/tape" ones. 

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