Monday, December 31, 2012

Snowflakes and Sandy Hook

Yesterday I was spending some quality grandma time with my first grade grandson making snowflakes. 
I wanted to remember how to fold the paper to make some really cool snowflakes, not just the lame fold it twice ones that 6 year olds love to make (I seem to always forget and need a quick refresher).  So of course I googled for directions and came across this article: 

Schoolchildren Send Thousands of Handmade Snowflakes to Sandy Hook

I first thought what a fun idea...then, is this real?  The answer is yes...and no.  There are snowflakes being sent to Newtown from around the globe.  I checked out several other sources and it seems that even though they have many, many snowflakes, they thought they could accept them until the 12th of January.    But no....not any more, they have too many snowflakes.  However they still want everyone to feel they can participate, so the Connecticut PTSA has asked you to make your own awesome winter wonderland and send a picture.  You can read their statement here.  They will share the picture with the families of Sandy Hook and participating communities.  Send your picture to:

Connecticut PTSA
60 Connolly Parkway, 
Building 12,  Suite 103,
Hamden, CT 06514.

So do you make a blizzard in you classroom?

I start with a little science lesson on snow...I like using this book:

and this applet from from the University of Wisconson and CIMSS
 along with great pictures and information from NOAA and Snow
Then if we are lucky enough to have a snowy day (and I often save this for just such a day, but not this time if we are going to send off snowflakes) we go out and collect snowflakes.  Cold dark paper works well, but dark fleecy clothes work better.  This is also a good time to break out the magnifying glasses.  I have a classroom set of cheap ones that I keep handy.

I like to read Snowflake Bentley, the biography of the man who photographed snowflakes.

Then it is time to create....

start with a square

fold it diagonally

then again

then in thirds

and cut across the top.

Martha Stewart has better pictures than

Keep track of the center, and don't cut away all of any folded edge.  Remember the more you cut, the lacier and more delicate your snowflake will be.

Is this too tough for 5-6 year old fingers?  Try this:

Take your square, fold it in half

fold it in half again

fold it into a triangle and cut across the top.

Now start cutting little shapes and squiggles.  Once again remember don't cut away all of the folded sides.

You could add to your these books reading list:

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