Friday, January 25, 2013

National Lutheran Schools Week

One of my favorite weeks of the entire school year is almost here - National Lutheran Schools Week! I remember all of the fun dress up days and special activities we had when I was in elementary school. Immanuel friends - what do you remember from our elementary school days? For those of you who teach in a Lutheran school now, what are you doing to celebrate? Be sure to leave a comment and tell me all about it! 

National Lutheran Schools Week
 January 28th – February 2nd, 2013
Baptized for this Moment

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself. Acts 2:38-39

Uniforms do not need to be worn next week. Be sure to dress in the appropriate color for each day!
Monday, January 28th  -  BLACK – to remind us of our sins (Romans 3:23) 
2pm- All school sing-a-long in the gym
Tuesday, January 29th RED – to remind us of the love of Jesus (1 John 1:7) Reading Rocks Day (each class will do something special)
***Special eBook open house from 3-3:30pm in the computer lab***
Wednesday, January 30th WHITE – to remind us we are forgiven (Psalm 51:7) 2pm- relay races for grades 2&3
Thursday, January 31st GREEN – to remind us of our faith (1 Corinthians 3:6) 2pm- relay races for grades K&1
Friday, February 1st BLUE – to remind us of heaven (John 14:2-3)
2pm -DVD and popcorn in the gym
Saturday, February 2ndNational Lutheran Schools Week Celebration, hosted by the Bridge Connection Committee, 6pm in the fellowship hall
All week – Bring in boxes of cereal for the food bank!

Are you still searching for ideas for next week? Check out the LCMS website for resources that support this year's theme. I'll be back with a recap next weekend! 

Proud to teach in a Lutheran school, 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Grow Your Own Snow Crystals

One of my favorite science units is our snow unit. While most of my students have seen snow, there are always a few students each year who have never played in the fluffy white stuff. (It's pushing 60 degrees as I sit here and type this in January...) I bring the snow to them and we have so much fun learning about how snowflakes form in the clouds. We learn about snowflake photographers, make Borax snow crystals, and have snow ball fights in the classroom. 

I begin the unit by reading Snowflake Bentley, a delightful story about the first person to ever photograph snowflakes - Wilson Bentley. The students love hearing about a man who devoted his free time to taking pictures of fragile snow crystals before they melted. This short youtube clip is extremely informative. Their favorite part of the video is being able to see his close up photographs of the tiny snow crystals - seconds before they disappeared. 

The most exciting part of the snow unit is making our own snow crystals right inside the classroom. I first learned about this project while completing field work for my education degree. You'll need: 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster, boiling water, white pipe cleaners, white string, popsicle sticks and several glass jars. Once you have gathered all of the supplies, follow the instructions below to create snow crystals with your students: 

1. Cut each white pipe cleaner into thirds - enough for your entire class. 

2. Instruct the students to form the snowflake by twisting the pipe cleaners together in the middle. They should be able to form a snowflake with six arms. 

3. Tie the completed pipe cleaner snowflake to a white string. Then, tie the string to a popsicle stick that is labeled with the child's name. 

4. Use boiling water to fill up a glass jar. Add approximately three tablespoons of Borax laundry booster for every cup of boiling water. (This suggestion came from this website, but I just keep adding Borax until it looks like enough. The sizes of the glass jars vary greatly, because I ask each student to bring one in from home.) I err on the side of using too much Borax. If there is not enough, the crystals won't form. 

5. Use a spoon to stir the Borax in with the boiled water until most of it has dissolved. The water should be mostly clear, but it's okay if it's a bit cloudy. 

6. Hang the snowflake from the top of the jar. Be careful to not let any part of the pipe cleaner touch the sides or bottom of the jar. 

7. Let the snowflakes sit undisturbed overnight. In the morning, the students will be greeted with snow crystals! The "oohs" and "ahhs" coming from their mouths can be compared to a spectacular 4th of July fireworks show! They just love this experiment. 

8. Dump out the water and let the snowflakes dry for a day or two before sending them home with your students. 

I hope you get the opportunity to complete this fun experiment with your class. If you do, be sure to tell me how it turned out. 

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!