Back to School...Finally!

After 2 weeks off for Christmas break AND 2 snow days, we finally get to go back to school tomorrow!  Our district has had 7--yes 7!--snow days so far this year.  It's the beginning of January, people.  We are not used to this kind of winter craziness around here.  It was -2 degrees {windchill -25!!} on Monday.  Arkansas is NOT used to this kind of weather, ya'll! My 15-month old baby boy, Cooper, and I have been making the best of it though. I secretly love LOVE my time home with him, so I'll take any extra days along the way I can get!  Here's how we spent our Christmas vacation and snow days...

A few professional Christmas pics of our sweetie from our very own "Pops." (aka my father-in-law)

**photo credit: Jimmy Shaddock Photography 

Family night & Christmas lights on the Fayetteville Square.

Somebody wanted to help pass out presents...

Snow day fun with Mommy!

Daddy made a bubbleman snowman bubble in honor of our inside snow day... you just don't go outside when it's below 0 in Arkansas!!

All this snow and crazy typical Arkansas weather has me thinking this is the perfect time for the start of our upcoming Common Core unit on Weather.  My firsties are always curious about weather, but the snow sure takes it to a WHOLE new level in their eyes {you know what I mean??}

I'm super excited about our weather unit.  It's one of my favorites.  It's so hands-on, full of science experiments and the kids just eat.it.up!  Plus, we don't just talk about weather in this unit.  We talk about cycles: weather cycles, day/night cycles, months cycles, scheduling cycles, seasonal cycles, circle stories...there are SO many literacy connections that can be made with this big idea: cause/effect, circle stories versus beginning, middle and end...  I love that cycles are a topic that can be integrated into everything - we even pull it in to math with number cycles in base 10 and cycles in time!  I'm a firm believer that learning occurs best when connections to an idea can be made in multiple curricular areas.

Last year, I added the Weather Channel app to my iPads so my kiddos could check out the current weather and watch forecast videos, etc and it was hands down their favorite thing to do at stations! You would have thought I gave them a million dollars...or free recess {pretty much equal value in the eyes of a 6 year old...}

Here's a peek at our weather unit that you can purchase at my TPT store.

It's 6 weeks worth of daily lessons in science, writing, reading, as well as weekly connections for math and phonics.  There are daily narrative lesson plans and a weekly visual plan for each of the 6 weeks.  Common Core standards are tied to the activities too!  Plus, all the materials you need to teach these lessons during this 6 week unit are included in the packet.  100 pages of weather fun! And in honor of our 7th snow day, I'm putting it on SALE for the next 48 hours!  I'll be posting classroom pics from our unit on my blog soon!

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