We are in our second round of school closings because of winter weather. Growing up in Finland, I cannot recall a day that school was cancelled because of weather, but in Atlanta the situation is completely different. I am thankful to be home safely this time around, as I had to stay with a coworker in the last snow storm.
My students were not thrilled to hear that I was sending them with assignments since we would be missing more instructional time.
So what did we do?
I used TodaysMeet to host a two hour live session with my students. I set the room up one minute prior to starting, so that I could control the length to be exactly 2 hours. Students had been assigned social studies reading and tasks, and this was their chance to ask questions.
My second year of teaching, I taught Kindergarten. This wonderful opportunity reignited my creative side and challenged me to engage students even further. The attention span of active 5 year olds is much different than the third graders I had worked with the year before.
For anyone that thinks Kindergarten teachers have got it easy, you could not be further from the truth. The preparation and planning to keep these young minds learning and busy is beyond any grade level I have worked in.
*Side note: I have taught every grade except first, so I can comfortably make the above statement*
As we got into planning our winter theme unit, I found images of some brave teachers that had built an igloo inside of their classroom. I immediately printed out the plan and approached my principal.
After *some* hours collecting and assembling, the igloo finally came to be! We used it as a reading nook. I placed a blanket on the floor and we agreed to a limit on the number of students that could fit inside. The students loved it!
How did we do it?
First, students collected empty milk jugs. We graphed the number of milk jugs as they came in. (Ensure that milk jugs are rinsed well! The cap should also be intact.)
We made a goal of 200 milk jugs. The number of jugs you will need will depend ont the size of the igloo. You could also incorporate some math and measurement to calculate an estimate of how many you would need
Once we had reached approximately 100 milk jugs, I created the base with the first two layers. We were then able to adjust our milk jug need and design.
The milk jugs were attached to each other with hot glue. I also stacked the jugs so that they did not sit directly on top of another jug. Imagine building a pyramid with cups. The way you would set each cup on top of the two beneath it is how I attached the jugs.
After collecting more milk jugs, I moved into enclosing the igloo. This proved to be harder than I imagined. I would highly recommend having a second set of hands to do this.
I started to slightly tilt the jugs down to achieve the "dome" at the top. I also attached a few together and then hot glued the entire piece to the igloo.
The end result did not quite fit the entire class inside, but we did all get to enjoy it! The igloo stood for quite some time, until an odor resulting from some of the jugs which were not cleaned as well. Disassembling and getting the jugs out to the car for recycling proved almost more difficult than the construction.
Well worth the effort!
Based in Doha currently, I am a technology-advocating learning junkie.