Susan Silverman is back with another kidspired (Kidspiration) project - Kidspired Frosty Readers 2007. The project asks participants to choose a book as a read-aloud or shared reading experience, complete a response activity, and then create a Kidspiration template. For greater participant collaboration there is a project blog, and new to Susan's projects, a wikispace.
Susan's projects are ALWAYS inspiring, and I ALWAYS learn something new. This time, I would be learning about Kidspiration software.
|We have had a very unusual winter so far in Arlington, Massachusetts - NO SNOW, so the book Snip, Snip, Snow seemed like a perfect choice for our read-aloud. In this story the children in a classroom are longing for snow, so they decide to create their own snow by cutting beautiful snowflakes.|
There are directions for creating six-sided (true) snowflakes in the back of the book. We followed them carefully, but found they were not so easy to cut - it took a lot of perseverance! Still, they did come out lovely, and we decorated our hall lockers with them.
Response Activity - Independent Writing - Expository Writing
I decided I would like to follow-up with an expository writing piece. I asked the children to write their own directions for making snowflakes. We used a six link chain graphic organizer from enchantedlearning.com for our first draft and discussed sequence words. Below are examples of our snowflakes and one example of our "How to" writing.
|How to Make a Paper Snowflake|
by Anna Rose
#1. First you need to gather your supplies: scissors, white paper, a pencil and a round object.
#2. The second step is to take the round object and trace it on the piece of paper and cut it out.
#3. Then fold the paper in half.
#4. After that fold the semi-circle into thirds.
#5. Next fold the fan looking shape in half. (It should look like a pizza slice.)
#6. Finally, snip any old shapes on at least three sides and open up to a beautiful snowflake.
The children became fascinated with snowflakes and began looking carefully at their designs. This was a perfect match for our current Math unit - TERC's Shapes, Halves, and Symmetry. We began looking at the multiple lines of symmetry in snowflakes. Snowflake Bentley's amazing photographic work with snowflakes really helped to show this. You can view some of his fantastic photos here. His work also made us think about how most snowflakes begin with a hexagonal shape.
Kidspiration was a bit intimidating for me, as I am a novice with it. We have had it in our school for a few years, but there had been no workshop or professional development about it. I would have to teach myself! With Susan's help and encouragement, however, I forged ahead. Special thanks go to Norma Goddard, as well, for her assistance! Thank you, Norma!
One aspect of Kidspiration that I really liked is the ability to insert hyperlinks into an activity. Below are my very first templates, created as an extension of our work with symmetry and snowflakes.