Thanksgiving is over and the students are ready to celebrate the December holidays. Before we get to the holidays, we are celebrating the coming of winter, though it is still warm in Houston! To start off, I am reading “Ten Shiny Snowflakes” by Russell Julian. This is a great book for counting backwards with its great illustrations of animals as they prepare for winter activities, such as skating and sleighing. The shiny bumpy snowflakes disappear as I turn the pages, which encourages students to count down how many are left. Students enjoy feeling the snowflakes and the Owls said “It feels smooth.”
Because of the rhythm of the words and the rhymes, I put an original melody to the words. With that, students were able to complete the last word of the page by the rhyme and looking at the picture. The book makes for great participation of counting and discussion for winter activities from preschoolers to elementary students. At the end of the story, the elementary students and I find each animal from the story and connect them to the winter activity they planned to do. We talked about the snowflakes melting together so it becomes snow. It snowed several years ago in Houston, maybe it will again soon?