Make SNOW Mistake About It…We LOVE Winter!

I can’t really say we love “winter” here in Texas…specifically, south Texas.  There’s not much winter here to speak of.  We have a few cold snaps here and there, but at this very moment, my 5-year-old is chasing our new dog outside…in his shorts…and nothing else ;)  Now that’s MY kind of winter!!!!!!

We’re bringing as much winter as we can to the classroom and we started our first week back after break with some snowman related activities.  We definitely kept ourselves busy and had SNOW much fun in the process {sorry…I couldn’t help myself ;)}

I loved teaching symmetry this time of year.  I introduced Mr. Half-a-Snowman and explained to the kids we’d need to make him symmetrical.  Of course, they had NO clue what I was talking about!!!  SO…we made a little anchor chart.  {Real quick.  I’ve had LOTS of questions about how I do my anchor charts.  I always do a rough draft with the kids…always.  Then I go back and recreate them to make them legible :)}

tfgp13  tfgp1

Once we brainstormed things that were symmetrical and did a few little symmetry sorts, we laid out Mr. Half-a-Snowman and all my babies got to help me make him symmetrical.  This was such a great learning opportunity for my kids.  They loved getting hands-on practice to reinforce the vocabulary and it was really cool to hear my kids tell their friends HOW to make the snowman symmetrical. 

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Okay, okay…so it’s not a *perfect* resemblance, but they sure did have fun trying to make it “just right” :)  I think they did a dang good job!  We reinforced our learning by making these little symmetrical snowflakes.  You can read about what they looked like in my 1st grade classroom HERE and HERE.  You know how you get tired of doing certain activities year to year???  Okay, well I NEVER get tired of this one!  It’s a great activity for symmetry, patterning, and a great springboard for talking about being unique, differet, and one-of-a-kind :)

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We’ll continue talking about symmetry this week using some activities from my sweet friend, Cheryl’s, unit


I know it says these are activities for a Sub Tub, but y’all…this unit is so dang amazing that I wanted it all for myself!!!!!  HA!!!!  Seriously…if you don’t have it yet, you MUST check it out!!!! 

We also worked a lot on ‘counting up’ and ‘making 10’.  This was one of the kids’ FAVORITE whole group activities!  I made a giant tens frame and snowman.  I bought these awesome snowflakes at Target for 10cents a pop a few days after Christmas and was holding onto them for inspiration.  I was SO excited to put them to good use!!!!


In this game, the kids had to toss a purple snowflake onto the snowman.  The tosser would read the number and then fill in that many frames on the tens frame with the snowflakes. 

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Once the frames were filled, the kids had to tell me how many MORE it would take to make ten altogether.  Then they had to use a different colored snowflake to fill the remaining frames.


After filling the frames, the kids had to give me a number sentence to match the toss and fill.  For the one above, they’d have to tell me, “5+5=10”.  Then we practiced writing the number sentences on the dry erase board.  They did SO awesome with this activity and it was a really great hands-on opportunity for them to see how different number amounts can be combined to make 10.

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In other news, how DARLING is that sweater on my sweetie on the right?!?!  Chevron!  A girl after my own heart!!!  I wish it came in an adult size!!! 

Moving right along…

I made up this little greater than/less game for my kiddos this week and you could’ve heard a pin drop.  They were OBSESSED!!!  I really wanted my kids to get some hands on experience differentiating between more/less.  So…I made this little greater than/less than workmat, crumpled up some paper {aka:  snowballs}, and made some number cards {from 1-15}.  Then I took one of my 10cent snowflakes and added the greater than/less than symbol to it.tfgp14

Then I took the workmat and placed it in the middle of my carpet and threw *snowballs* all around it.  I told my kids that they had 5 seconds to collect as many snowballs as they could and then I turned them loose.  OH…I only had two kids collect at a time :)


After 5 seconds, the kids stopped collecting and then we {the whole class} counted each player’s snowballs.

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As we counted each player’s snowballs, I had them count out a matching amount of pop cubes and make a tower.  Then they put their matching number card…and number tower…on the workmat.  Once both players added their cards and towers, we talked about it as a class.  I asked them what they could tell me about the numbers on the workmat.  “One is bigger!”  “One is smaller!”  “They’re different amounts!”  I got A LOT of different answers.  I LOVE when they use math talk!!!


After we talked about which number was greatest/least, I explained how we read math sentences/problems from the left to the right…just like we read books!  Let’s use the picture above as an example.  We discussed how we would say that 11 is LESS than 12.  They had to manipulate the symbol on the snowflake to make sure we could read the sentence correctly.  Awesome little hands-on experience for those kids.  They knew the “alligator” had to “chomp chomp” the greater number, so they did a really great job of helping their friends make sure the symbol was facing the correct direction.  After we manipulated the symbol and read the sentence to determine the greatest/least amount, we took our towers and compared them in length and height.  Then we talked about how many more/fewer were in each tower {The tower of 11 is shorter than the tower of 12;  the tower of 12 is longer than the tower of 11;  11 is 1 LESS than 12…I can tell because if you take one cube away from the tower of 12, you will have an EQUAL amount…and vice versa}. 

Here’s a little clip of us playing the game.  Don’t expect anything fantastic.  After I watched it, I realized that not only do I sound very *manly*, I also use my hands A LOT and I repeat myself way too much.  And I saw…and heard…about a hundred things I’d do differently :)  But this just gives you a little idea of how it’s played. 

Greater Than/Less Than Whole Group

Can y’all tell I love math?!  I do!  And I love trying to figure out new and exciting ways to make it hands-on and engaging.  My kids are seriously BEGGING to play these games every day now!!!! 

And I’ll be back tomorrow with a little virutal “peek at my week”.  I’m going to *try* and show y’all a visual of my plans just like one of my favorite people EVER…the fabulous DeeDee Wills :)  But please don’t expect anything near as impressive!!!  HA!!


  1. Thanks for the fun post. I especially appreciate the video since I am a visual learner.

  2. Your video is ADORABLE!! And, you don't sound "manly". Please, girl! You sound like a sweet Texas girl!! :) Thanks for sharing an actual video. I think I would be WAY TOO AFRAID to do that!
    Kerri B
    Teacher Bits and Bobs

  3. These are AMAZING ideas- pinning these now! Thank you for sharing!

    Heather (

  4. This is SUPER cute! Love! And -- we are in Ohio and had a 62* day today! It almost felt like we were in Texas. I could get used to winters like this :)

    Lauren & Emily
    Dynamic Duo 1 and 2

  5. Oh my goodness, I LOVE your math games. What great ideas. Definitely trying these out with my kids next week. And thank you for sharing a video; I love watching other teachers teach!

    Carolina Teacher

  6. LOVE your whole group snowman/ten frame activity. I will definitely be trying this with my kindergartners!

    Thanks from a fellow Texas teacher!
    Elementary My Dear

  7. Both of those math games are fantastic! I will have to be on the watch for the snowflakes next year. The video really brought the comparing game to life. Thanks so much for sharing! I cannot wait to try them out in the classroom!


  8. LOVE these! I am going to tweak these for my first graders!!!! Thank you!
    Amy Burton

  9. Love the video, thank you for sharing!! Perfect timing for my math lessons this week!

  10. Love the video Cara! Please post more! It is wonderful and inspiring to watch you teach!

    I've always wondered: Do you purchase your own butcher paper/bulletin board paper for activities like the giant 10 Frame or does your school supply it for you?


  11. You are adorable Cara!! What a fun game!!

  12. Love this idea. I plan on using it myself with my 2 kiddos, I will have to make it a bit easier for my Pre-K, but then you never know she may surprise me. Thanks again for all your great ideas.

    Question, at the end when you asked why did they know the symbol went the way it did, what was the answer you tell kids. I would think it would be because the open end always faces the greater number. Is that a correct way of saying it?

  13. I was so excited to see your comparing numbers lessons, that is what I am doing this week with my first graders. I can't wait to try it. Also thank you for the video I love to see other teachers in action.

  14. What a great post! Thank you for sharing the video as well!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  15. Adorable game! Very cute idea to teach greater than and less than! Thank you so much for sharing!


  16. Those two games are amazing. I am definitely going to have to try them in my own classroom.

    Darling Little Learners

  17. Adorable! Bookmarking this post to use the game in the future.

    Ps- That adorable chevron sweater is from Gap kids. You could TOTALLY rock an XXL! ;)

  18. I seriously love everything about this post. Such great math ideas; you are amazing and I am grateful you share them with us! Thanks!

  19. Great video clip. Your photos are always lovely too.
    Thanks for making everything as clear as possible.
    School Is a Happy Place

  20. The video is great! You do not sound manly! I love your tens frame and greater than, less than games. They are perfect for our current math unit. I will probably try the big tens frame with my kids.

    You always have such cute ideas!

    Compassionate Teacher

  21. This is awesome! I featuring this post on Bagels and Blogs tomorrow. :)

    Math Coach’s Corner

  22. I LOVED this post! Thank you for sharing! Loved the ideas and I LOVED seeing your cute self teaching! So fun to have a "peek" into your classroom. Can't wait to throw some snowballs around my room and I ran out of time to do my symmetrical snowflakes last week...I may have to find time to squeeze them in this week after seeing how cute yours turned out! Also the ten frame snowman game is PERFECT for my math unit this always I'm going away with a plethora of new ideas!
    P.S. I did a Pete The Cat character story problem with my kids this last week and they were so excited...over the MOON! I can't thank you enough for sharing your brilliance!

  23. I'm pretty sure, that I am NOT cut out to teach Kindergarten, but you sure do make it look fun! Keep the videos coming! I love "peeking" into other teachers' classrooms! Thanks for sharing!

    A+ Firsties

  24. Make Snow Mistake About It... YOU ARE A FIRECRACKER! Love Ya~


  25. Super fun ideas!!!! I will definitely be trying them out in my classroom!

    First Grade Fanatic!

  26. Thank you for sharing the video of your lesson. One thing is to read about a lesson or activity and a totally different one is to see it in action. I am definitely going to do this great activity with my students. They are going to have a blast!

  27. Okay - so I've just pinned everything here and now have my math lessons done for my first and second grade resource friends for the week! These are wonderful ideas and I love all of the moving you incorporate. So perfect for my kiddos.


  28. Love it!!!! Adding both these activities to lesson plans for the last two weeks of January when we do our Snowmen unit!! :)

  29. Brilliant! You're so adorable and brave! Thank you :)

  30. Thanks so much for the video. Loved watching it.

  31. You are so stinkin' cute!!!! Loved your video!!!

  32. Love the ideas and especially the video.

  33. This is FULL of great ideas! I talk with my hands just as much as you do--even to where some of my kiddos have commented on it!

    Ms. Cranfill's Class

  34. These ideas are wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  35. Ahhh! I love both of these math activities! My son has asked to watch your video twice now. He says he wants to be in your class for kindergarten! LOL :)

  36. Seriously, you are too presh! Love it!
    Michelle @ Smitten With First

  37. Love, love, love these ideas! Also loved having a sneak peak into your classroom with the adorable little less than/greater than video! It is so nice to see how other people do things in their classrooms! Very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

  38. I LOVE these ideas and especially the video! It is fun to see you in action! Living in Wisconsin, we have PLENTY of snow...and cold. I must say I'm a bit jealous of your son being able to run around in his shorts outside! Thanks for sharing so many cute and helpful ideas!!

  39. You totally inspired me with your snowball game - and I blogged about it today. Thank you! I'm looking forward to math this week! :)

  40. I love these ideas!!! Your classroom looks great by the way I especially love those cute little flags at the top of the wall!

  41. I absolutely LOVE the activities. Thanks for sharing!!

  42. These are great!!!! I bet my Kinders will love these games. I can't wait ot make them! Thanks for sharing!!!


  43. Wow!! These look so fun! And they will go along great with the missing added game we have been playing with snowballs.

    Terri Izatt

  44. Love your ideas. I'm going to try and adapt some of t.hem to my dinosaur theme. Maybe instead of snowballs I'll try dinosaur footprints.

  45. Awwww You don't sound manly! I loved your video!!! And the games are fantastic and I can't wait to "steal" the idea and do them in my own room! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and making them SOOOO cute! You are fabulous! And post more videos! I love seeing how other teachers teach! =)

  46. Loved your video!! I also love getting a peek into someone else's classroom! :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  47. This is my first comment on your blog, although I've been following you for over a year! I LOVE your blog. I'm a first year teacher and you have been SO inspiring to me. I honestly started my blog and TpT store because of you! I also steal lots of your fabulous're so creative!
    That video was a first year teacher I am slightly obsessed with watching other teachers teach since I no longer get the opportunity to do that as I once had in university.
    Thank you for even more engaging {and budget-friendly!} lessons!

    Fun With Firsties

  48. I love your ideas and thank you for sharing the video. I have been trying to think of a lesson to do for my evaluation and I think this is it. LOVE IT!

  49. Great ideas, can't wait to try some in my classroom. Your blog is so inspiring!
    Good to hear you do rough drafts of your anchor charts, care to share one so I can feel better about my less than cute art skills :) ? It would be cool to see the rough draft process and the final product.

  50. I love this lesson and I LOVED hearing your sweet Texas voice. You are just precious!

    What I love most about this post is your frog rug. First, I know you HATE frogs but I know your team has something to do with frogs, right? But, I have this rug too! After seeing yours, I can see how much my rug needs a serious cleaning!

    Thanks for being brave my froggy friend! F.R.O.G. -Fully Rely on God =)

    Heather's Heart

  51. Wow! This was a great peek into your world. I really enjoyed the greater than/less than game. I took that idea and decided to change it a bit and use measurement. Thanks for the fun game idea! You rock.

  52. I was even teaching symmetry and it never even occurred to me to use snowmen or snowflakes. What a great idea! :)


  53. Great video!! Thank you for doing that. I get so much more out of watching a lesson. I love the activity to. You rock!

  54. I love your thoughts on creating anchor charts. At first I thought that doing a draft with the kids and then redoing it for legibility would be so much work, but then I realized what an awesome model for writing you're providing your students with. First draft, then revisions and editing before publishing! Super idea!!

    Thanks also for the video clip of the snowman activity. Great idea... and you don't sound the least bit manly! :)

    Linda Nelson
    Primary Inspiration

  55. I was thinking the same thing about your little sweetie's chevron it! As always love your wonderful posts, thank you for sharing all of the amazing things you do!

  56. Totally LOVE THIS!!! Thanks for sharing!

  57. Thanks for all the FUN ideas!! You definitely do not sound manly at all... just super sweet!
    Karen :o)
    Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten

  58. Such a cute idea and video!! I am definitely going to have to modify this for my second graders! Thanks!

    Krazy About Kiddos

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  60. I love this activity so much! I did this last year and my class loved it. This year I tried using partners and making bigger numbers. It was great. Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas.