Thursday, 10 January 2013

We Can See Snow!

Here in Mississauga we had a wonderfully wintery holiday. I was happy that the cool weather lasted so that we had snow upon our return to school this week. As I had expected, the students were elated to play in the snowy yard, and to go explore the grounds around the school. We practiced dressing "head to toe for snow" and set out each day to enjoy the season. I overheard many comments about sledding, building snowmen, and other favourite activities, but a common thread of many comments was what had changed all around us: "I can't see the road!", "I see a snowy mountain!" and more. I invited comparisons to what we had seen around us before the holidays. Naturally, this led to us revisiting our fall "We Can See" book to make connections and comparisons.

One of our favourite stories from fall was Kazuo Iwamura's: Hooray for Fall!, and I had placed the winter book, "Hooray for Snow!" on our book display for later reading. This connection led to the idea that we could also make a winter book just like we had made a fall book. Here is what we saw at school this week. We hope you are enjoying winter where you are too!


  1. I love your winter I can see book! I got new snowshoes for Christmas and I spent a lot of time on new trails looking at things in the snow. I like your book. I hope it snows next wee so we can write a winter story too. Right now we are writing a story explaining snow for a class in Hawaii. They think we are lucky because we have snow in Ontario. What do you think?
    Mrs. Harrison

    1. Thank you!
      I spent much of my winter holiday with my kids, on skates or on the sled hill. Snow shoes would be fun!
      I agree with that class in Hawaii. I think we ARE lucky to have snow, and all of the seasons that we have in Ontario. I also think students in Hawaii are lucky, because they can visit a volcano or see tropical birds that we only see in a zoo. I think we're all lucky to live on this beautiful planet!
      My class is eagerly awaiting new snow to fall, now that most of it has melted. Here's hoping it comes soon.

  2. What a great book! I would love to know how you made it, thanks!

    1. Thank you! We took a lot of pictures this week, including many pictures to compare to our earlier book (my first post here). Then we looked at them on the big screen, and I wrote down "noticings" and connections. I took all that, put the photos into "comic life", and used a wintery template. We also make Voicethread books often in my class, which is my favourite way to have my students tell stories, but the comic life format allows us to print the book as well so we can add it to our class library.
      I hope this means you'll add a story sometime too!

  3. It's so lovely, Laurel, thanks for the info! I will look into purchasing Comic Life right away! Did you use your computer or an iPad? My students and I LOVE voicethread too! Here are ours (I teach French):
    An idea for you: have you considered putting your published Comic Life into a Flipsnack interactive book? It's really easy to do! Here's one I made:
    You just need to upload the pdf and voila!

    1. That's a really neat interactive book! I had never heard of that before!

    2. Flipstack? Neat! Thank you for the idea. I just browsed the site but after reports I intend to really explore (and explore your links as well!). Maybe I'll even re-upload this post because it looks a bit silly in the long format I have here. Joanne B. and Mrs. Harrison here actually just inspired me to try using something new, though, so before you run out and buy comic life you may want to check out pic collage. I haven't yet but intend to soon. We currently have several Voicethread books growing in both classes, too.

  4. Thank you for sharing your "We Can See Snow" book!

    We gathered our photos last week, and I documented our students' thoughts around why they wanted to include each. Fortunately we made it out before all of the signs of Winter melted away with the rain...

    I will be posting it soon!

    I am looking forward to sharing your book with them on Monday!


    Joanne Babalis

  5. We'll be sharing our finished version with our reading buddies next week, and I'm sure my classes will be happy to see your winter book when it posts. Another connection made!
    I recommend the K. Iwamura books, too, especially if it does snow again. Then you can bring out "Hooray for Spring" in March or April and see what connections and comparisons your students make.
    This week's poem will be bittersweet: Five Little Snowmen Fat (who all melt away in the sun until they are five little puddles). I miss the snow forts already. I am looking forward to seeing what your class saw in your school yard when it was all white!

    Laurel Fynes

  6. We like your book.
    Your book is pretty.
    We liked the shapes in the snow.
    Thank you for doing the book for us.
    We like your book.
    We like snow.
    Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. Coombes K class

  7. I was so inspired by your book, I made one in French called "L'hiver":
    (made with ComicLife then uploaded on Flipsnack)

  8. Hi Laurel,
    Thanks for your inspiration to join this site! My students liked reading your Winter book and we're in the process of making our own book. Fingers crossed technology is my friend and we can post it this week! I for one loved seeing my old school and my 'butterflies' at work!
    Take Care