By Angela Howard
Snowballs have been flying in Mrs. Daniel’s Fourth Grade Reading class. You might think this is an activity the student participate in to take a break from work for a moment, but instead these flying snowballs are there to help the students learn. Students are learning procedures and following rules as a start. Mrs. Daniel is really working on getting her students to school on time. When they are on time, they get to have a snowball to throw later. If a student comes in late, they get “pelted” with snowballs. It has encouraged students to be on time so they can be the one throwing the snowballs. If everyone is there on time, they get to throw snowballs at teachers and staff who enter the classroom.
Students who listen to the lessons and answer questions correctly get a snowball and get to toss it to another person when it is that person’s time to answer a question. Students who answer questions in complete sentences have the opportunity to have a snowball for throwing when the time is appropriate. There are many more educational activities they will get to do with these snowballs from now until Christmas. The students are learning vocabulary words along with these activities such as “pelted”, “educational”, etc.
Along with this snowball extravaganza, her class is also studying Christmas Around the World. Their favorite Christmas Around the World tradition at the moment is Isreal’s tradition. They celebrate Christmas every day. Mrs. Daniel’s class decided to do the same. Each day when they come into class, they say, “Ahh, it’s Christmas and it’s going to be a great day!” Mrs. Daniel said they don’t give material gifts at school; but instead, the students choose to give kindness every day. Each time they leave the class to rotate to another class, they say to each other, “Merry Christmas” and act like each day is Christmas. As such, they talk and act like they are grateful for any blessing that comes that day.
Daily holiday celebrations and flying snowballs have motivated to be on time, work hard, and show kindness each day. When asked if they liked having snowballs in their classroom, the students said, “Each snowball has a smiley face on it. The smiley faces on the snowballs bring a smile to each person in the classroom. When you are smiling in the classroom, it’s easier to learn.”