Friday, February 1, 2013

Blubber Gloves

Yes, blubber gloves.

Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that such things could be created, or that introducing them to my 1st grade class would be one of the highlights of our week. 

Let me explain...

This week marked the final days of our PENGUIN unit. It's been fun reading lots of fiction and non-fiction books about penguins. Students have brought books from home, the library, and even the bins of books for morning reading in the cafeteria. I was impressed with the amount of penguin knowledge they had! Our Scholastic News/Weekly Reader had a whole issue devoted to penguins, too. We celebrated the end of our unit (and I scored some time to DIBEL students for middle-of-the-year assessments) by watching Happy Feet with the other first-grade class- so much fun! 

Our science activities have included discussions about habitats, identifying and researching KRILL (for some reason my students were VERY interested in what the heck they were), and performing an experiment that showed us how these arctic creatures swim around in the icy waters.

A BIG thank-you to Mrs. S., who made these blubber gloves!

Basically, blubber gloves are 2 press-to-close sandwich bags that have been reinforced at the top with duct tape. There is a thick layer of vegetable shortening between the bags that simulates the layer of blubber on an animal such as a penguin or whale.  
My kiddos were SO excited to try them out. We predicted what it would feel like to swim around in ice water like the penguins do. Sticking their hands in that ice water REALLY made that vision clear. Most students could comfortably submerge their hands for about 5 seconds. 

Then students dry their hands off and place blubber gloves on their hands. Sticking their hands in that ice water was a breeze. Their reactions were great!

We discussed how the thick layer of fat (blubber) keeps arctic animals warm in freezing temperatures. Students began chattering about how if THEY had blubber, they could go swimming in the WINTER! 

It was a great hands-on activity that really helped students make CONNECTIONS! 
It's certainly going to be a must-do activity in my penguin units from now on.

Speaking of the unit itself, I found a TREMENDOUS resource in 

Erica Bohrer's Pengin Unit from Teachers Pay Teachers

Erica's products are always so thorough! We'll be using these games & center activities for weeks to come.

  *Winter Weather Update*

In the time it's taken me to write this blog post, my school district has gone from a 2-hour delay to a FULL-ON SNOW DAY!

Well, that's a Friday bonus! That means that our 100th day of school will be pushed up to Monday, which is okay with me! What weird, wonky, weather we've had lately. This means that I can spend today preparing next week's lesson plans and this weekend's master's degree assignments...BEFORE the weekend begins!
Dare I say that ALL the laundry could get done, too? Whaaaaat?

Happy Weekend, Friends!
1, 2, 3...GO!

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