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Arlington, VA 22207
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Monday, May 30, 2016

APS Snow Learning Page

Snow Learning Page
 

snowman
While schools are closed during inclement weather, we hope families will take advantage of this time together to try some alternative learning activities.

 

We developed the award-winning "APS Snow Learning Page" to help you "weather" time at home. Here are just some of the suggestions gathered from Arlington parents during the "Snowpocalypse" of 2010, to help your children continue to learn and explore from home.
 
Your neighbors may need your help! Arlington County is working with civic associations and other community groups to promote neighborhood sidewalk snow clearing efforts. Register through Volunteer Arlington or contact your civic association directly. 

Family Activities for Learning During a Storm

  • Begin a snow journal. Take pictures (or draw pictures) of the front and back of your home, as well as your surrounding neighborhood. Include comments about the changes before, during and after the storm.

  • Bring the outdoors in by shoveling snow into a large plastic tub and then using watercolors to paint it. Experiment with mixing colors to create new ones.

  • Decide how you would describe to someone in Uganda (look it up to know the weather there) what snow is like, what a blizzard is, how to use a sled, etc.
  • Find the hottest and coldest city in US every day - what's the difference in temperature between that location and here?

  • Duplicate an experiment done by Benjamin Franklin 250 years ago -- lay out a series of fabric squares in several different colors about 8 inches apart on the surface of the snow once the sun comes back out. See if the snow underneath the different colors all melts at the same rate, or some colors cause the snow to melt faster (or slower). Measure with a ruler after 20 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour and record how far down the fabric has melted into the snow. Record your measurements.

  • Snow Brand X: See if the snow in the back yard tastes better than the snow in the front yard with a blind taste test. Put 3 samples of each in labeled cups and taste each one with a blindfold on, then record the results. Talk about the independent and dependent variables, the constants, and hypotheses and conclusions.
  • "Snow Ice Cream":
    Fill a bowl with fresh, untouched snow
    Add 2 cups of milk, 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp of Vanilla.
    Try adding chocolate syrup, maple syrup, strawberry jam, etc. for new flavors. 
  • Name the mountains of snow in your yard or on the street. Make up names or name them after famous mountains. Describe the icicles hanging from your roof. Of what creatures do the icicles remind you? How do they change? Write a cold icicle poem.

  • Take digital photos of your snowy backyard and then print out a page for each child. Have each kid draw people (themselves and friends) playing in the snow, and then have them write a story to go with the picture.

  • Look at snowflakes under a microscope or with a magnifying glass and watch how they change as they melt. Then take a look at other things like the carpet, sister's hair, a pillow, salt and sugar.

  • Calculate the weight of the snow you have shoveled! Compute the area of the space shoveled, guess how many inches of snow fell, then compute the volume. Use the internet to find out how much a cubic foot of snow might weigh, then "do the math.”

  • Have a spelling contest by pulling words from a variety of books at home. Select a word, then read the paragraph in which it was found. For those words that need more practice, have your kid(s) write out the correct spelling three times each. Then let your kids test you!

  • Make your own mail boxes out of an old box and some paper. You and your kids can write letters and deliver them to each other throughout the day. They love checking to see if they have mail, plus they're having fun writing silly notes and drawing pictures for each other.

  • Start a story with a sentence like "There was an old rundown house at the end of the long dirt road." Then each person in the family takes a turn adding a sentence to the story; keep going around the table many times, until you run out of ideas or the story comes to a natural conclusion. If kids are young, one parent can act as the scribe, if not, you can pass the pencil around and everyone can write their own sentence. Read it out loud when you are done.

  • Family baking and cooking projects are excellent opportunities for students to practice reading and following directions, weights and measurements. Plus everyone can enjoy the results.

  • Card games, board games, video and electronic games, charades - all of these provide great opportunities for strategic thinking and communications while indoors where it's (hopefully) warm.

Family Activities for Learning
Here are just some of suggestions gathered from Arlington families to help your children continue to learn and explore from home.
  • Have a spelling contest by pulling words from a variety of books at home. Select a word, then read the paragraph in which it was found. For those words that need more practice, have your kid(s) write out the correct spelling three times each. Then let your kids test you!
  • Make your own mail boxes out of an old box and some paper. You and your kids can write letters and deliver them to each other throughout the day. They love checking to see if they have mail, plus they're having fun writing and drawing pictures for each other.
  • Start a story with a sentence like "There was an old rundown house at the end of the long dirt road." Then each person in the family takes a turn adding a sentence to the story; keep going around the table many times, until you run out of ideas or the story comes to a natural conclusion. If kids are young, one parent can act as the scribe, if not, you can pass the pencil around and everyone can write their own sentence. Read it out loud when you are done.
  • Family baking and cooking projects are excellent opportunities for students to practice reading and following directions, weights and measurements. Plus everyone can enjoy the results.
  • Card games, board games, video and electronic games, charades - all of these provide great opportunities for strategic thinking and communications while indoors. 
Got a great home learning activity? Share it with us!
 Share
APS Classroom Work & Other Online Learning Resources:
Many of the APS Instructional Department web pages include links to resources for parents and students. Here are a few:
shoveling
Students are encouraged to continue to read and review materials and assignments provided or referenced by their teachers in their course materials. Some of these materials are in print form and others are available online through teacher-created webpages, and/or school webpages. Students may wish to practice their skills by reviewing the SOL-released items tests from the Virginia Department of Education, where they can practice and then check their answers using the answer keys included in the released tests, available online at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/released_tests/index.shtml.

Finally, all students are encouraged to continue with reading and writing. Keeping a journal is an excellent way for students to continue developing their writing skills, and enjoy sharing their writing and receiving feedback.
 
Here are a few more links for families:

Planning for the Future

As you're enjoying learning together as a family, remember that it's never to early to start planning your academic future in APS and beyond. Check out these resources:
 
ASPIRE2EXCELLENCEAspire2Excellence is the academic planning initiative designed to help families plan for their child's future in APS. Aspire2Excellence underscores the importance of every student taking rigorous courses and meeting graduation requirements to be ready for life after high school.
 
NAVIANCE: Your student’s school has partnered with Naviance to provide a variety of tools for student achievement through academic planning. These tools are located in Family Connection, a website for students and families to access online resources, communicate with school staff and collaborate on college and career readiness activities. Learn more about Naviance (Middle & High School) -
  • PrepMe through Naviance can be used for SAT/ACT Prep – high school students can log into their accounts for practice.
  • Career Exploration - Roadtrip Nation videos in Naviance – middle and high school students can log into their accounts
Virtual College Tour 
Explore College Resources 


This page contains links to one or more websites that are outside of the Arlington Public Schools network. APS does not control the content or relevancy of these links.
Last Modified on January 25, 2016
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