Follow Up On Funny Snow Flakes

I was very excited about this lesson. I made it very simple. I had everything set up, planned out and ready to go. But my Kindergartners are SO limited that they get extremely frustrated when I try to tell them how to fold, how to cut off the corners and then to create faces. I tried have them follow me with step-by-step instructions with folding in half, and in half again. I lost some of my students right off the bat because they did not know how to fold paper in half. Some of my students jumped ahead and started cutting. Some were confused with folding. And I had to already work with students individually to explain how to fold the paper into fours. When I attempted to get everyone on the same page I stated to lose my students to distractions, playing on the chairs, teasing each other, etc. It was tough trying to get them to focus on me again. When I finally did gain control of the classroom they became confused with the meaning of cutting on a diagonal line. Me and my assistant went around the classroom trying to show them what to do. But that failed as well. Many of  my kids came running to me with many pieces of cut up paper with tears in their eyes that they couldn’t do it. Or they would complain they didn’t know how to cut a triangle. It became very difficult to work with them individually and I very quickly lost control of my class again. Soon my students were running around the room to throw away garbage. Or chased each other with markers. I’m learning very fast that it’s difficult to have a positive impact on students I may only see one a week for about an hour. I have very little control over such a large group and because they barely know me enough to listen to me they don’t.

So needless to say, this project did not develop into the fun room of mobiles I hoped we would have. The class took too long to explain how to cut the paper that by the time they got to coloring the details and faces we had to clean up. I had someone attempt to help me staple the string on the snowflakes and tie them to the hangers. Although I had the yarn already cut up in the proper length strands, it didn’t really cut down on time. We were still very rushed.

My advice for teachers with their own classrooms would be to split up the lesson in to two classes. Have the students create the snow flakes one class and then on the next class add the yarn, and hangers. Or do it yourself after school, depending on your lesson schedule. My future changes to this lesson for myself which I would make, would be to put the snowflakes in their folders for the next week and reward them with the hangers and displays the following week. I think I tried too hard to include the entire lesson into one short program and I now realize my mistake. I do hope that my personal experiences with creating and conducting these lessons will help me in the future for better classroom management and time management.

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