Perfect Timing - Katy and The Big Snow

It's been a while since we "rowed" a book, but this week was the perfect week for Katy and The Big Snow!

Truthfully, I looked through the activities in the Five in a Row guide and took them into consideration, but as our big snow day unfolded here in the southeast, our lessons just directed themselves. I LOVE it when that happens!!

We read the book last Thursday and Friday, then (in preparation for our winter storm) revisited the book this morning. Daddy got to listen with us (he's not usually home during our school day) and we had a good conversation about the weather. After we read, we looked up "what is snow?" on the iPad. We learn some of the most interesting things this way! We learned about precipitation, fronts, and different types of snowflakes (there are 6 - did you know that?). In this way I could teach up to my nine year old -- and most often my six year old follows!

While we were still in our pajamas, we stuck our heads out the back deck and measured the snow.... just a pitiful 2 inches, while others just an hour away got 6-8! No fair!

I love the way the book lays out the town of Geoppolis, with the compass rose on several of the pages. Katy has to go to each area of Geoppolis to plow the snow. The visuals on each page are great. My kids are pretty good with directions, but this book reinforced their knowledge, and it wasn't until later in the evening that I realized what a great lesson it had been. We were watching a History Channel documentary, and my six year old was building Geoppolis with his Legos..... and pointing out to me North, South, East, and West.

I LOVE Five in a Row!

(One of the recommended activities in the FIAR guide is to construct the town of Geoppolis.... but I loved how my son did this during his own free play time.)

Of course the children did some "hands-on" activities in the snow - like throwing snowballs, trying to play baseball with snowballs, and making snow angels.

We made Frosty Snowball Cookies

(And, I peppered in some math questions like "How many tablespoons of butter does it take to make 1 cup if 8 tablespoons equals 1/2 cup? and "We have 15 cookies on one pan and 12 on the other.... how many cookies total? or "Three rows of five cookies equals how many cookies?").

I had no idea how happy such a simple activity like this would make my children!

Running the mixer was a joint venture:

Shaping the "snowballs" became a fine art:

And working with children and lots of powdered sugar is a patience building exercise for mom!

When people ask if we have "school" on a day like this (all of the schoolchildren are out of school for two days due to the weather), I have to say yes AND no.... we learned a lot, but it just didn't feel like SCHOOL!


Have you rowed this book? 

If so, did you have fun, and what were your favorite activities? Leave me a comment.... I'd love to know!