February 21, 2007
My kids always used to complain when recess got canceled because it was too cold out. This year, I made a thermometer out of construction paper, leaving room on the side to write notes. As we experience new temperatures, we make notes on the thermometer. On the opposite side I put a clothespin. Each day, before recess, I read our real thermometer (or check on the computer), and one student moves the clothespin to the correct place on the classroom thermometer. That student also reads the notes we made about how the air felt the last time it was that temperature. If we've never experienced the temperature before, then I tell my kids to pay close attention when they're outside. One day it was 20 degrees, and we went outside for about 5 minutes to experience what 20 degrees felt like. Now, when recess is canceled, I just tell my kids what the temperature is and they understand. On the class thermometer, I only make notes on the 10s (for space), and then I tell them the actual temperature, and we round to the nearest 10. Our notes say things like, '30 degrees - cold must have coat zipped with a hat and gloves.