Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Teaching Cloud Cover

"I'm walking in a cloud!"

I once had a teacher write me about a student of hers who realized fog was a cloud of sorts and during a class walk around the schoolyard, made that lovely comment.

She also loved the Cloud Cover Simulation Activity that is on my Weather page. Her kids had a great time tearing up pieces of paper to represent the various percentages of cloud cover.

Basically, you give each group of students a blue piece of paper. Then they get all or part of a white piece of paper. It's a good idea to have very small groups so you can double up on the cloud cover assignments.

For example: The group doing Overcast (100%) gets the total piece of white paper; the group doing Partly Cloudy gets half (50%) of the white paper. And so on...

They are instructed to rip the paper up into small pieces, all greater than a postage stamp, of course, and then glue the pieces onto the blue paper.

The blue papers with the white clouds are put up for display. The class then gets to guess which paper represents which type of cloud cover. After they are all recorded, the teacher puts them in the correct order. (Code the backs of the blue papers, maybe?)

The kids then sketch the appropriate types of cloud cover on their paper and add the Cloud Cover Symbols.

The next time you have your kids look out the window to assess the cloud type and cloud cover for the Weather Observations Activity, they should have a much better idea as to what 50% cloud cover really looks like!

CONSIDER THIS: Add a Cloud Cover Simulation Activity to your Weather unit!

FUN LINK: From the University of Illinois.

Cloud Flashcards to make.

I just got an email from my friend, Liz, over at She's taken a few years off from teaching to raise her kids. She kept her website up and going while she was away. Now I'm happy to report she's back! And her site has been upgraded!
Glad to see you back, Liz! Your new and improved website is fun to visit! It gave me inspiration during my own teaching years and I know will continue to give encouragement to anyone who visits your site.

Liz emailed me about my posts about puzzles and BONUS work for kids. She has signed up for the Highlights Magazine Picture Find service and wanted to share the link with me.

Do you remember Highlights? I do! It's been around for 60 years so most of us have seen this wonderful magazine. Check out the Highlights website. Obviously, they have kept up with the times. Great website! Even has a Science Corner.

Back to the hidden picture link. Click here for the parents' email link. Click on and off what you would like to receive.

To quote Liz:

"You get a pdf and it's two pages, so great to make copies front and back, picture takes up most of the front page."

"I have challenge puzzles, and my 5th graders LOVE the Highlights Magazine picture finds. I get one emailed to me each month and I have been saving them, and I put out new ones as the old ones are snatched up! I think it's GREAT for making observations and using both sides of their brains. Both boys and girls love them. They can work on them when they are done with their labs/activities."

Be sure to visit Liz' site. I have had a link on my website for years. She's the teacher website on the Internet that originally inspired me to start my own. Be sure to visit her planbook and lab journal pages.

Thank you, Liz! And welcome back! You are one of those special teachers who I wish had been just down the hall from me!