PEAK Teacher Newsletter              
January 2014
Featured Articles
Get Connected
More Winter Resources
Playdough for January
Winter Classroom Changes
Early Education Research
Links from Pinterest
Songs and Fingerplays
Dates to Remember
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Pinterest
Like us on Facebook
Visit our blog
Quick Links
Mary Rieck
Pottstown School District
230 Beech Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
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Happy New Year 

The snow is falling and cold wintry days are here. Seems like a long time until we have spring and milder temperatures. In the meantime, here are some ideas for you to try during these chilly days.


Get Connected!

Just another reminder to check our Facebook page for more resources.


Do you tweet? If so, you can follow us on Twitter @PEAKPartners.


What about Pinterest? There are a lot of classroom activities on our Pinterest page.

Click the links on the left column of this newsletter to connect with us on social media.

 In addition to this newsletter you can follow the PEAK blog at


More Winter Resources 

 For more ideas on incorporating winter ideas across the curriculum, check the teacher resource, Ready or Not, Winter is Coming on the PEAK web site at



Playdough for January


Snow Playdough Recipe 

Here is a no cook snow play dough recipe:

2 cups cornstarch (made need to add more if needed)

1 cup salt

1 1/2 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

silver glitter

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until your dough forms. Stir in a plastic bag or container with tight lid.


Here is another recipe for snowy dough...


Sparkly Snow Playdough

1 cup salt

2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons cream of tartar

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

one small container sparkly white glitter



In medium saucepan, and with burner OFF, combine dry ingredients and stir. Add liquid ingredients and stir again.


With burner on LOW, stir until the mixture is VERY thick, about two minutes.


Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.Add glitter and then knead dough until smooth. Store in ziploc bag or plastic dish with lid.


Winter Changes for the Classroom  

 Here are some ideas from Georgia Pre-K on classroom environmental changes for the winter.
  • Add snowflakes and snowmen all around your room.
  • Add books about winter to your classroom display.
  • Add blankets and sleeping bags to your book area.
  • Add snowmen, snow or winter flannel board stories.
  • Add winter books and tapes to your listening area.
  • Add winter clothing to your house area.
  • Add a thermometer to your science area.
  • Put out a big welcome sign that says "Welcome Winter".
  • Keep a bag of cut up tissue paper and throughout the day, randomly sprinkle a handful of flurries down on the children.
  • Add lots of cotton balls and other white materials to your collage area. Add in small twigs, buttons, scrap material, etc.
  • Use packing Styrofoam peanuts to make a snowstorm in your class. Throw it on the floor and then give the children gloves, mittens, scarves and hats to wear while they "play" in the snow. It's messy but it is well worth the clean-up time.
  • Bring in a sled and let the children sit on it. Have the children estimate how many can fit on it before you actually let them sit on it.
  • Cut large pieces of Styrofoam to resemble blocks of ice and add them to the block area. You can also add penguins and polar bears.
  • Add pictures of snow, winter animals and other cold places cut from magazines or real photos you may have taken. Encyclopedias and the Internet are also great to find pictures.
  • Set up a hat shop or winter clothing shop in your house area. Be sure to add shopping bags, a cash register, small notepads and pencils, play money, etc. 


Reports and Research on Early Education

Reports on recent research in the early education field... For more updates in early education, follow PEAK on Twitter @PEAKPartners 


Early Childhood Research and Practice  

University of Illinois


Closing the Word Gap Between Rich and Poor    



The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain

Harvard Center on the Developing Child  


Quick Links for Winter Theme

Here are some quick links from Pinterest for snow and winter theme activities. You can follow PEAK on Pinterest - search for PEAK Pottstown.  



January Songs and Fingerplays
Snowflakes Falling from the Sky
(Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb)

Snowflakes falling from the sky,
From the sky, from the sky.
Snowflakes falling from the sky,
To the earth below.

Watch them as they dance and whirl,
Dance and whirl, dance and whirl,

Watch them as they dance and whirl,
Soft white winter snow.

(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Snowflakes, snowflakes, dance around,
Snowflakes, snowflakes, touch the ground.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, in the air.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, everywhere.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, dance around,
Snowflakes, snowflakes, touch the ground.

Winter Hokey Pokey
You put your mitten in, you take your mitten out,
You put your mitten in and you shake it all about
You do the winter pokey and you turn yourself around,
That's want it is all about.
Other lyrics
You put your boots in, you take your boots out,
You put your coat in, you put your coat out,
You put your hat in, you put your hat out,
You put your scarf in, you put your scarf out.  


Winter Days
Five little snowmen round and fat.
Each one wearing a funny hat.
In the morning, out came the sun.
It looked down and melted one.
Four little snowmen round and fat
(Repeat with 3, 2, 1 snowmen)

The Snowman
Roll the snow into some balls.
Make a snowman, oh so tall.
Place a hat upon his head.
Give him buttons that are red.
Use some coal to make his eyes.
You can do it if you try!
Next, he needs a carrot nose.
Where will we get one of those?
Make a mouth and he'll be done.
Making snowmen is such fun!

Merry Snowflakes
Merry little snowflakes falling to the ground,
(fingers flutter like falling snow)
They're landing on the treetops, covering our town.
(fingers flutter)
They softly fall on noses (touch nose)
And make our hair look white. (touch hair)
They seem to call, "Come out and play!" ("come here" motion)
As they fall through the night. (fingers flutter like falling snow)

(Tune: Gray Squirrel)
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling all around.
I am bundled to my chin.
See my footprints where I've been.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.
Dance Like Snowflakes
(Tune: Are You Sleeping)
Dance like snowflakes
Dance like snowflakes
In the air
In the air
Whirling, Twirling snowflakes
Whirling, Twirling snowflakes
Here and there
Here and there




Dates to Remember                             
January 9, 1:00 Directors' Meeting - Administration Building
January 9, 4:00 Pre-K Counts Teacher Meeting - Administration Building
January 15: Deepening Trauma Awareness professional development resumes


For more resources visit or the PEAK blog at
Happy Teaching!
Mary Rieck
PEAK Coordinator