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Differentiated Ice Fishing! When In Michigan, Do As the Michiganders.

From as far back as I can remember, I have always done a unit on polar animals and cold winter weather.  And like any good kindergarten teacher, I like to add elements within centers and stations that  help tie these units into our learning.  Since Michigan is a cold weather state and we do participate in cold weather activities (and by we I mean other people-not me necessarily), ice fishing seems to be a natural activity to bring into the class. Now of course I can’t bring our local lakes into my classroom, but I can pretend and in the process, appeal not only to my dramatic learners who love make believe, but also my kinesthetic learners who like to move, and let’s face it, every other kindergarten who loves to just incorporate play into learning.

To simulate the ‘ice,’  I cover a medium to large sized box with white paper and cut a hole through the top.  The hole is, of course, just like the hole you have to cut when you’re heading out to the frozen lake. 

Next you can either make up your own laminated fish with the skill you want to practice or download the differentiated math freebie ones I have HERE.

 Print, laminate and cut out your fish, separating them by readiness level, and attach a large paperclip to the end of each.

Get yourself some little rods and attach a string to one end and a magnetic hoop (this is your hook) to the other end.  Students take turns (one at a time or the poles get tangled) dangling their hooks into the hole.  No looking!

Just like in a real ice fishing hole, you can’t see what you might catch. But be careful, there are sharks in these icy waters.  If you catch a shark, all your fish (except the shark) go back in the hole.  

My students LOVE ice fishing.  Every year it’s a class favorite.  I hope yours love it too.   

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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