Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Wow!

It's Wednesday, and Curious Firsties is hosting a link-up where teachers can share something that went well for them during the week.
Curious Firsties

This week, we've been experiencing bitterly cold temperatures, thanks to the polar vortex. All schools were closed in the area! The wind chill hit -35 at one point yesterday! Brr!

My Personal "Wow"

My cousin and I made cotton candy with my new, small cotton candy maker. We made it "for her son" (but really for us, haha!). It was a Christmas gift, so I could use it for a classroom party (Santa knows I'm secretly a 6-year-old trapped in a 26-year-old's body). Did you know that the ONLY ingredient in cotton candy is one tablespoon of sugar? The machine spins and heats, turning the sugar crystals into fibers. Wow!

We also tried a few experiments with the cotton candy maker...

We made colorful cotton candy with a tablespoon of sugar and a drop of food coloring. Yum!
We crushed up root beer barrells and made root beer cotton candy. Double yum!
We tried using sprinkles, but the cotton candy was too crunchy. Fail.
Next time, we're going to try crushed up Jolly Ranchers. I bet that will be SO good.

(If you were wondering, it's the Bella Cotton Candy Maker, and you could buy it here from Amazon. There are less expensive versions on Amazon, too, but I haven't tried them.)

A future incentive, perhaps?

I'm thinking that I'll make this cotton candy in the classroom for our next party or whole class behavior reward. I try not to overdo the tangible rewards, because I want to move the kiddos toward intrinsic motivation, but every now and again I like to reward the whole class for their efforts.

I learned in Behavior 101 to never assign whole class consequences. I remember being in elementary school, and half of our class would not stop talking. Our teacher warned us to be quiet, or else we'd lose recess. I immediately got quiet. I had a kickball tournament planned with some kids from the other class. Several students talked anyway, and our whole class lost recess! I was pretty upset with the kids who wouldn't stop talking, and I felt like it was taken from me for no reason. So now, I don't assign whole class consequences-- but I do assign whole-class rewards.

When the whole class is behaving exceptionally well, I surprise them with a "whole class smiley." I draw a smiley face in the top of our board. When the top of the board is filled with smileys (25 smileys), I'll do something fun to surprise them. This time I'm thinking cotton candy party! I usually only give out a smiley per day or two, so they get so excited when I do.

Link up with Curious Firsties to share a "WOW" moment from your professional or personal life.

What's something that "wow"ed you this week?

Hope you're staying warm!

A Peach for the Teach


  1. Fun! How long does it take to make the cotton candy? That would be such a fun reward for them and something out of the ordinary!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees

    1. Hi, Kate! As soon as you start pouring the sugar into the machine, it starts making fibers. It's fast! I thought it would take longer and be more complicated, but it was awesome. If you have a big class, it could take longer, it might need to be cleaned/cooled between batches. Let me know how it goes if you do it! :)

  2. Only 1 tablespoon!!?! I can't believe that. That is more of an incentive to eat some cotton candy :) My class would go wild to see cotton candy being made. Hmmm....I'll have to think about that :) Thanks for linking up! It made me smile to read!

    1. Haha, Em, I know! I started to almost view cotton candy as a health food! You're welcome! It's a fun link-up!

  3. Hi Brandi! I am loving that cotton candy maker- that's so cool!! I had no idea it would only be 1 T of sugar. That isn't much!
    I also wanted to let you know that I am hosting a linky for people to give an update on how their resolutions are going. I'd love for you to join if you are able! :)
    Click here to link up!

    Mrs. Thompson
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)
    My TpT Store

    1. Isn't it crazy how simple it is? I can't wait to link up! Thanks for your comment!

  4. That Cotton Candy make looks amazing! Although I've only been following your blog for a little while, I'd like to nominate you for a Liebster Award. If you accept, please go check out my blog and read about what you have to do.

    Butterflying Through Teaching

    1. Thank you so much! I'm honored to accept! I'll do all of that soon! Thanks again! Glad you enjoyed reading!

    2. Thank you so much! I'm honored to accept! I'll do all of that soon! Thanks again! Glad you enjoyed reading!