Friday, December 21, 2012

Wonderful Winter Solstice, 2012!

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the 
coldest season of the year. 
It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator - marking the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. 
Some animals hibernate. 
The only plants that grow and remain green are evergreens. 
People protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor winter sports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 


Here are some fun winter links!

Want to make an online snowflake? Click here! 

BrainPop has some great winter and snow movies! Click here! 

Snowflake Workshop? Click here! 


What do you enjoy most about winter?

How will you be celebrating the holidays?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?


  1. Charlotte and AlexandraDecember 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Something we enjoy most about winter is that you can go skiing in Mammoth. There we sometimes build snowman with carrots for the nose, buttons, and sticks for the arms. Though we adore skiing, it is freezing when you ski.

    For Christmas we will be having family over. Cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles will be attending. The best person that will come at night and bring presents is Santa Claus.

    I (Charlotte) have an activity that I will be doing during the break. The activity is soccer.

    Why is winter so cold and harsh?

    Your winter-loving students,
    Charlotte and Alexandra

  2. Hello Mrs. Ranney and class,

    I can see you have a good understanding of the solstice. I have heard some people say we get the seasons because we move closer to the sun at different times of the year but we know that isn't true. It's the Earth's tilt that's important in making our seasons.

    Imagine if there was no tilt. There would be no seasons. The world would just have zones as you move from north to south. We would still have the tropics, temperate and polar zones but not much would change. I think I like our seasons because they bring changes.

    For us Aussies, it's summer and people in my town will most likely want to go to the beach or lake for Christmas lunch.

    By chance, a writing challenge I enter each week was about a snowy Christmas. I wrote my story about a summer Christmas and Santa. Here is a link if you are interested...

    I wonder if Santa would dress as in the picture for his visit to Australia at Christmas? :)

    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    1. Charlotte and AlexandraJanuary 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Dear Mr. Mannell,

      Thank you for your spectacular comment! We thought the picture was very hilarious and creative.

      Here we have never thought of celebrating Christmas on the beach.

      Both of us would look for Santa Claus in shorts with his sweating reindeer and Rudolph, flying over Malibu.

      Would you like to celebrate Christmas with reindeer?

      Reindeer loving students,
      Charlotte and Alexandra

  3. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    I have never been in a lot of snow.:( I love snow! Even though I have not been in snow, I think snowflakes are pretty! Snowflakes are never the same!

    Snowflakes come in the winter when Christmas is here! Not in California.:(

    Your never been in snow student,

  4. Dear Jules,

    I wish it snowed here too! If it did, I would go ice skating and build a snowman right away. Even though I'm not too good at ice skating.

    The only time I can see and play in snow is when we go skiing. There I always try to catch two snowflake and see the differences. When they don't melt immediately on my hand, I can see that they're different. It's very fascinating!

    Would you want to go skiing and see snowflakes?

    Best wishes,

  5. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I love snow very much.
    Since I lived in New Jersey for five years, I have been in snow many times.

    What I like most about winter is definitely the holidays.
    It is a nice time to get together with friends. aa
    During the break on New Years Eve my family and I watched movie together, and celebrated my little sister's first birthday.

    Did anyone else do something fun during winter break?

    Your winter loving student,

  6. Alexandra and AnjoleeJanuary 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Dear Lia,

    Happy birthday to your sister and Happy New Year!

    We did something exciting for winter break too. I (Anjolee) went to Las Vegas and played in the snow there. Some of the snow activities I did were sledding and building snowmen.

    I (Alexandra) watched movies with part of my family. The best movie was "Hachi." It was about a lost dog who found an owner. When the owner never came back from work, Hachi waited at the train station from that day on and for the next nine years. This is a true story.

    We had a great winter break.

    Your friends,
    Alexandra and Anjolee

  7. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I, Jackson, celebrated Christmas and Hannukah with my family.

    I, Alex, celebrated Christmas with my family.

    Jackson's favorite part about winter is waking up on Christmas morning.

    Alex's favorite part about winter is being with his family.

    Alex and Jackson

  8. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Rain and Cate went ice skating. It was so much fun. Cate fell over a lot of times. Rain only fell 1 time.

    Rain also went snow boarding.

    (:Rain and Cate:)

  9. Dear Lia,

    What was it like in New Jersey?
    What was your school called in New Jersey?

    I like the snow too!
    I like the holidays because you get to spend time with your family.

    How did you feel when you moved here?
    What is your little sister's name?
    What did you get for Christmas?

    What movie did you watch?
    How old is your little sister now?

    Your friend,


  10. A.J., Matthew, and ShaiJanuary 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    We had a terrific winter break. A.J. stayed home this winter. At home A.J. road his bike and played video games.

    Matthew went to snowboard in the mountains. I played on my 3DS!

    Shai went dirt biking.

    Your winter loving friends,

    A.J. Matthew and Shai

    1. Dear A.J.,Matthew,and Shai

      I had a very cool winter break too. I went to Knott's Berry farm. It was very cool. I went on a lot of roller coasters. The roller coasters went really fast,and one roller coaster went 60 mph.


  11. Cinthia and BrookeJanuary 18, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Dear Class,

    I, Cinthia, went to my friend's house, and we had tamales and broke a pinata.

    My (Brooke) grandma and grandpa came to my house, and they stayed for two weeks.

    Sincerely Cinthia and Brooke

  12. Christopher and NoelJanuary 18, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    We had a fantastic Winter Break! Christopher went to DisneyLand Club33. Noel went to MB2 Raceway.

    We both loved our winter break!

    Your blogging loving friends,

    Noel and Christopher


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