Tag Archives: snow days

Teaching Tuesday: Snow days part 2

Thanks to the glory that is an e-Learning day (electronic learning), even when we have snow/ice days, my students still have access to all of their work and instead of losing a day and having to make it up on MLK Day or Presidents’ Day or Spring break, we get to count it as a school day and we don’t fall behind.

I LOVE the concept of e-Learning days. They are not always the most effective instructional days, but we can get some extra skills practice in and I don’t feel like we’ve lost much time.

My only complaint is that since snow/ice days mean power can go out or services can have interruption, students aren’t required to have all of their work completed until they return to school the next day. Now, if we miss a Monday and are back on Tuesday, that’s not much of an issue for me. However, we missed a Friday. And not just any Friday, the Friday before MLK Day, which meant my students got a 4 day weekend.

Now, I have no problem with my students getting a 4 day weekend. I got one too and was pretty happy about it. The only problem I have is that technically their material, which they should have had no difficulty finishing on Friday (since there were no power outages in the area) wasn’t due until Tuesday when we went back to school.

About half of my kids did the work on Friday. I was able to then grade it and feel pretty excited about having all of my grading done. However, as the weekend stretched on, only three additional kids did their work. The rest were waiting until the last possible moment on Monday (or even early Tuesday morning) to finish their work. So, instead of being able to use that extra time off to truly get caught up on grading, I had to wait and once again get behind on my grading.

Because if we had had a regular school day on Friday, all of their work would have been turned in to me and I could have graded it over the weekend, then come to school with a completely blank slate.

Instead, I got to start the week off behind (again). This is particularly frustrating to me because my own children got all of their work done on Friday.

If my 10 and 7 year old can do it, why can’t all of my 17 and 18 year olds?


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Teaching Tuesday: Snow days

We had our first official snow day this past Friday. Technically it was an ice day as there was hardly any snow on the ground, but there was a thick layer of ice covering the streets, making travel unsafe.

On Thursday everyone was abuzz over the possibility of a snow day. Although the forecast was calling for up to 3 inches of snow (which we did not get) and some major ice after our nearly 60 degree temps which melted all the streets and fields, I had little faith in the forecast. It seems like every time we hear we’ll get 3-6 inches of snow, we get an inch at best. Usually I watch as all the surrounding schools close, but mine is open.

For the past two years we haven’t had a single snow day. Heck, I’m not even sure we had any two hour delays last year. I kept telling my students not to get their hopes up, but just in case, I brought home all of the grading I needed to do.

Low and behold, when my husband’s alarm went off at 5:50, I decided to get up and check the weather. The view from my front door was a tiny dusting of snow, so I didn’t hold out much hope of a snow day. However, when I went to check my phone, there was the text plain as day: school was closed.

I promptly headed back to my bedroom, poked my head into my daughter’s room and told her it was a snow day, so she needed to go back to sleep, set my alarm for 7:30 and went back to sleep myself.

I got up at 7:30 and headed straight for the computer. Since every student in my district has either an iPad or Chromebook (depending on their grade), our school qualifies for Electronic Learning Days. On any e-Learning days, we have to have our lesson plans uploaded for our students by 8 am.

I’d already planned the activities the night before, but wasn’t about to go through the extra work of setting them up just in case we had school. Since I knew what all my kids needed to do, I made sure the e-Learning attendance tab was open on Canvas, created step by step instructions for the class period and then emailed all my students when their tasks were up.

Then, I opened my email tab on my phone and my desktop and helped my own children log into their devices so they could start their e-Learning day activities. I’ll admit that juggling my children’s questions with my student’s questions was a struggle…for about 5 minutes! Luckily my son was almost entirely self-sufficient (he’s 10) and my daughter’s teacher made her activities pretty easy to follow. There were a few moments of frustration for my children, but with a little help from me they got right back on track.

Every half hour or so I told my kids to take a break and go play, which stretched out their day. Still, even with those breaks, they were both done with their work  by lunch time and thrilled they got to spend the rest of the day playing in their jammies. They actually didn’t even get dressed until 4 pm when they decided they wanted to go outside and play in the snow and I made them put on real clothes under their snowsuits. We may not have had much snow, but it was cold and I wanted them as bundled as possible.

I managed to not only answer all student questions, but get all caught up with my grading. Well, as much as I could. Although our students all have to sign in for attendance, they don’t technically have to finish the work given to them until the next class day…just in case there are internet issues. Since school was cancelled on a Friday and we have MLK day off, my students don’t have to finish their work until today. About half of them took their sweet time.

Not that I’m upset. In fact, it basically meant I had 3 whole days with no grading since I was all caught up. It’s a nice feeling being all caught up. Not that it’ll last, but it’s nice for now!

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