Snow Jam 2011
January 18, 2011
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I don’t know what this past week was like for all of you, but here in Georgia it was COLD and Icy and did not include school. We southerners are obviously not equipped for harsh winter weather. I still remember the “Blizzard of ’93” from my own school days. Whether or not that event actually qualified as a blizzard is up for debate, sides typically being chosen by geographical region. My dog, Mia, did not even know what to do with all of that crazy white stuff! It finally took a leash to convince her to venture outside, and even then she didn’t exactly appear thrilled with the idea.
Mia's Snow day
We came back from winter break for exactly four days and then took another entire week off, plus Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It feels like the four days we did have didn’t even happen. Coming to school today, I knew that if I personally was feeling disjointed and disconnected from our prior work together, the students were probably even more out of sorts. I was a little apprehensive about how to jump right back in and regain any momentum we may have developed two weeks ago. My typical back-to-school fare had already been spent. I’d like to share what I came up with, but I would also love any suggestions people may have for these types of situations.
I started by sending an email out to all of my student families last Thursday. I included some details about my own time off and attached the pictures included here. I then reminded parents that it is important for students keep their brains “warmed-up” even if it may be cold outside. Based on fall semester final exams, I knew that the students still struggled with identifying, creating, and differentiating between similes and metaphors. Attached to the email was a document guiding the students through creating their own versions of literary devices about their snow weeks along with the opportunity to attach a picture of their time off from school to share with the class upon our return. When it snows here in Georgia a LOT of pictures are taken.
I was well pleased with what the students brought in to school today. It gave us an instant way to start class that was both content-focus and personalized to each student’s experience.
Other ideas? Comments? Anecdotes?
In case you’re interested, here is the assignment I sent out.
Snow Day Writing