NY was recently hit by two major snowstorms that dumped enough snow on the ground to keep most schools closed... yes, that's right, we've recently had a couple of SNOW DAYS! There is something so incredibly special about a Snow Day and no other day can compare. A snow day is a gift... it is magical... it means fun (except if you have to shovel)... comfy clothes... snowmen... snow ball fights... doing what you want for as long as you want... exploring a new hobby... reading a good book (NOT for HW)... unexpected extra time spent with loved ones... no structure... and most importantly, no work. Yes, snow days are special and whether you are a kid still in school or an adult, whenever the possibility of a snow day comes on the radar we all secretly do the "snow dance" - you know the one! So, if these days are so incredibly special and fun and rejuvenating why don't we have more of them? I am totally serious - our schools, kids and staff need more snow days! Are you with me? Let's make it happen... NOW!!
Ok, let me explain. When I say let's have more snow days, I am not talking about praying to the weather gods or doing the snow dance every night or wearing our clothes inside/out for good luck... no, I am talking about creating our own snow days... in school! Yes, that's right - let's turn a random Tuesday or Wednesday into a snow day for our kids and us. How do we make that happen you ask? Especially if there isn't a cloud in the sky and the temperature is above 50 degrees? Well, you see, I am not talking about an actual snow day with feet of snow that makes driving conditions unsafe, keeps everyone home and leaves people dreading shoveling the day after. No... I am talking about capturing all those magical qualities of a snow day - the fun, the creativity, the unstructured activities, pursuing passions and interests with your "extra" time and maybe wearing comfy clothes (this is optional) - and build a day of learning around those qualities. Make the snow day come to life in our classrooms or in our schools... make a fun day of learning that kids will not forget.
So, what does a snow day in school look like? I don't think there is one answer because the glory of a snow day is that it can be whatever we envision for us and our kids... remember, no two snow angels or snowmen look alike so no two snow days in school need to look alike either - let your imagine run wild! For example, we can create a day full of Project/Passion Based Learning activities that are driven by the students. We can give the children time to play with cardboard, tape and string to be creative and innovative. We can take the idea of the #GenuisHour and let it unfold over the course of day - #GenuisDay if you will! We can empower our students to pursue an interest or passion that has been on the back burner because it doesn't exactly meet the expectations laid out within the Common Core State Standards. We can encourage kids to collaborate through different games or hands-on activities - we should encourage them to come up with the activities. We can let kids read... for fun with no expectation to respond, take notes or use post-its. Teachers could line up multiple Mystery Skype sessions in one day so students can connect with others from around the world. Make it a day of service learning so children can go out into the community to make a difference; or stay in school and beautify the space! And the list can go on and on and on...
Here is the thing... we control what happens in our schools and classrooms each and every day! We impact the tone and tempo of the day. We can decide what stays and what goes during the school day. We decide how much fun we have on any given day. We decide whether or not we can create a SNOW DAY in school... that's right, we, the educators, decide what happens in our schools. With that in mind, I think we should start considering the notion of creating a snow day in school! Maybe it only happens two or three times a year... or maybe it is once a month... whatever the frequency, trying to capture the magic of a snow day in school is something we should consider... our kids deserve it... we deserve it! Let it snow and bring on the SNOW DAY!
Please leave a comment below and share your ideas for what we could do during our school snow day!