Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's a Snow Day

Okay, so it is officially a Snow Day here in Eastern Ontario.  I was booked to teach Grade 3/5 (yes that combination is right!) and got canceled and then  re-booked at another school in the same breath.  I think I'm probably the only supply teacher working in the district.  So I am definitely not sure what my day will hold.  I will post more about it when I get home.

Until then its happy shoveling.



So I'm back from my supply snow-day.   There were actually two of us booked today.  I had sixteen, grade 4, 5 and 6 students.  The other teacher had 23 Kindergartens to Grade 3.  Apparently most of the teachers at this particular school drive great distances and were unable to navigate the roads this morning.  The other issue is that it was a city school, and on the last snow day, over half the student population walked, although buses were canceled.  This morning was a slightly different case, as most students were not adventurous to head out in the storm, or at least their parents were more lenient and allowed them to stay home.

I've only actually ever taught one other snow day and that was 24 kids from Kindergarten to Grade 6.
It's a hard line to draw with a snow day.  The juniors are well aware its is a bit of a make-work-project day.  So they are not willing to really buckle down and do a lot of work.  On the other hand, teachers and administration don't want the day to be too much fun, because then everyone will want to come the next time.

I was able to get a fairly good Literacy lesson this morning.  I read my old favourite, Dear Mrs LaRue, about a dog who is sent to obedience school by his master.  The book is a saga of the letters the dog writes back to the owner, pleading his case to come home. 

I had the students write another imaginary letter from the dog to his master.  Most of them probably didn't realize it, but I was getting them to practice good formal letter-writing skills.  It always amazes me how little some students can accomplish in a two hour literacy period.  But then I am often very pleased with how creative and productive some student can be in the same time frame.

After recess, we had a good extended gym period.  I combined both classes, so had 40 plus students in the gymnasium.  We played PIZZA and Scooter/Octopus Tag.  I am so impressed with gym periods where there is great age disparity.  The older students tend to be so protective and nurturing of the little ones.  Yes they are still competitive, but they are more like little parents.

Next I got my prep period.  The French teacher came in and put a movie on.  Why is it that I was the poorest paid person there, with the most creativity expected?

After the second recess we went to the computer lab.  Some of the students had a research project that their teacher had assigned.  The rest basically had free time on educational websites.  I'm afraid at this point, I was not a great chaperone.  I found a textbook on Canadian pioneers and pretty much lost myself, until dismissal time.

So when I got home, my family was all out shoveling the driveway.  They had all been home for the day, and my understanding is that they had spent the better part of the day removing snow.  I helped finish up and then I tackled the greenhouse.  There was at least a foot of snow perched atop, which I knocked down.  Then I shoveled a lot of it away.  I was getting nervous that the weight might buckle some of the steel frame if I didn't do something fairly quickly.

I did one more quick pass over the driveway before coming in for supper.  It looks like there may be enough to warrant another go before bed time.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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