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Friday, February 05, 2016

2016: First Friday in February Thoughts

It was a complex and busy day in the school house.

We started with our PLC. We got a lot done--it was almost like racing as we tackled one logistic and decision after another. We ended up with a terrific framework for the months to come.

When I returned to class, the students were busy working on math crossword puzzles. After that we had a great Open Circle thanks to the guidance counselor's leadership. Then students went to technology class while I printed and xeroxed the newsletters and assignments for next week.

The students' yearning to play in the snow was building so that came next. Students bundled up and got busy making giant snowballs on the playground. After lunch, the snow excitement began to pull at students' attention, but we worked through it as students made rulers. Later, after a short power outage and WIFI delay, we managed to move on to spending some time making fraction bars, but clearly students' attention was quickly waning. Then when the principal got on the overhead with a number of early dismissal and snow-related announcements, the teaching team decided to shift gears, gather students in the homeroom, review the newsletter and do something calm and peaceful to complement the ever changing dismissal situation. Fortunately I found the movie, Snow Dogs, which they all liked. The students relaxed, and as they were dismissed one by one, the rest watched the film.

A teacher's husband graciously wiped all the snow off our cars so I was able to jump in the car at the end of the day and head home. There was a detour due to a fallen tree, but other than that, the ride was slow, but steady. Once I arrived home, I had to shovel out the driveway. I did a haphazard job with the help of my neighbors who rushed over to assist.

I think snow presents more complication today than in the past. Many teachers live a distance from school, and still more have children in other schools or babies in day care. Children at school also come from complex families with multiple situations, hence it's difficult to quickly decide on an early dismissal or last minute cancellations. The area is simply more crowded too and population density plays a role. It seems like there were no major issues today, and that's good. Also, we all received a terrific note from the principal after school--one thanking all for the extra effort today. That builds community. A positive end to a challenging day. Onward.