Snow Days

Here I was dreading the thought of going back into the classroom just a few days ago.  Now, I wish I could get out of my house and into the classroom.  We managed to have one teaching day this week, thus far.  I don’t foresee that we’ll be having school tomorrow with a temperature high of -4 degrees.  In the meantime, I’ve been catching up on all my blog subscriptions, planning some new lessons, and just lounging around.

I wonder what my students are doing… I teach in a Title I school where 90% of our 800+ students are on Free or Reduced Lunch meal plans, the average income of my families is somewhere between $15,000-$18,000, and there is very little academic reinforcement at home.

So, I wonder what it is that they do with the free time.  Just from the stories I heard on Tuesday of all the new game consoles and video games that were Christmas presents, I would imagine, they’re wasting the day away in front of some sort of screen.  That’s fine.  Can’t say I’m not doing the same really.  But how does this impact their ability to learn when they return to my classroom when this weather decides to cease and desist?

I once attended a brain research conference that said that if children watch any sort of cartoon or video game before going to school in the morning, they are bombarded with over 60+ visual images per minute.  These same children then go to school where they must look at the same visual (me) for an entire 7 hours.  No wonder they get bored or disengaged.  I can be boring.  As much as I change things up everyday and get their body states changed about every 10 minutes (on a good day), they can still lose focus and interest along the way.  Which leads me to constantly be thinking of new ways to get students interested and passionate about their own learning.

We started our penguin unit on Tuesday (my personal favorite), and I could tell there was already a huge interest.  Maybe it was because I love it so much, they were intrigued by my passion for the subject.  Maybe it was because it allowed us to break up the monotony of Daily 5 during our Literacy Block.  I don’t really care what the reason may be.  It was a change that I liked seeing in my students.  Now that we haven’t had school, I hope that the interest will remain as high upon our return.  My passion about penguins will translate into passionate learners.

“Great dancers aren’t great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.”

I would like to transform this quote for my students and it would say:

“Great learners aren’t great because of their technique [method of learning]; they are great because of their passion.”

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