Thursday, January 2, 2014

Making the most of a non-snow day!

If you are in the Northeast, then you are probably in front of your computer awaiting this blizzard that is about to hit.  In NY, many districts went back to school today, but are in limbo waiting for news about school closings tomorrow.

 In my own classroom, I had 8 absences today!  With the low temperatures, impending snow and vacation, I wasn't really surprised so many kiddies were out today.  But what do you do when you have a super small class?  Do you forge ahead with the curriculum or do you take a step  back and wait for the rest of the class to return?  I decided to wait.  Instead of our regularly scheduled program, here is what we worked on today:

1.) Extended Independent Reading - I have a group that (mostly) loves to read.  All of my big readers were present today and so we talked about what we read over the vacation, grabbed new books, fresh stickies and enjoyed some quiet reading time.

2.) Goal Setting/Revision - Capitalizing on the idea of making resolutions, we set about revisiting our beginning of year goals, evaluating progress and setting new goals for the middle of the year.  With only 11 kids present, I was able to conference individually with everyone!

3.) Review Games - I have so many fabulous resources from the bloggy world that I don't always get a chance to use, so today was a great day to dig up some task cards I printed but never used and put them into practice during a game of scoot.

4.) Conversation  - I love having time to talk to students about what they've done over vacation.  While they insisted that they did "nothing," I eventually found out that they went all over the place during this vacation.  There were lots of car trips and even a cruise!  #jealous

5.) Housekeeping - My "to file" pile has gotten crazy, but today, we took care of all of it.  While revisiting our original goals, students filed their benchmark tests and their performance tasks into their portfolio.  Of course we used this information to set out new goals!

So there you have it.  Today was the snow day that wasn't in our room, but we managed to stay sane and even a little productive!

Tell me: what do you do in the event of lots of absences?  Any special projects you like to work on?  Or do you continue with your curriculum?


  1. I am always hesitant to move on or start something new when I have a lot of students missing - I always feel like I will have to go back and re-teach the same material and then what do the students who were present do? I like what you did with your time - a nice way to ease back into school mode!

  2. If I waited until I had a full class I would never teach anything. There wasn't one day last year that I had all my kids present each day. I just push on through. HOWEVER - when a kids returns, they join EVERY guided group I teach for the next couple of days, regardless of whether it is at their level or not. That way they catch up on something.
    Learning to be awesome

  3. I have NINE kids in Chorus...NINE...when they are out for the day singing somewhere, I feel guilty if I start something new. I normally see if any of the primary teachers want some helpers for a few hours and chance are they do. Stay safe in the snow. I'm flying home from California to Florida tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if I have any delays. I'm hoping not.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'