Do your students cheer or moan when they hear the words, “Snow day!” in the morning?
Michigan tends to have quite a few snow days, so many schools decided to try to engage learners even on snow days through “Snow Day Challenges”. We jumped on the bandwagon last year. Today we had our second snow day of the year…check out our second snow day challenge QuincyElementarySnowDayChallenge2.
This time, we decided to encourage students to share their passions anyway they want to, they could write about them, draw a picture, make a movie, etc. I was inspired by ideas in The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros, and our staff jumped on board because they love to celebrate the unique people our students are.
As I was working from home during this snow day, the responses to the challenge began to trickle in. First, I received this email from a quiet fifth-grade student. I was blown away by her passion for dogs who are homeless or living in shelters and the sacrifices she wants to make to help them. Notice how her fifth-grade teacher has inspired her by sharing his passions with his students!
Next I received this stop-motion animation from a creative third-grader. It is so fun to see her express her love for her American Girl dolls and what she is learning in technology class.
I even received a challenge response from one of our incredible paraprofessionals. The students will love seeing her passion and how she spent her snow day! If you love snow and dogs, you won’t want to miss this.
I know the responses will keep coming in, and there is no way I can write about all of them here. We will be sure to share them all so our students and their families can learn about each other. I have to share just one more–dear Gracie is a second-grader who loves art and school. She drew this picture of Quincy Elementary on her snow day. How cool is it that she is thinking about what a special place her school is even on her day off!
Ironically, this morning I came across this blog post from The Tempered Radical by Bill Ferriter. It challenges us to learn from these amazing things students did OUTSIDE of the classroom and figure out ways to bring it into the classroom. I wrote about how I felt about education as a student in this blog post, and unfortunately, many students still feel this way, especially as they move into upper elementary and secondary school. Tapping into their passions has the potential to change this for our students.
What is next? How can we incorporate student passions into the learning that happens every day in our schools? How can we create an environment where students shout with despair instead of joy when they find out there is a snow day?
Jarett is featured in the top image, showcasing his passion for drawing and cars.
Feel free to collaborate with me on Twitter: @allysonapsey