When I come home from school, one of the first things that I usually do is finish writing our Daily Shoot Blog Posts. After our snowfall today though, I decided to shovel the driveway first. I’m glad that I did. As I was outside shovelling, I realized how much fun it was to be out in the snow. I kept thinking about the fantastic time that our students had outside today … and even though they were playing, they were also learning.
— Aviva Dunsiger (@avivaloca) January 12, 2016
Thanks to our School Climate Consultant, Aaron Puley, we always include an extension activity at the end of our daily blog posts. Usually this is an open-ended activity that aligns with the learning from the day. Many students today loved creating with various classroom materials, so initially, our extension was going to align with that. Then I thought of the snow.
Today was one of our first big snowfalls of the year. The fluffy, light snow is perfect for shovelling, fun to create with, and calling for some snow angels. I must say that I resisted the urge — just barely — to lie down and make my own snow angel outside today. 🙂 How could our nightly learning extension not involve the snow? This is when I wrote this:
Enjoy the snow tonight by going outside to play together. Children can create snow structures (Science), count piles of snow that they make (Math), or even try making letters, numbers, shapes, words, or various objects in the snow (Math and Language). Even try singing and making music as you move together through the snow. Building together is a great way to develop oral language and gross motor skills. Being outside and moving also helps students with self-regulation! Children are welcome to talk to their friends tomorrow about the different things that they did in the snow.
I can’t help but think about some conversations that I’ve had in the past about homework.
- Does homework need to be a pencil/paper task?
- How can we make homework open-ended enough to meet the needs of all of our learners?
- If all subject areas are important, how are we including subjects like Phys-Ed and The Arts in homework suggestions?
While our at-home learning extension is not required homework, I still think about my answers to these questions as I determine this nightly activity. How would you answer these questions? What impact does this have on your home learning options? When it comes to homework, I see the potential to engage parents in the learning process. How do you do this? I’d love to know!
Aviva – Happy to spend a little extra time outside tonight! 🙂