Who gives assignments/hw on Snow days??

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BioAngel, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jan 28, 2015

    We discussed this topic and decided as 5th and 6th grade teachers we would give assignments. I do it especially since I only see my students 3 days out of 6 days. TOTATLLY NOT ENOUGH SCIENCE TIME! :dizzy:

    So I assigned 2 assignments on the first snow day- not due until later this week when we've already have been back from the snow days.

    1) Fill out a "job application" to pick teams for an upcoming field trip (I was literally expecting 1 sentence answers to what skills they are good at)

    2) Think of a few questions about the moon and space travel to share with me.

    Plus students could use the time to work on a science project that they have over 3 weeks (and some in-class time) to work on.

    I had a parent flip out to my P that I gave way too much work- she thought her kid had to do all of this for when we returned (not my fault you can't read the due dates :rolleyes: ). Parent wanted ongoing work assignments to be done (like the project), but not missed assignments in class (which did not need my support to complete- but I did keep my email open during school hours to answer any questions).

    So with quite a few projects that I'm working on for my school, I'm dealing with this parent. She and I had a confrotation/discussion about this where we realized she had the wrong due dates in mind. Maybe she feels better now knowing how much time I was giving the students, but my P is still going to talk to us as a level about this. (I shared with my P via email the discussion with the parent and she seemd okay. She wrote another email to the level about it and put a smiley face on the end. I think she's trying to balance things out at this point, so I don't think she's mad at any teacher specifically)

    I'd love to know if any elementary teachers here give snow day work to do- either hand out packets or online assignments (we're lucky enough to be able to contact parents and students online). If you do, is it based on what you're currecntly working on or will you give new assignments to work on?

    - One very frustrated and tired teacher in need of more snow days :yawn:
     
  2.  
  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    538

    Jan 28, 2015

    I don't know how I could assign work since I have no way of contacting all my students on a snow day. We don't know ahead of time if we are even having a snow day - we literally find out a few hours before buses are scheduled to run. So, no I don't give home work on snow days. I don't any other night of the year.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,948
    Likes Received:
    2,096

    Jan 28, 2015

    Monday was early dismissal due to the oncoming 'storm of the century':D. I gave one exta assignment knowing we would be off yesterday...it was minimal...a grammar page about plurals.:eek: three kids didn't have it today despite me checking on Monday that they had everything they needed...
     
  5. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,662
    Likes Received:
    224

    Jan 28, 2015

    If we think we might have a snow day coming, I ask my students to practice multiplication facts and read on that day.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,010
    Likes Received:
    465

    Jan 28, 2015

    Though I probably wouldn't actually do this (if I lived where there is snow), what I would love to do on a snow day, would be to give the students a choice. An assignment or to e-mail or bring in a picture of them having fun in the snow during the snow day. If they are going to enjoy the snow day, I think let them. If they are going to watch TV or play video games, then I say, "Let the homework assignments begin."
     
  7. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 28, 2015

    We are required to have Blizzard Bags ready for 3 days. They are supposed to be online and students access at home on the appropriate days. Most of my students can't access the internet at home, so I have to give paper copies. They have to be graded for accuracy and recorded. Students have 2 weeks to complete.
     
  8. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Jan 29, 2015

    When I was a kid, we received "snow day packets" at the beginning of the cold season (so in November as we easily got 20 snow days a year.) We were to keep these papers at home and complete one page on each snow day. However, I never saw the point because out of necessity, it was all busy work like content-related crossword puzzles.

    Honestly, your assignments also sound like busy work. I would have expected them to continue working on their current project and any regular homework they would have received on a normal day.
     
  9. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jan 29, 2015

    But they weren't busy work- they're actually what I would have started in class and would have had the students finish up for homework that day if it were a normal school day.

    - The job application applies to a field trip they are attending. I need to know what teams they're interested in being on and what skills they possess that meets those team's requirements.

    - The list of moon questions and space travel questions we're using for a research project in class. I'm hoping to group their questions into similar ideas, break them up into groups, and have them create a poster of their researching/learning to present to the rest of the students. I don't have enough class time to have us brainstorm properly, so I thought as a snow day activity, as a student thought up of a question, they could post it in one document together.

    How is either of those busy work? Both are being applied to future activities.
     
  10. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jan 29, 2015

    I think that the other thing that is getting to me is that students just had 2 weeks off for Christmas and parents are saying their child- 3 weeks after- need another break. In 2 weeks, students are getting a 4 day weekend for President's Day- one family already told us that they're taking their kids out for the whole week after the 4 days to go to Disney World.

    The other issue is that when the students (the girls at least) go to the higher grades, they don't get snow days at all. They might not go to school, but they're assigned normal amounts of school work. One teacher has a daughter in the upper school and she had to write one essay and read 200 pages in 2 days. Her Mom said that she worked about 4 hours on Monday and 5 hours on Tuesday. Then we (the teachers in the lower grades) get chewed out that our students are not able to do enough in the higher grades- this is a regular comment from the parents of boys who go off to other schools too.

    To me, snow days can be easier going (I did my teacher work in pjs with my cats sitting on my lap), but I don't think it's necessarily unfair to assign on task assignments and activities.
     
  11. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Jan 29, 2015

    You listed those assignments in your original post with no additional context. So it did seem like busy work. With more information, it does not.

    Edited to add: We have to make our snow days up later. Do you?
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jan 29, 2015

    It's very rare that we know ahead of time if there will be a snow day. Since it snows all the time, we really only have snow days if there is a lot of blowing or drifting, or we get a good foot or more of snow and there isn't enough time for the plows to get out. But they usually do. And it's incredibly rare that we have more than 1 day off in a row.

    So, I would have to try to contact students on their day off. In my opinion that's not worth my time or theirs. I don't know if they're at daycare all day, or what their situation is. We all need a day off sometimes.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    791

    Jan 29, 2015

    If I suspect there may be a snow day, I don't assign students anything new, but I DO let them know that upcoming due dates/test dates/etc will remain the same, and that they may want to take things home just in case.
     
  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,299
    Likes Received:
    946

    Jan 29, 2015

    I don't think it's unreasonable to give the work especially since you posted the due dates and it seemed like they had plenty of time. There will always be the complainers but I would love to see the day where parents accept what the teachers do and support their children to do their best and not challenge every little thing. The only time a complaint would really be valid is if something happened during the snow day(s) like loss of electricity or something equally inconvenient. Even then, it should be more like them explaining the situation and maybe just asking for extra time for the assignment due to circumstances.
     
  15. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    28

    Jan 29, 2015

    I actually teach online on snow days. My kids have to log on and I teach virtually. I take attendance just like a regular day. I continue with my regularly scheduled curriculum.

    All the kids have laptops their own laptops at my school, there are only a couple that do not have internet access. They either take the absence or they are expected to find a way to find internet.
     
  16. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,419
    Likes Received:
    1,172

    Jan 29, 2015

    Given that our days are usually decided the morning of, I would not personally try to assign any work (which would require e-mailing all the parents, some of which don't have the best internet access / don't check all the time). They have enough ongoing foundational work (IXL, independent reading, math fact practice) that there's work that they can do, but not a bad situation if they don't do it. Too many variables would be in play, and we'd be making it up at the end of the year, anyways, so they'd get a day of homework to make up for this.
     
  17. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    146

    Jan 29, 2015

    The only teacher I know who sends assignments gives six college credits for her class through our community college. No one else sends work.
     
  18. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Jan 29, 2015

    Those are my thoughts, too...We get one "free" day, and the rest are made up. So if I sent work, technically they would have an extra day of school.
     
  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,219
    Likes Received:
    1,571

    Jan 29, 2015

    We haven't had a snow day in my area for twenty years... This has been a rather dry winter for northern Utah. I can count on one hand our snowfalls.

    Frankly, I wouldn't want to teach on a snow day. Snow days count as days off anyway with made-up days, so I don't feel obligated to make in an education day.
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Jan 29, 2015

    Ummm...I'll just say I am glad that no teacher in my area tries to push this. Would.Not.Fly.

    To the OP...to answer the question, I did not assign work. It's just not a hill I wish to die on. The less a principal has to get involved in my daily activities, the better.
     
  21. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jan 29, 2015

    As a private school, we do not make up snow days. So we have about 20 less school days (calendar wise), plus 2 extra weeks of vacation. Hence my panic :unsure:
     
  22. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,642
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jan 29, 2015

    Thank you- I appreciate this. We have the technology, the families have the technology, I don't see the point of wasting time. I had one parent VERY upset with me- like red face yelling at me- about the work when I told her they had 5 days to complete it. (Not my fault if you can't read the due date)

    Absolutely- when we had Hurricane Sandy, I lost power for 4 days and internet for about 7 days. (I learned from that experience how terrifying it was to not be able to contact anybody via internet or cell phones through that experience. I had to drive an hour south (with limited gas at the time) to check up on my parents because I had no clue if they even survived the storm or not. I so do not ever want to go through that again.) My students were living in a hotel, so they probably had some internet access but not alot. Even if my student came to me and said "Sorry I was not at home- we went skiing" I would be like "Okay you have 24 hours to complete it". This storm, we got only a few inches, no power loss, no internet loss- get the work done.
     
  23. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    16

    Jan 29, 2015

    Exactly. I think it's a drag for the kids - just let them enjoy their day off. But, I don't believe in homework in general.
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jan 30, 2015

    We give out a weekly homework sheet so as long as students have the materials at home they should be able to do their homework for a snowday. We had our once-in-a-lifetime snowday Tuesday. So I probably won't have to worry about that again this year.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. RainStorm,
  2. waterfall,
  3. miss-m,
  4. agdamity,
  5. vickilyn
Total: 210 (members: 10, guests: 177, robots: 23)
test