Saturday, February 9, 2013

What do you do on a snow day? by Shirley

We learned early that our school would probably be closed on Friday because of the pending snow storm that could bring up to 19 inches of snow to our area. For many schools that meant a day off with students having no connection to their teachers or classes.

Here at PDS, that is not the case, and middle and high school students make plans to continue our learning using digital means on days when school has to close. My students and I are well prepared for this kind of closure and we enjoy using Edmodo for online classes. Our schedule of classes for Friday was, Humanities 1 at 10am and Humanities 2 at 11am. We all signed onto Edmodo and classes began.

The first class discussed World War 1 and Josie, our head of school’s visit to share her knowledge on this period with us. Students answered a few questions that I posted and they replied to each other. I attached a WW1 picture which the students studied and wrote about it, and finally they composed poems about the war on their Google Docs and shared one line on Edmodo with all of us.  

The second class is collaborating with St Mary’s grade 6 in Canada on a read aloud project (learn more about it in my previous post), so we began the day by discussing how well it is progressing. The students enjoy using TodaysMeet to communicate with their buddies and Google Docs to collaborate. They then answered some questions about the book, The Phantom Tollbooth and finally wrote some interesting poems on Google Docs which they shared.

Thank you to George, our M/S head who joined us and contributed to both classes. Classes were over by noon and students could get on with their day. I had a quick lunch and then onto my next adventure.

As I said in my previous post, I was invited to present at TeachMeetNW, at 3:30pm our time - 8:30pm in Ireland. Having this snow day enabled me to take part in most of this unconference, so I signed into the Google Hangout about 2pm to see what was happening and began Tweeting.  I also chatted in the hangout with two other teachers also presenting from afar. Quite amazing to see us all on the screen as I talked to Damien, the organizer from Derry, Ian, a deputy head in Islay (a small island off the coast of Scotland) and Peter a teacher in England. Some great ideas and quick presentations were shared as teachers' names were picked. My turn came and it was time to share my take on EdCamps in the USA. It was very strange presenting to an unseen audience. I had shared my  screen so I could only see my presentation and no one else. Having to present in only 7 minutes was also quite a challenge but I finished on time. This was a new adventure for me and it was a lot of fun and wonderful to be part of this global sharing and learning event.  What a great way to meet new educators to add to my PLN.

I am the picture on the bottom right
Here is part of the Twitter feed from the unconference and a link to my Google

My school day was finally over by about 4pm, although I did continue to tweet with my new friends in Northern Ireland. All in all quite an exciting snow day!


  1. Who says snow days are a waste of time?!? Loads of learning and meaningful connections and STILL time to play in the snow. Thanks, Shirley, for taking such full advantage of the opportunity.

  2. I had a fun and exciting day. Love technology for connecting globally!

  3. I like Edmodo because it's a cool site if you want to digitally teach a class. Also you can post important sites to share with others.