Snow day make up KIPP NJ

Three ways you can hack snow days for learning

If you live on the east coast of the states, chances are you had a snow day already (or two) this year. We had snow in New Jersey. For. Days. Here are some tips to help you keep your kids learning, even when there is snow coming down. 

Online options

If your school uses Khan Academy, Accelerated Reader, or other online curriculum tie-ins, you’re in luck! It’s easy to set the expectation for kids to continue their online learning work.

If you don’t have this set up, you totally can do it! Spend a little time setting up one of these online programs. You and your kids will benefit.

Some other suggestions: why not get your class started on the hour of code? It’s free, teaches a programming language and problem solving, so kids are having fun and building skills that will do them well for a long, long time. 

Ready-to-go packets

OK, so this one isn’t as easy. I’ll admit it. But building out work packets, like you might send home during breaks, can be a great way to review or reinforce skills that would otherwise not show up during a break.

It doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. Do you have a subscription to Brainpop? Do you have old curriculum or workbooks that are sitting around? You can easily pull together a work packet from these kinds of resources without typing it all up by hand.

You can also look for pre-made work packets on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers or even on Pinterest.

Easy stuff

Sometimes, a rogue storm pops out of nowhere. Or, you just have too many other things to manage, like grading papers, lesson planning and the like. Here are a few easy wins you can build into your class norms so that if a snow day comes along, your kids already know what to do.

Reading logs – if you teach language arts or an elementary classroom, then you probably already have these rocking on a daily basis. Set the expectation that even when there’s a day off, reading logs are reading logs. You can even build in extension exercises like you would use with independent reading to keep them thinking. Just make sure this is a part of your norms, so it’s not a surprise to anyone.

If you teach elementary or early middle school math, you can pre-create random multiplication tables to reinforce those skills. Try creating (or borrowing) practice hand outs, or create your own. This is something you’ll be able to reuse and reuse over the years, so it’s worth the extra time it might take to make.

Which ever option you use, make sure you have things in place before the storm. That way you’re ready and not extra stressed!

What do you use to keep kids learning during snow days and breaks? Share with us below in the comments section!

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Michael Alderman

Marketing and Communications Specialist at KIPP New Jersey
Michael is the marketing and communications specialist at KIPP New Jersey. You can contact Michael on Twitter @malderman_.