Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE extra time to sleep a bit later, read in the bed, and catch an episode of Ellen. However, after a while we feel the urge to get up and accomplish something. That’s when we pull out the laptops and phones and get busy.
5 things we suggest teachers do to make the most of their snow-cation:
1. Find a great writing prompt and write some sample responses.
Have trouble finding exemplars? The best ones are the ones you write yourself! If you’ve been mulling over a great prompt and wondering how to build it in to a full writing unit, this is the perfect time to mock up an exemplar and a weak writing sample. There are two ways to use exemplars. One is to use actual student samples from class. This is always good for authenticity. However, we prefer to use teacher-created exemplars and weak samples that intentionally showcase common mistakes current students are making (weak) or highlight examples of ways to strengthen weak skills (exemplar). Just building an exemplar and a weak example for one writing prompt can be the beginning of a great writing unit when you get back to school.
2. Build on your Personal Learning Network (PLN).
We love twitter for professional development purposes. Both of us often scroll through and find juicy nuggets of thoughts and suggestions for teaching. While you’re on this unexpected vacation, spend some time searching and casting a wider net to include more colleagues, fellow teachers in other areas, and content area experts. May we suggest folks like Sarah Cooper @rockytopteacher, Kim Bearden @kimbearden, and Kayla Delzer @mrsdelz to get you started.
3. Explore Periscope!
For those who haven’t found it yet, go explore Periscope, the streaming service provided by Twitter. It has GREAT implications for education. On Periscope, you can see live streams of model lessons or messages/discussion with your favorite thought leaders. If you miss the live stream, go back and watch a recording. The possibilities for teaching and learning with Periscope are endless, and it’s just in it’s beginning stages. Now would be a good time to get acquainted!
4. Share YOUR ideas!
At TeachingInTheMiddle, we truly believe that we all get better by sharing. We share all of our resources for free because we believe the more we put out in the teacher universe, the more we get back from it. Why not join in the sharing process? Take a great lesson you’ve taught this year, type it up in a more formal lesson plan style, and share it on Twitter or Facebook. Not sure where to share it? Shoot it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get it out there!
5. Relax and revive!
While we are big proponents of productivity, it’s important to remember to recharge the batteries when you can. Strike a balance between getting ahead professionally and getting ahead personally. Spending time with the family and getting some overdue laundry done can help you be more relaxed when you do go back to work.
And don’t forget, productivity and pajamas can always go hand-in-hand!
Jaime and Derek