Winter Break is fast approaching and well-meaning friends from far and away are asking the same question…
“When are you out of school for break?”
Not until Friday afternoon. That makes for a long week of trying to keep students focused and productive while they are losing their MINDS in excitement for Christmas. How is it going, you might ask?
It’s only Tuesday.
Yesterday my kids had their first big recess after a substantial snowfall–enough to put our “Snowy Playground Expectations” talk on the to-do list. It’s a clear and easy conversation:
- Don’t pick up snow.
- Don’t play in the snow.
- Don’t go in the snow. (Yes, even if you have boots. Why? Because it’s in the school handbook. No, I don’t know who writes the school handbook but I suspect that it is our principal. That would make an excellent persuasive essay–you should totally write that, and then maybe if you have great reasons and evidence to support them you will get to go in the snow. With your boots. But until you’ve written that—don’t go in the snow.)
They listened. They understood. They agreed. They bundled up in their hats, coats, mittens, boots…and in one extreme case, a huge pair of snow pants that came up to the boy’s underarms. They buzzed down the hallway, eager to get out into the fresh air after so many inside recess days.
As I surveyed the playground, I watched kids playing tag, shouting and running with friends on the blacktop. A kickball game was in the works, although there were a couple icy spots to be avoided. A few girls even managed to get the hula hoops going with their winter gear on.
And then I saw him…running wild and free, across the asphalt and straight over the snowbank. Howling like a loon, one of my second graders ran gleefully through the snow in his tennis shoes all the way across the yard to the far fence. Swooping in a big turn, he stomped his way back to where I was standing in disbelief and came to a halt right in front of me with a big smile, shoes and pants covered in clumps of heavy, wet snow.
And that is how it is going, two days in during the week right before Christmas.