February Friday Flashback - Room 213

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February Friday Flashback

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Julie, of Faulkner's Fast Five, for her new series Friday Flashback to reflect back on this crazy, snowy month.

1. I can't think about or write about February without using that nasty four letter word that has been haunting so many of us this year.  Snow has covered my world and made this month almost a write off with my students.  The new semester was suppossed to start on the second, but it was delayed by three days, and since then it's been a blur of cancellations and a massive amount of shovelling.  Now, I'm a Canadian.  I know snow.  And we always get snow days.  But this has been unprecedented in my twenty year career.  However, as always, there isn't much we can do about it, so we have to adapt and find ways to roll with it.  And, you know what?  It is kind of pretty around here.  Check out the fox who used the huge banks as an opportunity to look in my living room window!

2.  The weather forced us to get really creative as far as finding ways to keep things rolling with classes that we were just getting to know.  The first of semester is an important time for establishing routines and expectations, yet our only routine was that school was getting cancelled!  Luckily, I have a class website, so I could give my students work every day (boy, were they impressed...).  One of the days that we were actually in school this week, I offered to teach a group of teachers how to use Google Drive, so they could keep their students on track too.  I blogged about using it earlier this month, so if you'd like more info for your own snowy days, check it out here.

3. Early in the month, my husband and I got a lovely surprise in the mailbox.   Our daughter, who is away at university, sent us a four page, hand-written letter!  I don't think I've gotten a letter like that since I was in university.  We were touched at such a thoughtful gesture on her part.  We're used to one line texts, and an occasional FaceTime session, so it meant a lot that she would take the time to sit down and actually pen a letter (with soooo much information).  It was such a gift. 

4. A big project has begun at our school.  We are trying to light a match under our charges and teach them to be a little more gritty.  We are finding that they give up way too easily and are ok with passing in work that is just not good enough.  Just not their best.  So we are launching a campaign that promotes grit and resiliency.  This starts, of course, with teachers.  If we accept work that is not complete, with blank answers and underdeveloped paragraphs, then we are part of the problem.  So, the hope is that if we all work together and make hard work a priority, then everyone will win.  As part of out "campaign" we are using posters and anchor charts to remind students to do their best.

5.  Finally, on one of those days that I had with my lovely new students, we started to assemble their reader's notebooks.  I've never used them quite like this before and am so excited about the possibilities.  I don't have time for all of the cutting and pasting of many of the interactive notebooks out there, but I did want to help them create something that would be personal, fun and easy to use.  Most importantly, I wanted them to be a place that they could independently reflect on the texts they are reading.  I don't do "chapter questions" and work hard to get them to analyze the works on their own, without me telling them what to look for.  I can't wait to get more time with my class so we can really dig into these.

So, happy March to all of you!  May you have a lot of sun shining through those snowy tunnels.  The tulips and daffodils will be here soon.  Hang on.


  1. I absolutely love the picture of the fox! We have also had lots of snow days, but I'm sure you Canadians would laugh at what constitutes a snow day here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It only takes an inch to get us out of school because our county doesn't budget much money for snow removal and treating the roads. Also, it's best to watch out with these non-experienced drivers in the snow around here! I lived in snowy Colorado for a few years, so fortunately I've got a little experience under my belt.

  2. Kim, I'll email you a pic of the snow removal and banks around here. We passed an inch some time ago! Stay safe!

  3. We're not used to the snow down here in GA, so getting a snow day this week was a treat. I have seen many deer near my house, but never a fox! I'm impressed that you still had class via your website and am intrigued by your reader's notebook.

    1. Thanks, Leah! The foxes are beautiful. This guy was standing there totally checking out my living room. I wish I had gotten him face on before he ran away.

  4. That notebook is pretty. I think older students take pride in making projects that are pleasant looking.

    Every once in awhile I have a fox in my backyard, but mostly deer.

  5. Wow- that fox! So cool you snapped a picture! Thanks for linking up!


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