What a day. I am completely exhausted.
Until today I had never experienced a snowy day in kindergarten. I had no idea what I was in for. Not even first grade prepared me for this. If you are ever wondering about the meaning of life or caught up in an existential thought, come to kindergarten on a snowy day. The magic and excitement flying around the room will just make you happy to be alive.
The snow fell a bit this morning but around 9am starting floating down slowly and steadily. Frequently, throughout the day, a little one would tug on my shirt, tap me on the arm, or just yell across the room, "Hey! It's snowing!" "Did you know? It's snowing!" "There is SNOW out there!"
You find yourself thinking, "Good grief! It's like they've never seen snow before" and then you realize that for some of them its true. They haven't. None of the kindergartners have experienced what school is like on a snowy day, but some of our children just came into the country from more tropical locations. For some of them it truly was their first experience with white flakes falling out of the air. So they look at us like we're crazy when we pull out the reading books and tell them to sit on their bottoms. No wonder they keep reminding us about the snow! We clearly forgot the world is covered in white magic if we think reading workshop is going to happen...
One little boy who recently entered the country just stood and talked on and on about the snow (and I later learned, his brand new boots). He spoke in nothing but excited Spanish and although I can sometimes understand Spanish, excited, hurried, kindergartner on a snowy day Spanish is another thing entirely. I just stared at his huge brown eyes containing that glow of wonder.
So many of the great teachers I co-teach with knew not to fight it. They took their classes outside for snow walks, generated lists of snowy words, and encouraged snowy stories in writing workshop. One little boy explained to me in great detail what it was like to have snow touch his nose. Fantastic vocabulary practice if nothing else!
I shamelessly abused the magic of the snow for lunch club and we read The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats and then painted snow scenes. It was pure gold. During the reading and painting they'd occasionally stop and say, "Hey! Mrs Lipstick... there is snow at the window! Snow in the book! And snow in the window!"
It was magic, but I wont complain if we have a two-hour delay tomorrow. Or even more snow so they have to close schools altogether. Pajamas, inside out everyone!