School’s Closed! (But has the learning stopped?)
Wednesday, January 06th, 2010 | Author:

As you may have noticed today, it snowed. A lot. Here in Hampshire, a lot of schools were closed as they were across the rest of the country. 

Now what happens to the children’s learning while the school is closed? This could be due to snow, burst water pipe or whatever. What do you do to continue the learning? Now, I must say that if my school was closed for a day due to snow, I would be encouraging pupils to get out there and enjoy it. It doesn’t happen much in my part of Hampshire! But what if it is closed for 2 or 3 days? a week? Is there something in place for the children? Even if they do go and play in the snow, they will want to come in the warm eventually and maybe they will venture online…Maybe they live away from their friends and would love to have the chance to chat online. Maybe they are just enthusiastic about their learning? If set as an optional task, then this will definitely win over parents. Be careful that it isn’t set as compulsory, especially if not all of your pupils have internet access.
I heard reports of schools using VLEs last year in the Far East when Swine Flu was a problem, but it hasn’t really been mentioned much here in the UK until now. 

I saw a lot of Twitter posts from the likes of @primarypete_ and @Deputymitchell about their ‘snow lessons’ that went on today and I know that these inspired other teachers too. I was sitting here wishing I had a class to work with! In Hampshire we are in the middle of our rollout for the VLE, lots of schools are using it a little bit and quite a few have it embedded throughout the school. How many have been using it today? It is hard to tell without looking into the stats and that will come in a few days time. But what did your school do? Did you plan anything?

So what could you do if it was snowing? How about:

*Using descriptive language to describe a snowman example 
*How deep is the snow outside?
*Give the children a title and ask them to write a story on PrimaryPad together
*Using a gallery to share pictures of the view from their house and describing what they can see
*Using these descriptive words to write a story setting / start a story
*Embedding videos of the snow and asking the children to discuss a new form of transport to cope with the weather
There are some things that can be done and set up for the children to access without a teacher and some with teachers involved. From what I can gather, most of these examples had teachers online with the children too. But if you don’t want to be as involved (or you fancy going outside yourself) then why not set up some activities for them to do?

Studywiz has a great gallery tool. Get the children to upload photos of their garden and use the comment box underneath to describe it. Think about the vocabulary, think about how your sentences make the reader feel.As a teacher you could start this off and let the children access it throughout the day. Some of people on Twitter sent texts to their children informing them when the online lesson would start, but having resources available to all is also an option. 

It really shows the potential of the technology. I know a few schools are now planning to add activities for the children as they enter the 2nd or 3rd day of snow.  
Very exciting indeed!

For a much better description of what went on, read about it below on their blogs instead:
I would watch the Twiddla link on medium/fast, lesson starts around 340, the number is in the top left.