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Stuck in the Middle: Play Based Learning in the Snow

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Stuck in the Middle: Play Based Learning in the Snow
by Kal Russell - Tuesday, 7 February 2017, 10:43 AM

Stuck in the Middle: Play Based Learning in the Snow

This week we were treated to a rare snow day on Vancouver Island. Thankfully we did not have a chaotic start to the day because our Superintendent, Dr. Elder, make a quick and much-appreciated call that "School was Closed: Snow Day!"  Fortunately for Middle School parents, this is not much of an inconvenience, because children this age are able to stay home by themselves.  We did have a dozen kids show up for school and since the school was officially closed I happily greeted them with snowballs.  Of course, all my throws missed, but I did take one in the back.  Once the snowball fight was over, we were able to contact parents and all students were headed home for a day of play.  

As educators, we could probably not have planned a field trip this engaging for children. As I left North Saanich to go home I was delighted to see kids and their families playing on the school fields. When I arrived home, my road was covered with children outside playing. All these kids that I knew lived in my neighbourhood, but I never see outside, had swarmed out of their houses like ants on a hot dog. Some were tobogganing down the hills, while others were making snow forts. I watched in amazement at the creative play taking place in the white fluffy snow and realized that we had been blessed with a great learning opportunity. Children were engaged in active physical and creative snow play that only happens periodically on our temperate island. Thankfully, we were able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.  Our students, enjoying the “day off” were likely unaware that they had spent the day engaged in play based learning and physical education!

A warm cup of hot chocolate and a book are a great way to end a snow day.  Here is a short list of winter-themed books that our students can find in the NSMS Learning Commons. 

Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
Brian’s Winter - Gary Paulsen
Breadcrumbs - Anne Ursu
Icefall - Matthew J. Kirby
Trapped in Ice - Eric Walters
Winter Hawk Star - Sigmund Brouwer

Go Snow Hawks!