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How my students spent snowcation

January 28, 2011

As part of a weekly feedback, I asked my students the following question:

In the space below, describe what you learned over the snow break. (This question is intentionally vague).

My favorite:

I learned that it is always good to make the most out of everything. When my sled broke, I started making sleds out of different things like oven pans so that I could enjoy the first ice storm in my life. Taking something out of everything in life helps teach lessons and always allows for fun.

The rest answers were quite varied, but mostly snow themed. There are a few surprises, and overall it left me wondering what school would be like if we truly allowed students some fraction of their day to explore things that mattered to them on their own, and followed up to ask them about what they learned. Would they “make the most out of everything?”

Read on for the rest of the responses.

Over snow break i learned that when you have the amount of time like we did over that week, that is when your growth mindset should kick in and encourage you to learn and read things about current events, etc.

I learned:
1. A new piece of the violin and I finally finished the old one. I read it all
2 I learned how to cook Creme Broule and I loved it!
3. I finally used a can of spray paint that I had since I was little and I learned that if you made a design on paper and then put it on a wall and then you spray paint it, theres the design.
4. My dad taught me how the stock market works and I loved how it was very arithmetic. I saw the effects of 9 11 and the repression in 2009.
5. my dad also taught me the physics of flying a plain. He drew an FBD of a plane and I learned what the drift and the drag was. The weight and then how the wings are the force that pulls the plain up. It was interesting how the shape of the wing helps the plain stay up.

I learned that sledding can hurt, and if you own enough video games it is very hard to be bored while stuck in your house.

I learned about how dependent we’ve gotten on technology. I actually think about this so often… if everything just dissapeared… all the techonology, we wouldn’t be able to fend for ourself. I mean, even just those few inches of snow rendered us useless. We couldn’t go out, couldn’t do anything except stay inside and clean our houses or lounge around. What happened to our natural instinct? We’ve learned to depend so much on technology that we no longer have any way to live anymore. I guess that’s cool and all, but where do we move on beyond this? Can maximum technology ever be reached? :/

It isn’t so much something I learned, but something that never really registered to me. I noticed that at night it was unusually bright outside, which I came to realize was because of the moon’s light reflecting off of the snow. It seems like it would be obvious, but I had never even given it a thought before.

over the snow break i learned:
Physics: ice means virtually no friction, therefore there are no forces pushing you forward on the ice and then you fall
Photography: condensation makes your camera isn’t focused even though it is so it’s best to use manual focus
Politics: it is not wise to run for the same position as your best friend for a board
Harry Potter: A very potter musical should definitely go to NY

I learned that it isn’t good idea to try to push a car on the snow when you’re on the snow. I learned that trying to pick up dog poop is nearly impossible when it in sunken into blocks of ice. I also learned that even with new shoes, ice is nearly frictionless.

I had a lot of fun in the snow/ ice covered snow. when i first went outside the night it started snowing, the snow was easy to walk on, you didnt slip around, but then the next morning, when ice started covering the snow and roads, you had to be really careful because there was a lot less friction which made it easier to lose your footing and slip. The sledding was also a lot better over the ice because you went a lot faster without the friction to slow you down.

Over the snowbreak, I mostly relaxed and hung out and enjoyed my days off of school. I caught up on the sleep that I so badly needed. One thing that I did learn though is that when I take risks and put my mind to something I can do anything. I mean, I already knew that but this really confirmed my belief. The weekend before we came back to school after the snowbreak, I went to snowshoe, WV and snowboarded with my church. I learned how to snowboard this Christmas break and could only go up to blues, but on the church trip, I took some risks and went on blacks and was fine!

I have learned not to use a skim board for a sled. Fiber glass does not bode well for the lungs. I have learned that my house is not the place for 15 teenagers. I learned that Guster is my favorite band. I learned that high school parties destroy middle school parties. on a knowledge stand point I read an article about the effects of hearing loss and how to determine if you have become effected. apparently wether or not you hear the “t” in talk and other things like that is the indicator

To be honest, I didn’t really learn anything. I got all of your emails, and thought that it would be cool to try the experiments with the ice, but I was not really motivated, and I decided to use that snow week as an opportunity to relax and just enjoy my time off. I had a lot of fun, played in the snow everyday, and just enjoyed a week of relaxation, and I came back to school with more enthusiasm, ready to learn.

I learned that sledding down sheets of ice is very,very fun.

I learned how dangerous ice can be.

Over the break, I learned that only being able to go to places i could walk to for a week can be torture. I was tired of being with the same people at the same places for an extended period of time. I learned that you can watch an entire Project Runway season in a short period of time, and I also realized that Bobby Jones is awesome for sledding.

Over the snow break I learned a lot about my parent’s finances. My dad is an and has his studio downstairs at my house. There is a small office next to it that my dad is giving me for my projects/workspace. However before I could set up camp there I had to clean it out. That included organizing and filing a stack about one and a half feet tall of my parents’ bills that was sitting on the desk in there. It took me four days to separate them all into the individual accounts, put everything into chronological order, and then get everything into the file cabinets. You can believe I got a good lesson in home economics over that time period.

I don’t believe I really learned a lot in terms of projects I want to/am working on as I mostly spent the break relaxing (as it was one of a very, very few substantial tennis breaks). I believe I should have read more, etc. but relaxing can be equally important and I spent some time with my best friend who does not go to . I suppose I learned how to shovel snow and to always do it right after it snows, before it ices.

I learned that if you put gravel on the roads with ice on them, they will be safer because cars will be able to get traction on the gravel. I also learned that ice is very slippery in unexpected spots

Over snow break I discovered that it is very dangerous to be walking down a nearly frictionless steep slope. I also learned that when I don’t have something to do the next morning I often will stay up until morning, meaning 12-1AM

I learned that it is very hard to drive in the snow due to the many frictionless, icy surfaces on the roads. I also learned that it isn’t smart sledding head first on ice since you can face plant and cut yourself up, the way many of my friends did.

I learned that it is always good to make the most out of everything. When my sled broke, I started making sleds out of different things like oven pans so that I could enjoy the first ice storm in my life. Taking something out of everything in life helps teach lessons and always allows for fun.

Over the snow break I learned that there is nothing wrong with being bored, because it leads to all sorts of awesome things. The first couple of days I got to absorb the whole winter wonderland experience, probably playing in the snow with friends more than the average 8 year-old. After the snow turned into ice I had to resort to indoor activities. I got a little creative with our dwindling food supply, creating everything from delicious chicken pizzas to banana muffins (some creations tasted a little bit better than others). I also uncovered the guitar hero, that I hadn’t played since 7th grade and my sister and I had fun rocking out. My point is, invention comes out of necessity, and when you are trapped in your house you sure find lots of inventive things to do.

I learned that sledding on ice can hurt much more than sledding on snow. 😦

Wellll…I learned that its much more dangerous to drive on ice than i thought it was, and that its the worst when you use your breaks on the ice rather than just let the car coast over the ice. I also asked my dad why salt counteracts the ice and he replied that the salt lowers the freezing point of the ice to prevent melting ice from refreezing. I also learned that last year.

I learned a bit about electricity and momentum.

I learned how slippery the ice is! I learned that there is less friction on a sled than on your clothes (you slide easier on a sled than on your butt). I also learned why salt helps snow not freeze.

I didn’t really learn any academics related things over the snow break, but I did learn some things about skiing.

I learned about snow and ice (and how slippery ice really is). I learned about random current events from Yahoo… and I read a lot of books over the snow break, so I guess I learned some life lessons?

i learned how to make a whirly gig! i learned of something called craigslist and i learned that there are websites for collleges. i learned how to make candles and i learned how to make paper beads. i learned how to order things online and i learned about snowflakes, how they actually look. i learned how to do a split. i learned alot of random things.

I learned morse code, although I’m not very good at listening to it.

I didn’t learn anything over the snow break. I spent the time sledding with my best friend, reading and relaxing.

Actually, I took the opportunity to acquire the services of a “tutor” (David) to help me go through a review book for the Physics SAT II. This was a great opportunity to get a lot of it out of the way while my tutor is available and so am I. I also learned a little about how to drive in icy weather which I’m sure will be useful in a few years.

I learned that i get really bored with nothing to do and no way to get out on all the ice. I learned that i am not as weak minded as i thought in the sense that i actually worked out every day during the break as i was planning to do

Om…I didn’t really learn anything about physics but I did learn that relaxation is a healing process and that slowing down when you can is absolutely essential to life because you miss important things if you don’t.

I realized how long a day actually is and you can either choose to be proactive with the day or can just throw the day away and completely do nothing. I think i did both of these things over the snow break and i definitely chose to be proactive next time i get the chance, because at the end of the day when i look back at it, i feel more accomplished when i try doing stuff rather than sit around being a couch potato.

Over the break I rested and spent time with my family. I caught up on my schoolwork and with my friends, and I simply had time in which I did not have to do anything.

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