Thursday, March 22, 2018

Teach 180: Yet Another Snow Day - Ugh! (Day 125)

Technically, this is snow day #7 for us.  (Snow day #6 was on a day of conferences and teachers had to reschedule the conferences on their own time.)  All of our snow days have happened since January 1.  If you also include the regular days off, like President's Day and MLK Day, we have had a very inconsistent schedule in 2018.  The graphic below shows this inconsistency.  An Blue box with an X means NO SCHOOL; this was a planned day off from school.  Red means "Snow Day" and Yellow means 2 hour delay or early dismissal.  When we have a 2 hour delay or early dismissal, the classes that were scheduled to meet at the beginning of the day or the end of the day don't happen. 
The class I am most concerned about is AP Statistics.  The AP exam is scheduled for Thursday, May 17.  However, the seven school days leading up to that include senior exams or other AP exams.  This means that I might not see my students in class in the few days just before they take their AP exam.  Therefore, the bulk of their review needs to happen prior to May 1. 

Since January 1, I have seen my period A class for a total of 28 one-hour class periods.  My period F class I have seen a total of 30    one-hour class periods.  I have lost 6 hours of instructional time for period A and 4 hours of instructional time for period F. 

That translates into one less week of time for review.  For the past eight or nine years, my students have reviewed one chapter a day for 12 consecutive school days.  Now they will need to review 2 or 3 chapters each time we meet.  The fact that on Monday I had one of my "A" students ask me, "What is the median, again?" has me very, very concerned.

I know that there are other AP teachers that get zapped by snow days in the Northeast and rush to complete the curriculum and review.  If you have any thoughts on minimalist reviews, I would love to hear from you.


  1. I bet you get a lot done on a Saturday or some after-school review sessions. Missing that much would be tough to just wave goodbye. I would focus on a few content themes (top three requested) and then just power through mixed review with both multiple choice and some FRQ's.

    This year, my goal is to do one summarizing activity for each of the seven units that students can work on in their own time. I provide a FRQ list for my students to study (à la Josh Tabor) . I randomly pick 3 + an investigative task and then assess them on those.

  2. Unfortunately, many of the kids have sports practice after school or jobs. Due to other conflicts that I have, the only Saturday that might work is April 21 or May 5. I have never done a Saturday review session in my 12+ years of teaching AP. I think it hypes the kids up too much and we always had enough time to review in the past. The key word is HAD.

    I am planning on 8 free-response questions between May 1 and May 16. That is something new for me. To require them to do one specific problem each day. Maybe that will work. (Fingers crossed.)