Kansas State University


College of Education

Snow Days: Keeping Your Lessons Flexible

person walking in the snow
Bluemont Hall decorated by a winter snowfall.

Snow days bring their share of questions and hassles, as students and adults alike are asking: Will school let out early because of the snow? Will we have school tomorrow? And, for you, the teacher, just how do you adjust your amazing lesson plans?

Keep these things in mind as you experience your first snow days:

  • Be ready for interruptions. You may have more tardies and absences, since students may not be able to get to school on time. Understand that that is a possibility and know that you’ll probably need to help tardy students get back on track with the rest of the class.
  • BE FLEXIBLE! Your daily calendar and lesson plans can fall victim to the weather. Remember that it’s truly no one’s fault (unless you want to blame yourself for not taking that teaching job in Hawaii). The calmer you deal with these changes, the calmer your students will respond, as well.
  • Expect your students to be more excited and bubbly–as they wait to hear an early release announcement or as they come back to school after a snow day and want to discuss what they did on their day off. If it’s a real problem, alter your activities to include more desk work, which should keep your students a little calmer.
  • Take advantage of the season, if possible. If your students are excited about the snow, try to alter your assignments to make the most of it. For English class, can you work in some winter poetry? Or snow images for art? How can you work in a brief study of weather in one of your classes? Check out this website: Snow Day Resources
  • Have “extra” but meaningful assignments prepared to keep students focused. If they’re bubbling because of the weather, don’t be surprised if they fly through the regular activities and you need to supplement. Down time and snow days aren’t a good combination!
  • Take a few minutes to simply enjoy the fun spirit that a new snowfall can create! You have a front-row ticket to possibly the best place there is to experience the world: Your classroom.
  • And, finally, if and when you DO get a snow day, enjoy! Cozy up to a hot chocolate, a good book, or some binge-worthy TV time. Don’t let your students have ALL the fun.