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Adult Learning Center Readers and Writers Inspired by Winter Storm Juno

Jan. 26, 2015 - the start of a new cycle for the Adult Learning Center and ESOL classes throughout the 3 boroughs....

Jan. 27, 2015 - predicted to be perhaps the most snow ever to fall on New York in at least 100 years.

What's a teacher to do?! You know the old adage about "You only have one chance to make a first impression." Somehow, just canceling class did not seem ideal. But the NYPL is nothing if not with it when it comes to technology and the internet,  and as their English teacher,  I wrote to them all, expressing  my disappointment that the first day of classes on Tuesday would be canceled due to snow... AND gave them a writing assignment.  Why not?

In my classes in the past , we have encouraged writing by blogging! So up on the internet went:!  I notified the students in my two classes, and crossed my fingers that they would

  • Get my email and read it; and
  • Would find a way to  post  their snowday story, or email me a story, or use Facebook to communicate their experiences and photos.

AND THEY DID! They ranged—as our students' skill level ranges—from a sentence or two, to a couple of beautiful essays!  They referenced many of the things that we all know characterize a snowstorm (big or small)—long lines at supermarkets and bodegas, children oh so excited by a school day at home, bingeing on TV, etc. 

Students from Brazil and Africa, from Germany and the Ukraine—all responded differently to our "historical snowstorm"!  For some, this was "just another snowy day," while for a few... it was SNOWMAGEDDON!


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Fortitude - never sleeps

Hi Elaine. Thanks for sharing your blog. I saw the video of "Fortitude", our beloved lion, covered with a bit of snow. He looks like he might be napping but it's nice to know that the students in your classes at the Adult Learning Center remained hard at work even during the snowstorm. It's wonderful to hear how you all integrate technology into instruction and stay connected. I'm sure you'll all be happy to be back together in the library. I look forward to reading the stories. All the best to you, the students, the staff and volunteers! Ken English - Associate Director NYPL

Snowy Day Blog

Elaine, Really enjoyed reading and viewing your students' work. What a great way to "rescue" the first day of class and to learn something about your students at the same time.

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