Sunday, August 9, 2020

My Plan: Week 1

First three days of distance learning are done.  

I have to say that it went well as far as logistics. I think it's because of two reasons.  One is that I taught summer school.  So that really helped me try out different ideas and get immediate feedback from kids.  The second is all the self-learning I did over the last four months.  Listening carefully to what others were doing when schools closed down mid-March, webinars and lots of conversations with the incredibly talented teachers on the #MtBoS.

I used the "less is more" to help guide my planning especially with all the tech issues and kids not knowing how to join. Another glitch was that admin assumed everyone would be using Canvas to start off with. I wasn't going to knowing that the platform had a bit of a learning curve and distance learning was already a huge curve being thrown at the kids.  

I wanted to start with something familiar; just like I do when teaching. Most kids are familiar with Google Classroom, so I am using that for a few weeks until I can build a decent connection and community with my kids.  Then we will ease into Canvas.  I am 100% certain that if I were to have started with Canvas, that would have been the focus; not the kids.  And I am so happy I made this decision.

One thing that really helped with time management was keeping kids in the waiting room and having them start on the "Attendance Question." I am definitely keeping this practice. 

The only way of communicating with families is email or individual phone calls. That made it extremely challenging and frustrating that our automated phone system wasn't set up so we can at least call en mass.  (By the way, it's still not set up and it has been 5 working days.) I have been calling home, but it's a slow go.  I can get through about 5 each day before I have to stop. Most take a lot of time because I am fluent in only one language - the one I am currently writing in. And the district doesn't have a department solely dedicated to helping teachers translating which is very strange considering how many of our families are more comfortable speaking a variety of other languages.

How many teenagers do you know that check their email regularly? I wager to say little to none. So that's a new habit.  That's why it was so important to get students signed up for Remind so we can text back and forth - a medium they are most comfortable in. 

My next task is to get parents and caregivers signed up for Talking Points. I have already sent out an email to parents and caregivers, but only 3 have signed up so far. So that's going to take some work.

One thing that I knew in my gut but pushed aside with all the insanity was how disconnected students felt from not being in school face to face.  The "Intro & Reflect" videos they turned in last Friday using Loom simply reinforced my intuition.

So that gave me the impetus for the upcoming week. But a quick reflect on last week.

 Day 1, August 5th:

  • Welcome each student
    • Use "Poll" feature in Zoom to check in with how they are doing
    • Ask: "How are you?"✔
  • Fundamental norms to follow on Zoom
    • Put distractions away✔
    • Active listening✔
    • Respectful & kindness✔
    • Use "Chat" only when instructed to do so✔
  • Students will sign up for Remind & Google Classroom, if they haven't done so already
    • Share code and get kids to sign up right then and there✔
    • Share screen showing who's signed up
    • Give students a few minutes to take "Attendance" question in Google Classroom✔
  • Students will create a Desmos account
  • Play "Collecting Numbers" by Kurt Salisbury, a modified version to fit my time frame
    • Set pacing to slide 1 & 2✔
Day 2, August 6th:
  • Welcome each student
    • Use "Poll" feature in Zoom to check in with how they are doing
    • Have students find something that represents how they feel and have them hold up and have them share why in the chat
  • Continue to practice online norms✔
  • Any students who haven't signed up for Remind & Google Classroom will do so✔
  • Give students a few minutes to take "Attendance" question in Google Classroom✔
  • Remind students to complete the survey with their caregivers as soon as possible
  • #mathartchallenge by @anniek_p: "Looping Colors"
Day 3, August 7th:
  • Welcome each student
    • Use "Poll" feature in Zoom to check in with how they are doing (period 6 only)
    • Ask: "How are you?"✔
  • Give students a few minutes to take "Attendance" question in Google Classroom✔
  • Ask any student if they want to share their #mathartchallenge from yesterday or take some time to finish
  • Continue to practice online norms✔
  • Give any students time who need to sign up for Remind, Google Classroom
  • Review schedule for next week & make sure students are signed up for Remind & Google Classroom✔
  • Let students know that their small group assignments during the 80 minute block will be posted in Google Classroom in the Stream and will be emailed Saturday morning(This is still in the works.)
    • 3 20 minute blocks
    • Average size of each small group will be about 12 
    • Small group will then be broken up into smaller pods of 3 to 4
  • Have students create a Loom video doing a quick intro and giving feedback to the 1st 3 days & turn into Google Classroom as first assignment✔
Now onto week 1!  After doing more listening and learning, I am changing gears a little bit. The goal is to move from me getting to know the kids to the kids getting to know each other.  From the videos that I have seen so far, the kids miss seeing their friends a lot. The question becomes then how do I build a sense of community online? Well, I really don't have a definitive answer. But I do know from teaching summer school, small groups is the key.

So this week forward, I will take the 80 minute block we have and break apart the class into small groups. But I think I will start with the whole class first and then the class will split.

Day 4: Learning Goals
  • Give 10 to 15 minutes to answer the "Attendance" question.
  • Assign students into one of 2 groups.
  • Each group's task will be to discuss and answer the following (20 to 25 mins):
    • What does working and learning together look like online?
    • What does working and learning together not look like online?
    • Students will jot down ideas in a notebook as they discuss recording who said what
Day 5: Learning Goals
  • Give 10 to 15 minutes to answer the "Attendance" question.
  • Students will be in same groups.
  • Each group's task will be to:
    • One person to create a Google Slide and share with other team members
    • Each person will contribute typing into slide based on what was shared last class
    • Add audio/video note from each person reading using "Record to Slides" Chrome app (not sure of this, might just have my Math 2H test it out for me)
The homework for the week will be to do the Desmos "Getting to Know you."

1 comment:

  1. Dear Ms. Basu,
    I have a question for you. I am studying for my CFA exam and feel quite stressed about d-day. How can I calm my nerves and retain information. Thank you!


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