About a week or so ago, feeling overwhelmed by the length of my to-do list and needing a break from actually accomplishing anything on it, I picked up my iPad and sketched out (what I thought was) a pretty to-do list.Continue reading
My district, like many others across the world, is offering families choice in how they receive instruction this fall. Families can choose face to face or distance instruction. At first thought, this task seems like teachers will have to create twice the activities – some for students to complete in person, and others for those students that will need to complete everything digitally. BUT on second thought, we can work smarter, not harder! Here are a few ideas (links to snag a copy of all templates below) for HYBRID activities using google slides that can be completed by students digitally or printed and completed with a pen or pencil.
On my campus, we are making plans to have our first ever VIRTUAL Meet the Teacher. While we can’t safely invite all parents and students into the building at this time, we still want everyone to get to meet their teacher and have a quick get-to-know-you conversation, see the classroom, practice walking from their entrance to class, AND we still need to gather lots of information from families. We know that just like when homeroom letters went home in the past, when these Virtual Meet the Teacher’s go out, parents and students will talk to each other and compare who got who. We want this to be a GREAT first impression for ALL of our teachers – so myself and three teachers from my school (Kelsey French, Brittany Laurell, and Ina Nguyen) developed a template for all teachers on campus to use with easy to follow instructions so that we all make the same GREAT first impression.Continue reading
I have seen so many educators on twitter, facebook, and instagram working on and sharing bitmoji classrooms. I love this! Teachers know that at least some of their students and families will choose to learn online this year due to the pandemic and they are working to make their online learning spaces just as warm, welcoming, and easy to navigate as their real-life classrooms! This is such a great place to start – but we can’t stop there. We’ve got to plan for great, engaging, research-proven strategies for learning – and we’ve got to come up with new ways for our content to be delivered ONLINE.Continue reading
On my campus (and I’m sure on many of yours) we are working on growing our blended learning practices. Many define blended learning differently. On our campus, when we say blended learning, we mean teaching our students in differentiated small groups based on data, while students work through a paper checklist that details what they need to complete in the areas of independent work, future ready (collaborative activities), and a digital component (this could be an additional mini-lesson from the teacher which has been recorded or adaptive software that meets students where they are to fill in gaps and take them farther).Continue reading
This summer, our district is providing live remote instruction utilizing Zoom and Schoology for summer school. I’m not a part of summer school, but have been lurking on facebook and twitter to learn from those who are! I’ve been most interested in HOW teachers are sharing content – HOW they are keeping themselves and students on track – and WHAT has been most beneficial. The constant I’ve seen in social media posts, conversations, and examples shared with me has been having a Google Slide Deck for the teacher to teach from throughout the day that contains all links, videos, examples, reminders (to self and students) all in one place. This Slide Deck is NOT shared with students for them to click through, but for them to see on the screen as the teacher is talking and teaching (teacher shares their screen). This has been helpful because (obviously) everything is in one place, but also because it is visual for students to easily follow along with.Continue reading
Recently, some colleagues and I were working collaboratively to create a document that captured our ideas. As we worked, one teammate said, “How did you just do that so fast?” I didn’t know what she meant. It was little shortcut I knew that she hadn’t learned yet. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference! I am a huge fan of any shortcut – no matter how tiny – that can shave time off my workload! Here are a few shortcuts for creating in google slides that – when used together – can save you a ton of time!Continue reading
On my campus, while we are working hard to meet the academic needs of students remotely, we are also focused on ensuring that students still feel connected to their teacher and their classmates. In the same way, while I want to meet the work needs of my staff members, I also want to ensure that we stay connected as a staff and continue to grow and build our culture – even remotely. Teachers are planning weekly class Zoom meetings for team building and culture building. As a staff, we are hanging out in a virtual staff lounge on Zoom and also sharing memes, jokes, and ideas on a staff padlet wall. Staying connected during this difficult time is so important for our students’ and our own mental health! After the first few – “It’s so great to see you” Zoom class or staff meetings, it can be hard to come up with more ideas for bonding and having fun together from a distance. Here are some ideas I’ve found across the internet that I hope you’ll find useful! Continue reading
As we all try to wrap our minds around teaching and learning remotely, a major concern is how to continue to connect individually with each and every student (or staff member if you are a school leader) when we are physically so far apart. I’ve brainstormed and collected a few ideas to get us started! Continue reading
In preparation for Day One of our emergency school closure due to COVID-19, I created a simple behavior chart to encourage and motivate my personal children to complete learning tasks and chores in order to earn game, screen, and toy time. I didn’t want them to start the day begging for my phone or vegged out in front of the TV… I was hopeful they would be happy to complete some learning activities with me. Both of my kids were REALLY excited when I showed them this chart (ages 8 and 4) and… we are mid-way through day one… and it is working great for us so far!