On my campus, all of our teachers are teaching both online (to remote students) and face-to-face (with students physically in the classroom) simultaneously. We are working hard to keep relationship building and a strong classroom culture a top priority – especially since about half of the students in each class will be learning from home. One common idea for helping students connect to each other is asking them to answer some get to know you questions and then spotlighting one student per week or per day until all students have shared. Traditionally, at schools across the world, this has been done by cutting and gluing pictures onto poster board. In an effort to keep passing of papers at a minimum and to level the playing field with an assignment that students can complete online or can be printed and completed with paper and pencil, I created a Student Spotlight template!Continue reading
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
I’m preparing for an upcoming presentation and have been thinking of creative ways to split the participants into small groups without the overused “numbering-everyone-off” strategy. I’m enrolled in Tony Vincent’s Classy Creations course and this week one of the many things Tony taught us was how to create a tear-off sheet – you know, the kind that you often see posted in which you can tear off a tab of information to take with you. Even while watching Tony’s tutorial I knew THIS was the solution I was looking for! I could put a tear-off sheet at each table, ask participants to take one, and then get into small groups based on their tear-off. Continue reading
I don’t know about you… but I keep seeing Valentine’s cards at the grocery store! It’s that time of year to start getting Valentines ready for your personal kids, students, and colleagues. This year, I wanted to do something different than the grocery store folded cards and candy. I decided to create a sticker that can be printed on Avery 2″ circle labels so that I can place the labels on ANYTHING to turn it into a Valentine.
Here’s what I came up with:
When my daughter Madison was really little, I used to print on paper lunch bags and put treats, games, and activities inside for when we went on long trips. This way, she had something new to open and do every 30 minutes on our trips instead of being bored and asking again and again, “Are we there yet?”
When I was an Assistant Principal, I had an unconscious habit of always putting confiscated items in my desk drawer alongside typical desk drawer office supplies such as pens, pencils, rubber bands, and paper clips. It was not uncommon to open my desk drawer and see cute colored sticky notes right next to a pocket knife or skull-shaped toy waiting for a parent to pick up. Continue reading