Switching mid-stream to online teaching in February was a daunting task that the grade 5 team met head on. We quickly divvied up responsibility for recording content lessons so that each teacher didn’t have to bear the burden of creating their own versions of basically the same thing. Early on, we saw that students needed opportunities to connect with each other online, so we created an activity choice board connected to Flipgrid, arranged for grade–wide drop-in zoom meetings, and put on class assemblies. This experience revealed, more than any PD training could, just how important the social and emotional aspects of learning are.
Even though most students will start the year on campus, many teachers won’t, so there will still be an online component to daily instruction. In their article, “How to Teach Online So All Students Feel Like They Belong,” Becki Cohn-Vargas and Kathe GoGolewski emphasize the importance of nurturing students’ sense of who they are and how they fit in. “The confidence, resilience, and hope cultivated from identity-safe practices during this pandemic can greatly ease entry into the uncertain times ahead.” Students have been seriously impacted by COVID-19, and will continue to be. They will need opportunities to reconnect with friends and the greater ISB community, and to reestablish their sense of identity within those groups.
Of the 5Cs, I will focus most on Care because that is what students need most now. I plan to do that by creating lessons and including activities that deliver content but also strengthen relationships among students and between students and teachers. I will collaborate with my teammates and draw upon our collective creativity to develop ways to help build a strong community across grade 5 and throughout the school. As before, we will pull together to support our students and each other as we forge ahead into unchartered territory toward common goals.
I had set a professional goal of becoming better at Conferring with my students this year, but after seeing how my class answered the 7Cs survey questions, I’m going to add another goal: Clarify. I was somewhat surprised by the data derived from the survey but I can see how my teaching will improve if I work harder to check for student understanding and provide more ways for students to access the content.
Some steps to take this month:
- Put yellow/green signal cards at each desk that will let me know when a student needs more information or explanation
- Provide examples of successful student work so the class will better understand what they’re working towards
- Ask more often for formative check-ins using fingers or thumbs to help me see whether I need to target individuals, small groups, or the whole group for further instruction
Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.
- Decide on your goal, perhaps in consultation with your colleagues or principal, and create a post to share with this online professional learning community that you are now a part of! Categorise this post in Goal Setting. Set your goal by considering:
- Self assessment and reflection based on new teacher standards (Tripod 7C’s)
- Previous or new observation data from peers and principals
- Student surveys (online surveys developed and aligned with 7C’s)
- Identify colleagues, coaches, principals etc. that will play a supporting role in achieving your goal, and invite them to view and comment on your post. Encourage them to bookmark your blog and visit regularly.
- Throughout the year, collect and share evidence to support your progress. Categorise these posts in Reflection.
- Encourage your colleagues to share your learning journey by engaging with your blog. In return, engage with their blog (and others across the School)
- You may also like to share work that your students have created or your own professional achievements that may not be directly related to your goal setting. This is encouraged! Categorise these posts as Showcase.
If you need support using this platform, please don’t hesitate to contact Ed Tech, we are always happy to be of assistance!