Our Kindergarten will start the online learning model from September 1st, then students will be back to school on the 8th. I’m writing this blog on the flight back to China finally after stacking in the UK for the last six months. I will finish my quarantine in Guangzhou on the 7th, and with great hope that I may be able to welcome my students back on campus the first day they are back! With two years of teaching Kinder DL program and one term of teaching on-line last year, I am more hopeful for this academic year than fears.
Although I will have a new teaching partner again, Susan is bilingual and has a Chinese/English background herself. I believe she will have a good understanding of the dual-language program. We will make a great team again.
I believe that I have been doing a good job with blended station learning in the past years. The past four and a half months on-line teaching did make me rethink that how should I use Seesaw assigned activities and screencasting to facilize my language learners with their learning, instead of always ask an adult to be with them. The on-line teaching experience also gave me new ideas on how to better document students’ learning and progress in math besides formative and summative assessment. I can create exit tickets on Seesaw with the math standard attached to them or use the activities as one of the stations, which would leave a great deal of data for each unit, as well as leaving records of students’ learning on their port-polio.
I want to better develop the partner teaching of Writer’s Workshop with Susan as well. We will aim to plan specific teaching points across both languages each week. We will offer students with the dual language writing papers so that students can write their books using all the skills they learned from both of us and use their first language to support the other language learning on writing. With the design of the new classrooms, which would offer us the opportunity of setting both Dragons and Phoenixes writing folders at the common area, so students have access to their writing folder no matter they are with me or Susan. This way, our students will have all their writing in both languages, instead of separated books in Chinese or English. We will aim to put students’ iPads and their personal baskets in the common area as well so that our students do not need to swap basket every lunchtime because of the AM/PM schedule.
I am also going to focus more on students’ social-emotional learning this year. Build-in check-ins for my daily routine, have mini-lessons or focused skills during morning meetings so that students can understand their feelings better, be able to share their feelings, and learn ways of deal with the negative emotions. I will introduce different activities I learned from Project Zero to not only make students learning visible but their emotions and feelings visible as well.
I believe this is going to be a great year with lots of hopes and aims. The Coronavirus won’t defeat us, but make us better and stronger than ever!