When we started online learning in February, it was a whole lotta learning for me. I usually think of myself as a person that embraces new situations and new technology well, but the learning curve was great and Covid-stress was high. Overall, I think I adapted pretty well…but, here we are again. I do not relish the idea of beginning a year with new students this way. I think getting to know them and them getting to know me this way will be more challenging…I usually look forward to the beginning of the year meeting the kids, getting to know how they work, what they like, who they are in the classroom…but this is what we have. I am going forward hoping for the best!
I have been thinking about how to get to know my new students, how to engage them (considering they probably are a bit tired of online learning as well), and how to teach them the skills they need to learn. Here is part of my thinking:
I plan to teach our first mini-unit on reading called The Plot Thickens. The goals for this unit are:
-Readers develop a deeper understanding through reflection of text.
-Story is a powerful way to bring a human perspective to the issues that affect people’s lives.
-There is power in collaborative discussion to understand an idea or topic.
– Stories teach lessons. There are many ways to dig into a story to discover these lessons.
*these are in progress as team fleshes them out a bit more.
Two areas I am interested in focusing one are Captivate and Care as I feel these are super important at this time.
I plan to engage by:
– Welcome sessions and daily sessions on Zoom
– mini lessons, how to lessons via Loom
-small group discussion depending on short story selected
– Co-teaching with Ms. Mai and our Instructional Partner
Not on the list above would also include things like a variety of activities to engage in, verbal and non-verbal discussion opportunities (small breakout groups and Parlay discussions), humor (when I can get it to work), and offering choice where we can within all units!
I plan to show my care by:
-get to know you activities in Zoom
– student selected short stories (and hopefully stories that engage them!)
-small group sessions
-written and video versions of tasks
-breakout rooms to get to know each other, make new friends
Here is my plan. It is a work in progress 🙂
I think I have a pretty good idea of how to teach via online learning. But last time, I knew the students and they knew me so we had more of a personal connection going into this type of ‘school’. It will be a bit more of a challenge this time around in that respect. But we can do it!
Communication will be essential. I think my humanities team will have to really communicate and plan well for this new learning and requirements. I also think we will have to have clear communication with the other teachers on our team (math and science) so that students are not over burdened by deadlines. The great thing is our team does have good communication and works well together, we will just have to work extra hard at it as we are all over the world at the moment and not seeing each other in the hallway each day!
I cannot wait to be back at ISB and for us all to be in one place, learning together!