I am not even going to pretend that I have any idea how to successfully implement eLearning.
This whole process seems like a wild dream (or maybe a nightmare?) for me.
HOWEVER, I am trying my darnedest to make it as simple and effective as possible.
Just for some background…
I will be teaching two sections of middle school math (6th and 7th grade), along with 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade STEM.
I am in NO way an expert on any of this — but who really is?
I am very fortunate to have an amazing admin team, supportive staff members, and eager students to help make this process as painless as possible. I am sure that there will be many fails and challenges coming up, but the huge silver lining to all of this is seeing how our whole community is coming together to create the best possible solution for reaching our learners while keeping everyone safe.
Before I begin, keep in mind that you are not going at this alone. Everyone is new to this and we are all going through it together. How I am setting up online learning might not be a perfect fit for your learners, but hopefully I can help give some ideas to help assist you during this challenging time.
We got this!
For my 6th and 7th grade math kiddos, I have created Microsoft Teams for us to easily communicate through. I have uploaded files on there to discuss expectations and their weekly assignments.
I also created a FAQ sheet for parents and students to hopefully help them better navigate this online learning environment.
The fabulous thing about using Teams is that the students are already familiar with using this platform in school, so there shouldn’t be a huge learning curve.
I highly recommend using online tools and platforms that your students have already had exposure to or have mastered in the classroom to avoid technology hindering from the overall learning experience. This will make your (and the parents!) job MUCH easier!
Along with Teams, my students will also be completing their online assignments using Pearson Realize, which is the online version of our math curriculum: Envisions. Also something that the kids were already using in our classroom.
As far as the teaching aspect, I will share videos I have created using Screencastify, I will be sharing videos through Pearson Realize, and I will have an ongoing chat in our Teams. I will have office hours Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 4 where I will be available to communicate with students and parents. Through Teams, I will be able to chat with students on a real time level, provide additional support when needed, and even “meet” with small groups to offer reteaching.
I am also creating and sending weekly newsletters with hyperlinks to all activities to both students and parents. These newsletters will lay out what each student should be completing each day. Since the parents are NOT in the Teams with us, it gives them an idea what what their child will be completing each week. I will be communicating the newsletters via Teams, email, and our school website.
As mentioned in the newsletter, any student that is scoring below a 75% on an assignment will have to schedule a time to video conference with me on Teams. This, to me, will be set up like a small group – similar to what I would do in the classroom. During this call, they will have to explain their thinking of what they missed on the assignment and we will talk through any misconceptions. We will do a reteach assignment using the “I do, We do, You do” model. Mastery of a standard for my math class is a 75% and above, so in order to show mastery – the student will be given another chance after the small group.
The 3rd – 6th grade STEM assignments will be delivered through their classroom teacher to avoid having the students keep track of so many different Teams, log ins, emails, etc.
For them, I have created 2 lessons that are ready to be rolled out when the classroom teacher is ready to incorporate them.
To keep it simple, I created a Word document that includes all information needed to complete activities, options for free extra activities, and the assignments — which I got from Kelser Science on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I choose to find assignments on TpT instead of using our curriculum because they are easier for parents to assist with and also require little to no additional materials. Our curriculum at school incorporates a lot of hands-on activities that would be hard to facilitate through this eLearning. However, I did include hands-on activities for them to do at home using materials that they already have!
Other pages of the document also includes free websites and activities for the students to do.
It’s not pretty, but here is the cover of the Word document that I created…
I hope that you found tidbits of information in this post that can better help you prepare and teach online.
Remember to keep in mind that almost all of us are totally new to completely teaching online. Be prepared for there to be failures and unforeseen challenges, but also be prepared to overcome them. It is going to take some time and resilience to have this be successful.
Take your time and give yourself some grace! Your students will be grateful to just know that you are there for them.
I will update you all as we go along! Good luck and hope to talk to you soon!
Tell Alexa to play ” We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical — because we really are!