Online Learning, Week 2

Last week was quite a transition as we shifted to online learning. Zoom meetings were great fun and helped us maintain a connection to one another. Students (and parents) learned about how to access Google Classroom, gmail, Seesaw, and more. It was a steep learning curve for us all, but I saw steady improvement each day!

This week, we will begin Unit 7 in language arts. “Blast! Crash! Splash!” explores the guiding question of what forces can change the Earth. Students will be reading about volcanos, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural forces that change the Earth’s surface. This week, our spelling work (at the end of this post) focuses on words with the hard and soft c and g sounds. Our grammar topic this week is adverbs. In writing, students will investigate how using imagery and sensory detail helps the reader to envision and imagine the story. Students will be working on writing with imagery.

In. math, we will continue to investigate the relationship between multiplication and division. We will look at how facts can relate to one another, such as what happens when one factor is doubled. Students will develop strategies for using their understanding of multiplication to solve division problems.

As we continue to refine our practice of online learning, here are a few reminders and adjustments:

  • Students should be using Google Classroom as the hub for all assignments.
    • This week, I’ve begun naming assignments with the day/date on which it should be done. I hope that helps with finding and finishing work.
    • When an assignment is complete, students should attach a photo of their work (or complete attached Google files such as a Doc or Form), and mark the assignment as complete. This will help me to locate student work more efficiently. If they aren’t able to attach the photo, have them post a comment for me and they may email it.
    • Assignments that are incomplete or missing attached work will be returned.
  • Seesaw works best for public presentations, such as book projects. I’d prefer that students NOT post their daily work on Seesaw as it become visible to the whole class and is more difficult for me to assess.
  • Students are encouraged to contact me through email or Zoom between 9AM and 3PM. They can see on their contacts list if I am available (there is an icon by my name. If it’s a red camera, I’m in a meeting). After 3, they can email me at agould@stmichael.net.

I enjoyed seeing pictures of students’ work spaces! If you have photos of the kids doing schoolwork (or other home projects), send them to me or Mr. Hawes (ahawes@stmichael.net) and he’ll post them on the Facebook Page. I’ve moved into a work studio space at my house and have even brought in a few items from the classroom to make it feel right. Here are a couple pics or where I’m doing my work – I’ve relocated their artifact photos to my home. It’s nice to see their faces!

If you have questions or feedback, feel free to let me know. I look forward to seeing the kids at tomorrow morning’s Zoom!

 

Spelling: Words with Hard and Soft c, g

  1. against
  2. arctic
  3. average
  4. canyon
  5. cyclone
  6. dangerous
  7. distance
  8. exciting
  9. fierce
  10. gigantic
  11. gully
  12. iceberg
  13. regular
  14. secure
  15. surface

Watch-Out Words

  • soar
  • sore
  • weather
  • whether

Friday Assessments

Tomorrow, the class will be taking language arts assessments. They will access their tests through www.myngconnect.com. I asked them to try logging in today and I hope that they were all successful. I made a brief video to show how to get to their tests:

[Important: On the Writing, Editing, and Revising Unit Assessment, students DO NOT need to answer question 12. The literary response writing task they have done this week will take its place.]

In addition to the online assessments, student will need to have someone at home give them a spelling test for this week’s words. I’ll put the list at the end of this post. Have them take a picture of the test and attach it to their Google Classroom Assignment.

Students may have questions during their assessments. It’s OK to help them navigate the technology or rephrase a question for clarity, but please do not give hints or answers.

The assignments for Friday are as follows (will be posted on Classroom Friday morning):

Language Arts Unit 5 Assessments: Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Vocabulary

Spelling Test

Writing: Final draft of literary response, in cursive

Math: choose 3-4 facts to draw on grid paper and show how to break apart into easier facts

Work on finishing up incomplete items from the week.

Thanks!

 

Spelling: words with r-controlled vowels: /ar/ air, ear; /ir/ ear,eer

  1. affairs
  2. bearing
  3. beard
  4. clear
  5. deer
  6. disappear
  7. dreary
  8. gear
  9. pairs
  10. peered
  11. rear
  12. smear
  13. upstairs
  14. wears
  15. yearly

Watch-Out Words

  • ate “I ate my breakfast in a hurry today.”
  • eight “Eight is the number between seven and nine.”
  • faze “The extra work didn’t faze me at all.”
  • phase “He’s going through a grumpy phase right now!”

Wow

You have all been doing an amazing job as we’ve made this sudden shift to online schooling. I’m so thankful for the supportive emails and comments you’ve given, even as I know you have moments of frustration and (probably) tears trying to get it all working.

Morning meeting have been great each day. I’ve loved the chance to interact with the kids and hear their questions. From the feedback I’ve gotten, it’s been a highlight of their day as well. Starting Thursday (3/26), I’ll add a daily question time Zoom meeting at 2:00. This is an optional meeting for kids to log in and ask questions about their work, the technology, etc. I’ll get the meeting link set up tomorrow and will post it on Classroom.

I saw an article this evening that I wanted to share with you. It’s a helpful reminder that kids need to get their basic needs met before they’re ever going to learn. This is a stressful time, and the kids are going to feel our stress, but we don’t need to pass it all on to them. As the teacher, I’ll keep working on assignments and tweaking projects. I’ll keep trying to find ways for them to learn (it’s what I do!).

For your part, keep them safe, keep them comfortable, and keep letting them know that they are loved. You aren’t going to be perfect at this. I’m not going to be perfect at this. The kids aren’t going to be perfect at this. But together, we’ll work on a making the most of it.

Online Day 2

Thank you for your work today. We had fewer technical problems (while still managing to locate and work out a few glitches!).

Tomorrow, we’ll be having our regular morning meeting at 9AM. The link is the same as yesterday and today. In addition, I’m hoping to hold one-on-one zoom conferences with kids to check in on their work and look at their writing pieces. I emailed a schedule earlier. If you didn’t get it, let me know.

While we adjust to accessing materials and information on Google Classroom, I put together a “cheat sheet” of the day’s assignments. I hope it’s helpful! I’ll adjust this document each day to reflect the work coming up. Once we’re all more comfortable with using Google Classroom, I’ll phase this out.

I appreciate the “all-hands-on-deck” spirit that you all have shown. Thank you for helping get the kids organized and working. The best way that you can help them is to provide a steady space, a calm and reassuring word of support now and then, and as much as possible, place the responsibility for learning on them. Have them log in to their accounts (I’d rather have communication come from the kids themselves) and send me questions. They can email me, send a chat through Zoom, or request a video conference. It will feel like a lot to ask of them sometimes, but they’ll develop some amazing skills by working through the challenges.

Thanks, again, for all your support. Each day, we’ll smooth it out a bit more!

Good morning!

Good morning, everyone! Thanks you for all of your work yesterday as we kicked off our online instruction. It was great to see the kids’ faces in morning meeting and to have a chance to reconnect with them.

Today’s morning meeting starts in about 10 minutes at 9AM. The meeting code is 425-078-074

Yesterday, several people had difficulty submitting work on Google Classroom. I’m hopeful that this is a glitch that will work itself out, but if the difficulty continues, please have your child send me an email with photos of their work at the end of the day. If they send it as a single email with multiple attachments, it will be easier for me to manage!

A second option is to create a folder on Google Drive where the kids upload their work and share the folder with me. They only need to share it with me once and I can see what they put in it.

I’ve created a video showing how to email me and how to create a folder in Drive. I hope it helps!

Gmail and Google Drive

Here we go!

I’m excited to see the kids’ faces tomorrow when we kick off this remote learning experiment with a morning meeting on Zoom at 9AM. Check Google Classroom for the Zoom meeting link. If you haven’t logged in yet, please take some time to make sure you are able to access Google Classroom, Seesaw, and Zoom apps on your iPad. (more information on the apps is on this recent post)

Morning Meeting

Each morning, I will host a 9AM morning meeting on Zoom. Each meeting will follow a similar format:

  1. Greeting
  2. Check in/share
  3. Review of the previous day’s work, answer questions
  4. Group Activity
  5. Teaching points for the day (discussions for math, language arts, social studies)
  6. Preview of the work to be done that day and upcoming assignments.

Classwork will be posted daily onto Google Classroom. As we get used to our schedules, I may make adjustments along the way. Most work will be passed in through Classroom as well. Students can take pictures of their workbook pages, etc. to upload. Projects or other items for group sharing will get posted to Seesaw.

In addition to assignments on Google Classroom, students should read independently every day and keep track of their reading. They should also work on Freckle.com daily for independent skills practice (I sent home log in information, let me know if you haven’t received it).

This week, I won’t be assigning Social Studies. Students should be rereading/reviewing their Tucson history booklets and can work on coloring the pictures.

Ms. Hart, Ms. O’Meara, and I have also been recording short song videos so that the kids can hear familiar chapel songs as part of their day. Here’s one I recorded today of a class favorite:

See you tomorrow!

Connecting to Epic! Remote Access

You should have received an email from Epic! for remote access to the online library. If you did not, or if you want it sent to a different address, let me know and I’ll resend.

I made a quick video of the information on Epic’s site regarding how to get connected. I hope it helps!

What will this all look like?

First of all, remote learning might look a bit different for each family, given your own unique schedules and needs, but I’m hoping to help keep things consistent and steady.  This post is a bit long, so I’ve made a couple of quick reference sheets that you can print out and use. I’ll link them at the end of this post.
We’ll kick things off on Monday with a class Zoom meeting at 9AM. In the meantime, continue to try logging in to everything and building familiarity. I’ll be recording and posting more videos to help get signed in. If there’s a specific request, let me know! Next week, we will work on Language Arts, Math, and Specials assignments. I expect that we’ll be spending a good deal of time troubleshooting. We know that things will be confusing at times, so hang in there!

Suggested Schedule

8:00 Attendance/Check-In: Upload a quick post to Seesaw letting me know how you’re doing.

8:20 Chapel: Prepare your mindset for the day. Do something quiet to help focus and prepare. Ideas can include reading something inspirational, taking a walk, doing yoga stretches or meditation, making music, or more. I’d recommend avoiding screen time and devices. You’ll get plenty of that later!

9:00 Morning Meeting (Zoom): Students sign in for a daily morning meeting with the class. We’ll go over the work for the day, answer questions, provide some whole-group instruction, read aloud, etc.
***I really hope that this is a time that everyone can be part of. ***

10:00 3-4 hours of academic work: Schedule this time as works best for you. There will be daily assignments posted on Google Classroom. You might want to plan breaks for snack, lunch, moving around a bit. I suggest this plan:

  • work on language arts, math, and social studies
  • take a break for lunch
  • work on specials assignments
  • practice independent skills on Freckle.com
  • read independently

Communication

Communication will be key! During the hours of 9-3, I can be reached by Zoom, email (agould@stmichael.net) or text/phone (I prefer that phone be left as a last resort or emergency). My cell phone number was in the materials passed out at open house last fall. If you don’t have it, please email me and I’ll send it to you.

After 3PM, please email me any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

iPad Apps

Here are the key apps we’ll be using. Everything can also be accessed on computers through your web browser.
This will be our hub for posting assignments and for students to submit work. I’ve added you as guardians on this, so you should also receive notifications of activity here.
This app creates a digital portfolio where students can share pictures, audio, video, drawings, etc. We’ll use this for sharing projects and work samples. I emailed the class QR code yesterday – when you open the app and click “I’m a Student,” you can scan the code to sign in to the class account. If you are using a home device with an up-to-date app or logging in on a computer (at web.seesaw.me), the home codes originally sent home should work.
This app lets us video conference as a class and in 1:1 or small group chats. I will start each morning with a 9AM zoom class meeting. If your child is able to login and participate, great! If your home circumstances don’t allow that, I hope to have the meetings recorded and posted online later in the day. Additionally, I will have Zoom available for students to meet with me between 9AM and 3PM. These can be regularly scheduled meetings (I’d like to set up regular check-in times) or impromptu asking for clarification on an assignment.
Epic is an online library with thousands of books, videos, quizzes, etc. The titles are searchable by AR level (look for your ZPD range!) and by subject.

Printables

Here are some quick-reference sheets I’ve made with the information from this post. Go ahead and print them out and use at home!

Suggested Daily Schedule

Technology Resources

Today I Worked On… (Checklist to help kids organize themselves)

How to connect to Zoom

I made a brief tutorial video for logging in to the Zoom app on the kids’ iPads. (Thank you, Baron, for being my unknowing volunteer!)

I’ll be setting up Zoom class meetings for each morning. In addition, I’ll use it to conference with students during the week.

I hope this is helpful!

Tech Troubleshooting

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for coming in to gather materials yesterday. I know that folks have eagerly begun exploring some of the resources available. As is expected, this has led to questions! Here are a few issues that have arisen. As we work out the kinks of this system together, I’ll keep you updated!

How do I access Google Classroom?
The invitation email that you should have received yesterday allows you to get notifications about assignments, etc. in Classroom. Google Classroom itself is just for the students, so you don’t need the class code. I’ve linked each student to the class, so all they need to do is open the Classroom app and log in. Their login is 25lastname@stmichael.net (for some kids, the username is different due to common last names. Use the info in the packet or email me if you have questions).
The SeeSaw App says it needs to be updated
Zach has worked to send an update to the apps, but it might take time for them to all update. Please don’t do anything yet. I will email you a QR code that allows the students to login to the class SeeSaw account. We’ve tested it with two families already, so I’m pretty sure it’ll work for you! Please do not share the QR code beyond our class. (If you don’t get an email from me with the QR code image, send me a note and I’ll forward it).
The home login code that I previously sent you will work on a personal device with the most up-to-date version of See-Saw. You can also login using a home computer at web.seesaw.me
Can I make changes to the iPad? What if I delete an app?
I don’t have access to the admin passwords or Apple ID for the iPads. It’s all handled through a school-based program. Please do not try to delete apps or download new apps on the school iPads. I know this is inconvenient, especially if we discover new cool tools.
Epic! wants a payment to keep reading
I think that the code I sent home about Epic! is for school-based work. In looking online, I’ve learned that they are offering free home use due to the Corona Virus pandemic. I need to invite each student from my account and will be working on that later today.
Our online instruction will go live on Monday morning. I want to start each day with a 9 AM Zoom conference call. Students should be able to login through their calendar on Google Classroom. I’ll be posting a video on how to setup their Zoom account and how to call me if they have questions.
I’m sure that we will stumble a bit getting all of this technology up and running, but hang in there and we’ll make it work!