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!

Work this week

Thank you for coming to pick up supplies today. In the packet of materials sent home, you should have all of your login information for Google, Seesaw, Pearson realize, and myNGConnect. Try out logging in to these. If you have difficulty, email me at agould@stmichael.net and I’ll do my best to help.

Also in the packet is a list of activities for this week. Here’s what it says:

  • Read every day, then read more!
  • Complete the Mobile Magic Book project. Record a video presentation on your iPad and post it on SeeSaw.
  • Choose a biography of a famous woman (March is Women’s History Month!). The attached biography poster worksheet is to organize your ideas. The book project assignment will be posted later.
  • Try logging in to the different websites on the attached handouts and see what things are available there for you. Check out some of the games and activities!
    • Google Drive/Classroom
    • Pearson Realize (Math)
    • myNGconnect (Language Arts)
  • Practice past spelling lists on spellingcity.com
  • Prepare a good work station for where you’ll do your schoolwork and make a plan with your parents for when and how you’ll do work.
  • Do something helpful around the house this week and send me a picture at agould@stmichael.net

Thanks for all your support as we make this adjustment!

Supply Pickup

It’s been a busy Monday here, getting materials ready for the transition to remote learning. As Mr. Sullivan explained in his email yesterday, lower school is scheduled to pick up books, iPads and materials between 8-10. I’ll be in the room, ready to help you organize and understand what the different materials are, as well as to try and answer questions you may have.

  • I’ll be asking each parent to complete an inventory of all school-owned materials brought home, so that I have a record when things get returned.
  • I have school iPads available to loan. If your child has an iPad or tablet at home, please email me to let me know that you don’t need one. Later this week, I’ll put a post online regarding what apps students will need to have downloaded if using a personal device.
  • Included in the materials picked up tomorrow will be student login information for our different web resources, as well as some activities to work on this week until we begin remote online instruction next week.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll answer to the best of my ability! This is a big shift for us all, but with some calm breaths and teamwork (from a proper distance), we can make the best of it. Thank you!