When history looks back on 2020 the stories that have evolved from COVID-19 will be classroom discussions that illustrate how ‘everything changed’. ‘Everything changed’ is an expression I’ve used a lot with my own children when I reflect on 9-11. And now I’m trying to help them realize how that will now be true in relation to viruses and health care (not to mention ‘everything else’). We are living history and in the future, we will reflect on this time in our lives when ‘everything changed’.
For our teachers, they had a lot of change in a short period of time – switching their thoughtfully planned out classroom learning experience to a creatively delivered at-home learning experience. They did this quickly, with little warning, and they have been amazing. We are so proud of the work they have put in to not only make this happen but to successfully make this happen!
I asked them at the end of week two for two reflections – a favourite resource that they have adapted for at-home teaching and their biggest ‘A-ha’ moment yet! The answers are in – here is their shortlist!
Zoom – a unanimous leader to host writing conferences, do group reading, teach a math lesson (screen sharing to solve problems), have ‘recess’, and get people together. We’ve even held our staff meetings that way!
Flipgrid – used daily for storytime (read by me, just like at school!), community circles, our virtual career fair, and much more
Seesaw – particularly favoured in the lower grades, great for sharing videos, classwork, and resources
Canva – for developing resources in a visually appealing way, creating checklists and backdrops for lessons
Student Learning (straight from the teacher’s mouths!):
“This week while teaching students about Magic E. I was able to virtually see their comprehension of transforming a word with a single letter. The excitement was quite noticeable through their eye contact and the volume of their enthusiasm.” Ms. T. Smith
“(A student) asked me on Zoom — “When are we going to get to go back to school?” Aha! Kids really do love school!” Ms. Jacobson
“…when I realized you could make a zoom meeting recurring or when I realized you can put a website link on a Flipgrid video so students can click it to head to their next step.” Ms. K. Smith
“…That with teaching in our online world is time to great creative! …. from sharing work, online activities, and thinking of new ways of doing things.” Ms. Greig
“When I realized there was a whiteboard feature on Zoom that allowed me to write out math work while sharing my screen with the class. Sure beat showing my written work to students in the camera (which naturally came through backwards – not so helpful).” Mr. Sidler
“I was able to teach even with some technical difficulties on the other end. They could hear me, but I couldn’t hear them. So, I read lips and used gestures, and it worked very well!” Ms. Epstein
“…when I was teaching a student how to put laundry in a machine, he put me (the device) down on the washer and left me there to go and play his video games.” Ms. Epstein
We look forward to more fun and learning for everyone in the coming month and beyond!