Where do I begin….A few weeks ago I wrote a post called Distance Learning. I did not anticipate when writing that post, that I would be where I am now. How are you doing? Are you okay? There are many feelings…many feelings, for everyone, including me. I’ve worked like I’ve never worked before. There is a constant flow of tasks, questions, meetings, and the like. I have a busy mind, so this has been great for me personally. A little challenging with three boys at home – but luckily they love being outside and I’m sure to give them extended recess every day. As expectations change throughout the state, what we’re doing as teachers will also change. Let’s think about how we can use what we’re doing now and in the future, to create stronger, better, classrooms and learning experiences.
Create items you can use later (and always)
I was thinking the other day, “If I had all of my lessons in Google Slides to begin with…with a screencasted video, links for practice, links for enrichment, and a check-in at the end, I would be all set right now.” So, let’s do that! If you’re making things to post for students during this time of closure – make them so you can use them regularly in the future! Screencastify is offering FREE premium accounts right now during Covid closure. Make a short video, embed it on your slide, add some links and a google form check-in. Voila! Lesson done and next year you can use this again. Plus, the kids would really LOVE to see your face! Access all of my Screencastify Resources by looking at the Vidoe category of my blog.
Have you always wanted to run a station rotation model? Well, there’s your station – the slide deck. Meanwhile, you can run a small group of reteaching or going further. The third group can work on something paper pencil for a blended experience. Eventually, we will be back in the classroom and these resources will serve you well, maybe even change your practice!
CLEAN your GOOGLE CLASSROOM – PLEASE!
Right now, Google Classroom is the vehicle of choice for many during this time of remote learning. The HARDEST thing for a student is to log in and have content EVERYWHERE. The students don’t know where to go, or where to begin. Help your students out – create a new topic each week of closing and post under it. It will help them TREMENDOUSLY. See the SHORT video below of what I mean and how to do this.
Virtual meetings are a hot button right now. There are many factors to consider when hosting an online meeting and it may or may not be for you. When choosing to do an online, live meeting, my tool of choice is Google Meet with Zoom being a close second. Google Meet can archive the meetings in your Google Education Domain. If there were ever an issue, your Google Admin could potentially pull up the Meet. Zoom will not archive in your domain. Are you wishing you could see ALL faces? Well, an extension recently came out (and I’ve tried it!) where you can see all faces on the screen. Check that out here. See my video below of how to set up a Meet and see the newest Google Meet Updates here – they are rolling them out at a rapid pace.
Most importantly, Remote Learning doesn’t mean Online Learning. Learning can happen in LOTS of different ways and it’s important for us all to remember that. There is a flood right now of tools, subscriptions, virtual field trips etc coming at us at a (too) rapid pace. However, we need to take care of our own minds first, calm our anxiety, and be in a good mental state before any remote learning can happen. For my family, it’s been getting outside. We are all learning, every day, how to exist in this new normal and some days that’s enough for me.
If you need more, feel free to check out our Distance Learning Site. I add new resources regularly.
Take care, everyone, now more than ever. ❤️️