Thursday, April 02, 2020

Teaching Virtually: What's on the Learning Menu, April 2, 2020

Today's schedule includes virtual teaching, meeting, meeting, virtual teaching, meeting, virtual teaching, planning, prep, and response. It will be a busy day. Fortunately, my muse, the children, will energize me throughout the day with their bright minded questions, participation, and ideas.

One challenge of the virtual teaching/learning time is coordination. An NPR piece once described schools as "little cities." I think this is a good description because schools do act like small cities since schools are densely populated with a large variety of services at play. To transfer that busyness and great amount of varied services to the virtual world is no simple task. The reality is that we cannot transfer all that we do in real time online, but we are attempting to transfer the services and objectives that support students social-emotional learning as well as deepen their academic skills, concept, and knowledge.

The objectives of today's work include the following:

Small Math Meetings
The goal of the small math meetings is to solve multi-step math problems via collective conversation, model making, and numerical expressions and reasoning. Basically a small group of students and teachers gather to talk and do math.

Team Meeting
Our grade level team will meet to draft our weekly newsletter and plan the virtual week of teaching and learning ahead.

Class Meeting
One student will lead our virtual class meeting and each child will bring a mystery object to the meeting. Each child will read through clues about the mystery object and then another student will guess what that is. One child requested this activity months ago, and it's good to know that we finally have time to partake in this enjoyable, community building activity.

Math Meeting
A few math teachers, the math coach, and a school administrator will meet to discuss the 5th to 6th grade math transition process. We will have to alter the process somewhat due to this lengthy time at home and the cancellation of a number of typical math assessments, lessons, and discussions.

I'm sure that I'll be ready for a nice lunch at 2pm after this long day of back-to-back teaching and meeting sessions is over. The goal is to stay focused and positive as we make the best of these unusual stay-at-home days. I'm fortunate to be able to meet these days with health so far and the tools and ability to follow through with these tasks. Onward.