ELA Teachers who are teaching remote

Discussion in 'General Education' started by nstructor, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Sep 16, 2020

    How are you doing it? We've been remote for several weeks-students aren't showing up, aren't submitting work, won't turn on their cameras, etc. . .Do you have any advice?
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sep 16, 2020

    Same. However, those issues exist IRL, too.
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Sep 17, 2020

    I keep it simple so that they can’t say they don’t understand the directions. Read the story, answer the questions, or here are the vocab words, use them each in a sentence, etc.

    I also am in frequent communication with parents if they are not turning anything in. At that point, it’s on them. Luckily my principal is supportive of that. I offer a lot of help, and I document all communication when things are missing, but I can’t make them do the work. I’m able to fail them as long as I’m doing my part. I would have a hard time being at a school that doesn’t allow failing grades, and I know a lot are out there.
     
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  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2020

    I am happy to say I am not doing it, Having done it last year though, I may have some ideas depending on the grade level. I got a pretty high participation rate last year, but it might have been due to the grade levels. What levels are you working with?
     
  6. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Sep 18, 2020

    I work with middle school, ELA.
     
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  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2020

    I am not really sure what ELA is exactly, sorry! I had ESL kids years ago. Are you teaching Language Arts to the kids who English is a 2nd language?
    The main thing I did was kept in contact with most parents almost daily at first. ( Even if it was a quick microphone text to say, " Thank you for letting me know ___ would not be on Zoom today.") I used my imagination to thank people for stuff before I had to ask them to really even do anything.
    I realize now that we had a huge advantage last year.... having known the kids and parents already. I just realized how different it is if you have no relationship yet with the students or parents. Also, I realized you probably have WAY more kids than I did.
    I started out with a student survey and called the students who didn't fill it out just to restart a connection. I'd find out what time they work best. I had to do it that way last year b/c some didn't get up and moving until afternoon. Another 1 had a drunk dad who hogged the computer playing a computer game most of the time. Then after talking them through the survey, get them to fill it out online on Canvas or GC.
    If doing it this year, I'd find out their interests and try to get to know them 1st. Then I'd get them to write about opinions, personal topics of interest, and let them choose from a list to research. Man, that would be really hard if you had multiple classes, and I am guessing you do in middle school.
    I am hoping you are not getting pressure from your admin about grades yet, and are not stuck to following an exact plan right away for all students.
    I had to start off pretty basic with certain kids last year. I had younger kids. I took it a step at a time for those whose parents would not help. The goal was to just get them online daily as a routine at 1st with most of them. It took me a couple of weeks, but the reluctant ones at least started zooming.
    Do you have a program like Khan Academy or IXL that will provide you with activities, lessons, and grades? If not, I'd pay for 1 myself just to make my life easier. Once I got the reluctant ones to zoom, I started them using those programs too and it at least gave me some legit grades to use.
    Then I added a lot of different types of assignments to choose from b/c I had kids on such different levels. I found a lot of fun online ( you tube) videos to explain things to avoid having to make a ton of videos.
    I kept the written assignments on topics I knew they'd be interested.
    Then I used a rubric to go with targeted skills that made grading very simple and prevented any type of argument about the grades.

    We were told to "give grace" to the kids, so we had set plans for your average and above kids. However, if the kid was way behind or had irresponsible parents, we could switch assignments up. More grace was given to the kids than teachers. lol
    I assumed we'd have to have grades that were legit, but near the end of it all, word got out to the public and me that we were not allowed to give kids a lower grade than they had the previous semester. GRRRRRR! One of my parents found out and she no longer made her kids do anything!
    I am so sorry you have middle school. Kids that age are really tricky. They are capable of more than elementary students usually, but they still need to have some work ethic or parenting to make online school work. When you have a bunch of classes, that gives you so many kids to try to motivate or keep in touch with often. It is really hard if you never really knew the kids to begin with too. I wish I could be more help. Just do your best and good luck!
     
  8. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2020

    I teach HS English. I think these issues span other content areas too, though.

    For students not showing up to class and not turning in work, what I do is basically the same. I first email the student to see what is going on. Some have very difficult things going on in their lives right now (like one just found out her mom has terminal cancer) so there are sometimes reasons they are not showing up or doing work. Sometimes, they just don't want to. But at least this may give me an idea of what's happening. If I don't get in touch with the student or it doesn't improve, then I call home. If I don't get in touch there or if nothing improves, I let guidance and admin know and they do home visits.

    I try to do a lot of interactive, high interest activities. I have relied a lot on EdPuzzle, Pear Decks, Flip Grids, Padlets, online discussions, etc. to hopefully help keep students engaged.

    We are not allowed to require cameras on and I agree with that, so the cameras off doesn't really bother me.
     
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  9. Brian Show

    Brian Show Rookie

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    Nov 9, 2020

    If you are considering to teach remotely using technology, be sure to use discussion forums, Padlet walls, Voicethread or SeeSaw type activities as ways to promote student interaction (some decent resources and articles need to be translated - I suggest to use https://isaccurate.com/legal-translation-agencies).
    Also you should outline the feedback platform and timing. Students respond best to quick feedback loops in remote environments where they rely on the teacher’s voice or written feedback and may not be able to “read” body language or teacher presence or tone.
    Planning is vital here
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020

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