Thinking about if we are digital next year

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by mrsammieb, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    In my district we did not have any guidelines or platform for digital learning. We basically created lesson plans and videos and sent them to the parents. I am wondering what everyone else used for digital learning? I have been exploring using SeeSaw. Our school has Microsoft Teams but I am not sure the students would be able to really access that being in first grade.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My school used a canned online program called Study Island. It was meant to streamline everything and give students and parents a single platform. It ended up getting messy because students weren’t doing the work so teachers were scrambling to come up with alternative activities on their own using other platforms like Schoology and Google Classroom.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    We used a platform similar to Google Classroom or Schoology that my district adopted a few years ago. Up until the school closures, it was something that was primarily used by staff and secondary students. The elementary students (and parents) had to learn it quickly when everything shut down. Teachers posted videos and assignments on the platform and students used it to complete the assignments. For the youngest students, they did the majority of their work with paper/pencil (as opposed to online), and then the parents sent teachers photos.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    We used seesaw from K-1 and google classroom for 2nd and up. I highly preferred seesaw but it does have a "primary" look to it. I teach K-2 sped and I wish my 2nd graders were on seesaw. In seesaw there are a lot of different ways students can respond right in the app- they can record their voice, do a video, take a picture, complete an exit ticket by writing/drawing/typing on it or even moving things like manipulatives around, etc. In google classroom if I wanted to do any of those things it required finding another app that would pair with it, and it was yet another thing the students had to learn how to use.

    For my students, I made 10-15 minute videos where they were expected to follow along and participate, and also made some sort of exit ticket for each one. Had they actually done so, it would have been as close as possible to the experience of actually being in my intervention group. Problem was, no one watched the videos. They just did whatever they had to turn in. Pretty much everyone else had the same experience. We tried cutting the videos down significantly so they'd be shorter and still students didn't watch them. That was also very tricky for me because I have specific IEP minutes that I needed to meet.

    We were encouraged to do "live" zoom sessions for IEP services. Some of my teammates offered that, but they were related service providers who only work with students for 30 minutes per week. It would have been really challenging for me to account for IEP minutes that way. About a month in, a grant program I used to tutor with offered for us to move the tutoring online. I set it up so that I'd do 15 minute 1:1 sessions. I offered this to my entire caseload (about 25 kids) and only got 2 students to regularly show up. I do feel that the learning was effective for those students/similar to being in person, but it's obviously not a good widespread strategy if only 2 kids showed up. Other teachers who offered tutoring had the exact same experience- they only got 1-2 families to commit.

    I think if we do online next year there will be more pressure to make it look like "real school." Previously a lot of people were of the mindset that we're in a pandemic and that teachers and students alike should be given a lot of slack/"just do what you can." Teachers had some requirements, but nothing like a full regular school day. Next year if we go that route I could see it being more like reading is at 10 AM via zoom, math is at 11 AM, etc. and the teacher is teaching "live" just like she would in the classroom. Of course the major issue with that is childcare and having an adult available to help kids do this during the school day. The vast majority of our families don't have the ability to have a stay at home parent. Most of my kids who did the work this spring completed it the evenings, presumably because parents were at work during the day. OTOH, no one thinks that what we were doing before with making things asynchronous worked either. I don't know what the answer is.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    It would be ideal to do "real time" classes like math at 11am but with more businesses opening up and more parents going back to work they are either going to have to have to hire someone to stay home with their kids, have the kids do work only when they can, or send them back to school. Which do you think would be more likely to happen?
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I definitely think that one of the challenges with doing synchronous learning at home, like math is it 9 AM, would be for families that have more than one child. Even with many devices and a strong internet connection, which many families may not have, it would be hard as a parent to help out two or three or four students at the same time on different tasks, especially if that parent was also working from home. If there were a baby in the household who needed to be fed or changed right now (as we know babies sometimes do), that could add to the burden. With synchronous learning for students of different ages in the same household, lunch may be at different times. I really think it would be an absolute mess. I don’t think that synchronous learning at home is a good idea at all. I don’t know about you guys, but I know that at my school there were many families that just didn’t participate in online learning at all. It was just too much to handle for whatever reason. And I think that the requirements that my school had were pretty light. If schools moved to a model of synchronous learning at home I really think that we would see an increase in the amount of students being completely non-participatory.
     
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  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Do any of your states have "re-opening" phases? According to our guidelines if all of our metrics are met (number of new cases, etc.) we might end up reaching the last phase by July or August. Our schools are supposed to open in September. Education is supposed to be in the last phase along with recreation (I'm assuming movie theaters, etc). I'm wondering if other states have these guidelines or do they just have one person deciding these things arbitrarily.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    We have phases of reopening that are being determined by our county health department in consultation with other local leaders.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Which phase is education fall under?
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, it could be a huge mess. One of my student's parents own a business that will be able to reopen in our state's next phase. BOTH parents work at this business. So are they supposed to bring the kid to work with them? The kid isn't doing any work right now while BOTH parents are actually home so I'm not sure what's going to happen once they are both at the shop.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I actually don’t know. I don’t think the officials even know. They seem to be taking it one phase at a time. And the decision about schools, specifically, is being made as a collaborative effort between all area superintendents and the heath department. That’s different from private businesses, where the heath department is more or less telling them when and how they are allowed to open.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Let me clarify that I'm not advocating for synchronous online learning at all. I just think that if we are doing remote learning, at this point there will be more pressure to make it like "regular school." Previously when we started it everyone thought it was temporary and there was more of a "we're all in this together" vibe and that people should just do what they can. There was more understanding on the part of both teachers and students that people were overwhelmed and that it wasn't going to look like "regular school." If this truly carries on to another school year, I just think people will have higher expectations. Students will be expected to keep up/learn as much as if they were in regular school and there will no longer be as many considerations for teachers who have scheduling issues due to at home responsibilities. A nearby wealthy district did a lot of synchronous learning this spring. While we as teachers know exactly why that was more feasible for them, just like anything else, no one is going to want to hear "excuses" about lower SES schools. It will be, "_______ district did it, your teachers need to step up and do it too."

    At this point I expect that we will be in school full time and that an online option will be offered for families who aren't comfortable sending their kids. I think there will also be short periods where if there is an outbreak in a specific school it will be closed for a few days for cleaning and remote learning will be expected during those closures. I am fine with going back, but I'm not in a high risk category. I hope there are enough online positions available for teachers who really need them.

    I can just tell by everything being said at the state level that they're really, really pushing for reopening. If schools aren't open, parents aren't working, and in my state if we don't start making an economic recovery there aren't going to be public schools to go back to. I know other states are in better shape and the general thought may be that there are more options in those states.

    Many schools were making up hybrid plans because the current restrictions limit gatherings to 10 or less. The governor came out a couple of weeks ago and said he fully expects class sizes to be "normal" next year and that restrictions will be different come fall. Then this week, he said that if schools are considering hybrid models they need to have a plan in place for where kids will go on the days they aren't in school as having them home doesn't work for parents. Well, where else are they supposed to go? Unless we are in a position where things get so bad that hospitals are truly overwhelmed and not able to provide care (they haven't been at any point, and there are currently less than 200 people hospitalized for covid in the entire state) then I think schools will be open.
     
  14. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    I bet you're right by saying the expectations will likely be more. I felt almost caught between the two sides' desires regarding lessons. School required highly engaging lessons, lots of student choice, and PBLs. Quality lessons. No prob. However, many parents I am friends with thought very poorly of these things and don't see value outside of worksheets. Ok. So...... Who am I to please next year? Actually, the students did seem more likely to do very cut and dry practice. I will really have to think about what works virtually.
     
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  15. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    That’s similar here. Principals want asynchronous learning to be as close to regular in school learning as possible, and parents just want worksheets. Some want synchronous instruction but there very few who were vocal about it.

    I agree that there may be higher standards next year, but I don’t think that necessarily means a full day of learning during a time when remote learning is occurring. At least with the way we teach in my district, it would be very difficult to do any sort of synchronous lesson virtually, even if you managed to get everyone signed on at the same time (which is very unlikely). Also, especially with young kids, no one wants them sitting and staring at a screen all day. That’s not what regular school is, and it’s not what remote learning should be either. I’m not sure what higher expectations would look like, and I’m sure it would vary all over. I’m sure we’ll find out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Our state's education department is meeting this month to discuss regional reopenings. They are supposed to be making a decision by July.
     
  17. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jun 13, 2020

    Thank yall for answering! Sometimes this board is dead and it seems like no one goes on here! I agree I think we will open as usual in the fall with some parents opting to do homeschool. One worry that I have is that parents will want to "homeschool" their child then when the virus does not return in the winter they all enroll at school in like February.

    I think I am going to use See Saw within my classroom beginning week 1 (or 2 you know how the school year starts!). I think I want to make homework available on there so parents know how to access it and use it with their child. Then if we do end up closing I can easily tradition to online learning through that platform.
     
  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think that is very likely. I think that a lot (and probably even most) who start out homeschooling will want to send their children back in February or October or some other month during the school year.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Right now the plan in my district is to make parents commit to either online or in person at the beginning of the year, but that decision won't be permanent. Last I heard, they were deciding if the decision would be for the first quarter or first semester. Families would have to decide by August something (again, still deciding that date) if they want to do online and in person, and whatever they choose they're stuck with until the next decision date- at least the first quarter. I'm sure they'll get a ton of push back either way. They're also saying that parents will know whatever the precautions are up front and if they don't want their child subjected to those their only choice will be online. It will be very interesting to see what happens.
     
  20. Tbdrn22

    Tbdrn22 Guest

    Aug 18, 2020

    They seem to be taking it one phase at a time. And the decision about schools, specifically, is being made as a collaborative effort between all area superintendents and the heath department. That’s different from private businesses, where the heath department is more or less telling them when and how they are allowed to open.
     

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