What worked best for you-children in virtual learning

Discussion in 'General Education' started by readingrules12, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    With many of us now realizing we might need to teach virtually a bit (or a lot) this school year, I was wondering what worked for you? This question is open to teachers, administrators, but also for your own children as parents. I know this was asked this spring, but I am sure the answers might look a bit different now. This question is purposely general to give the smallest details to the largest ideas. Thanks!
     
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  3. DamienJasper

    DamienJasper Rookie

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    Rigid consistency; that is to say I had two classes; Reading and Language Arts. Every morning at 9:00 a.m. I sent out a mass email alerting the students that their Reading lesson was posted for the day. At 1:00 p.m. I sent out a second mass email alerting the students that their Language Arts lesson was posted for the day. Maybe it's unrelated, but other teachers on my 'team' had maybe a 45% participation rate. Mine was 90-95%. I read the surveys the parents sent back and one of the biggest complaints was 'lack of consistency'. A lot of teachers posted stuff every couple of days and at differing times. I think there's something to be said for loose or nonexistent structure vs one that is rigid. For my students, it was never a doubt that the work would be there waiting for them, and that if they didn't follow up, they missed a day of work. I think if a teacher gives the impression that they're only kinda-sorta taking the teaching seriously, the kids will respond likewise.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I tried to keep the format of lessons the same so kids didn’t have to keep learning a new thing.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    We had been using Google Classroom since the first week of school, and I continued with that. I also kept some of the weekly routines--Article of the Week, math warm-ups, Kahoot quizzes, "catch-up time", an announcement every morning--so that they were familiar. I posted the work for the week every Monday morning along with a suggested daily schedule. Some students needed that structure, others preferred to choose when they worked on certain things.
     
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  6. Substitutemw

    Substitutemw New Member

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    I am a parent of 6th grader. I would say that math was the subject that translated best during online learning. My child's math teacher really simplified and standardized his lessons. Everyday he would send a prerecorded video of himself teaching a lesson from Eureka Math. The kids had hard copies of the lessons and were to fill out their notes/ practice problems as they were viewing the teacher teach the lesson. Afterwards, the teacher would assign a problem set and asked that the kids email a photo of their completed work. Not that my child did not struggle with some of the concepts but these lessons were so clear and concise that I, as a parent, could easlily understand the material and give help when needed.
     
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  7. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    This is very helpful - one giant like and especially to the op for posing the question. I have just completed planning my on-line classes and spoke to another teacher who mentioned her daily agendas and forehead slap - I had omitted those. I went back and added them, along with an e-version of a reflection or exit ticket for every lesson. These are things I use in my real life classroom, so I want to carry it into my on-line class. I still need to put together my guidelines to students about how I grade, and what a grade "means." I'm not good at creating videos, but might need one for this, along with a power point I can share with the new ones on how to work our on line platform. some of my 9th graders will be from outside our district and not be familiar with it.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I’m having a hard time answering this because what worked for me and family A didn’t always work for family B or family C. What worked for them didn’t work for others. Since I work with young kids, it was really more about what worked for parents than students, and they all had different preferences and needs.

    So, I guess what worked for me was a willingness to be flexible and adapt to those different preferences and needs rather than be rigid and strict.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This is such an important point! There is absolutely no one-size-fits-all when it comes to remote learning. It is also important to recognize that what works for family A one week may not work the next.
     
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  10. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Rookie

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    Recording videos/screencasts (I used Screencastify) to intro new concepts and give instructions for assignments. Kids can watch these multiple times, pause, go back, etc.

    Having assignments due the same time, same day every single week.

    Using Google Classroom (we've used it for five years now at my school so it was nothing new for us), instead of using the headings to label units, headings now became "Remote learning week of ____" so there was no confusion about what they should be working on.

    Limited synchronous teaching. Honestly, I teach HS, and after sending out surveys at the beginning of all this (and again at the end to get feedback), over half my students told me they were working outside the home between the hours of 8 and 4. Others told me they had to help their younger siblings with THEIR online learning during those hours. It would have been very difficult to get all of them on video calls during the day. I would say about 60-70% selected that they completed their remote learning work between the hours of about 8 PM and 4 AM. So I would have a weekly live Google Meets session that wasn't mandatory and students could ask for help/get clarification "in person" that way. Some weeks I had more than others. I also made it clear what my "office hours" were over email for students who couldn't hop on for the live videos. Some students just preferred asking me one-on-one anyhow.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    That's very, very similar to what I did with my Grade 7 students. I had set office hours each day when I was online and could answer messages in real time. Outside of office hours, I did try to respond as soon as I could, often right away, but let them know that those questions that came in at 1am would not be answered until morning
     
  12. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    NOTHING worked well!
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    We sent out packets to our students and I'm pretty sure my students did nothing. Half my students are getting summer school packets and half are IN summer school with me but I'm sure the packets aren't getting done now either. We email the parents and also do phone conferences but it's just a waste of time if the parents aren't making the kids do anything.
     
  14. Sara.SM

    Sara.SM New Member

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    We have tried posting videos with each lesson, students can watch that in their own time and complete their work. Students can contact teacher through school blog for questions then submit their work online for timely feedback.

    This worked with mainstream students and with students who have parental support at home. There was lack of submissions from some students though which required follow-ups.

    We then tried live streaming. That can also work and can really improve teacher interaction with students but can be chaotic and requires strict behaviour management strategies since students can get distracted from lesson and chat or even argue with each other online.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    I agree. Also, consistency with work routines. I gave the same type of assignment, but a different skill, each day. Log in to X and do Y activity. Answer the questions in the Google Doc.

    It wasn’t the most interesting format but it was simple enough and the activities were varied enough that it provided consistency while still teaching new skills. I had several students telling me they didn’t know how to use Google Docs at the start of online learning, but once they figured out where to click and type, and how to submit the work, they could do it the same way each time. I had some students who needed help with the very basics for two or so weeks, but even they got it eventually. Other teachers mixed up their formats for variety - changed up websites and ways to submit things - but it led to less participation and more frustration at home. I also had very good work completion and attendance percentages.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  16. oophoff

    oophoff New Member

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    Our school used a program called seesaw for younger grades. (I teach kindergarten) I ended up recording my voice as I presented the google slides and had student interact on those slides as they completed the lesson. That worked really well for math and the kids took pictures of their work and it translated very well. I could see in some of their videos to me that they were learning in spite of me not teaching it exactly. However I only had about 75% participation in online learning. I did different activities for each of my subjects but math was definitely the one that translated the best.

    This new year, however, I don't know how I will be teaching because 1/2 will be in the class and 1/2 will be watching me through video remotely...It will definitely be interesting....
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    When there is consistency, the attention is drawn to what needs to be learned, not how to do it. Those with anxiety also know what to do which allows them to be more emotionally available to learn because they aren't concerned with getting the format right when what is really important is the learning.
     
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  18. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Thank you for this. I have been interested in "Seesaw", and I will be looking more into this program. Do you think it would work well with 3rd graders?
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Yes - in my physical classroom too, I feel like that’s very important. I vary up the content but try to use the same routines. If children struggle, it should be with the content, not the directions. Of course, it’s easier to do “fun stuff” in a physical classroom when they do deserve a break!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
  20. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Seesaw is a digital portfolio app, so it works with any grade level. It's not really designed as an LMS, but there are a lot of really great/creative things you can do with it. Plus you have access to other teacher's shared activities, so that cuts down on some of the prep if you can find what you're looking for.

    It's free, so it would be worth looking into and playing with before your year starts if you're interested in trying it.

    Edit: I will say though that teaching kids how to use Seesaw is easier done in person. It's probably doable remotely, but I had 1st graders and I was really relieved that we had already used it when we switched to remote learning. It would have been difficult to teach 1st graders how to sign in, check assignments/announcements, and submit different kinds of work without being in the room with them.
     
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  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My child was in kindergarten last year. One thing that I really appreciated that the teacher did was give us a list of assignments and activities for the whole week where all of the assignments and activities were prioritized. The teacher said that these particular assignments were must-dos, while these other assignments were may-dos. It really helped us sort through a lot of work to identify what was most important and at least get that part done first.
     
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  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    That's great because there will always be some kids who will WANT to do extra work and some will only be able to do the minimum. I was that kid in K who finished my whole Phonics workbook in one weekend but was only supposed to complete 2 pages. I got bored LOL
     
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Thank you so much for all of these responses. I learned a lot from these, and I so much appreciate all of them.

    For me, what worked best were the Zoom sessions. We didn't start these right away, but started with packets. Once we switched to Zoom sessions, the parents noticed a big change with their children. Many talked about how this lifted their child out of their depressed moods of isolation. I noticed these live sessions also improved my teaching.

    For those of you who are concerned about Zoom, Google Meets etc. here are some things to consider.

    Problem 1. It allows people to see my student's homes who are embarrassed about them.
    Solution 1: Let parents know about Virtual Background or use Zoom with the child turning off video. Also, only have the child put only his/her first name when using Zoom.

    Problem 2: I have issues with privacy with Zoom
    Solution 2: Consider using Google Meets or a different platform. Also, set Zoom settings to prevent these problems.

    Problem 3: Many of my students are poor and probably don't have a device.
    Solution 3: I spend a lot of time volunteering with the poor in the inner city. In talking with them, many don't have nice computers or tablets, but many have SMART phones.
     
  24. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I found the live zoom sessions to work best for instruction, but they just didn't work for many families. I teach in a low SES area. It's not a situation where students have a stay at home parent or competent babysitter/nanny who can keep track of their schedule and make sure they're logging on to zoom at the appropriate time. The vast majority of my students who did turn in work did so in the evenings, presumably when parents were home from work and could help/make sure it got done.

    I tutored through a grant program at my school and they allowed us to move our sessions online. Since I had nothing better to do during stay at home anyway, I figured I'd get a bunch of kids and try to make/save up some extra money. I offered this to all of my students and only got 2 to follow through. It did work really well for those 2, but 2 of 25...

    This year will be interesting because as I predicted, the district is wanting online learning to be mostly synchronous instruction. I get why they're saying that as clearly the instruction would be better, but I think students just aren't going to show up for it. My P thinks they will if we explain the expectations are higher this time around- they will be marked absent, grades will be taken, etc. For everyone's sake I hope she's right but I just don't see it happening.

    Students who choose the online school option likely wouldn't do so unless they had the ability to support it at home, so I think those students will be fine. However, they're also (correctly IMO) predicting that with in person learning there will be days or weeks when we have to go into remote learning due to outbreaks or county health guidelines, and the same synchronous learning expectations will apply. I've been told to "run my schedule on zoom" those days. I predict a whole lot of time spent with me looking at an empty zoom room...or trying to fill up 45 minute instructional blocks with one kid because that's all that showed up.
     
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  25. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    I'm hoping my district doesn't do this. Maybe synchronous instruction is better in some ways, but are we really going to plunk kids down in front of devices for 6 hours a day and expect them to stay engaged in learning? How is that even slightly feasible?
     
  26. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    You are so right. It is not feasible. If schools did Zoom 6 hours a day (I sure hope they don't), it won't work. Many parents have 3,4,5, or even 6 children at home and not all of them can be on Zoom at the same time. Most homes don't have enough devices or enough bandwidth for 6 live stream sessions at the same time. There needs to be some synchronous and asynchronous time. To ignore that is to ignore reality.
     
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  27. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    I'm still waiting to hear final instructional breakdown of synchronous vs asynchronous learning. I can't fill that much zoom time, so I am planning to tell them about (up to) 15 min instructions and then I will be there if they need to come back to me with questions, discoveries, etc. I will sit here at my desk, with zoom open and they can pop in if they need to. I'm hoping that satisfies the powers that be.
     

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