Well . . . yes, life has been CRAZY BUSY!!! Now that we are beginning distance learning . . . offically for a few weeks . . . we need to revamp our lessons and engage students. I spent some time researching for the best lesson plan organizer for students and parents to view, prepared a weekly schedule, organized a lesson calendar, and am learning more about videotaping my lessons. Yes . . . it’s been a whirlwind.
Not only am I preparing lessons, but I need to make certain the information I share is VERY clear for parents and students have everything they need to be successful. I am not there to guide learning, adjust the pace, provide another direction, or ask a question to promote learning. My parents are now taking on the “teacher” role and I am moving into a “facilitator” providing guidance for parents and students. I wonder if my videos and instructions are clear, do I have enough examples for practice, do the students have any questions, are my students being successful, if they struggle, are they able to persevere and work through the challenge? When will we return to school? How long will this pandemic last? SOOO many questions!
Our first week learning brought LOTS of questions about learning and how to do this or that questions. Parents wanted to know what the learning expectations were during this time period and many looking forward to school resuming. Students wanted to know if the work would be graded and when they would return to school. It was such a scary time for all of us, not knowing what is going on with this disease and the rapid spread across the country.
It was nice to get students connected on ZOOM. Here students were able to see each other, engage in conversations, know that their friends were alright, and just stay connected. Our first meeting was an opportunity to touch base, ask questions, and become familiar with the learning platform. When we finished our second ZOOM session, the students felt more comfortable with our learning session as many of the distance learning kinks were beginning to get worked out.
Fortunately, my students were already accustomed to online learning. The were very familiar with many of the resources that I used as supplemental learning opportunities. Now the challenge was for students to rely on themselves and parents for their learning. Knowing that math was going to be the most challenging subject for students, I utilized the Screencast resource to record instructional videos for students. These videos were helpful for parents and students to better understand the concepts. I really appreciated the opportunity to use this resource, currently free during the pandemic, because it gave me an opportunity to still be present in the “distance learning” home environment. Check out one of my daily lesson plans with recorded screencasts to support student learning. I’ve posted a sample learning video below so you can see how the Screencast, or any webcast program, can be used to support student learning.
At the end of the day, it is my goal to continue providing a high quality learning program for my students by assisting parents in this common goal while we engage in distance learning. No one could have predicted this health pandemic and the impact it would have on education. Hopefully, with the support I can provide remotely, my students will continue to learn and be successful with limited additional stress and anxiety.
. . . onward we go!
Check out this and other prior posts to learn more about using technology to provide additional support and instructional opportunities for students. Sign up for my newsletter and stay updated with valuable information to support your learners at home and school.