Friday, July 3, 2020

Blended Learning Thoughts

As we all ponder what August looks like for schools, I find that my thoughts keep landing on the blended learning option. I imagine that half of the students in my high school would be in the building on Monday/Tuesday, the other half on Thursday/Friday. While at home, students would do additional school work online. Wednesdays are a bonus day with many options. 

Disclaimer 1: I do not have recommendations from my state or school district yet. I have no insider information. This is just my brain doing what it wants to do. It could all be for nothing, and that’s fine. Maybe my thoughts will be helpful to someone else considering this option?

Disclaimer 2: My thoughts are mostly isolated to my own high school math class.

Two Days at Home: Virtual learning. 
·     Students would watch a video. I’d like to try using Edpuzzle for tracking, accountability, and asking thoughtful questions. I’m intrigued by the opportunity to get responses from all students. 
·     Students would practice a new skill. I like Delta math for this. I’m thinking I could condense my list of skills to 36 (by eliminating a few and combining some) so that the focus is 1 skill/week.
·     Students would record themselves working out one problem, describing what they are doing, so I can actually see the math that they are doing. I’m considering flipgrid as a platform for this. 

Two Days in School: We do all the things that we missed during distance learning.
·     Short (15 min?) assessments weekly. Assess a combination of new & retention skills.
·     Focus on applying new and old skills to non-standard problems. I want to focus on the skill students practiced at home but ask questions differently than delta math. 
·     This is the time for open middles, desmos activities, 3 act tasks, and more.
·     Spiral through some skills for retention.
·      I would like to do some additional skill practice so that I can watch what students are doing and look for common errors, but I suspect I’m out of class time by now. I’m hoping skill practice can be done mainly at home or doing intervention times.

Bonus Day: All weeks with five days should have an extra day.
·     This day is an opportunity to be creative.
·     Ideally, it would include some extra teacher planning time. All of this reinventing the wheel is going to require it.
·     What if we could “invite” specific students to attend in person, even for half of this day? Bring me the handful of students who haven’t mastered this weeks’ skill or are having trouble keeping up with the online portion at home. 

·     If face to face isn’t possible, individual and small group tutoring could happen via zoom.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

My Brain's Off Switch is Broken

I saw this picture on social media recently, and I feel this so much! 

I told myself that I would not spend my summer worrying about what the fall looks like.

For the most part, I haven't worried. I am confident in my state, school district, administrators, and colleagues' ability to figure it out. I even feel ready to embrace whatever changes are necessary to keep everyone safe.

But that doesn't mean I don't think about it. Every. Day.

At supper tonight, my daughter said "Mom, you keep saying that you don't want to talk about school in the fall and then you keep talking about school in the fall!" She's right. I can't turn it off.

It occurred to me that I have this long-neglected blog, and that this would be a good place for me to tap out my thoughts and clear my head.