If I were in your shoes… from Amy T

Dear Teachers,

Wow!  What a challenge.  I know you have a huge job in front of you and that we’re just giving you lots more to think about with all of these resources and links.  If I were in your shoes, here’s where I might start.  

For the first week, I’d foster connections with students in the easiest way possible, while keeping it all organized :-).  I’d probably use SeeSaw, and post once a day asking for a specific response I want back from students regarding that day’s learning kit work, either by video or text.  On day 2 and 3, I’d ask students to comment on at least one other post, and on days 4 and 5 I’d provide some guidance on that feedback in terms of length, compliments or other ways to be constructive.  My goal would be connections, but also learning how to constructively use remote learning tools as tools, not free-for-all social networks.

In week 2, I might introduce a new system.  My own kids have been enjoying BrainPop.  If you login through Clever you can find topics and make assignments to your entire class, then monitor progress.  I think that’s kind of cool and my own kids have enjoyed it.  Those in k-2 might want to introduce Dreambox in week 2…3-5 are already using that.

Come weeks 3 and 4 it might be time to try something else.  Maybe add Lexia, Epic or Newsela.  All of these systems are pretty easy to use, and also allow some management and oversight from teachers.

My point is, start slow.  Give your families and yourself time to adjust to a new way of doing school, and make sure that you can maintain the systems you set up at the start.  Don’t do too much to begin with, but add as you become more comfortable. Challenge yourself to try one new thing a week, while holding yourself and your students accountable to what you’ve already introduced.

Good luck, have fun, and take care of yourselves.  And don’t hesitate to reach out to our team if you need support.

~Amy

About Amy Tarnow

Amy Tarnow has been with the Bend-La Pine Schools since 2000, and is currently serving as the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology. As a former classroom teacher and a mother of two young children, her goal is to support all teachers in creating relevant, personalized and connected learning opportunities that help all students succeed both in education, and their lives beyond the classroom.

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