"Learn Like a Champion" Sept. 21-25, 2020

Dedicated Food Service Staff and Book Giveaway!

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LCAP- Goal 2 & 4 Proficiency for All and Parent Involvement

LCAP Goal 2 & 5: Proficiency for ALL & Highly Qualified Staff

In the last bulletin the emphasis was on the importance of maintaining, and even strengthening our PLC commitments and practices during school closure. I put quotes from many of the leading experts in education and their comments on PLC being critical to success.

This week the topic is a preview to future discussions on authentic learning, student engagement, and effective teaching practices. Using effective instructional strategies is equally as important during online teaching as it is in the school classroom. Some argue that the teaching has to be at an even higher level during virtual instruction to maintain student engagement. The topic of this bulletin is how to capture and maintain students’ attention during live Zoom meetings and group instruction.

Education researcher Michael Linsin offers some ideas on Zoom teaching. Comments from other educators from around the country will be provided so that we can all understand that keeping kids focused and participating in online education is a struggle in many places, not just at Frank Ledesma Elementary School.

The information is not intended to be a directive or one hundred percent match for your virtual classroom. These are ideas worth consideration to increase student learning and authentic engagement during online learning. Michael Linsin wrote the following:

There exists a strategy you’re probably not using that will better capture and hold your students’ attention during Zoom lessons. It’s incredibly simple. But it initiates a series of positive changes to your lesson delivery that can have a profound impact on your students and their attitude toward online learning.

You’ll become more interesting. Your charisma and dynamism will improve. Your eyes will naturally brighten, along with your smile and personality. You’ll also start having more fun. Your students will want to participate more. Their motivation, listening, and attentiveness will increase. They’ll start having more fun too. What is it?

You’re going to stand up during directed lessons. This one thing will cause you to teach more authentically and make your lessons worth watching. Now, I realize that when you’re sharing a screen or using a document camera you may need to sit down. But at every opportunity, you must stand.

This may require making adjustments to your lessons, but it’s well worth it. It’s why top performing YouTubers rarely share their screen. They know that it’s them and their uniqueness that draws viewers and keeps them watching.

Many years ago I installed a stand-up desk. It’s where I do all of my writing. But now I also teach from it. Occasionally, I’ll sit on a tall stool, but for the most part I stand the entire lesson.

Pretend. If you act as if you’re in front of your physical classroom, you’ll immediately become more dynamic. Your personality will shine and you’ll better connect with your students.

Use an Easel. Instead of relying heavily on a document camera or whiteboard, teach from an easel or, if you’re Zooming from school, use your class whiteboard.

Stand back. By moving a few feet away from your camera, students can see your body language and hand gestures. You may also try setting up a mirror behind you or slightly off to the side for a more complete representation.

Move. Moving occasionally from side to the other or closer and farther from your camera makes the picture more interesting. Think of your lessons as a story or performance art. Have fun with it.

Have students stand. Invite your students to stand and mimic your moves. Use hand gestures, body movements, and echoing to get students physically involved in their learning.

Plan your lessons much like you would in the classroom. Use props and costumes. Stand up. Move. Laugh. Dance. Emote. Have some fun. Your students will take up your cue. They’ll smile and feel genuine happiness, perhaps for the first time in months. Most important is that they’ll learn.

Linsin shared a few comments from teachers across the country:

Jan – I have been relying on my document camera. Just this week I have been feeling frustrated because I was struggling to keep their eyes on the screen. Then Friday we had a dance party and I made them get up. We were having fun with Go Noodle.

Debbie - Moving around is good for teachers and students! So it makes sense for the teacher to stand and to have the students stand up once in a while and move around.

CMW – I use two sturdy music stands – one for my laptop and one for my books. Standing helps me feel more professional, more engaged, and more alert. My students have my permission to move and stretch as long as they aren’t too close to the camera.

Anne – You can use your ironing board at its highest setting so you don’t have to go out and buy an expensive desk! It’s not like I use it for clothes!”

The next bulletin will focus on engaging students during online lessons. Student engagement leads to better learning. Michael Linsin wrote, “First of all, if you allow students to turn their video function off, then all hope is lost… very little learning is going to take place.”

Important Events This Week:

September 21 - Happy Monday!

September 22 - Staff Meeting @ 3:25 pm

September 22 - 1st Trimester Progress Reports - Aeries Opens for Data Entry!

September 23 - Happy Wednesday!

September 24 - Happy Thursday!

September 25 - Happy Friday!

Upcoming Events:

September 28 - LCAP Advisory Committee Meeting @ 6:00 pm Remotely

September 29 - Staff Meeting @ 3:25 pm

September 30 - Virtual IEP Marathon!

September 30 - Board Advisory Committee on School Construction @ 5:00 pm C&I Building.

September 30 - Time sheets Due!

October 1 - Aeries Closes for Progress Reports

October 2 - Progress Reports Printed and Distributed

Frank Ledesma Elementary School

973 Vista De Soledad

Soledad, Ca. 93960

(831) 678-6320

(831) 678-8029 Fax


Richard Radtke