Saturday, March 28th, 2020
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your patience and for helping your kids with their day to day school work. I know that many of you are still out of the house working and many of you are working from home. I appreciate all that you're doing.
Don't get me wrong, iReady has it's disadvantages, but when considering remote work, it's awesome. I have the ability to go in and see what kids have been working on, how many minutes each lesson should take and how long it actually took the student to finish. I can then assign additional lessons. Just so you know, the kids know that if they log in, begin the lesson, then leave their Chromebook open and walk away....the time keeps on ticking! So, it may look like a student has been on for 100 minutes. That's why in yesterday's emails, I did ask a few kids about the time. One student replied with the lesson was on multiplying decimals and it was hard. Yes! That makes sense!
The writing prompts are intended to keep the kids thinking and writing. Some kids are keeping a notebook at home and others are sharing their google docs with me. Both are great! I would like to encourage kids to turn their responses into multi-paragraph pieces. The entire class has been working on that since the fall and can do it! So, if the 20 minutes for a day only gets a student as far as writing an introduction and one body paragraph, so be it! I'd rather they spend to the time (maybe 2 days) to develop their ideas and expand the structure of their piece. For kids who are sharing their google docs, I encouraged them to go back in and read my comments. I also apologize for "losing" some of the google docs. Sometimes I get an email that a doc has been shared with me, sometimes they appear in the shared with me section, and other times I have to go searching......
The Social Studies work is brand new! 4th grade is intended to be a year of introductory content that will then be repeated throughout middle school and high school. The science work is review for the 4th grade NYS science test. Well, we didn't know that NYS was going to cancel all of our tests on March 13th......and we aren't complaining about that!
A few times this week Mr. Hart, Mrs. Gleason, and I decided to change things up a bit with math. Multiplying and dividing are fairly new skills and we need to continuously practice those! I am planning to work with some new apps to make a videos on double digit by double digit multiplication and the steps to long division. To throw in a curve ball, my math class is using different algorithms than the other two classes! No problem! I need the practice with video making. :)
Last but not least, read aloud. I know many kids have been listening daily because they tell me in our journal. Other kids have mentioned that they aren't listening. When we were in the classroom, most kids loved our read aloud time. If you could do me a favor, please encourage your child to listen in. All nine chapters of How to Steal a Dog are housed in the Read Aloud folder in Schoology.
Work After Spring Break
After Spring Break, we are going to transition to teaching some new content. That means these things:
- Students will need to go to their math class in Schoology for lessons and work. In the beginning of the year, students only saw their math class in their courses, now they see all three. I need to work on fixing that to avoid confusion.
- 4th grade teachers will be collaborating to choose the most important standards for ELA.
- We will continue with social studies and science.
- The message to teachers is to keep the work simple and manageable.
- It's still not going to look like a regular school day.
More information to come on this next week!