Virtual Learning Newsletter
Kelly Harmon & Associates
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
-Kelly Harmon, Randi Anderson, & Ashley Taplin
Great Online Read Alouds
Enrichment Learning Days
As we have sheltered in place here, I have found some great activities to keep my boys' little minds and bodies busy. Many are simple daily activities that we do and consider to be "adult things". Now, my kids (6 & 3 years old) are doing them right alongside me.
We have been
- Baking two days a week
- Planting a vegetable graden
- Jumping on the trampoline
- Playing board games at night as a family
- Eating dinner together
- And much more!
Enrichment is "Making something more meaningful, substantial or rewarding."
As I spend time with my own children at home, I've been thinking about how to make this new normal work for all of us. What if we focused on instruction for four days of the week and dedicated one day to enrichment activities?
Enrichment is defined by the dictionary as "Making something more meaningful, substantial or rewarding." Enrichment in this case would be about life. Enrichment could be tasks that teach you about real life things and how to enjoy the world around you. It would be a continuation and extension of learning. This could help create a more "well-rounded" society.
Here are some enrichment ideas for your learners.
Make a Marble Run (DIY)
Look through old pictures with family
Play a card game
Build an obstacle course
Bake a sweet treat in the kitchen (with an adult’s help)
Camp out in the backyard
Write a poem to a grandparent
- Create a Meme using Kapwing
- Mow the lawn
- Plant a garden
- Create a workout routine and exercise!
- Build a monthly budget
- Plan the next family vacation using Trip Advisor
- Write a Yelp review for a local restaurant
- Watch Youtube videos about a career you would like to have
- Grab a good book and read outside
- Make up and video a dance routine
- Bake a new treat in the kitchen
- Research a topic of interest using Wonderopolis
Virtual Math Instruction
Written by Ashley Taplin
This past month has brought about dramatic changes in our schools and our home life. But, as we continue to distance ourselves physically, it has been incredible to see educators grow even closer in united fronts to deliver enriching education to students. Below are some ideas for deepening strategies in math that can be accessed both digitally and by print copy.
Open Middle is one of my favorite resources for increasing engagement and deepening learning as the questions “generally require a higher Depth of Knowledge than most problems that assess procedural and conceptual understanding.” Each problem includes the following:
- a “closed beginning” meaning that they all start with the same initial problem.
- a “closed end” meaning that they all end with the same answer.
- an “open middle” meaning that there are multiple ways to approach and ultimately solve the problem.
The site features free grade level problems K-12 on various topics and are easy to screenshot and share with students on paper or on a digital platform such as Google Classroom. I also love to further the learning by asking students what strategies they used to solve the problem and invite students to discuss similarities/differences as a class. Below are a couple problems from Geometry and Algebra I, and if you would like to see a digital task card version I created click here.
Jo Boaler's Resources
Finally, I recently had the opportunity to hear Dr. Jo Boaler speak about enriching our math curriculum with more open ended, real world applications. She presented a new resource from her work with Youcubed called Data Science found here:
https://www.youcubed.org/resource/data-literacy/. These tasks and ideas offer students the opportunity to think critically about the world around them and relate it to math. In her work, she finds that when “math [is] open, creative and visual…such activities not only offer deep engagement, new understandings, and visual brain activity, but they show students that mathematics can be an open and beautiful subject, rather than a fixed, closed and impenetrable subject” (https://www.youcubed.org/resource/data-literacy/). I love this reminder of what math is and how we can make it come alive for our students!
Phonics Activities for Virtual Learning
For Grades K-3April 14, 2020
9am to 11am CST
This seminar will focus on strategies and activities for decoding and encoding that can be done with students virtually. Learn ways to deliver explicit phonics and spelling instruction, as well as ways to use decodable texts and games to strengthen your students' reading and spelling proficiency. Kelly Harmon will also showcase children's books that promote learning of word patterns and poems that promote the learning of syllable patterns. This seminar will also give writing activities to practice spelling and encoding. Walk away with with ideas for planning virtual mini lessons for word work. Resources are included in the seminar fee. 2 Hours of professional development will be earned. Space is limited. Register online below. Register online today!
Math Problem Solving During Virtual Math Instruction
For Grades K-5April 16, 2020
9am to 11am CST
Help your students become word problem wizards-even when two or more steps are involved! In this session, you’ll learn the steps to help students more efficiently process and solve word problems. Help your students easily understand the problems and select efficient problem-solving strategies. Learn ways to work with your students in guided math groups virtually. Educators will learn types of word problems and explore 8 problem solving strategies using developmentally appropriate problems. 2 Hours of professional development will be earned. Space is limited. Register online today!
Making Virtual Reading & Writing Meaningful for Secondary Learners
April 24, 2020
1pm to 3pm CST
Join Randi Anderson, exploring ideas on how to make virtual learning applicable and interesting to secondary students. Learn ways to get students engaged in reading and responding to authentic texts. Learn how to hold classroom discussions that promote enrichment. Deepen student's level of thinking by learning techniques that promote analysis thinking. Challenge students to write in authentic ways. Educators will walk away with ideas for how to make virtually learning meaningful and differentiated. Resources will be shared that students can use at home. Resources are included in the seminar fee. 2 Hours of professional development will be earned. Space is limited. Register online today!