The Wolves Den
Week of April 20th 2020 Digital Learning Edition
Some fun up and coming days to celebrate at home...
April 19 National Bicycle Day- Get out and ride your bike around the block
April 20 National Look Alike Day- Dress up like your favorite person or Twin with a friend
April 21 National Library Worker Day- Send Mrs. Mills, Mr. Galaviz or your favorite library worker at the Public Library and email saying thanks for all you do
April 22 Administrative Professional Day- Send a Thank you email to your favorite secretary
April 22 Earth Day- Take a walk and pick up trash as you go
April 23 National Picnic Day- if the weather is great eat lunch outside today
April 24 National Arbor Day- Plant a tree, decorate your favorite tree outside, or draw a picture of a tree
April 25 World Penguin Day- Draw a penguin and hang it in your window or draw a penguin on the sidewalk
April 26 National Pretzel Day- enjoy some pretzels today
April 27 National Tell a Story Day- Write a story, read a story or tell someone a story today
April 28 National Superhero Day- Dress up as your favorite superhero
April 29 Denim Day- Wear your jeans with a purpose and support victims of sexual assault
April 30 National Oatmeal Cookie Day- Bake and Enjoy some oatmeal cookies with your family
April 30 Hairstyle Appreciation Day- Send a thank you message to the person that cuts your hair and makes it look beautiful
Please follow/ like Washington Middle School Facebook Page. We are sharing lots of information, challenges, fun ideas, and pictures with you all.
April 16th, Governor Tony Evers announced, "Public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year." This is definitely not what we expected our fourth quarter to look like going into this school year, however, our staff is committed to making connections with all of our students and making the best of this situation.
Since Mar. 16th the district, and more specifically our staff, have been working hard to provide engaging learning opportunities in order to keep our students progressing academically. Each week we are meeting with staff to seek feedback on what is going well and what are some of the struggles adjusting to teaching outside of the walls of Washington Middle School.
Our Continued Goals:
- Continue to connect with our students and their families.
- Continue to support students through distance learning
- Provide specific feedback to students and families about student progress.
- Provide frequent communication in order to keep our staff, students, families, and community connected.
We want your feedback!
We Appreciate Your Feedback- Thank You
Thank you so much taking some time to take the parent survey to let us know how distance learning is going in your households. After reading over your input we identified the following themes:
- Action 1: Coordinating Google Meet Times We are working hard with teachers to organize Google Meets in order to minimize (if not eliminate) having students double-booked for meetings with teachers. We are going to try a new schedule for next week. There may be special circumstances in which a teacher has scheduled a Meet outside of the schedule, however they will communicate that with families impacted. The Google Meet Schedule will be shared with students and families soon.
- Action 2: Keep the Videos Coming Families appreciate the videos and would like to see them continue. Teachers are aware of this and will keep them coming.
- Action 3: Timely Teacher Feedback Families shared their appreciation for great communication and encouragement for teachers to check and reply to messages throughout the day.
- We have shared your feedback with staff and we continue to make adjustments to make distance learning the best experience it can be for you and your child.
Previous changes based on YOUR feedback!!
- Consistency in where assignments are posted: We have asked all teachers to post assignments under the "classwork" tab. By going to the "classwork" tab in the Google Classrooms, you will be able to see what work needs to be done and what has been turned in. Click this link for a video tutorial: Google Classroom Tutorial This tutorial is a great video to see how to best use Google Classroom as a student and parent (under your child's view).
- Specific feedback on student progress: Teachers have been asked to give feedback to students to clarify what students are doing well and what they can do to further improve. Teachers may post videos, add comments, hold Google Meets, etc. in order to give students feedback. Feedback will be posted within the completed assignments.
- Student Engagement: Students find short instructional videos from their teachers helpful and Google Meets have been beneficial (both for questions & social aspect). We have shared these tips with all of our teachers.
- My child is overwhelmed by emails: This is a setting in Google Classroom. Your child can turn off the notifications in each classroom and this will reduce the overwhelming number of emails. Please find a PDF here to help you turn off notifications. After doing so, your child can then just head to their classrooms each day to check out what has been posted.
"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude." --Denis Waitley
HOW CAN I GET A GUARDIAN SUMMARY FOR GOOGLE CLASSROOMS?
If you would like to sign up for a daily or weekly summary for your child's Google Classrooms, you can send your child's teacher an email letting them know you would like to be "invited" as a guardian to the classroom.
What to Do When Invited: Video Tutorial
Tips For Distance Learning
- Create a schedule for your children. Keeping a routine and schedule can help to bring some normalcy in an ever changing world around us. It brings comfort to know there is something that is consistent and something we can control in our lives. Maybe even have your children help create the daily schedule. A sample can be found in the "Getting Started" document from earlier in this newsletter.
- Turn off the News and Talk. The news can be upsetting, especially to our children. Continue to let your children know it is okay to feel however they are feeling. Empathize with them, listen to them and just be there for them. Many of them are frustrated because they can't be with their friends and to be honest- their friends/peers are highly valued for this age group. Be vulnerable with them as well, share how you are feeling too. What are you struggling with? What helps you?
- Stay Connected. It is important to continue to talk with teachers, counselors, administrators, and other parents. Join our Facebook page if you haven't already. We are trying to post daily videos. Join in the conversations. Post comments and send in photos of your kids working from home. Together we are stronger. Together we will get through this.
- Enjoy the family time. Take time to just enjoy the downtime. Embrace not having to run around to a million extracurriculars, appointments, etc. Play a game, talk, go for walks, cook together, play cards, look at old photos, tell stories about favorite memories, get crazy and have a dance off. The possibilities are endless.
- Be patient & give each other grace. There are going to be bumps in the road. We are all going to have bad days. Talk to each other about how you are doing daily. Check in and if it's a bad day, take more breaks. Ask for help. Rely on others.