Weekly Update

Owl #20

Monday, January 31st is a 1/2 day

Monday is a winter storm-related half day. On a normal day, we begin with the dismissal of walkers at about 2:50. We will start walker dismissal tomorrow at 11:50. As a result, there will be no specialist class for the students tomorrow.

Cohort 2 Schedule

9:15 - Morning meeting followed by math

10:15 Math support in Professor Quimby's Zoom Room

11:15 Reading support in Professor Quimby's Zoom Room

The afternoon meeting is canceled

Concurrent Teaching

Last week went smoother than I would have anticipated on my end. The students seemed to adjust to the new schedule with relative ease. The students are currently receiving 37 hours of live instruction every two weeks. I can move the schedule around a little more to allow for an additional half-hour of con-current instruction daily bringing our bi-weekly number up to 39 hours. I'm slightly hesitant to do this for two reasons. First, I continue to worry about the impact of so much screen time on our at-home learners. Amending the schedule would mean at-home learners would log in from 11:25 - 11:55 instead of having independent work time during that block. While I'm fortunate to have the support of both Professor Griswald and Professor Quimby in the classroom, teaching concurrently definitely divides our attention. This would mean that your students would not get our full attention during an additional 1/2 hour while learning in-person. Please email me if you feel strongly about this issue one way or the other. This is not a matter of us meeting state guidelines as we are already exceeding their recommendation. Any change made to the schedule would not go into effect until next week.

Second Step Lessons with Mr. Hanson

Mr. Hanson will be starting live Second Step lessons with the students on their asynchronous days every other week. For those who do not know, Second Step is the social-emotional curriculum that we use at Clough. Mr. Hanson was originally sharing pre-recording video lessons with the students but truly misses the personalized interaction with our students. Live Second Step lessons will allow for real social-emotional interactions with the kids which will facilitate a better understanding of the concepts. This live instructional time will also increase your child's access to live teaching which, as you know by now, is a demand of our state. Please find the below link to Mr. Hanson's flier. There is a link to his Zoom room on the flier.

Cohort 1 students: Every Week 1, Friday at 12:00

Cohort 2 students: Every Week 2, Monday at 12:00

This week is Week 2 but the Cohort 2 lesson will need to be postponed for a couple of weeks due to the weather-related 1/2 day on Monday.

LINK to Mr. Hanson's flier

Epic Reading

Our students are really enjoying Epic. They love that they can easily access high-quality books to read. I have been working hard to allow for more independent reading and partner reading during concurrent teaching blocks. Many students complain that their access to Epic ends at 4:00 PM. By signing up for a parent account you can increase your child's access to Epic. No credit card is necessary. Please see the below link to access the flier.

LINK to Epic flier

Packing for Hogwarts

  • A fully charged iPad
  • Green Clough folder
  • Wonders Reading/Writing Companion (Unit 1-2) Workbook
  • Chapter 4 - Go Math!
  • 3 Composition Notebooks (Dear Harry, Math, Reading)
  • Pencil box containing things like pencils, scissors, glue stick, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons, etc.
  • A spare mask in a ziplock bag
  • Snack and a water bottle

(Large white binders can stay at home)

Parent Technology Workshop

The Blackstone Valley Curriculum Consortium is hosting a parent workshop this Tuesday from 7-8:30 pm with internet safety expert, Katie Greer.

This 90-minute workshop will provide advice for having real conversations with your child to foster a positive online experience for your family, with suggested restrictions and rules. We will discuss how to design digital health check-ins and think about the following question: "Is your family doing a good job balancing life and technology? Most KIDS say "NO!"

LINK to workshop flier

iReady and SEL Screener

The district has asked elementary teachers to launch the mid-year iReady assessments in both reading and mathematics. We will be giving those assessments in the next two weeks. You can click on this LINK to learn more about the iReady assessment.

Additionally, the district has asked teachers to allow time for students to answer a 34-question survey that will be used to assess students' social-emotional learning. The Panorama survey was selected because it measures students’ perceptions of SEL, provides interactive reports, and suggests actionable strategies for educators to build students’ SEL skills. The survey will take students approximately 15 minutes to complete. We will ask students to complete this screener in the next couple of weeks.

Please dress in layers!

Winter weather has arrived and it is COLD. In order to keep your child as safe as possible, classroom windows and even bus windows need to remain open at all times. Our classroom can feel truly bitter. I allow winter hats to be worn in class and thin gloves might be a good idea for some students. A small lap blanket would also be allowed if your child has low cold tolerance (as I do!).


Troubleshooting WiFi Issues in the Home

Doug Belshaw offered this handy family-friendly guide on understanding your home wifi. It provides practical tips to understand better the Internet infrastructure in your home and what you can do to improve the quality if you encounter issues.

Having Trouble with the iPad?

Many iPad issues can be resolved by closing out of apps and open tabs in the browser. The next easy thing to try is to power down the iPad for a few minutes and then restarting it. When all else fails, fill out a "HelpDesk" request. The MURSD tech department is very responsive to HelpDesk requests. You can access this help by clicking on the HelpDesk link on the student iPad or clicking HERE.


Valentine's Day

Unfortunately, students will not be able to exchange Valentine cards or candy this year due to health and safety guidelines. I already have some ideas that will ensure that the students are able to express love and feel loved around this traditional holiday. Thanks so much for understanding. Do feel welcome to pack a special snack on the 9th (Cohort 1) and 12th (Cohort 2) of the month!

4th-grade Celebration

The Clough PTO is beginning to collect 4-5 photos of your child/group during their time at Clough. Photos can capture years K-4. Photos should picture your child participating in school events like getting on the bus, class parties, Clough Halloween, field days, field trips, etc. You can also submit a couple of pictures with your child and his/her friends as the committee understands that the pandemic may have made capturing your child at school events more challenging. Finally, please also include a baby or toddler picture. The committee asks that you politely refrain from sending in pictures of your child at a birthday party, playdate, or sports event. Pictures should be emailed to cloughclassof2029@gmail.com. The deadline for pictures is February 14, 2021. If you are struggling to find pictures, please email me directly and I will be sure to take some photos in school and send them to you. Finally, you can email cloughclassof2029@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

Staying Connected

Let's continue to stay connected. Please reach out should you have any questions or concerns. Also, always feel free to share triumphs you're noticing in your child. We love hearing stories of growth and increased independence. We are committed to helping your child overcome obstacles and to set and work toward meaningful goals. As a parent myself, I know how tricky navigating parenting during typical days is let alone during a pandemic. Let's continue to keep the dialogue open as we move through the school year. Don't ever hesitate to contact us.