Anderson eNews 3/19/20
The Sky's the Limit!
Morning Announcements! eLearning Style!
Each morning before 9:00 AM, I plan on recording and posting our Anderson School Morning Announcements for the day. Below are the links to this past week's videos if you missed them. The purpose of these videos is to simply help our students feel more connected to our school community by seeing a friendly face, hearing a common message, and laughing every morning. They will be posted on our Anderson facebook page!
Tuesday March 17th Happy St. Patricks Day!
Wednesday March 18th Mr. Jarot gets attacked by balloons
Thursday March 19th What is that noise? Is someone at the school?
Friday March 20th (coming soon)
We are all off to a great start with eLearning in D303 and at Anderson. Our goal is to help every student engage and learn as much as possible during the time we need to be away from school. Our teachers will be checking in with each family to make sure every student is "connected" and participating. If for some reason you are not able to access the learning that is coming from your child's teacher, please email Mr. Jarot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few things to keep in mind as we start this journey together:
- The goal of creating e-Learning experiences is to provide some level of continuity for students when it comes to their educational services. As a parent, especially for primary aged students who are less independent, it is okay if you don’t get through everything on a particular day.
- Students are not expected to be available and present for the duration of an 8:40-3:00 school day. Teachers will simply post assignments, or push out communication each morning, and students and parents have the flexibility of when to work through these activities.
- Students will not be “graded” during these e-Learning days. Therefore, students will not be ‘penalized’ for not completing the work. We are well aware as a school community that there are factors that go into the level of engagement families can have with the e-Learning at this time. As a parent, you should encourage them to give their best effort.
- Please send your questions and feedback to your child’s teacher. If you have a compliment, a question, a concern, etc. please send it your teacher’s way. They will be engaged with students and families throughout this process and will be as responsive as possible.
- Teachers have attempted to plan approximately 2 hours of instruction per day, not counting specials. (PE, Music, Art) Therefore, it is not reasonable, nor is it realistic to replicate everything your child would be learning during a typical school day.
- Teachers will be providing you with a school-based telephone number. Phone messages received on this number will go directly to our teacher’s email accounts. Since teachers will not be at Anderson, I have advised them to return calls on their personal devices using the *67 feature, which will hide the number. Therefore, phone calls may appear as blocked or hidden. If you’re expecting a phone conversation with a teacher, I’d advise that is confirmed via email, so parents know to actually answer the phone call (and not screen it like I would :).
Thank again for your patience and flexibility. I have been so grateful for the number of compliments and questions I have received from Anderson's parents over the last 72 hours.
All the best and stay healthy!!!
Thanks! It takes a village. We are the village!
A special thanks to . . .
- Our teachers worked together to create learning opportunities for home.
- Our assistants who worked so hard to support our teachers and do a million random tasks this week.
- Our specialists who have supported our teachers in lesson design and delivery.
- Our nurses who coordinated medication pick-up.
- Our office staff who have attended to so many details that we have lost count.
- Our district who has equipped and empowered our teaching team to support students and families during this time.
- Our district leadership who has thoughtfully taken in the ever-changing information and directives and made strategic decisions to keep all safe and learning during this time.
- And lastly, to our parents who are partnering with us in their child’s education at a whole new level! As we begin this E-Learning, we will be asking for your feedback to help us serve you better.
5 Tips to help parents
1) Parents should set up a visual schedule for their children. Some students may be at home during the e-learning days where others may be going to childcare. Either way, a new clear schedule for kids will help alleviate some anxiety.
time to get up, breakfast, lunch, exercise/P.E. and bedtime
Remember that flexibility is a wonderful benefit to learning at home but it can also be the downfall when students get behind. We also know students handle uncertainty better when they have a consistent routine in place. We are about to remove their usual routine, but parents can provide some comfort by replacing it with a routine that will work for their own situation. The key is to get it set up and clearly communicate with their children.
teachers might even want to provide a general template for parents to use
course subject order
typically we recommended students work on the most challenging subjects 1st when they are fresh. (or 2nd if they needed a running start to get into the groove of learning)
Plan 5-10 minute breaks every 30-45 minutes - It’s easy to forget the natural breaks we take during the day when learning at home. If there is a lot of online work, that can lead to neck/back pain and headaches for our students (and teachers) when they don't take appropriate breaks. Student learning will be more effective and efficient when regular breaks are taken. Not taking frequent breaks is one of the biggest mistakes parents make when starting this type of learning. It can set up a negative pattern of behavior in some students who don't trust they can take a break (they start to envision endless hours of working).
get up & walk around or play with a family pet
get a snack
take a Brain Break - maybe link in the videos you share at school
go outside if weather permits to ride a bike or look for signs of spring
Remember to include daily P.E., Art, and Music practice time
Read with your child
include household chores in the schedule
Remember, some of the kids are going to be at home all day now and can help out with the daily age appropriate chores including making meals and helping with dishes. It's a good time to share with children what tasks need to be done at home to keep everything running smoothly and work as a team.
Consider letting your child earn some $ for extra chores around the house. This is a great opportunity to teach about money, earning and saving.
Plan fun time!
When school is over, it's over! Give the kids their play time. Some kids I homeschooled stayed on a traditional school schedule, for others, the day went until 5pm as longer breaks were inserted during the day to accommodate learning challenges or family schedules. Either way - school stops at a set time of the day. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!
Fun time can also be used as an incentive. Students receive an incentive when work is completed within a set amount of time, broken down into attainable chunks. Some kids will be resistant to working at home (just like at school) and having incentives in place from day 1 can be very helpful! Have parents create a menu of incentives at home, just like we do at school. This can also include fun screen time.
It would be helpful if teachers send home incentive ideas as well - 15 minutes of You-Tube, play a board game, students picks a dessert for the family, earn a family movie night with popcorn at home, put on their favorite song and dance together, use a flashlight to make shadow shapes, make slime, pull out the toys the kids have forgotten about, make a simple scavenger hunt through the house (then have kids make one for you), put out art supplies for students to use in their free time
Screen time - this is going to be tough to monitor but establishing clear rules from the start is helpful.
2) Set up a workspace in your home.
This doesn't have to be fancy, but a designated space that the kids know means work time is a good idea. Make sure to have any school supplies readily available at this location. This may mean an outlet to charge the Chromebook, pencils, crayons, etc.
Recognize that students might want a break from that space and can work in other places in the home, as long as they are working and distraction-free! If the weather improves, working outside is a lovely benefit to e-learning!
Try to reduce/eliminate distractions. The TV can't be playing all day in the background for students to focus.
3) Teachers/Parents working from home can work in the location as their children.
Model school time behavior for them.
Remember - ADULTS NEED TO TAKE BREAKS TOO
You are then available to answer questions and monitor their on-task behavior
If parents have a scheduled work meeting, make sure to put that on the daily calendar. Check in with your child before the meeting to establish rules while the parent is working and take care of any needs the child has such as providing a drink or snack. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!
4) Personal space / Me Time -
Everyone should take some time to themselves away from everyone else in the house every day. (10-30 minutes can really make the house a happier place to be)
5) Know there are going to be some rough times, but it's okay, teachers are available to help - you are not alone! That goes for teachers too - reach out to each other for support:).
Teachers are providing lessons and support to students, but it's also important to be available to the adult at home who is supporting their child.
Maybe send a daily quote or tip to families to let them know you are there to support and to provide motivation and encouragement.
Our families are feeling as stressed out as we feel as teachers getting e-learning set up; only they are wondering how to support their student at home, what to do with their student while they are working, and how to manage behavior at home.
*Content provided by Jen Gerard, (Anderson Math Interventionist) former eLearning teacher.
Helpful Links for our families:
- Free online Mindfulness Series for kids. Starts today and will run every T, W, Th for the next several weeks.
- How to talk to your kids about the COVID-19 Corona Virus
- Community Mental Health Resources
Free/Reduced Breakfast and Lunches Provided at Thompson Middle School
Families: we are here to help!
District 303 has worked with our two school lunch providers to provide free lunches on school days between March 16 and March 27 while the schools are closed.
Lunches will be available for pickup each day at Thompson Middle School, 705 W. Main Street, St. Charles, from 9am to 11am starting on Monday, March 16. There will be two separate areas for pickup at Thompson, one for PreK-grade 8 students and one for high school students.
Please complete the form available at https://forms.gle/gUQwbTgqmwJ7uG2G7 to sign up for this lunch service as soon as possible.