Week 7 #8WeeksofSummer

This post is week 7 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.

Describe the mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities you provided during #RemoteLearning?

We used asynchronous learning activities last spring for KG-grade 5. I tried only one Zoom meeting the first week of online school. That was when we were all trying to find our way and figure out how to “be creative,” as we were directed. It was also before the mandate came from our administration telling us we would not be using live meetings any longer for the lower grades. The synchronous learning meetings would be for only those in grades 6-12. That was disappointing for me, as I greatly enjoyed seeing them.

In our one Zoom meeting we played Kahoot! I did advertise it as optional because this was in early March and so many of my grade 5 students were not tech-independent and a lot of the parents hadn’t even figured out how to use Zoom yet. Later I used the Kathoot! asynchronous version of the games and that was fun too.

Toward the end of the year, my department took permission to hold “open hours” for students, optional drop-in times for those who needed it. I enjoyed seeing my students for writing conferences, question answering, and just everyday, anything check-ins and show-and-tell.

I figure the way I did the lessons asynchronously was easier than doing live classes each day, but I’m not sure about that, to be honest. I made instructional videos posted on YouTube, and students created responses on Flipgrid and Padlet and created and shared work on Google Drive.

Now this coming year I’m nervous to see the plan is to go back, using a blended schedule. Half the kids will come on Sunday and Tuesday and the other half will come on Monday and Wednesday. On their at-home days, students will complete online lessons. So, it looks like we get to do both–in-person and online. Thursdays will be a catch up day for the students, and hopefully the teachers.

So many questions and concerns, so many details still up in the air. Then in today’s news, this headline: “How the U.S. Compares With the World’s Worst Coronavirus Hot Spots” There was Bahrain, looming high above the U.S. in daily cases per capita.

This is not an easy time on our mental health, is it? (I pray it won’t also affect our physical health.)