Diary of an isolating teacher Day 4

Hi everyone,

Well it’s Friday, but not the normal Friday feeling we will have. I am going to treat myself to a take away today, but it will be the last one for a while as the restaurant is closing due to Covid-19. First world problems I know but it’s the little things sometimes.

The distance learning is definitely working a little better for me the last two days. Today was much easier, I took screenshots of activities from Little Miss Teacher Blog and added them to SeeSaw for my class (with her permission). They loved it and the responses started coming in early this morning. I also sent my class a weekly reflection sheet, it’s one of the many activities on SeeSaw from other teachers. They are slowly coming in and it’s interesting to see what they liked this week and what they struggled with so it can guide my planning for next week.

Today’s post is about Maths in the senior classes and it can be so hard to strike a balance between written work, mental work and critical thinking. What I have done this week is working so far so here is an outline of the work.

Every morning I post a Maths puzzle, we are focusing on Which one doesn’t belong and I get these from wodb.ca and Mash Up Math. I share the links to puzzles on Edmodo and then the class comment on which one is the odd one out and why. It’s great to see the responses coming in and all the class can respond to it so little differentiation needed.

Then I have assigned mental work on Manga High, this is differentiated for tables practice for some, mental strategies for others. So far they like it so I’m going to mix it up with IXL which we have a school subscription for already. I can monitor their progress on Manga High and see where differentiation is needed.

Then I set some work from their Figure it Out, I didn’t send home the larger text books last week, so working on the workbook for the moment. With all publishers opening up their ebook access it will be easier to share work from other books too.

Today for 5th class I asked them to complete long division sums, then share their work on SeeSaw and add a note as to how long division was working for them. One child told me they would prefer to be back at school but was managing all the work I was sending home. Others just explained what they found tricky, the estimation part or remembering the steps. It’s a great reflection option for them, and as the SeeSaw is locked only I can see their work and comments.

For 6th class they are working on percentages and money, so I asked them to complete the mental computation in their copy and take a photo of it. They then had to record how they figured out the answers to three of the sums. It’s not easy when you have to break it down step by step.. but it worked. I had tears from laughing as one child set about explaining her work, as it was an actual copy of what I do with them in class every day, breaking everything down and explaining it in small steps. So clearly I am out of a job soon with her.

Distance learning isn’t easy for the teacher, the pupils or the parents. But it’s about trying our best too. I have also sent emails to parents to enjoy the family time, get out and about. Play board games and get creative. So I’m hoping to link in with my colleagues and try set up a family challenge a day and sharing it with us on Edmodo or SeeSaw.

For now, I’m off to admire the daffodils on this #digitaldaffodilday and have yet another cup of coffee.

If you have any questions on these activities please send me a PM.

Stay Safe Everyone

Aistear Muinteoir

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