I am back with new blog posts again. I took a break from blogging over the Easter holidays and it was much needed.
I took some time last week to try and build a better plan for my class so that I could begin this week but a plan and to look ahead at what can be covered in distance learning over the next few weeks. It is daunting but I am conscious that I want to keep my class, especially 6th class, busy working at this time.
So I made the switch from Edmodo to Microsoft Teams over the Easter break. My class were well familiar with Office365 as we have been using it since September which has been a huge asset for me at this time. Microsoft Teams has a forum to add posts similar to what I had on Edmodo, the class can respond to questions and respond to their peers on these posts. I have also started uploading any relevant files to the Classroom files section within Teams and because we are using Office365 the Powerpoints and Word documents will open automatically for the class which is great. It means no more switching between apps etc. I have also begun using the Class Notebook function of Microsoft Teams, the class have their own Notebook where they can add pieces of work or homework and there is a collaboration space where the class can work together. I have been using this as a space to share ideas and thoughts about our class novel at the moment. You can also add different apps to Teams so I have added Quizlet where I can share quizzes for Irish vocab each week. So far this week it has worked really well and most of my class have accessed it and sent work through or asked me questions in messages. I have two separate Teams for my 5th & 6th Class so they can work independent of each other. I am trying to build my own knowledge of Microsoft and Teams so I hope to complete some training courses so I can become a Microsoft Certified Educator. I will keep you posted on my progress.
While searching for online resources for my class, I came across Writing Legends. While it is a subscription service it is free for Distance Learning at the moment so I took the opportunity to try it out with my class. Each child has an individual profile (our school AUP includes permission for the children to have accounts like this) and they can access the site daily. There are quick writes and full writes as options for activities. The Quick Writes are similar to free writing tasks in the classroom and are fun 10 minute writing activities. The children are encouraged to plan their writing and follow the writing process within the Full Writes Section. At the moment my class are working on Quick Writes daily and I can access their individual activities and give feedback. It seems popular this week so I will keep you all updated as to how it goes next week.
I am making the most of online programmes that are free at the moment so I also signed my class up for RAZ Kids.
A teacher in my school has access Reading a-z where you can download and print a variety of levelled readers and worksheets to accompany each book. This has worked very effectively for Station teaching and in learning support setting. The RAZ kids is now free to set up your class with individual profiles so they can continue to read and work on comprehension at home. I set up my class this week and sent out their login details and many of my class have accessed it over during the week. RAZ kids begins with a placement test where it assesses the children and places them on levelled readers. This has been interesting to watch the results at home. It also focuses on the different comprehension strategies and which areas are strengths for the class and which areas need improvement. Skills such as inferring and drawing conclusions I have focused on in the class novel and have scored well on RAZ kids however analysing characters is an area I need to focus on next. I really like the level of detail and analysis for teachers in the reporting section of RAZ Kids. RAZ kids is suitable for all readers and allows for differentiation due to the graded reading system.
If you have any questions on the above sites please send me a DM
Stay Safe Everyone