I hope you are all safe and well and not too overwhelmed with the return to Distance Learning.
In April last year as school closures were set to continue I made the switch from Edmodo to Teams, I wanted to schedule video calls and enable more interaction with my class and felt that Teams was a safer online environment for this. It also was secure, GDPR complaint and most importantly because we used Office365 in the school it was part of our school’s Acceptable Use Policy.
I shared a run through of Teams over on Instagram during the week, it was quite long so I have added it as a highlight, but here are some of the features you can use.
I set up two classes for my 5th & 6th class, within each class I set up channels so that I could separate key subjects like English and Maths. Within my English channel I could add links to ebooks and other resources. This made it easier for children to access ebooks at home rather than switching between browsers. I shared Gill Education books with my class as they have open access for distance learning.
To encourage engagement from the pupils I had different puzzles or videos to respond to each day. I used Maths puzzles from Mash Up Math and Which One Doesn’t Belong, I shared different ones one every second day so that the children could respond and see responses from others.
I also used some videos from The Literacy Shed, sharing specific links on the class page, where they could watch and respond to the video. They also responded to a comment from others explaining if they agreed or not.
For the class novel I would also ask a question on the class English channel each day and children could respond to it, it could be a question based on a character, a prediction of what would happen next or a key event in that chapter.
Within the Maths channel I could share PowerPoints and videos that I created on a particular topic. Again it was accessible on one page without going in and out of different tabs and browsers.
I also sent through a PowerPoint each morning with activities to complete offline. This allowed children to work independently at home without the need for multiple devices. They could share work on Seesaw or Teams for correction.
I liked working with Teams, the children were familiar with Office365 and Edmodo so it was a natural transition for us, it was also covered under the AUP which made it easier too. As I had Senior classes and I was conscious that they were moving to Secondary schools where Teams and Google Classroom are widely used, I wanted to ensure they had a good knowledge and experience of Teams as a Virtual learning Environment. I am hoping that this experience will work for my 6th now in 1st year as they move to remote learning also.
If you want further information on anything I have shared within this blog post, please let me know.
Stay Safe Everyone,