Hey everyone! How are we holding up? From what I hear, it’s a real jungle out there. Our friends in the south and out west who’ve been at this for a few weeks seem to be saying that things do get easier. They are still exhausted and working extremely long days, but they say they are getting used to this style of teaching.
Here in NJ, we are just starting to head back. Most kids will start school this week or next week.
In my district, we are beginning a week of PD tomorrow and our kids come on Monday, September 14th. As I said before, we are offering both a hybrid and virtual option to all our students.
Since kids are still being placed, I can’t announce my job to y’all yet. I did hint that things will be changing a bit for me, but it won’t be too dramatic of a shift!!
I know that for me, the hardest part of all this is wrapping my head around what this will all look like? How do we do everything we do in the classroom online? Because let’s face it: even most of the hybrid models have kids in the classroom for a limited amount of time. So, for kids attending that way and for us teaching that way, a majority of what we do still needs to be online, right?
I’m still wrapping my head around this and I’m sure I will be for a while to come, but I knew I needed a way to transfer the important “getting to know you” and community-building activities we do in the beginning of the year from in-person to online. And so, that is where much of my time has been spent this past week.
I think I’ve got a pretty good “first week of school” plan and I wanted to share it with you. This is a digital “Choice Board” that kids can work on independently. Once they’ve completed the entire assignment, they will have a cool presentation that we can upload and share, allowing us to learn about each other.
During the first week of school, my plan is to have the kids work on this assignment (asynchronous), while I schedule them for short, small-group Zooms where I can play a few ice-breakers and provide an opportunity to chat (synchronous). The presentation will be due on Friday and then the following Monday, we will present them during a whole-class Zoom.
In my head this works… finger crossed it will work in practice, too!!
You can get a copy of this assignment HERE. You will need to give each student THEIR OWN COPY of this presentation. Unfortunately, very little of this editable to meet the ToU of the clip art creators* whose work I used. Also, I needed to flatten all the backgrounds because otherwise, the presentations would eat up a large amount of data, and that is tricky for kids who don’t have stable WiFi. So please, don’t email me and ask me to make changes. Sorry and thank you in advance!!
(Do let me know if there are any spelling/grammar errors though!! Or if any of the links aren’t working!! My eyes and brain are fried by this point!)
* Clipart & Fonts by: