If you know anything about me, you know I’m all about classroom procedures. Nothing delights me more than the systems and procedures that keeps a classroom running like a well-oiled machine. But as it turns out my tried and true procedures are not Covid Compatible, so it’s back to the drawing board for The Weirdest Year of Teaching Ever.
I’ve gotten quite a few questions lately about how my classroom procedures have changed this year with all the craziness that is 2020. We’re wrapping up Week 2 of Hybrid Teaching and here’s how our new systems are shaping up:
Out with the Animal Partners, in with Flippity:
I’m minimizing paper this year and I’m going with Flippity’s Name Picker which is awesome! I created a Google Sheet for each class, and have them in a file, saved to my bookmark bar…anytime I want to partner them up (don’t worry….they’ll still be safely distanced!) Flippity will randomly put them in pairs, or groups or anything else my little heart desires. It is so amazingly awesome! Thanks Rita, for the introduction! I think I’m in love!
Out with the Student Absence Folders in with Learning Plans:
Since I’m expecting A LOT of absences this year (in fact, we just got our first confirmed covid case at my school today, gulp), I’m writing my plans for students, and they’ll be available every day, with everything linked, so students in class know what we’re working on and students not in class can follow along. Here’s what today’s Spanish 1 plan looks like:
Aug 25, 26, 27, 28
- Start of class slide…weather, day, etc.
- Review- ¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cómo estás?
- Kahoot Game: ¿Cómo se llama?
- Read Story La chica ríe en la clase
- Textivate La chica ríe en la clase
- Read Celia Cruz bio and Reading Quiz (Assignment #5)
- Sing Ríe, llora
Out with the Lesson Plans in with Learning Plans:
District wide, all our teachers are creating and posting “Learning Plans”, which show students what we’re doing in class (see above) and what to do during their Digital Day at home. I’ve never been one to plan out a few classes at a time, but with all the insanity this year, I think it’s going to be my lifesaver, and help us keep our heads on straight. This year I’m teaching 12 classes and only see the same students once every 4 days…Lord Jesus, Help us! Here’s my 1st Spanish 1 Learning Plan and here’s my 1st Spanish 4 learning Plan. (The formatting is mandated by my district, so that there is continuity for students, regardless of the subject or teacher. )
Out with the Extra Credit Stamp Sheet in with ClassDojo:
Since I’m reducing paper (I have gone once to the copy machine in 3 weeks….it’s FABULOUS!), and staying away from my germy Little Darlings, this year we’re using ClassDojo to track the extra credit points they earn for winning games in class. You might think ClassDojo is a little, ahem, elementary for my Big Juniors or Seniors. Nope, they squealed with joy when I unveiled their little monsters. To award a point, I just tap the adorable little monster and it keeps a tally of their points. Like with the stamp sheets, at the end of the semester, I’ll add their extra credit to their grade. (And shhhhhhhhh…. Their extra credit points really don’t change their overall grade more than 1% or so, but they don’t know that and they’ll do anything for an extra credit point, so the payoff is worth it to me!)
Out with the Portfolios in with the Digital Notebooks:
We’re still doing Timed Writings by hand on the fancy little Quick Write papers created by Scott Benedict….but I’m not collecting them to put in their portfolios this year! They snap a picture with their Chromebooks and upload it to their Digital Notebook, which will serve as an online portfolio. I never grade Timed Writings…for us they’re just a measure of growth, so a picture in their digital notebook works fine for us. For their “Celebrations of Knowledge” I’ll really read their writings, and give them real feedback. Not sure yet about that plan yet, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there! (Another cool thing about their digital notebooks…they can put a link to all their FlipGrid videos as well)
This year they’ll have physical binders AND Digital Notebooks:
I’m still asking students to bring a binder to leave in my classroom, even though it won’t be full of the usual pre-covid copies. I still want the binders for a few reasons: 1. They need a hard surface to write on because #deskless 2. They’ll keep their free reading books in their binders, “reserved” just for them. 3. They need a place to keep theirWrite and Discusses 4. Instead of using the mini whiteboards, this year my lovely NHS volunteers made every student a personal mini whiteboard with page protectors and card stock. Their digital notebooks is where they’ll house their portfolios, vocabulary, passwords, cultural notes, stories and anything else I can think of 🙂
Out with “Turn and Talk” in with “Stand and Holler”
I was afraid that “Turn and Talk” would be a NO GO this year, but it’s just been modified to “Stand and Holler at your partner from a safe distance”…it seems to be working pretty well to have them stay at their chairs but talk loudly to communicate with their partner. It’s it ideal? No, but neither is teaching during a pandemic.
Free Reading is sticking around, but with some significant changes:
Oh boy….I’ve got a lot to say about our Free Reading Procedures…so much that I wrote a whole post: Free Reading in the time of Corona Virus
So that’s where we’re at! What’s changed for you? What’s staying the same with modifications? Are you feeling OK about Back to School, or do you want to crawl into bed and wait out the pandemic? Wherever you are, and however you’re feeling, I’m thinking about you and praying for you!
Take care, my friends!
Oh, PS: Finally, I created a Señora Chase Facebook Account and I’d love to connect with you there!