I hope everyone reading this is doing well, staying healthy, and enjoying the summer! Wow, what a year we all just had! I haven't blogged in almost two years and I wanted to jump back into it before I head back to school in a couple weeks.
The 20-21 school year was definitely different for all of us. In my district, we were remote, then hybrid, then remote, then hybrid, and then *almost* back full time for the last two months. I say almost because I still had 1-5 students fully remote in each class. Those two months were the most exhausting, but also my absolute favorite of the year.
While I thought this past school year was a complete dumpster fire, I did hope that there was at least one thing that I could salvage for this coming year. At the end of the year, I asked my students if there was anything from the school year they thought I should continue next school year. To my surprise, they actually listed off a few things. That gave me hope and led me to create these two lists of things I will continue.
Feedback from students:
- Weekly check-ins: I knew I couldn't keep up doing a daily check-in, like I did in spring 2020. Instead, I did Mindful Mondays. I sent students a Google Form and asked how they were feeling, asked them to reflect on their stress level, asked them fun questions, and used it as an opportunity to gather other feedback, as well. Even when we were fully back in person, my students wanted me to continue this.
- Sharing my daily slides: Our district required us to post our daily slides every day in Google Classroom. My students actually liked that and think I should continue that next year. They said they like knowing what is going to happen during class (if they will be playing a game, etc.). Plus, it helped them see things up close, if needed.
- Kahoot & Blooket: My Algebra students actually liked Kahoot better because they said it actually reflected if they knew the content. However, Blooket was a favorite because they found it more fun (even though it was usually based on luck).
- Daily Routines: I continued incorporating my daily routines each day. I had to change them up a little when we were remote, but overall used the same ones. Here is my original blog post on it!
- Collaborating using Google Slides and Jamboard: From groupwork roles to showing their work, it was helpful to have a digital way for students to collaborate.
- Desmos: I LOVE Desmos and continued to push myself to create and/or find more Desmos activities. Desmos lessons always are so engaging and really push students to think creatively!
- Getting kids up and moving: It's possible to have students socially distant from one another and still be up and moving! I put task cards on every 5th locker or so and sent two groups into the hall at a time. We have 75 minute blocks, so it is SO important to me to have my students get up and move during class at least once!!
- Using PAPER!! I don't know what the guidelines will be this coming school year. However, I assume that students will be using their Chromebooks in their other classes often. My students were so relieved when I offered them paper in my class and I want to offer them those same opportunities this coming year, as well.