Distance learning. Two of the scariest words I’ve heard in a very long time. These words rocked my world. And I don’t know what our future holds. We’re in a new era and this era is going to rely strictly on distance learning. I know our world is changing almost minute by minute. I know it’s scary right now. You probably are riddled with anxiety, as am I. 

It's a new era and the Coronavirus has got everyone worried and you don't have to worry. I am giving you some of my quick tips to use in your distance learning classroom immediately.
Distance Learning is Happening

What did I do?

I started looking online for distance learning schedules and I found none. It is a hard idea to grasp. How do I come up with a schedule for my 5th graders? I know the parents are clawing to get their kids back into academics data and so am I, otherwise what kind of teacher would I be? My schedule is going to be weird and I know that but I’m here to help support my kids and you.

The Resources I will use during Distance Learning

One of my favorite resources is going to be Google Classroom.

The reason why I love Google Classroom is because you can house everything that you possibly need in one place. On top of that, your kids and the parents will have access to this and they can easily log in and see what they have to do and move forward.

I have put a lot of my resources on there and that has been extremely helpful for my students.  One thing that I love about Google is that I am able to post a classroom assignment and then the kids can actually go ahead and like complete the assignment.

I can use any of my Google resource that I created. Use anything with Google forms, Boom cards, Google Slides etc.

I really could just come up with a whole slew of things to use in my Google Classroom and the best part about it is that my kids can use this and we can constantly refer back to it as needed. Also, I love the fact that it holds a student a little bit more accountable because we can’t really do much in terms of monitoring individual academics.

Read Alouds during Distance Learning

This is my solution so another thing that I have been doing that I really really love is that I have been recording my read aloud. I’m actually just putting it in Google classroom. I’m recording them using zoom and then I am posting them in Google Classroom and then I have questions for the students as well each and every day based on the chapter that I read that day. This is also a very fine line of copyright. Right now- we have a little grace from book companies. Lock it into my Google Classroom so it won’t go public. I did seek permission from the author to use it in a private site like Google Classroom. I found an amazing site by Bryce from The Teaching Texan about Virtual Read Alouds.

It’s kind of like their own little novel study that they’re doing just a little bit differently so instead of them answering questions in the classroom there now just answering the questions inside the actual Google forms or they’re doing it on you know maybe the possibly the Google slides it really just depends on what I decide to choose.

Schedule during Distance Learning

Here is my example of my distance learning schedule.
Here is my example of my distance learning schedule.

Here’s my schedule as of right now. This will totally be updated and if it gets updated I will come back on to my blog post and tell you about it.

I feel like it will change and I not worried because I am being “fluid” with the plans.

8:00-8:15Welcome back! How is life? Let’s catch up!
8:15-8:45Math time!! I plan on utilizing Google Meet to teach this lesson. I have the resources to teach it and since it’s the end of the year- luckily, it’s not really hard. We will also check last night’s homework and the previous day’s classwork.
8:45-9:00/9:15I will either read the read aloud book LIVE or I will prerecord myself so students can watch and answer the questions themselves.
The mini-lessons are lessons provided by the district so we won’t be explicitly teaching the mini-lessons. if you have to search, I recommend searching on YouTube.
9:15-9:30Science lesson. I love teaching science so I will probably be going live for this as well.
*Their daily tasks– 15 minutes of iReady
– 15 Minutes of SuccessMaker
– 15-30 Minutes of Social Studies research project
– 30 Minutes of writing (prompt work)
– Math Work that needs to be completed
– Reading work from NewsELA or CommonLit
– Anything extra that they need to do

I’m also going to give the students a daily agenda of everything that’s going to be done for the day, plus what needs to be done for the daily homework. There will be a lot of independent time. The list above for the remaining tasks are not in order. They will be able to complete whatever they want first and in any order.

Office Hours

I know you are probably thinking- how long will I need to be available to the students? I am going to say there is not a perfect answer. If you want to be available for 10 hours- I guess go ahead. I would recommend being on the computer and maybe every 30-60 minutes you check your email to see if a student needs assistance. I won’t be in a Call all day. It’s not feasible because my son needs to watch his lessons as well. Our school told us to be available during school hours.

Give yourself Grace.

From one teacher to another, give yourself grace. None of this will be perfect. We are all working our butt off to make sure our students get an education. We are making sure our students feel safe and loved. Yes, it is hard. It is incredibly tough, but so are you. You can absolutely do this and you will kick butt at it. If you don’t know where to start- start with Google Classroom. Then be sure to check out all the digital products out there. There are some AMAZING products out there (not just mine) and you can check them out on Pinterest or TeachersPayTeachers! In case you want to incorporate SEL during this time, check out this blog post!

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