Insights About Students and Distance Learning

Happy summer days are here again! 

Hello there, and thank you for visiting the blog today as I link up for the third installment of this Summer Blog Challenge!  This week's prompt is:  

What insights do you have about your students after #RemoteLearning?

How The Kids Feel ~ Do you still like online learning?:

Although less than half of my students answered this question during the last week of school on Google Forms, I would say most of my students missed school terribly.  They missed their friends, recess, gym, ...  I think the social interaction is most important to the kids.  Hopefully, they learn academic skills along the way as well.  Our daily Morning Meetings were very important to the students because it was their time to socialize with their peers.  I included periods of instruction, but the kids really wanted to see and hear their friends.

Teaching Opinion Writing:  A Wide Range of Results

One topic taught during at-home learning included opinion writing.  I tried to include student samples from prior years and other strategies such as modeling how to write an opinion piece during our Morning Meeting.  Honestly, the results were all over the place.  Check out some student examples.

First, we started with completing organizers.

This student completed the organizer and the ideas are all here!

These are some examples of final paragraphs:

I save my favorite opinion piece for last!

I felt that writing skills got short shrift during online learning.  Writing is such an important skill that involves conferencing with the teacher and sharing with classmates.  Online learning just does not cut the mustard when it comes to writing instruction.  I would say most of my third grade students' writing skills need improvement.

Other Academic Insights

In addition to opinion writing, the kids learned about geometry and area in Math; the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution in Social Studies; force and motion in Science; sequencing and story elements in Reading.  What will students remember?  I worry about how well my students are prepared for next year.  It is impossible to really know from online learning.

Staying Connected

Yes, this was a priority, and I think we all did our best under the circumstances.  There is no replacement for in person
learning for younger students, but my students knew they were important to me even if I couldn't see them face to face.  It still comes down to this important quote:


How I Am Recharging This Summer!

Hello there, and thank you for visiting today!  My last day of school is next Thursday, June 25th which means I'm still planning work and completing report cards.  In the meantime, I can plan how I'll recharge!

Spending Time in my Pool

I find my most relaxing moments in my pool while I warm up for my water aerobics.  The sun shines warmly on my back; I do my warm-up routine; and look up the beautiful, blue summer sky.  It is meditation for me ~ then I do my exercises and make a whirlpool.  I look forward to my pool time every summer!

Enjoying the 4th of July

4th of July is always a fun family holiday!  It will be different this year due to lack of all the big festivities, but my family always gathers at my home, and now my kids make this fun cake:

Click here or on the picture to get the recipe for this no-bake festive dessert!

Reading, Crossword Puzzles, Sudoku and Word Scrambles

I just finished an amazing book:

The book centers around twins who are light-skinned African Americans.  One decides to live her life as a white person while the other returns home to Mallard.  Mallard is an interesting fictional place where people strive to have light skin.  They actually discriminate against darker skinned people.  Click on the book cover to read more at Amazon because this book is a must-read these days.

In addition to reading, I love to do word and number puzzles.  It keeps my mind sharp (at least, I'd like to believe so!).

What are you doing this summer?  Do you have any must-read books to recommend?  I'm always looking for my next book!

Happy Summer Solstice!


#8WeeksofSummerBlogChallenge ~ #RemoteLearning Takeaways!

Big Question:  What is your personal takeaway from #Remote Learning?

Just because you're working from home does not mean you are on vacation!

Teaching from home was a lot of work!  I did not have all my resources from the classroom so I have to make my own materials, and they had to be precise and concise because third graders' attention spans are very short.

We had to send a weekly schedule to parents so that they would have an idea of the week ahead.  Plus, the state of Massachusetts issued a list of teaching topics that were mandatory.

Fractions on a number line is a tough topic in person.  I hope my students learned some of the material from this week!

Learning to Maneuver Google Classroom is not Intuitive!

I had some Google Classroom experience but not much formal training which means that I am self-taught.  It was an enormous and time-consuming process in which I really learned quite a bit.  I even taught some of the other teachers in my district the basics such as locking down the background, copying and pasting, adding text boxes.  There is a HUGE learning curve with very little time to figure things out.

Out of everything I learned, locking down the background like this was my biggest accomplishment:


I lock down the background of all my documents before adding text boxes, and I have tried many ways to do this.  I would keep losing the PNG or the JPEG.  If you are having similar problems, try this way ~ it will save you a lot of time and aggravation!

The kids and their teacher really miss school!

I am in school until June 25th which means I am still actively planning and creating.  On Fridays, I have an office hour from 9:00 to 10:00.  Most students who visit me at this time are boys.  They miss being with their friends and being at recess.

We just did a unit on opinion writing, and I will say all the student do NOT miss the cafeteria which is noisy and messy!

Thank you for checking in on the blog today.  I'm hoping to be back next week to fill you in with more news!


Currently ~ Just June and Life Goes On!

Happy June Everyone!  Today I'm linking up with Anne in Residence for her delightful Monthly Link-Up:


Right now it is Friday night, and I am feeling like I still have a lot of work to do to prepare my third grade class' work for next week.  Every Friday I send a schedule to the parents so they can see what we will be learning the following week:

The challenges next week include opinion writing and quotation marks.  I find that it is much easier to teach in person.


I look in my closet and see all my work clothes so I know I used to dress up every day.  Now I have graduated from leggings/sweatpants to shorts.


I'm buying books from The Book of the Month Club.  I order one for me and one for my husband.  This is my book:

I ordered this one for my husband:

I do appreciate the reasonable prices of books here.  If you would like to check it out, click here.


I really do miss going to the library.  I miss being with all those books and browsing through them.