Currently August As Summer Chugs Along!

Happy August!  Today I'm delighted to link up with Anne in Residence for her monthly link-up:
I am trying to NOT think about how school is going to start.  On Friday, August 14th, all schools in Massachusetts must make their back to school plans official.  Then I can start to make my plans based on the real deal.  

I am drinking a LOT of Polar seltzer.  It's been very hot ~ which I guess is the trend across most of the country as far as having above average summer temperatures.  I especially love the limited edition summer flavors.

I just LOVE going in my pool and doing my water aerobics!  When I'm done, I sit in the shade and read a book.  Right now I'm reading "A Woman Is No Man."    This debut novel by author Etaf Rum centers on the lives of Palestinian women who live in Brooklyn, NY.  If you enjoy reading about other cultures, you will enjoy this book!

I just ordered a Mexican lasagna from a chef who started her own business:

Who We Are

Doodle's Dinners was founded by the chef and her partner. Lindsey is professionally trained, and has been in the industry for years. Cooking is her passion. "Bringing happiness to people through my cooking is what I live for."

Doodle's Dinners started on a whim after tossing the idea out to family and friends, and then eventually the public and getting some serious positive feedback and interest. We are so excited for the future of this.  

What We Offer:  The idea behind Doodle's Dinners is to make life easier for everyone else. We offer fully prepared, restaurant quality, ready to reheat meals, and we'll deliver them right to your door.  Heating instructions are included and dinner will be ready in minutes. 



 I'm remembering how much I love the sky in the summer.  It's so blue and beautiful.  The clouds seems whiter and brighter.  I need to remember how precious and short the summer is so that I can enjoy every minute.  Now that it is August, I need to relish every minute of summer!

I hope you are well and enjoying your summer!  Thank you for visiting the blog today! 



Changes Are Coming and Evolving!

The Prompt:

How is your school/district operating differently this year?

Hybrid Model Right Now

The latest news includes a Hybrid Model:

    Cohort A:  Monday, Tuesday

    Cohort B:  Thursday, Friday

    Whole Class:  Wednesday online

We will all wear masks; eat lunch in our classroom; practice social distancing.  In school, our teaching will focus on Reading, Language and Math.  Content specialists will take over teaching Science and Social Studies online.
All Distance Learning

Our union just released survey results for teachers.  More than 60 percent of teachers did not feel comfortable going back.  Many teachers would choose to not return at all if the hybrid model was the district's choice.  In addition, there are so many unanswered questions.
After reading the union survey results and the Boston Globe's headline about more and more districts choosing remote learning, I feel that the writing is on the wall:  we will probably be doing distance learning.   I really wanted to try the hybrid model for a few weeks in order to make connections with my students.  I'm starting to accept the possibility of distance learning for the upcoming school year.  
What about you?  Do you know how you will be
going back to school?  I would love to hear what you think!

Online Learning: With vs. Without a Teacher

Hello everyone!  Thank you for popping in for this week's blog challenge topic.  Today I'm linking with Hot Lunch Tray!

This post is week 7 of 8 in the #8WeekBlog Challenge for educators.

Here is this week's prompt:

Describe your mix of synchronous (online in real time with a teacher) and asynchronous (online done independently by student)  learning activities from last spring/will provide this fall?

Synchronous (online with teacher) Learning Activities

When my students and I were online together last spring, we spent most of our time connecting by sharing.  Students were much more interested in visiting vs. actually learning while online with the class.  At first, the emphasis was on "making connections."  Eventually, learning standards were added to the mix, and teaching online became necessary.  To accomplish teaching, I used these strategies:

*Share a slideshow to preview/introduce/review material. 

For example, I taught fractions on a number line.  I would share my screen during our meeting time and talk about the concept.  I would review what was on the slides.  In addition, I made a video for the kids to watch later when they would be doing the activity on their own.

I felt that repetition and review were extremely important ~ especially when teaching a topic that we had not covered in class.

Here is another example for comparative adjectives.  I always spent time reviewing that day's slides with the goal of helping the kids understand the concepts so that they could complete the activities independently.

Here is the Drag and Drop independent activity:

Bottom Line:  I will definitely continue to create slide decks that are colorful and easy to understand.  During meeting time, I will preview and review the information as well as answer student questions.  One improvement I definitely want to make is meeting regularly with small groups of students.  I only met with the whole class except during my office hour.  I really missed getting to interact with the students as a way to assess understanding and make connections.

Asynchronous Learning (Done by Student Independently)

My Google Classroom assignments were always scheduled to be posted at 8:00 a.m.  When they were not there due to some sort of technical difficulty, several students would sent me messages asking where their work was.  I kept the assignments consistent every day:

I enjoyed creating these slide decks for the students.  It was a tremendous amount of work to create the work in digital form, but once I had my system, it came together.  During our Morning Meeting, I always reviewed the work for the day ~ especially something new like the Declaration of Independence.

Right now I am taking a class from Salem State.  I am learning and practicing Flipgrid (free) and Nearpod (free and paid versions available).  I'm really enjoying both of these "new to me" programs.  Nearpod has an add-on in Google classroom and has added lots of new templates (which I loved in Pear Deck). 

I am going to improve distance learning by adding more videos that the kids can watch.  I think it is so important to hear and see new learning concepts.  What online platforms do you prefer?  I would love to hear about them!

Thank you for visiting the blog today!  Happy August!

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