Articles, Blog

Montana TOY Remote Learning Overview

March 26, 2020


– Hi I’m Linda Rost. I’m the 2020 Montana
Teacher of the Year. – Hi I’m Dylan Huisken. I’m the 2019 Montana Teacher of the Year.
– And we’re here to share some tips from teachers of the year on remote learning.
So first we wanted to share that this new form of online and remote learning
is going to be different, it’s going to be challenging, and it’s also going to be
messy and more time-consuming than learning in the classroom. – And it’s
important to remember that because of all these things you should have grace
for yourself some self compassion. There’s going to be missteps and that can
often be a reason why we don’t feel like going forward because we know mistakes
will be made, but this is definitely one of those trial and error situations and
always just trying to put our best foot forward. – So these are some considerations
for timing when we’re designing remote learning for our students. We need to
remember that learning in this format may take students longer than it would
in the classroom and they may not be guided by their parents they may not
have parents in the home especially for older students who can help with their
learning. The parents also may have multiple children and they may be
managing many grade levels at once so that’s something we should take into
consideration. And the children may also have other duties. Older children may be
doing home schooling with younger siblings or they may have other jobs or
tasks that they have to do. In rural communities they may be participating in
calving or other activities. So when we’re designing learning this is just a
model or guide of how many hours different age groups should be spending
on schoolwork. For K through 5 it should be around one to two hours,
6 through 8 two to three hours, and then for high school probably about 30 minutes
per subject or maybe a total of 3 hours and you can also collaborate with other
teachers and have students be working on the same projects for different subject
areas. – It’s definitely important to not get in our heads a hard and fixed time
with I need it to be this long. Be flexible be gracious and it can be often
about the process not the product. So if it’s just you know find some time to
read tonight that’s good. – So these are some considerations for
different types of learners if you have learners in your classroom who are
proficient some things that they might benefit from would be project-based
learning. They do still need some consistency, but you can be a little bit
looser with your frameworks. And they would also benefit from qualitative
feedback over quantitative. And then for learners who are struggling, some of the
things that they could benefit from would be flexible project-based learning.
So maybe we could be flexible about the product the end product of their
learning and how they show it. Maybe they could choose between doing a PowerPoint,
a vlog, having a discussion, maybe writing an essay or making an infographic. Those
are some examples. They might benefit from more consistency than other
students and they would also benefit from qualitative feedback rather than
quantitative. – And if you’ve spent all year building routines with your
students who struggle who really need routine, keep trying to use those in what
ways you can online so if there’s a certain assignment structure that you
know students do well with that doesn’t need much explanation at this point in
the year rely on that. If you have PowerPoints that you use as models for
your students upload those. No need to reinvent the wheel here especially with
how hard you’ve worked to create routines for your students.
– So another question we’ve been reflecting on is how do we serve all
learners? And to do that we need to focus on our instruction on meaningful lessons
and they also need to be relevant to what’s happening in our world right now.
We need to make sure that they’re engaging and that we’re also flexible in
how our students can show their understanding. And they also need to be
learner centered. – As teachers we should try to help students process what’s
happening in ways that are appropriate. We don’t want to push kids who have a
lot of stress stressors and maybe need a break from all this stuff. But, if you can
attach a lesson to a direct correlation with what’s happening with covid-19, go
for it make sure that your lessons can really get them to see this is why we
have school, this is why we want you to be a scientific thinker, this is why we
want you to think about history. It does really matter and helps you be a clear
communicator and thinker in this world of ours. A very rapidly changing world. – So
these are some considerations for what if your students are offline in
Montana? We have a lot of diversity and we have a lot of students who don’t have
access to internet or computers. These are some things to ask yourself. How
can we make sure that they’re learning the same content or skills equitably as
the students who are online? And what technology is available? So can we use
the phone, can use the mail, or other ways to communicate with our students and
work with them. And then can we also make a plan with our parents and children? And
we need to make sure that we’re communicating with them at least weekly
if they’re if we’re not communicating online. – And just like you’ve worked hard
to create routines you’ve definitely worked hard to create relationships and
rapport with both students and parents so lean on those if you have classdojo
or the remind app that you’ve been using continue to use that. You know how to
reach parents that don’t maybe use those apps or don’t have a smartphone. Continue
to rely on that, but yeah lean on the relationships you’ve worked so hard to
build. – This is an example of some units that
that I worked on building for science or social studies and so for my class what
I’m planning to do is each student will choose five different projects to work
on throughout the quarter. And they get to pick one from each column. So in this
first column it’ll be an elevator pitch to the world
what do they want to tell the world about in our case covid-19 and
since I teach science we can focus a lot on that. Now this elevator pitch is a
format they’ve already used. And then they get to pick one from the written
column, one from video, one from graphic and visual and a grab-bag. And I also
worked in a space here where they could choose their project. And then these
asterisks indicate projects that offline students can do if they don’t have
access to the computer Internet. And I would print articles and send them to
them also if they needed those resources. – And for the history aspect of cova-19,
this is a good chance to help teach our students that they don’t have to learn
history from a book. This is a good chance for students to really learn
about oral history, to interview or call people that they know in their family
and ask them about changing words sometimes that they live through. I mean
we have a lot of expertise from people who look through the Cold War so this is
a good time for students to reach out via phone and connect with family
members over over history. – So some final thoughts we need to make sure that when
we’re designing lessons and learning remotely it does need to be equitable we
need to focus on learning and the students growth and we need to make a
time to check in with students. And also we’re probably going to be designing
some individualized lessons and helping students lead their own learning. In this time of uncertainty make sure
that you stay connected also with your colleagues and make sure that you look
for the helpers. And we hope that was helpful. Thank you. – Thank you.

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