While I've been out of the classroom for a few years, I'm still far more comfortable with my ability to build relationships and engage students in content when I'm in person rather than trying to do so digitally (whether synchronous or asynchronous). Knowing this helps me prepare for a few different scenarios, the most intense of which I'll try to explain in this post. I'm aware that being a high school teacher affords me privileges that elementary does not have. I'm aware that my location affords me privileges that more rural areas do not have.
Assuming that we begin on a completely digital platform (remote 100%), I have started to build out all of my content into modules on our new Learning Management System, Canvas. Sure, why not learn a new LMS while also learning differently?! I'm up for it, to be honest. Why not? In terms of pacing and content, I am hopeful that I can run it like an online college course. Lectures and in-class activities will be kept to a minimum, and a lot of the energy will be put into the forum. The online college courses I took (now, keep in mind that I was paying for them, so I recognize there will be a slight difference in motivation) were weak on community-building and strong on relationship-building. Right now, I need to realize this.
Here's our tentative schedule, which I appreciate our district sharing with more than a month to plan for it.
The thing I've been talking to my teams about is the desire to reduce the number of variables. The reason why is because as much as I like taking risks, they need to be calculated risks. With fewer variables, the risks can be more guided. I'll be using Mathematics Vision Project (Integrated 1 and Integrated 2) to guide the flow of concepts, Desmos Activity Builder to elicit a lot of the student responses, and Canvas to host it all.
(Nearly) every lesson will:
- start with a wellness check or relationship-building prompt (probably a version of Sara's name tents)
- engage in a brief warm-up (I'm a big fan of Would You Rather Math, ya know)
- lean on a "blue sheet" thanks to the idea from Sara Ven Der Werf. We won't want to reteach content from previous grades, so we will be providing a support sheet that offers the foundational material that students may need for the module.
- allow students to engage with a mathematical prompt (guided by the Mathematics Vision Project content)
- build in as much time for students to talk to each other as possible
- lower academic expectations (can I say that? I think I can. After all, this is not normal!)
- maintain professional expectations (because yeah, we still have those)
- end with an exit ticket to help me prepare for the next day
- follow up with a mathematician from this list (thanks, Annie!)
- be accompanied by practice problems, solutions, and a video to explain some of them
This sounds like a lot. Maybe I'll just go on a 300-day deep sea fishing trip instead...
What are you planning for? Any ideas to share?
Happy "Who The Hell Knows" Fishing