Thanks for coming back to hear about week 2. I definitely felt better about everything this week. Don’t get me wrong, each day I get more and more sad that I am not seeing my students anytime soon, but I did feel like I had more of a routine this week. Routine is something I am really missing during this whole situation. Going into school every day is a sense of comfort for me. School is my second home, with so many of my favorite people in it. Not being able to go there has been very tough.
Here are some of my random, jumbled thoughts and ideas from week 2…
Most importantly for me, I was able to get into a better routine this week. I used digital notebook FREEBIES from https://www.jessicamassey.com to keep myself organized and on a schedule. I even scheduled time for walks and exercise. If it wasn’t in the planner, I wasn’t doing it. In my digital notebook every day had its own page, so I was able to focus and be present in that day, rather than be overwhelmed by what the days ahead were going to look like.
I also changed my work area twice this week! This week we were told two different times that distance learning would be extended. As of right now we are not going back until April 20. Since we are out for another 3 weeks, I wanted to make sure that the space I’m working in is going to help me stay positive, productive and work for everyone in my house. Finally I found that space and decorated it with help from https://www.instagram.com/thecreativeclassroom/
This week I went to my classroom for the first time in over a week. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot of time, we don’t go in for longer over the summer, but this is different. It feels very different. As I said before, my classroom is my second home. My students and my coworkers are my second family, and not being able to be there and see them, when I know we should be there and seeing each other, has been devastating. I am glad I am still able to connect with my students and coworkers through google meet and google classroom and all of that good stuff, but it just does not do the trick. Being in my classroom this week made me very emotional because we truly don’t know when this will end. There does not seem to be an end in sight. Every time we hear a new end date, and come to terms with it, it changes again. I want more than anything to be back with my people in my second home.
Anyway, I went there to grab a few books and ended up filling up my whole Cricut carrier with things (pictured below).
Since my students have IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) I spent some time last weekend brainstorming how I was going to address their goals while they are home. Some of my students have academic goals, which I was easily able to address with a packet of materials (talked about last week and have a copy in my google drive folder for that), but most of their goals are social/emotional and speaking/listening goals. TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE FOLDER, SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN ON THIS PAGE! I ended up making a list for each student of the goals that I thought families can address at home. For example; I did not include goals like, “student will be able to answer questions given to the group” or “student will be able to follow whole-group directions” simply because there is no group at home. I was able to include requesting goals for all students because they can practice requesting with their families and play goals for students that I know have multiple siblings at home. For each child I made a google doc with the list of goals. Under each goal I suggested ways for the parent to address the goal at home. I have an example of one of these in my google drive folder. Please make a copy of the doc so that you do not edit mine. To make a copy you can right click on the doc and click ‘make a copy’. Then, move the copy to your drive. You can also save it to your computer by double clicking on the doc, clicking file, download, choose an option. TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE FOLDER, SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN ON THIS PAGE!
This week Jessie (@specialresources_byjessie) and I did two group google meets with our classes. On Tuesday we did a read aloud where we each read a story to them, and on Thursday we did yoga. We LOVED getting to see all of our kids at the same time. Normally at school we do so many things with our two classes, so this gave us a nice sense of being back at school. We did learn very quickly that it gets a little hectic having fifteen 3-5 year old’s in a google meet at one time. After Tuesday we realized that moving forward, we should tell the families to come into the meet, have their child say hi to everyone, and then mute yourself. Once we said that, Thursday went much smoother. We even invited our principal, supervisor and teaching assistants to yoga on Thursday. Our supervisor did the yoga session with her son, which was awesome, and our teaching assistants got to see the kids for the first time in two weeks. It was so much fun! Starting next week, Jessie and I are going to try to do some small group meets as well, so that each child has a chance to talk and share.
The last thing I want to talk about is the google form that I created towards the end of the week. I give full credit to @ieps_and_capabilities for the amazing idea. Since we found out that distance learning will be extended for a few more weeks, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to check in with families, see how they were doing and find out if they needed anything from me. I have a copy of the google form in my google drive folder BUT make sure you make a copy for yourself. If you edit the form I have in the folder others won’t be able to use it. To make a copy you can right click on the doc and click ‘make a copy’. Then, move the copy to your drive. TO GAIN ACCESS TO THE FOLDER, SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN ON THIS PAGE!
I have been loving getting responses from families. They have been so honest and helpful in their feedback. On Friday I met with a few families that expressed they wanted visuals for their children. I was able to discuss what they needed the visuals for and how they were going to implement them. By the end of the day I had created the visuals and met with some families again. My plan is to check back in mid-week next week and see if the visuals are working or if we have to make some adjustments. I highly recommend doing some sort of feedback form for the families of your students, it has been very informative.
Random thoughts to end with…
- I have a week 2 story highlight as well with all of this good stuff in it
- This week in my Instagram stories I did a Q&A about distance learning! You guys asked great questions, so I saved it all in a story highlight called Distance Learning Q&A.
- Blue light glasses have saved my life during distance learning. You can grab the ones I have in my amazon store.
- Callie Danielle’s procreate coloring pages tutorial has been my life savor. Doodling on my iPad is such a stress reliever for me! Thinking about making a freebie google drive folder of my creations…