The Adventure Continues
We enjoyed our first full week of school together! I am delighted to see students making connections with other students based on interests and developing their communication skills with each other. I am working to bring fun and joy to the forefront each day as we begin. This week we celebrated 4 birthdays! Students were ready and able to share what they like best about each other. This was incredible to experience. We are learning new skills required in the online learning environment. Breakout rooms allow students time to talk to each other in small groups. Fun Friday categories included Pokemon, Mario Bros., American Girl Doll and sports. Each day we close out with a positive activity such as "3 Good Things", "What Went Well", "Appreciation, Apology or Aha", "Shout Outs" and "I am looking forward to...." which is enormously helpful to keep us in a positive place. Here is what we were up to.
Themes: Hopes and Dream,Your Brain and Growth Mindset, Self-Regulation, Empathy, Identity and Race, and Diversity
This week was all about social emotional learning, what I call the fine art of being human. This is something I am extremely passionate about and work to incorporate in my classroom at all times, in sync with academic learning. Here are some tools I used with the class to help us learn. We also learned key new technology skills and started some math thinking, discussion and work together. It was a such a productive week of learning!
We established our "3 To Be" expectations matrix this week to outline how we are respectful, responsible and safe. Check out our work here.
Students worked on their "Hope and Dream", including a "wow illustration" for the new school year. This could include something they wanted to learn about or something they wanted to get better at. Next week students will submit these in Schoology. We used the texts "Ada Twist Scientist" and "She Persisted" to anchor this discussion.
Next we learned all about the the brain and how it controls what we do. Students completed a model of the brain in their classwork journals to process their learning. A key piece of this is knowing that the amygdala is where our emotions live in our brain. We also learned strategies for calming down our brains when we experience big emotions. Finally we learned about growth mindset or the belief that we can learn new skills and gain knoweldge with hard work. Here are some pictures, videos and tools we used in our learning this week.
Check out our Virtual Calming Room Here with this link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vRjqfz-y_1UpKvThZJvrSxLvMCGJNK8Q2P0af-v4KXOzJxCbCSVcrvXFxhX_57nTBgFFFc0Iz_9oDCN/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000&slide=id.g94293e18f2_0_0. A picture of it is below:
We learned about empathy, feeling with others, understanding and acting based on the feelings of others. The texts "The Name Jar" and "Those Shoes" anchored our learning and discussion. Here are some resources we used.
To tie in with empathy, we learned about the world's biggest problems using the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the "World's Largest Lesson". This is an highly engaging framework centered around research and action for global good which we will return to throughout the year. Every year my students really love it. We watched the video inroduced by Malala below. I was introduced to it during my year long fellowship with The NEA Foundation and my fieldwork in South Africa. If you want to learn more about my fellowship, click here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/dq5DXtQkTSJMt/:
The district provided extensive training to all BSD educators at the beginning of the school year on race and racism to help educators prepare to bring the topic of race into classrooms given the issue of racial justice in our country right now. As I have been engaged in many professional development sessions, book studies, webinars and discussions on how to support conversations about race and create an anti-racist learning environment, a key component of this work is actually talking about race with children of all ages. We learned about race and racism this week. We explored race categories and looked at current races in the 2020 US Census being conducted right now. We did work on our identities including our unique gifts and talents and the ideas of culture, ethnicity, hobbies, family, education and passions in the context of each one of us. Next week students will complete their Me Poster which synthisizes and brings together all of this information. We read two beautiful texts in Epic this week, "A Boy Like You" and "A Girl Like You" to celebrate what is uniquely us. The texts "Let's Talk About Race" and "Anti-Racist Baby" helped us understand race and what we can do to help end racism.
The district create some outstanding resources for family in June, including a message from our superintendent and resources to support conversations about race at home with children of all ages. You can access these resources here with this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z2j8HtQ_YPLCXNS8Xx0dmVt85UxUebZQ/view?usp=sharing and there are pictures of the file below it.
One of my goals as a teacher leader and educator is to share resources for families and educators. This summer, I created resources to supports families and educators on the topic of race. Please check them out if you are interested. The book titles here are linked to black owned bookstores so you can support a black business if you are interested in purchasing any of them for yourself and your home. You can access the file with the link here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kuV1h37tZ4LJIbCMGw3BiwJdQtKdfzut/view?usp=sharing and there is a picture of it below.
A major skill we learned this week was moving between a zoom session and Schoology without leaving the zoom session. No split screen needed!!! Yes! I was so proud of my students for working through this as technology problems continue to persist. Students went to Schoology to access the Epic reading website, the Digital Readworks website, Nearpod lessons on remote learning vocabulary and stress. This was HUGE for us and I am so pleased and proud
Created with an image by Alice Donovan Rouse - "mountain sunrise"