Classroom Management & Organization, Teaching in Quarantine

Organization Strategies for Hybrid Teaching

This year has been a lot. In many ways, I feel like a first year teacher all over again, creating new materials and trying new teaching strategies. I’ve also found that the systems I previously used to keep myself organized with attendance, grades, and other administrative tasks are inadequate, and again, I’ve had to find new solutions. Here are a few strategies that I’m using to keep organized in COVID times.

The setting: Concurrently teaching students in the classroom and online via Teams, students submit work through Schoology

Attendance: I’ve never bothered to keep paper copies of attendance, but this year, I do. I print off rosters from Powerschool every two weeks. If a student is on Teams, I mark DL, and for classroom learners, I write down their seat numbers. I draw a box around missing students in case they show up tardy (the box is also great because it is easier for me to see when I enter attendance in Powerschool). By keeping it on paper, I have a record of who is actually showing up on Teams, and I also have documentation of who sat where on what date for contact tracing.

Agenda and Learning Targets: I post this as an assignment on Schoology, in a special folder called “Daily Agenda”. This is my default screen share for the beginning of Teams meetings. Sometimes I’ll attach handouts or link activities in the agenda. This helps keep my unit folders less cluttered.

Grading: I’m spending a lot of time chasing down student work. Here again, I use the roster print out from Powerschool. Schoology assignments are easy to sync to the gradebook, but often I am checking for work on many different websites, such as Flipgrid, Quizlet, and Señor Wooly. I use the roster to check off submissions or write down grades, and around once a week I send students individual Schoology messages with a list of missing assignments, which has been effective in getting students to complete assignments.

How have you adapted your organization strategies for teaching in COVID times?

Classroom Management & Organization, Teaching in Quarantine

The Beauty of the Grade Change Form

Ms. Brown, I redid that assignment, will you change my grade?

Ms. Brown, I still have a zero in Powerschool for the quiz I made up last week.

Ms. Brown, I finally submitted the assignment that was due two weeks ago, can you grade it please?

Late work, make up work, re-done work: I may get a notification in Schoology, but that doesn’t mean I will remember to update it in PowerSchool. And I certainly can’t stop in the middle of class to update a grade, nor can I be counted on to remember by the time my planning period rolls around.

Would you please fill out the grade change form?”

The grade change form puts the responsibility on the student to notify me of the issue, and sends me an email I can deal with on my planning period. It lives at the top of my Schoology page, so it is easily accessible to students. Between distance learners, classroom learners, and quarantined learners, I have a lot to keep up with, but the grade change form gives me an easy way to keep up with make up work, and makes one less thing to keep track of in my overworked brain.

Gracias to Elsie Ratcliff for sharing this idea in her fabulous webinar with Jamie Vega. You can find the link to their presentation “Tips for Easy Unit Planning during Digital Learning​” on the Georgia World Languages Professional Development page.

Teaching in Quarantine

Lesson Ideas: Nugget + Question

Untitled presentation (2)

I am on week three of digital learning/lesson planning. This week, my students will be working on some nuggets from Señor Wooly. I have assigned one nugget a day, paired with a question. The question gives me a chance to interact with them, gauge their reaction to the song, and also highlight some of the linguistic structures in the lyrics. Here’s what that looks like:

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If you can’t see the images, here are the questions:


Spanish 1- Qué asco

  1. “Qué asco” means how gross.  What is the grossest food you see in the video? Upload your answer to the submission box.
  2. Do you like any foods that other people think are gross? Upload your answer to the submission box! Personally, I really like kale, when it is prepared right! ¡Qué delicioso!
  3. What normal/common foods make you say “¡Qué asco!”? Upload your answer to the submission box! Personally, I hate peas – ¡No me gustan nada los guisantes!

On Friday, they have a discussion post:
The man and woman in ¡Qué asco!  like a lot of gross foods. Change one of the lines of the song so that the food isn’t gross – change 1-2 words so that when you say “Me gusta”, it’s true!

asco 4


In Spanish 2, they will be watching La confesión de Victor. Here are the questions I’ve given them:

  1. In the song, Victor tells us, Yo era guapo pero ya no lo soy. – I was (used to be) handsome, but now I’m not. How have you changed since elementary, middle, or preschool? Rewrite the lyric, changing guapo to an adjective that describes how you used to be. Upload the new lyric (Yo era _______ pero ya no lo soy) to the submission box.
  2. Victor tells us many things he can’t do without hair – sin pelo. What if we changed the line to sin escuela (without school?) Or, con corona? (with corona?) What would you say you can’t do? Upload your response to the submission box.Sin escuela, ya no puedo _________. (Without I school, I can’t ______ anymore).

    Con corona, ya no puedo _________. (With corona, I can’t ______ anymore.)

     

  3. La confesión de Víctor is just the second song in the Victor trilogy – the third video is called Feo. Go watch Feo on SenorWooly.com. Between Guapo, La confesión de Víctor, and Feo, which video is your favorite? Why? Upload your answer to the submission box.

One of the most challenging parts of quarantine teaching, is, for me, not interacting with my students. Students have always inspired and motivated my teaching, and it’s really hard to teach without seeing and talking to them every day! By adding a question to the nugget assignment, I get to see their response to the material, comment back on it, and get a bit of that student-teacher interaction we have been missing out on.