Plan A, B, and C

By June 1, 2020July 1st, 2020Uncategorized

First and foremost, I hope that this email finds you all safe, happy, healthy, and loved.

Beginning in February I began to hear about COVID-19 spreading throughout Asia and began to wonder if it might move to the United States. I wasn’t certain, I hoped not, but I slowly began to prepare just-in-case. I bought hand sanitizer for my car, Lysol spray for my husband’s classroom and the classrooms I visited daily, and a bunch of canned food (stocking up on toilet paper never even occurred to me, go figure). On Thursday, March 12, an administrator walked into the classroom where I was presenting to teachers, stopped my PD mid-sentence and told teachers to start preparing materials to send home immediately. Teachers faces froze in shock and then they quickly jumped into action grabbing textbooks and attempting to plan as best they could. It turned out that Friday, March 13 was the last day at school for the 2019-2020 school year.

Very few people could have anticipated we would be where we are now. Even the most prepared could not have completely prepared for all of this. In an ideal world we will all return to our classrooms in August ready to teach. However, in light of the constantly changing landscape, we might want to prepare a Plan A, B, and C just-in-case.

Plan A

Schools open in August and all of the kids return. Will your students be ready to open their brand new textbooks, turn to page 1, and get started with the new grade level lessons? The chances are high that your students might have missed some lessons, gone through the lessons without understanding or perhaps suffered some trauma due to the disruption to their daily routines. If this is the case, we will have to make the time to better understand their previous grade levels standards and concepts. Second graders who had fewer opportunities to practice skip counting will be especially challenged when it comes to connecting the concept to multiplication in third grade. Students who have lacked opportunities to read and comprehend daily will probably be reading below grade level, the lessons and concepts that may have worked for fifth grade in the past will probably have to be revised or amended so your students can better understand and develop their fourth grade concepts and standards.

In a nutshell, we will have to make the time to read and understand the previous grade level concepts and standards. Here is the link to the California Framework for all topics. All states have a similar version that you might want to look into. The frameworks have the related content standards, sample problems, and examples you can use with your students to get them up to speed.

Plan B

Some students may be able to return to school, while others have to stay home due to underlying health issues. If you are given the responsibility of teaching the students who are sitting in your classroom and those who are learning at home, what might that look like?
Will the students “Zoom” into the classroom lessons?
Will they watch classroom videos and work at home independently?
Will they use the classroom textbooks? Will they be prepared to learn from the materials in the textbook?

As I write this, the task almost feels daunting, however, having any plan is almost certainly better than no plan at all. You certainly do not want to be caught off guard by the possibility of running a hybrid classroom days before school begins. Take a moment to discuss options with your grade level team, process it on your own, or speak to an administrator about how to develop a plan that you can make sense of and that works best for all involved. You got this!

Plan C

Schools don’t open in August and we continue to use distance learning and “Zoom” as our classroom. If that’s the case, the good news is you have some familiarity with the process and will only get better with practice.

How can we teach students to be better readers over the computer? How can students continue to think about and discuss texts, and write stories that inform us all? Can you teach CGI math with discussion and strategy sharing online? Yes! Renee Houser and I are joining forces to bring you meaningful PD that you can use whether you are teaching face to face or virtually. I will also soon be hosting a virtual course on how to teach CGI math virtually.  Stay tuned for more information on that.

Anything is possible when we have each other and a plan.

 If teachers can prepare to teach their students virtually with less than 48 hours notice, imagine what you can do with more time, support, and a plan A, B, and C.

Send your comments, questions and wonderings to Danielle@TeachingOneMoore. You can also go to TeachingOneMoore.org and YouTube.com/TeachingOneMoore for resources.

Stay safe!