Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Teaching Online: Modeling a Math Lesson

I am currently teaching a practicum class online and we run a virtual school program. I am learning a lot of things and want to share some tips along the way.

Modeling online is hard because it is hard to draw online. I think it also takes up a lot of time an for some reason, teaching is slower online and time seems to go faster.

One thing you might try doing is to solve the problem on a piece of paper before class and taking a picture of each step finished. Or you can do it in a word document and take screenshots. You can also save as a PDF or put into a PowerPoint presentation.

Then when you share your screen and are modeling how to solve the problem, you can share either your pictures, presentation or PDF file but you aren't having to try to draw on the screen. 
For example: (see attached) 
Picture 1 - The question: Bill has 2 boxes. Each box has 4 pencils. How many pencils does Bill have?
Picture 2 - Same as picture 1 but underline the important words 
Picture 3 - Same as picture 2 but now you have pencils in boxes drawn.
Picture 4 - same as picture 3 but count all the pencils
Picture 5 - same as picture 4 but now with addition equation
Picture 6 - same as picture 5 but added multiplication equation. 

Then you could do another problem but have each student go through the steps together with you. 

Bob has 3 boxes. Each box has 5 books. How many books does Bob have? 
1.     Read the question out loud. Show question on Screen.
2.     Everyone - underline the important words. (Show picture with words underlined)
3.     Let's draw - what will you draw? (books). Let's draw 5 books. Draw a box around the 5 books. Let's draw another box of 5 books. Now let's draw the third box of books. (Show picture 2 but with pictures of books added)
4.     Let's add how many books altogether (15) (Show picture 3)
5.     What addition equation would we write? (5 + 5+ 5 = 15) Great! Let's write that down. (Show picture 3 with addition equation)
6.     What multiplication equation would we write? (3 x 5 = 15) (Show picture 5 with multiplication equation added)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Monday, June 29, 2020

Teaching Online: Organizational Prep work

I am currently teaching a practicum class online and we run a virtual school program. I am learning a lot of things and want to share some tips along the way.

Usually, when everyone joins the class, there is a general time for everyone to share things and for teachers to welcome everyone. I think this is a good time to check that everyone has all the materials they will need for class. You could even come up with a daily checklist.

For example:

·      Pencil
·      Lined paper
·      Reading worksheet printed (was emailed yesterday)
·      Reading book
·      Item to share – my favorite toy
·      Small items to use for counting
·      Math worksheet printed (was emailed yesterday)

By checking with everyone before you start teaching, it will give students time to get anything they are missing. It will also help from interrupting the lesson while you are teaching it. Plus, it is a good practice to get into, whether they are attending class online or in person.

What other things would you suggest? Please share.

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Friday, June 26, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 06/26/2020

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

Baseball Hall of Fame - Click on the modules below to find FREE Lesson Plans that you may print out for use in your own classroom. Each lesson comes with directions, activity suggestions, and reproducible handouts. The materials available here can enrich your on-site field trip or virtual field trip experience with the Baseball Hall of Fame. You may also use these materials independently to help you teach a variety of subjects using baseball as a catalyst. All of our lesson plans are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts. (L:G;SA:M,LA)

The Physics of Baseball - Two scientists from San Francisco Bay Area institutions break down a few of the many different ways that baseball is a great way to learn about the physics of motion and energy, including aerodynamics and vibrations in this video adapted from QUEST. (L:H;SA:S)

Poetry – poetry printables (L:E;SA:LA)

Animaker – create animated videos (L:G;SA:A)

Flexclip - FlexClip's education video maker will help you create a custom video or presentation in no time for its ease of use. (L:T;SA:A)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Happy Anniversary to My Husband

Tomorrow is our 38th wedding anniversary! It doesn’t feel like we have been married that long because, like the saying goes, “time flies when you are having fun!”

We enjoy being together so much and love doing so many different things that it is hard to ever get bored. We try to support each other’s interests even if we don’t have an interest in it.

A good marriage involves a lot of giving and taking and if both of us can give more than take, we are both happy.

A good marriage involves total trust. I never want to abuse the trust you have in me and I know you feel the same way.

I can’t imagine life without you! I love you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Table Rock State Park

Last week, we went to Table Rock State Park and enjoyed hiking on the trails. The weather was beautiful, and it was a great day to be outside. I was very happy to see so many families in the park and on the trails.

I thought I would share some interesting information about the park with you.

The park is located on Highway 11 in Pickens, South Carolina. It has two lakes, picnic shelters, a campground and cabins, a meeting house, and a historic, renovated lodge. The park consists of 3083 acres at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Pinnacle Mountain, the tallest mountain in the state is located in this park.

Years ago, the lodge was well known for its Sunday brunches and I remember going there with my family. The lodge was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and has a kitchen and 72 seat dining room.

Before 1785, the land used to be part of the Lower Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee called this area “the Great Blue Hills of God.”  The mountain got its name from a legend that the flat-topped mountain was the Great Spirit’s dinner table. After the Hopewell Treaty, Europeans moved into Pumpkintown (known for the unusually large pumpkins there).  A lodge was open up by William Sutherland and James Keith. In 1845,  they built the Table Rock Hotel that had twenty rooms. The hotel did well after the Civil War.  After Reconstruction, Stephen Keith reopened the Table Rock Hotel. Keith’s family built a new hotel in a different place in 1899 but abandoned it by 1912.

2860 acres of the land was donated to South Carolina by Pickens County and the city of Greenville in 1935. In 1936, A concrete dam and spillway were constructed to create the 23-acre Pinnacle Lake. Miles of trails, roads, a bathhouse, concessions building, fish pools, cabins, picnic shelters, and staff housing were also built. A lodge was also built made of logs. The park opened on April 4, 1938.

In 1989 the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is also considered a South Carolina Heritage Trust Site.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Monday, June 22, 2020

Father's Day

Yesterday was Father’s Day and it was the first time in 60 years that I wasn’t able to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day.

So, I thought I would bring back a blog post from the past and share it with you.

I hope you enjoy it!

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Constant Discord

I’m tired of hearing about Black Lives Matter (I’m not against it and if people want to peacefully protest about it, I’m all for it). I’m totally against police brutality and I think there has been a lot of wrong violent acts by the police against many people besides black people. Having it constantly on the news feels like it is being shoved down my throat. I think the media is at fault for fanning the flames and keeping this discord continually stirred up.

I don’t feel like this is the way to make change. It is making me feel tired and resentful. I’m tired of hearing the words “white fragility” and “anti-racism” in every other sentence on the news, on my podcasts, and even in emails from companies. These are just buzz words and many companies/people are just being followers instead of leaders. I’ve started to avoid the news, podcasts that constantly harp on this subject, and even deleting any email that refers to this subject. Enough already!

Let’s face it, people are going to have prejudices because it is human nature. I don’t believe we will ever be able to eradicate it. People are prejudiced towards people’s weight. If you are large, you may be called fat or obese. If you are too skinny, you may be called anorexic or bulimic. If you are short, you are called shorty and teased. If you are a certain age, people may assume you are too young or too old to do something correctly.

My father was 100% Chinese and my mother was (50% Chinese and some Cherokee, English and who knows what else). This made my physical characteristics look very Asian. I am often asked, “Where are you from?” When I answer that I was born in New York, they tell me that is not what they want to know. What they really want to know is my cultural heritage. I don’t hear many people ask white or black people this question. Does this make me matter more than them? No. I was one of the few Asians in my school career. Many teachers treated me differently because of their expectations. They expected me to be a genius and when I didn’t show this ability, they were disappointed in me and tended to ignore me as if I didn’t exist. I encountered bullying on a daily basis until I left for college. As an adult, I still face prejudice at least once a month.

I had ancestors who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad who were treated like slaves. (My husband had ancestors who worked in the cotton mills who also were treated like slaves.)

Depending on what is going on in history, many different cultures and races were not treated very well. When the Irish came to the United States during the potato famine, they were treated pretty harshly by people already here in the states. During WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam War, Asians are treated very poorly. Even today, older people with strong memories of those wars may treat me with distrust or dislike.

During the Exclusion Act, Chinese were treated unfairly. It was the first immigration law that excluded a whole ethnic group.

I don’t think that protests and violence and constantly talking about this is going to make a difference. I don’t think buying items from people of color is the way to make a difference. In fact, I feel like you are discriminating against other people. I want to buy things because of their quality and if they fill a need that I have not because of the sellers skin color. I think people need to act in a way they can be role models for others. If a company doesn’t have the same values that I have, then I will go to a different company that has the same product of the same quality. I don’t need to confront anyone or blast a company for what they believe in. I will show my opinion by my financial support or lack of financial support. If no one buys from a company because of their values, then they will be forced to close.

I don’t believe that just because I don’t agree with you, that we can’t be friends. I have friends that feel strongly about the Black Lives Matter movement and that is okay because that is something, they want to believe in. I just don’t want them to continually try to force me into believing what they believe in. I support other things, but I don’t try to shove it down everyone else’s throats to make them support things I believe in.

I hope that this constant discord can stop and we can make changes in an appropriate way. Yes, it may take time but eventually we can make a difference.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 6/19/20

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

The Science of Fireworks Color – YouTube video; “What gives fireworks their brilliant colors? It has something to do with table salt.” (L:G;SA:S)

Lee’s Map of the Battle of Gettysburg – “Lee’s Map of the battle of Gettysburg (Accompanying General Lee’s report of the battle.); War Department Collection of Confederate Records; Record Group 109; National Archives.” (L:H;SA:SS)

Deserts 101 “Deserts are diverse ecosystems that occur on all seven continents. Learn about the four major types of deserts, the surprising amount of wildlife some of them contain, and how new desert areas are beginning to form.”  (L:G;SA:S)

What is the Fastest Tire Pressure for a Road Bike – “Is a higher tyre pressure faster? Is a lower pressure more comfortable? Emma conducts an experiment to determine the fastest tyre pressure on a rough road surface. She tested all the way from 119 psi (8.2 bar) to 29 psi (2 bar), the results were surprising!” (L:M,H;SA:S)

Let’s Talk Politics – Alexa game; “Confused by the U.S. electoral process? Don't know a filibuster from a gerrymander? Then maybe it's time to play Let's Talk Politics!, the game show that tests your knowledge of the U.S. political system. Let's Talk Politics! doesn't just ask questions, it explains the answers so that you learn as you play. It also adapts to your skill level and asks the questions most appropriate for you.” (L:H;SA:SS)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 18, 2020

First Airmail Special Delivery Stamp

Here is some more interesting information about a special stamp. I have enjoyed doing research on some of these stamps because I’m learning a lot of interesting things that I didn’t know about concerning the stamp, the background of the stamp, and the topic of the stamp. I think stamps would be a good tool to use in the classroom.

The post office decided to issue a new stamp in 1934 to prepay the combined airmail and special delivery rates. A letter bearing this stamp was guaranteed special treatment from the time of collection and sent by airplane until it was delivered to the final destination.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the one who suggested the stamp design. The Great Seal of the United States – The American eagle with wings spread in flight, symbolized the ide of special delivery letters flying over the continent from coast to coast. The steel blue color of the new stamp made it distinctive enough that postal clerks could pick out an airmail special delivery letter from other letters and rush it to the plane.

President Roosevelt was an avid stamp collector. He began collecting when he was 8 years old and his mother gave him her collection. He enjoyed stamps for their link with geography and history. After getting polio, stamp collecting helped keep him entertained and he spent hours arranging them. Even when he was President, he worked with his collection on a daily basis. When he died, he had over a million stamps and was sold at a public auction for $228,000. Stamps he received officially from foreign governments are at the Roosevelt Library.

The Postmaster General hoped the stamp would help speed the delivery of airmail. He hoped that once the letter reached the airport nearest to the addressee, it would be rushed to the address on the letter.

This stamp was issued at the American Air Mail Society Convention Station in Chicago Illinois on August 30, 1934. It was designed by Victor S. McCloskey.

Class Activities:

1.     Do more research on Air Mail stamps.
2.     Do more research on Special Delivery Stamps.
3.     Do more research on FDR and his stamp collection.
4.     Find a stamp on geography or history and share information about it.
5.     Find information about Victor S. McCloskey.

Original Photo by Pat Hensley

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hearing vs. Listening

In Listening is difficult from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“Listening happens when we put in the effort to understand what it means.”

Students don’t need to learn how to hear but students need to learn how to listen. Teachers shouldn’t assume that students know how to listen.

Sometimes students hear the words, but they have trouble process what they are hearing. We tease my husband that he has a hearing problem, but I really think it is more of a processing problem. He has gone to the movies and gotten the free sound amplifier for hearing impaired to see if it helps him understand the movie better. He says it just makes what he hears louder but doesn’t help him understand the movie. Then he tried the free closed caption glasses with the movie, and he loved them. He can hear the sounds alright, but the closed captions made a world of difference!

When I give instructions, I may have a list of procedures for them to see as I go through the steps. I also need to make sure that I model what I want the students to do. This helps students who are auditory or visual learners.

Sometimes when I have a conversation with someone, my mind wanders. I hear what they are saying but I’m not really understanding their meaning. It almost sounds like “blah blah blah” in my head. I need to pay more attention to what they are saying and focusing on their meaning. My husband says he can tell when I do this because my eyes kind of glaze over but I think I can hide it pretty well. I’m sure my students can do the same thing.

After I give instructions and model expectations, I need to ask students to tell me what is expected. If a student cannot tell me this, either they weren’t listening or they might not really understand what I want them to do.

I also think it is important to make the list of procedures/instructions available to the student for reference. It can either be on a large poster sheet hung up on the board or the wall or individual sheets for each student. Eventually, as they get more practice, this “cheat sheet” won’t be needed anymore.

How do you help your students listen? Please share.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Teaching Different Learning Styles Remotely

While many school districts are trying to decide what school will look like in the fall, there are many different options that they could choose. Some of the options on the table are continuing to be totally online to partially online. So, I thought it would be a good time to look at how we can teach to different learning styles remotely.

Auditory Learners:
  • Find audio files online that go with your topic. Use audio or video to introduce the lesson.
  • Help students find settings on their computers that will read text aloud to them.

Visual Learners:
  • Find videos that match your topic. Use videos to introduce the lesson.
  • Share your screen so these students can see what you are referring to.
  • Show examples of what you are talking about.
  • Model on the screen what you want students to do.

Tactile Learners:
  • Ask parents to gather the materials needed before the lesson.
  • Use manipulatives to help students understand new skills.
  • Have students draw something showing their understanding.

Kinesthetic Learners:
  • Allow students to stand while online.
  • Encourage parents to give the student something to hold and manipulate while focusing on the lesson.
  • Make a song and dance about your topic and teach the students.

Make sure that you use various strategies so that you aren’t focusing on one learning style more than others. If students understand that all of the lessons won’t be taught in one style, they will be more patient with trying styles that are not their most favorite way of learning.

Sometimes the learning style may differ according to the skill be learned so have a variety of strategies will have a better chance of reaching all learners. I might be a visual learner when it comes to cooking but I might be a tactile learner when it comes to knitting.

Have students give input and suggestions for activities that they might like to do with the subject. The more interest and input they have, the more engaged they will be in the lesson.

What other suggestions do you have for teaching to different learning styles online? Please share.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Monday, June 15, 2020

Outdoor Fun

After spending months in self-quarantine and only going grocery shopping every other week, it felt really nice last week to get out and do some hiking. I was very happy to see so many families and young people on the trails and at the parks. Being outdoors can be a great learning experience for many students.

Here are some examples of what students can learn about:

·      Reading and following a map.
·      Following trail blazes.
·      Identifying wildflowers.
·      Identifying trees.
·      Identifying ferns.
·      Identifying fungus.
·      Identifying salamanders.
·      Identifying birds.
·      Identifying insects.
·      Studying erosion.
·      Studying water ecology.
·      Life cycles.
·      History of the park.
·      History of structures that once existed.
·      Water safety.
·      Learn first aid.
·      Healthy snacks to take on a hike.

There are so many wonderful things to see and do outdoors! Find a park or nature preserve near you and check it out. You may be surprised at all the new things you can find!

Have you enjoyed somewhere outdoors? What did you see and do? Please share.

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Friday, June 12, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 6/12/20

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

100 Simple Bucket List Ideas That are Free or Cheap (+ Printables) – “Here are a number of simple bucket list ideas that are free — or at least very cheap — to inspire you to explore your passions (and for those who like the excitement of traveling, there are also some low-cost adventurous bucket list ideas). If checking items off of a to-do list makes you happy, check out these fun printable lists that allow you to celebrate your progress.” (L:T;SA:A)

Play4A – “Play4A is a learning game site for anyone looking to make learning motivating and fun! Play4A differs from other learning game websites and apps because the games are totally customizable, allowing the user to create their own learning quizzes which can then be used to play any one of our many learning games! Share your quizzes with friends and compete for top scores on the high score list while practicing skills that are being learned at school, home or anywhere else!” (L:T;SA:A)

Factitious – “The new version retains the same simple game play of the original Factitious game. There are three basic steps: Read the article, Swipe to the right if you think it’s a real story, Swipe to the left if you think it’s fake” (L:M,H;SA:LA)

Can you spot the problem with these headlines? – a TED-ed lesson; “In medicine, there’s often a disconnect between news headlines and the scientific research they cover. While headlines are designed to catch attention, many studies produce meaningful results when they focus on a narrow, specific question. So how can you figure out what’s a genuine health concern and what’s less conclusive? Jeff Leek and Lucy McGowan explain how to read past the headline.” L:H;SA:LA)

Journey North – “Tracking migrations and seasons” (L:G;SA:S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, June 11, 2020

You Are Being Watched

“While I am deeply saddened that Mr. Floyd was killed, I am grateful it was captured on a video that may be the spark needed to light fires of reform. Would more such sparks be made were cameras ubiquitous?”

I think it is important to remember that there are appropriate situations where cameras are appropriate and times when it is not. I don’t think any regulatory agency should be watching me in my home or on private property. But I do believe that cameras in public places are a good thing.

I believe that the knowledge of being watched by cameras can help control people’s behaviors.

I know that if I see traffic cameras, I’m going to be extra careful about my actions when driving. I normally follow the law but this makes me more aware of my actions and I don’t take anything for granted.

I don’t shoplift but I’m glad there are cameras that can catch people who do shoplift. This helps keep prices lower for me since they won’t be trying to recoup losses by raising prices.

I have security cameras on and around my house to protect my property. If someone comes to do harm to me or my property, it can be recorded for the police to apprehend the criminals.

I’m glad that policemen have bodycams so the actions of everybody can be reviewed. It has always been he said/she said kind of argument in courts and now there is evidence to prove what really happened.

There have been cameras in our school cafeteria that has been used to catch who started a food fight or a physical fight. It has helped catch students in places that they should not have been.

I feel that the classroom is another place that having cameras would be advantageous for all. I’ve mentioned before that I call all the parents of my students and inform them that I set up a video camera and record my classes. I also let them know that it is to help me be a better teacher and if their child comes home concerned about an issue, we can watch the video together to resolve the problem. I have never had a parent oppose my recording of the classroom.

Students are anxious at first when they see the camera but eventually get used to it and even ignore it. Yet they know that anything they go home to tell their parents can be verified by this recording, so it helps control behaviors in the classroom and allows me to concentrate on teaching.

I also feel that I teach effectively so I don’t care if I’m caught on camera or if a parent shows up unexpectedly to my classroom. I will teach the same way no matter what because I know I’m doing the right thing. In fact, in the beginning of the year, I inform the administration and the guidance counselors that I invite parents to come to my classroom without notifying me ahead of time. I do ask that they contact administrators or guidance counselors in case we have a special schedule or program that day and time they plan to visit. By doing this, I’m establishing a feeling of trust between us. They are entrusting me to teach their child the right way and act appropriately while doing this. I’m showing that I can be trusted.

How do you feel about cameras in the classroom? Please share.

Photo by Caleb Martin on Unsplash

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Don’t Give Up

Recently we worked on our lawn irrigation system. We had to replace a couple of sprinkler heads and then we had a busted pipe in two places. We fixed one break only to find out that we had another break. Eventually, everything was working again except for the programming. I thought I was so smart and went on YouTube to see how to program the four zones. I knew it all worked before we started working on the system so it should work okay when we were done. I was so wrong! I even spent almost two hours on the phone with an Orbit customer service representative who finally told me that I had to call an irrigation specialist in my area and have them check valves and solenoids. I was so discouraged when I got off the phone.

After pouting for a few minutes, I refused to give up. Fixing that controller was like working on a puzzle and I had to find the correct combination to make it work right. I knew that it had worked before and that I hadn’t done anything that would cause it not to work other than mess with the programming on the controller. Eventually, I had the right combination and it worked right! I figured out the puzzle! My husband says I like a challenge and I guess I do. I’m glad I didn’t take the advice of the Orbit representative and I'm glad I didn’t spend a lot of money calling an irrigation specialist to mess with parts that were working fine. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

I feel that teaching is a lot like this. Helping students learn new skills is like conquering a puzzle. I have to try to find the right combination for each individual student that works the best. Sometimes I get frustrated and so does the student. It would be so easy to give up but I have to keep on trying. My student is counting on me just like I counted on the Orbit representative. I don’t want to tell the student that they need to call in someone else because I want to be the one to help the student succeed. I don’t want the student to have to struggle with his one in order to find the answer if I can help him in any way. I need to trust my gut and not give up. I need to help the student have faith and believe in himself too. By not giving up, I’m being a role model for the student.

How do you help your students to keep trying and not give up? Please share.

Photo by Kreated Media on Unsplash

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

New Graduate Classes Begin

Today is the first day for new classes that I’m teaching for Furman. They are EDEX962 and EDEX963, both are practicums in Special Education. My students are certified teachers who are getting their master’s degree in Special Education and this class is the last class they are required to pass in order to get their degree. 

I’ve been teaching this class since 2007 and I’ve felt that I’ve had a good handle on the process and procedures for making these classes meaningful and successful. It was a month-long class that met at a school for four hours a day, four days a week.

This year is going to be very different from all the other years that I’ve taught these classes. Furman has decided that summer graduate courses will be taught online for 8 weeks. This has been a big challenge for me because I really want this time to be meaningful to my students.

I have created an online program for children and my students will be the teachers. The classes will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 – 11 for eight weeks. There will be four classes with two teachers and eight children. The teachers will come up with a daily schedule that includes lessons in reading, math, and writing as well as scheduled breaks. 

There are many positives to the way this year will work. In the past, the teachers have had to do blog posts, weekly seminars, and weekly reports all in four weeks. This year, the teachers will have the same work but eight weeks to complete the work so it may be less stressful for them. Instead of meeting every day with children, they will be meeting only twice a week with the children.

Teaching online will be a challenge for the teachers because they will have to be more creative. I look forward to observing lessons that will be taught.

I have asked the teachers to come up with three goals for themselves before we start. I also asked them to tell me how they are feeling and their expectations. At the end of the course, I will ask them to look at their goals and see if they have achieved them. I will try to do the same along with them.

My goals:
1.     Help my students (the teachers) as much as possible to make this class meaningful.
2.     Give constructive suggestions for online teaching.
3.     Look at ways that I can make this online class better for the next time it is taught online.  

I’m excited about this class being taught online this year. I’m confident that the teachers will be able to handle it because they have already been teaching online for many weeks before taking this class. I’ve been communicating with the teachers a lot recently and I’m impressed with how excited they seem to be about taking this class.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash