How can I teach Writing on lIne?
this was another question/challenge lined up.
One thing may be, that my idea of 'learning writing' is pretty unique. I don't believe in tracing or copying. It has never worked for me, and my own children suffered the conservative style of cramming writing to an extend, effecting health.
So, I believe with all my heart that learning to write must be joy. 'Joyful' means something different to each student, so teaching writing is pretty individual and one-on-one.
In a normal classroom environment, with 8 students (in my case) and 60 minutes teaching time, (10 minutes for reading and writing, because speaking comes and has to come first!) there is just no way to give each kid the time it needs to write. Even if it is just a little tiny bit or word. What takes one kid 10 seconds can take another one 5 minutes or more. Checking each one and giving thumbs ups takes another 5 minutes, and nothing new has been learned yet.
These days though, I find it really easy and fun. We can cover the content they will need to write in class (on line/zoom) and then they can go ahead and write after that.
Mostly I close our zoom lesson a bit early and tell them to do their writing practice right there, and then send it in.
Then I can take my time to look at it and write encouraging comments.
Actually I have 2 classes who had not done any phonics at all when we started learning via zoom class. I decided to give it a try and since March I am doing 5-10 minutes of phonics instructions per week. They are amazing. I have never progressed this quickly and to this extend in such a short time.
So, I actually think that even if hopefully at some point we get back to normal classes, I would start a system where I can teach writing the way I do now. I just love it.
As always, let me know if you have questions.
Another challenge I was asked about:
It really surprised me to an extend, that I kept wondering!
It is NOT that I don't have students whose siblings are there, or who are swinging their pet on the lap. Again, the conclusion I got to is like in yesterday's blog:
CHANGE YOUR LENS AND VIEWPOINT!
I am happy about every family face I see, and every voice I hear in the background of class.
At one point there were parents who started talking about their taxes, so I muted the girl for a bit.
I also had a boy whose baby brother got hungry and was crying, so I muted him for a bit.
But else, every sibling, jumping around or wanting to get in front of the camera, or what so ever: I see it as a chance for communication.
I pick up on every pet, or brother or sister and ask about them. So much engaging REAL WORLD LANGUAGE.
And siblings and pets can be used to teach any pattern of grammar or structure of language we want.
Do you like your dog, brother, sister.
How old is?
What is ...name?
When is his birthday.
Does he like bananas?
What does he want to be?
Can she play the piano.
You get it, I can go on endlessly. You can review and Pre view any kind of language you want right on the spot as soon as a sibling or pet or anything else pops up on the screen.
kids who seem to have a hard time concentrating on the screen.
Let's try NOT to have them concentrate on the screen.
Please, the younger the kids, the less we should use the whiteboard (although I LOVE this feature)
the less we even should screenshare; I know, there is so much great stuff, powerpoints, etc etc. but no! Let's get the kids away from the screen.
No lie here, but every week I start getting sore muscles on Thursday night (my first day of teaching is Tuesday by the way). On Friday my body hurts so badly that I find it hard to walk up the stairs.
We are moving, and having so many amazing brainbreaks in our lessons.
These are mostly things I could not do in our normal classes, because there is not enough space to move in my room here.
Also the introduction of language and review should be combined with lots of movement.