My classes finished our first cycle in our new reading curriculum. I'm really excited to see how they do as we move into cycle two now that they are a little more familiar with the curriculum.
I was just upgraded to a Pro Nearpod account on Friday so I am going to use Nearpod for our second cycle. I'm already seeing how much more beneficial it will be for the kids to use as I can put in .pdf pages of the reading, I can insert games and I can really help guide them in a more interactive way. (My favorite element so far is putting in a video we are supposed to watch and being able to stop the video and have them answer questions before we move on. It will help me make sure my virtual learners are on task with me [because I can't see them all at the same time anyway] and it will help me to see if they are understanding what we are doing.)
Interestingly, I asked my scholars this week if they were enjoying our book and all but three students (across all of my classes) said they liked it. I am confident they will like the next book even more as it's about a competition as men race to be the first ones to visit and study the South Pole.
Each week gets a little easier in terms of delivering content across the screen. I would still much rather be in person where I can interact with more of them at the same time, but I feel better knowing the kids are starting to get into the rhythm too.
As I am a principal licensure student this year, I have 300 hours of internship to do. One of the first big projects I'm going to do is create and produce a video showing our families what their scholars should be doing on their "school day." I think many people think school is just 8:30-12, but they are not recognizing that their scholars will need to utilize 12:30-2 or 2:30 to do the afternoon work they are being expected to do.
In retrospect I think we really did a disservice by not having them begin those afternoon lessons the first week of school. We will be going into our second month and suddenly kids are going to have this extra work that should have been there all along. Nothing to do about that now but it's definitely something we need to keep in mind if this ever happens again. We have to provide the kids with the tools to be successful, not just toss information out there and hope they figure it out.