I have to admit that I am increasingly grateful to be working where I do. I think our model is very reasonable and doable and so far, it has been going well. It's not without its issues but it is getting easier with each passing week.
The students are also getting used to it. They are really making me proud. Of course, there are always unmotivated students that it's so much more difficult to get to do anything; that is exacerbated with the virtual model. Alas, we have an incredible admin team in our school and they, along with our youth advocates and coaches, are really providing wrap-around services to help us support our students.
I had some students join me for virtual tutoring this week and a couple of students for in-person tutoring. That was funny because my projector system is not working so we Zoomed from in the classroom together so I could share my screen with them. #whateverworks
One of the students who came in person really got off on the wrong foot: total attitude, not completing work, etc. But after spending an afternoon with me and seeing that yes, I would absolutely help her get caught up, she's been as sweet as pie ever since. #RelationshipsMatter
I began to use Nearpod exclusively this week for delivering my content. Each lesson is split into two days and with the games and features in the program, my reading lessons are so much more engaging. Our cycles are 8 lessons, lessons 1-4 are the reading content. The first half of the lesson is mostly direct teaching, the second half is where they demonstrate their understanding and answer questions about the reading. At the start of the second half of the lesson, on day 2, I included the Time to Climb game from Nearpod and they love it!
On Friday, my first hour class had a student who won by 1800 points. I mean, this scholar kicked butt. But in 2nd hour, the first and second place winners were only 5 points apart! 3rd hour's first and second place winners were 7 points apart. They were so into it. (I think my 1st hour scholars might have been half asleep haha)
I invited my reading coach to observe me this week. I sent her the video recording for the first part of the lesson (which I taught Thursday) and she popped into my live Zoom on Friday during 1st hour. It was so awesome to have someone else there to help monitor the chat and answer questions. She told me later she thought the lesson was awesome and well paced. :) Our coach from SFA is coming next week and i'm excited to hear her feedback.
I know this program was not well liked by my colleagues and while I recognize that there probably were other programs we could have chosen that might be better, I am making the most of what we have. My excitement about it is spilling over to the kids and they are starting to recognize their effort makes a tremendous difference.
I'm stoked to complete the reading portion of this cycle this next week and see how their growth shows in our next test.