We have started our second unit (each unit has 2 cycles). While I have some students who refuse to even log in and take their tests, the students who did take it are starting to realize why I harp on those rubrics so much.
We have a half day this coming Friday (conferences this week and thus Friday afternoon is our comp time for that). I plan to spend the shorter class periods on Friday really going through the rubrics again and having students rate themselves on their progress so far. It is the only thing I really dislike about the virtual model with the program we are using. If we were in person, I'd have plenty of time built-in to spot check and coach and that's so much harder to do virtually. While the students are in their breakout rooms, most of the time the coaching I'm doing is tech related and I can't really get to to heart of where they need support. That's frustrating but it is not something I can do anything about. This program was not designed to be done vitually. In a perfect world, we would have been able to hold off on our adoption until next school year, but we wouldn't have had anything to replace it with so it's what we have to use.
Alas, I think taking advantage of a shorter schedule, wherein I don't want to try to cram in a whole lesson, and instead providing specific feedback and support will help in the long-run. We shall see.
This week was good. It warmed up again and it was quite difficult to see the beautiful sunshine mocking me through the wall of windows in my classroom where I was stuck inside teaching. But content-wise things are cruising along. I'm really grateful that each cycle gets a little more interesting for the students. One kid, whom I have had trouble getting to complete things, even declared a lesson was "low key fun." I will take that as a success.
Each cycle I have also tried something different. We started with a Google Slides notebook style lesson and the kids liked it but felt it got overwhelming to keep track of what slide we were on. So we switched to Nearpod and they really liked that. The embedded games were super nice. However, this cycle we have to create graphic organizers so I switched to a Hyperdoc style format. So far that seems to be working better but the graphic organizer part is tougher on the students as they don't have a mouse to use. I am going to have them try the next G.O. in Seesaw and see if that helps.
One thing I have learned this year is that it is important to continue to try new things and switch things up to make it functional for the scholars. I do not like it when I hear teachers complain about having to try new things -- this whole year has been a total crazy mess. If we aren't willing to adapt and try new things, how can we expect our kids to do that either?