Other Things We’ve Been Up to in Remote Learning!

Hello everyone,

Once again, my teaching partner (Jen) and I would like to share with you some of the things we’ve been up to in remote learning. We have two concurrent themes we’ve been exploring in remote learning. As you saw in the last post, we’ve been exploring the idea/phrase “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme”. Through music, photography and our class read aloud “All American Boys” we are starting to explore some of the social injustices that have been recurring in our collective history. Our plan is to continue this exploration into the new year, and eventually work our way into a dystopian lit circle, where we will tie in some Social Studies themes about the development of ancient societies. We are hoping to continue to explore the idea of history rhyming, and see if ancient civilizations also struggled with the same social injustices that we have in more recent history. Spoiler alert: they did. To balance out this understandably heavy exploration of social injustice AND to be responsive to the needs of our learners, we have a second concurrent theme that we lean into, mental wellness. In more recent weeks we have notice that learning from home requires our students to exercise a certain amount of autonomy and intrinsic motivation above and beyond what they’d be used to in a physical classroom. Without the bells and adults that are ever present in “in person” learning, our students have been wrestling with establishing their own habits and routines as learners. So, our most recent unit has been around just that routines and habits. Using a variety of texts (videos, picture books, writing prompts, TED talks) we’ve explored the science of how our brains work, and the how/why of creating habits and building routines.

We thought these resources would be of particular value to many of our colleagues as post winter break, many of y’all will be diving into a 100% remote learning context. We suspect lots of other students province wide will also need to navigate how to be an engaged and empowered remote learners. And just like our remote learning students, many students, province wide, will wrestle with how to build the habits and routines of distance learning. Added to this, January is a great time for our students to pause and reflect on their journey as learners thus far this year, and attempt to make goals and set plans moving forward (although what even are plans these days :-)) With this in mind, we’ve packaged up ALL of our mental wellness lessons on identity, self care, building relationships, creating habits and maintaining routines. These lessons are ready to roll! They are Powerpoint formatted, built for both synchronous or asynchronous learning contexts, and provide about a month worth of rich learning experiences. You can use them as they are, or modify and adapt to suit the needs of your learners. We’ve labelled them as grade 8 resources, but they could easily be adapted for learners from grades 4-9. They harness all the strands of English Language Arts (reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, representing) AND include opportunity for summative and formative assessment.

Without further adieu, here they are:

We hope you find them useful! And should you have any questions about the lessons, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter @msmclauchlan or @stark1275

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