Eureka and Middle School Math · Remote/Digital Learning · UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Remote Learning (Extended Class)–A Visual Journey

I’m writing the draft of this blog post, under the watchful eyes of my four cats who have decided 6:32 is definitely time for dinner, at the start of week seven of digital/remote learning here in Massachusetts.  (Technically, we had three weeks of non-graded, no-new-material remote “non-learning,” but it was so non-learning that I can’t count it.  I’ll start with Monday, April 6, 2020, the first day of remote learning.)

In the Extended (above grade level) class, where we always spend part of the year teaching some 8th grade material because many of the students go into a 9th grade algebra course the following year as 8th graders, we skipped any review and went straight to teaching 8th grade material.  In other words, the material was totally new to the students, which was an extra challenge for us; in the Standard (grade level) class, we did six weeks of review.

As I started to think about how to write about our experiences, I realized that this series of annotated pictures helped me get a sense of the progression of our learning as brand-new teachers in the world of remote/distance education.

Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.08.10 PM
Week One (Extended):  We had only a skeleton of a schedule with no links; instead, we posted lots and lots and lots of new material in the announcements section (which will eventually become built-in)
Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.08.28 PM
Week One (Extended):  Here we are using the Google Form is a self-assessment for the kids, so is on Thursday (the Topic Quiz is Friday); there wasn’t much turn-around time for kids if they didn’t do well.


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.08.51 PM
Week Two (Extended):  A few links have shown up….


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.08.59 PM
Week Two (Extended):  It got way confusing, way quickly using the same application (Google Form) twice in the same week for a different purpose.  We agreed that we would use each application only once each, preferably at the same time in the week (i.e., Google Form at the start, Edulastic at the end).  That allowed us to say to the kids “you are missing your Google Form” rather than having to explain which Form and which day we assigned it, etc.


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.14.59 PM
Week Four (Extended):  We finally figured out that putting links directly in the calendar (thank you, Irene, for that brainstorm!) is genius–it cuts down on searching and scrolling.  Irene also suggested we bring the graded work up to the top.  As teachers, we see the assessments as cumulative, but the kids don’t, so there was no value in having them jammed in at the end of the hyperdoc in terms of supporting work completion.  We also put the Check-In on Monday, opening at 1:00 (right after classes end).


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.18.39 PM
Week Five (Extended):  We added Padlet as a reflection option.  I like the way kids can see each other’s work, but it still needs more work to be completely worth the time it takes if kids don’t do it and we have to chase them.


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.22.40 PM
Week Six (Extended):  This week, we added a required Edpuzzle to the mix.  The Edpuzzle was assigned on Tuesday with the goal of augmenting the instruction from Monday in preparation for the Topic Quiz on Friday.  It was interesting to be able to point out to a student who failed Friday’s assessment that perhaps he would have done better if he had completed the Edpuzzle when it was assigned–there’s a reason why teachers organize material the way they do!


Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 6.25.53 PM
Weeks Seven and Eight (Extended):  Between non-instruction days and the fact we were teaching systems of linear equations, which needed more time than a week, it made sense to try our first multi-week plan.  The first week is sadly heavy on teacher-led instruction due to the material (introducing the three ways to solve systems), but the second week gave us an opportunity to incorporate IXL and to do session sign-ups for twenty minutes each (two sessions).


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