Thursday, September 17, 2020

Remote Teaching Pedagogies: HyperDocs

One of the biggest misconceptions among parents is that their children are only receiving instruction on synchronous days, whether that is in person or on Zoom. They mistakenly believe that their children are "teaching themselves" on asynchronous days. I would love nothing more than to prove them wrong!

Rethink Your Traditional Pedagogy  

Do an audit of your traditional instruction and be judicious in designing for online teaching and learning: 
  • cut some content/activities that don't lend themselves to remote learning (lecture, traditional worksheets)
  • curate different types of content (memes, video content, other multimedia)
  • organize content/activities in a "chunk" of time like a week
  • design activities that leverage meaningful instructional technology tools so that students can integrate the content you have curated to create something or collaborate with peers to demonstrate mastery of the content.  

HyperDocs Revisited

If there ever was a time to create HyperDocs lessons, THIS IS IT! HyperDocs enable teachers to transition from delivering teacher-centered instruction to designing student-paced lessons that are flexible enough for students to work on from home and/or in class. This approach is transformational as the role of the teacher shifts to that of a facilitator or coach--from "sage on the stage" to "guide on the side." The role of the student is transformed as well as much more student agency is required, especially when students are learning independently on asynchronous days. If teachers create thoughtfully designed HyperDocs, this transformation can meet with positive results for students.

A basic HyperDocs lesson includes all of the components of a lesson or unit cycle packaged into a single file like a Google Doc or Slide. Teachers curate links to content that they want students to consume and design collaborative and/or independent tasks for students to demonstrate learning. 
  • Engage: A "hook"
  • Explore: Pre-knowledge
  • Explain: Direct instruction
  • Apply: Student-centered tasks to demonstrate learning
  • Share: Presenting to a wider audience (i.e. peers, public) and getting feedback
  • Reflect: Introspection
  • Extend: Enrichment or remediation
Check out this article from Jennifer Gonzalez to learn how HyperDocs can transform your teaching.

Last year, I blogged extensively on the use of HyperDocs. To refresh your memory, I "tagged" all of last year's HyperDocs blog posts, which you can now quickly view using the link on the right hand side of my blog under Tagged Posts.  

Feel free to make a copy of this basic HyperDocs template to get started. And check out the HyperDocs website for a deeper dive.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Teaching in the Time of Corona

Let's face it...even if you are teaching face-to-face classes in grades 5-12, students spend 3 days out of 5 learning from home. As you know from the spring, teaching online is pedagogically different from traditional face-to-face teaching. Some traditional classroom activities like teacher-led lectures simply don't translate well to an online environment. In contrast, HyperDocs, in which teachers prepare student paced digital lessons, allow for much more student agency. To help you sort out "best practices" for online instruction, I have curated several articles, blogs, and tweets using Wakelet--it's a great tool for easily curating and sharing content. See my Wakelet Board below for help in getting started with your online teaching journey. For those of you who are teaching fully in-person classes in grades K-4, it can't hurt to take a look at this collection as well to be prepared in the event that we return to fully remote teaching and learning. Here is the direct link to the collection, with my apologies to Gabriel García Márquez:

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Taking Attendance When Students Are At Home

 This post is for secondary teachers who are teaching either hybrid or fully remote modalities.

Despite the fact that there will be days where students are learning from home rather than in school, student attendance is still compulsory. So how can you track attendance for your students even when they aren't in school? Some options below:

Option 1: Use a Google Form for Students to Check In

I found this attendance hack on Twitter. The directions are pretty clear. Here's how it works. 

  1. Create a Google Form for students to "check in" daily when they aren't in school. 
  2. Create the Form's corresponding Sheet and set it up per the directions on the attendance hack document.
  3. Post your Form somewhere where students can access it--Google Classroom "Material", Google Sites, email--you will have to train your students to access this Form daily.
  4. Once the students submit their Form responses, the data will start to fill the cells on the spreadsheet. When you navigate to the pages you created per the directions you will get an alphabetized list by class period.
  5. Be sure to mark daily attendance in SchoolTool.
Watch this tutorial to learn how.

Option 2: Use Google Classroom for Students to Check In

Thank you Tina Middaugh for sharing a strategy that worked during the spring closure!

  1. Post a DAILY question on Google Classroom and train students to comment on it. This is a great opportunity to be creative and build a sense of community among your students. The questions can be non-content related and should be engaging enough so kids look forward to opening Google Classroom to check in.
  2. Be sure to mark daily attendance in SchoolTool.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Summer Professional Learning Recap

welcome back

Welcome back to school! If the 2020-21 school year is anything like 2019-20, there will certainly be plenty of extraordinary challenges. My advice--BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING! 

Last year, teachers did an impressive job learning how to leverage instructional technology tools to support "crisis" teaching. During the summer, Barb Ritch and I built on that momentum with our "Twelve Days of Learning" summer professional learning offerings. 

Although we were unable to provide face-to-face workshops as we have in the past, we were able to model one approach to "remote teaching" that was well received by those who participated. Using Google Sites, we built a series of "flipped" lessons that were consistently designed with four instructional components:
  1. Engagement: Links to stimulate thinking about 21st century pedagogies
  2. Direct Instruction: Video tutorials and "how-to" documents 
  3. Independent Practice: A series of tasks to foster "learning by doing"
  4. Reflection: A Google Form to solicit feedback on what worked, what didn't, and what questions lingered
Participants were tasked with completing the online component of the workshop PRIOR to attending a synchronous Zoom meeting where we could provide a quick re-cap of how the tools work, but more importantly, focus on specific questions and discuss pedagogical strategies for implementing the tools effectively. You can find an archive of each of the Zoom meetings on the Resource Page of our Site. We also embedded the Google Forms Response Sheet to share our responses to the questions teachers posed.

We are hopeful that our Site provides you with a model for one approach for effective instruction that maximizes the impact of the precious time you spend with students in a face-to-face setting. 

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Who Ever Heard of a Snozberry?

With the school year coming to an end, I wanted to congratulate you on surviving "Remote Learning"! With the summer approaching, you will finally have some time to unplug and enjoy your time away from the grind of Zoom meetings and Google Classroom assignments. In the meantime, please bookmark this link. When you are ready to recharge, feel free to access everything I have shared this year in my "virtual classroom." Like Willy Wonka's fruit-flavored wallpaper where everything is lickable, everything in my virtual classroom is clickable. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Recipes for Success: Showcase Student Work

Food for Thought: Flipgrid is a great tool for hosting asynchronous video discussions. A MixTape will allow you to showcase student videos without requiring a login.

Recipe for Success: Showcase Student Videos

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Recipe for Success: Connect Globally

Food for Thought
: Flipgrid is a great tool for hosting asynchronous video discussions. Connect with fellow Flipgrid educators and classrooms around the world by activating your #GridPals profile. 

Recipe for Success: Connect Globally