I’m conscious that this week many schools are looking ahead to consider what remote/ distance teaching & learning will look like for them in Term 2. This has consumed my work for the last 2 weeks so I thought I would share a thread here a little about what we have planned & why:
Like many schools who moved to distance teaching on less than a days notice, we’ve had an ad hoc approach of mostly synchronous learning happening for last 2 weeks. Students following existing timetable in real time. It hasn't worked well.
It was the only practical way to do it so quickly, but it has proven to be a totally unsustainable model. Students not keeping up with the work and teacher workload for setting and giving feedback online just too massive. Also confusion from students about expectations.
From Term 2 we will be running fortnightly learning cycles. Students 7-10 will be issued fortnightly learning plans which link to each subject area - one website site will house all learning all in one place. Shared with parents also.
Learning plans will be explained in student centred language - from the conceptual “what am I learning and why?” to the practical “what do I have to do and when?”
Work is divided between ‘must do’ and ‘optional/ enrichment’ activities and a mixture of synchronous/ asynchronous learning is to be used, mindful of students with varying access to tech. Teachers ‘check-in’ with students in previously scheduled lesson time once a week.
Students demonstrate their learning over a cycle through portfolios of work, or sharing photos of their best work in a cycle, or in real time show and tell using Zoom or other tech. Teachers not marking work from every lesson - just demonstrated learning once a cycle.
We arrived at this because we knew parents had to be partners in learning - but for that to happen learning had to be clear and manageable. We also needed to manage student concerns centrally - with staff off site the exec need to know what work is expected of all students.
Importantly, we have moved to a formative assessment only model for 7-10 for all term 2 to reduce student stress and anxiety and further each teacher workload.
I don’t think this is a perfect approach, but it is reflective of both our deep desire to look after students and teachers at this time, and respond with creativity to a difficult situation.
I know so many schools and exec teams are deep in thought about similar things and I have appreciated so much the conversations here about models and plans as we went about this. I hope sharing might help your planning and discussions along. (End of thread).