I hope you are all doing well and staying safe (at home, if possible!) during this uncertain time. We just had our first virtual learning session with the morning group of students, and I must say - it was a success. It will surely take some time for students to learn the basic controls (mainly how to mute/unmute their microphone!) but I am so impressed with how quickly they're catching on, and how enthusiastically they participated in our virtual activities. Way to go! For those of you who are in the afternoon group, I look forward to seeing you at 1:30 today!
I am aware that some children are unable to attend our learning sessions at their assigned time due to childcare arrangements and having parents who are essential workers. Everyone's situation is different and valid - and I want to make this as simple as possible without causing you any additional stress. If your child is in the AM group, but you feel the PM would better suit your schedule - please feel free to reach out and I can make the switch - no problem at all. I will also be recording one virtual learning session per day so those who cannot attend are still able to watch it at a time that works for their individual situation. FYI, your child will not be visible in the video recording, however if they speak, it is possible their voice could be captured. These videos will only be posted in our K-3 Google Classroom, and will be deleted after 2 weeks. Fingers crossed that we won't have to do this "virtual" thing for an extended period of time, however, I am not feeling confident that we'll be in the clear after this 2 week "buffer period."
There are links to read alouds in both French and English, songs and videos, and interactive tasks available within our Google Classroom. I have also posted some of the "pencil and paper" activities that would be used as "centres" throughout the week for the Letter Ff. I am aware that not all families have access to a printer at home, so please do not feel that it is necessary for your child to complete these activities - they are extra things for those who are looking to supplement our virtual learning sessions. I am also in the process of creating digital versions of hands-on activities we would likely be doing in the classroom and making them available on an ongoing basis. Ms. Borden has also been posting lessons centered around Canada's North - a theme unit we were just starting with her in the library before in-person classes were suspended. These are great interactive materials your child can check out during asynchronous learning time. Mr. O'Keefe and Ms. Reid will also be popping into our virtual sessions regularly to do special physical education and music activities with the students. As I mentioned in my previous e-mail last week, I am still making changes to the proposed lesson plan template for the upcoming two weeks - so do not be alarmed if the material we cover doesn't match up exactly with what is scheduled for each day.
As for items required for virtual learning sessions, I realize that many students do not have access to all of their consumable learning materials, as they are still at school. If possible, children should be ready with paper, pencils, and colouring utensils. It would be excellent if they had some Play-Doh or modelling clay - however, this is not a necessity. Whatever you have available at home is fine! Please do not feel the need to go out to a store and pick up anything new - we will make use of what you have on hand.
Each day I will be posting a "Class Challenge" for my students to partake in. This will be a simple task that can be completed at home, with little parental help required. Sometimes it might involve taking a photo and uploading it into a shared document - which you might need to assist with. Today, it is to practice logging into our Google Classroom 3 times. As I said before, this is a learning curve for all of us and both grown ups and little ones will require some time to get used to this new learning format! I am flexible and will do whatever I can to make this easier on my students and their families. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about accessing our Google Classroom, navigating digital activities, or anything else you're not sure about. I will do my best to assist you in any way that I can.