All posts tagged: Lesson Planning

Best Practices For Teaching During COVID-19

One of my favorite pictures of teaching in action. “Hey Google” “What are the best practices for teaching during Covid-19?” Spoiler alert: There are none. When my school district produced a mandatory professional development session that taught teachers how to transition to online learning, I became immediately skeptical. I was also frustrated at the utter hubris it takes to claim to know anything about online learning when your background is everything but, and then present it as a mandatory training module. While I did learn some things about Canvas that I was completely unaware of (which I am deeply grateful for), there was a lot of unnecessary stress added by the way the PD was rolled out. I want to make it very clear, I’m not frustrated with our district coaches. I’m frustrated with the administration that made the decisions and how it was rolled out in typical half-ass fashion, i.e., not having their poop in a group. Every year teachers are bombarded with crap. And I do mean crap. Between education corporations looking to sell you the latest …

Working on it.

I am feeling relieved. I have discovered some great tools; things that are possible leads on some potential classroom tech that I think will be very creative and helpful to my students. I have also come up with some backup lesson plans just in case I discover that the plans will not work. However, I think this idea will work at the very least in a rudimentary way. My first idea came after playing around with recording the narration of the text we are currently reading. As I was recording I noticed I was making mistakes and getting interrupted. Not only am I not a trained audiobook narrator, I’m also not a great audio editor. I’m sure with some practice I could figure it out and make it work, but the mistakes I was making were hindering me and wasting time, and right now time is precious. As teachers we are being asked to do so much work and my anxiety has not made that easy. As I’ve said before in previous posts, I’ve wasted …

Distance Learning: Day 1 – Planning

Technically, this is day 2. However, yesterday I had just enough anxiety to make me productive . . . at reading and phone games. I did get a few things done near the end of the day, but the entire idea of online learning and all the things that my district is placing on us for training in the meantime has me a bit overwhelmed. In communication with other teachers, they are feeling the same. In some ways I am learning. I am gathering ideas for what to do. In other ways, I wish I could just get to work on my own classes without being hindered by district trainings, meetings, and check-ins. From a critical discourse analysis perspective, the message the district is sending is that they don’t trust us. They think we are going to waste these 8 days the governor has granted and not do any planning, as if we would let our students down like that. At the very least, I am finding the district training to be at least moderately helpful and …

Creative Homework Solutions

Involving parents in their children’s homework is a great way to build parent participation in both their children’s lives, but also in the school, especially when they are unable to come during scheduled events. However, there are some serious considerations you need to think about before assigning homework that involves family members. In this post I jump into some of the problems, and solutions I have seen work for those problems, that may arise with giving homework to ELL’s as well as students who are low SES. Disclaimer –  I am firmly against homework, so my honest solution to all of these problems is not to assign any. However, there are times when even I find it necessary to have the students study and practice at home. Problem: Parents Schedules Do the parents work overnights and sleep most of the day? Are your students spending more time home alone than with their parents? This comes down to knowing your students and their family schedules. It also means finding alternative options to students who face some …

Why you shouldn’t call them the WIDA "Standards"

One thing that I think EL teachers need to get better at is explaining our profession. However, one of the largest organizations for teaching English, WIDA, doesn’t make it easy when they decided to call their framework of instructional tools, “standards”. What is WIDA?WIDA stands for the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment. It’s a consortium of states who have agreed to adopt the assessments and standards put out by this group, which is based out of Madison, WI. According to the WIDA website, 37 states have adopted these standards. So, what are the standards? Specifically, the WIDA “standards” are 5 broadly defined statements about what language learners are expected to do. 5 WIDA ELD standards from the 2012 ELD Guide (Amplified) Many teachers who hear the word “standards” compare this with their own state standards and say, “HUH?” To be completely honest, at first I did as well. But that was because I also heard the word standards and was only looking at those 5 items while writing lesson plans. Simple enough. Right? Wrong. WIDA …