Does any other educator feel that end of year pressure as we wind down to our final months of teaching? This year, I am feeling it more than ever. Usually, I stress to start the fourth science unit or the final math unit, but this year it is a different kind of stress.
I have been so lucky this year to have a group of 30 inspiring students. Every day they inspire me by showing up, typing in the chat, speaking and presenting in a group of people they have never met and most of all, by persevering. This remote learning idea was never supposed to work and for this group of students, it did much more that. I think many of these students are participating more than they ever had before. It gave shy students a voice for the first time, it gave busy students a time to do many tasks at once and much more. For me, it gave me the chance to respond and give feedback in real type, typing next steps in the chat that students would automatically implement. It also was my first year of teaching without any interruptions. For that reason, my stress is related to not having enough time to do all of the things I could do with such an engaged group of students. I am so thankful for this year as it has allowed me to really get to know them, even if I have never met any of them. This year I was able to focus so much time on asking the important questions such as:
- How was your break?
- How was your evening?
- How are you doing today?
- What are you feeling at this moment?
Some of these questions are questions that a busy day in a physical school have never allowed me to ask before. I think after break most teachers just quiet the class down and I have never taught to ask how their break actually was. I will take this lesson as one of the most valuable to my in person classroom next year.
As for the end of the year, there are so many activities I would still like to do. It is something that keeps me up at night, the thought of what are the most important lessons to leave with a group of students and which ones can be left out?
I am looking forward to these two topics which I will be starting soon:
- Coding: I left it for the month of June as I thought it would be the most engaging math concept and will be easier to teach at the end of the year when students need something very engaging to keep them up and running
- Health: In my school board, we were asked to only begin teaching this unit after May 5th
However, there are still so many things I want my students to continue practicing so that they can try them next year in the classroom:
- How to carry all of these phenomenal tech. skills to the classroom
- How to remember to be positive when faced with challenges
- How to greet their classmates in the morning
- How to give positive feedback after a presentation
- How to get right to work (this is probably impossible)
I am hoping to devote most of June to fun and exciting teaching opportunities. One of them is a fresh and interactive math game for all! For the past two Fridays, my students and I have enjoyed playing the most exciting math game which can be found on http://gimkit.com I encourage every educator that teaches math to download this program as it is so engaging and fun! In the past, I have reviewed math quiz apps and this one is by far the best. There are 8-10 different game show styles that students can join on to try to show their math skills. Here are some of the gameshow styles we have tried:
- Trust No One (my classes favourite and is a copy of Among Us)
- The Floor is Lava
- Humans vs. Zombies
- Boss Battle
I have had the most participation in math with this game as a whopping 21 out of 30 students joined today! Yes, 30 would be incredible but there are often technical issues that occur right around math every day. I hope you can all try this soon with your students, especially now that every student is online.
Well as the year winds down, I hope that everyone has the strength to continue and has someone positive in their corner cheering them on to the finish! It has been such a challenging year and not everyone has been fortunate enough to have a group of students that refuse to let anything ruin their day. I will miss the online setting for sure but I know it is in the best interest of our students to get them back in a face to face setting. I will continue sharing my online journey until it is over! I look forward to seeing any comments about fun year end activities that should not be missed 🙂
Have a great weekend!