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Teaching and learning in grades 4-8
The strange new world we find ourselves a part of is perplexing to say the least. Principal Rita Platt expects, like her, you have experienced a wide range of emotions and concerns since schools closed. She offers practical advice and a virtual hug.
As many of us find ourselves thrust into the realm of distance learning, PA TOY Marilyn Pryle outlines how she uses two online platforms, Edmodo and Flipgrid, for intellectual and social/emotional learning, since any tool is only as effective as how it is put to use.
For teachers to help students not only survive but also thrive through this frightening pandemic, we need to underscore both their and our fundamental need for kindness and gratitude. Author-educator Dr. Debbie Silver shares the science of anxiety and lots of options to help.
Middle school teacher and dean Bill Ivey shares the story of his 7th graders, gathering online for the first time. “So much going on around us is frighteningly uncertain. How we go about schooling right now is far more important than the what. Familiarity. Flexibility. Agency. Community.”
Middle schools and their students are special. By design 6-8 grade schools are intended to be communities, organized in houses or teams as the kids are exploring themselves and their world. All this helps in the leap to online school, says teacher Laurie Lichtenstein.
Science teachers know that some students believe in often-ridiculous theories (the Earth is flat; climate change is a hoax) that are propagated on YouTube and social media. Frank Baker provides a wealth of resources to fight science ignorance with media literacy skills.
Recently Sarah Cooper did two lessons with her eighth grade history and civics students that afterward made her stand back and ask: Why did that work out so well? Here she analyzes the women’s suffrage lessons to uncover the key elements of success for future reflection.
At home with her teens, ELA teacher Dina Strasser discovers how to create a compromise between parents who need (and ought to be) “captains of the quarantine ship,” and teens who need to be respected and loved as individuals. Their much-discussed home schedule is a start.
With the increase of schools worldwide offering distance learning or virtual schools in response to the COVID19 outbreak, middle grades teacher Tan Huynh details how his Saigon international school has developed one-to-one online learning for students since February 3.
On the day after school was declared closed, ELA teacher Brent Gilson greeted students from behind a “desk wall” as they came by to pick up personal gear and borrow books from his class library. One girl’s wonderful note inspired him to write a hopeful message of his own.