GOING DIGITAL WITH DISTANCE LEARNING

The words, 'Digital', 'Paperless Classroom', 'Google Classroom' and the likes have taken on new significance as most schools around the world transition to Distance Learning.

It was always at the back of my mind that the education system would sooner or later go all digital - that the use of digital devices to facilitate learning would take precedence and the old-fashioned pen and paper medium would be done away for good. What I didn't envision was that this theory would come to fruition much sooner than expected and that too within a remote learning framework.

So when COVID-19 struck our world and the WHO and the United Nations declared it a pandemic, the need for digital learning in a Distance Learning setup became an urgent need. As our school is still in the transitioning stage of going paperless, there was much stress initially in terms of preparing for remote learning. The situation is more in control now as we are better informed and given time to prepare resources to accommodate remote teaching and learning.

Apart from other subjects, Reading needs to be at the core of an online course module. To practice the application of essential reading strategies, this resource on Reading Strategy Responses (tried by my students) would - I'm positive - be useful to any remote learning elementary/primary school classroom.

Read on further to see how you can use this resource in your classroom or simply scroll down to the end to access this freebie.


distance remote learning

Students will reflect on a book they are reading or have read by typing their responses in a Google Form. This is an effective way to authenticate students' reading logs.

digital reading response strategies


A visual definition of the reading strategy in question aids in student responses.

Distance Remote Learning

A guiding question also facilitates response.

distance remote learning


Students simply type in their answer in the text box and all responses are automatically saved for analysis.

distance remote learning


The questions require an open-ended response and it would be interesting to read what each student has written.

distance remote learning


Best of all, student responses can be remotely accessed by accessing the 'Responses' tab on the Google Form.

The 'Summary' tab gives an overview of all student responses for all questions.

distance remote learning

The 'Question' tab shows student responses for each question.

distance google classroom remote


And the 'Individual' tab reveals responses of each student.

google classroom distance learning

Analyzing this data is indeed very useful to dictate further teaching and learning.

And if you want to export this data into an excel spreadsheet, all you have to do is access the green cross tab on the right.


distance remote learning



Sharing this form with all student responses with the class is easy too - simply access the 'Share' tab.

distance remote learning


To make a question mandatory for students to respond, access the 'Required' tab below on the right.

distance remote learning

So, if you would like to assign this digital resource featuring 10 reading response questions to your students, then click on the image link below. All you have to do is upload the link to a safe online learning platform like Google Classroom and assign the task to students. Further instructions to setup are in the free download.

https://mailchi.mp/c33b7325a243/26bsavwmkm



Like the resource above and looking to assign more reading resonse questions?

Then this set of 20 questions will do ample justice to gauge your students' reading comprehension skills. Click on the image below to access.

DIGITAL READING RESPONSE STRATEGIES


And if you're looking for more digital resources to use in your classroom, you can find a lot more here.



Stay safe!
Until next time...

























SCAVENGER HUNTS: SUBTLE LEARNING

Do you have a like/dislike kind of feeling towards holiday celebration activities throughout the school year? Every time they come around, be it Halloween, Thanksgiving, Harmony Day or even Father's Day and Mother's Day, it takes some effort to get students to stay focused on the curriculum while also accommodating these holiday-themed activities into the classroom.

Well, I have discovered one way where subtle learning can take place even in the midst of celebration frenzy and excitement - via fact-based Scavenger Hunts. These Hunts could be just about for any subject.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

So for instance, you can have students learn all about how Christmas is celebrated around the world by having them go on a scavenger hunt for fun and interesting facts

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

or how the Chinese celebrate their new year

      school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

or even about the strange and interesting traditions celebrated around the world to bring in the New Year.

back to school new year

Technology always seems to fascinate kids and having a hunt that has QR codes to scan is indeed a winner.

veterans day qr code activity

Quoting from personal experience, my students have so much fun with these hunts that they don't even realise/realize they are assimilating important information - that's the charm of subtle learning!

australia day scavenger hunt activity

So in other words, a great way to convey complex, otherwise mundane content, is through fun and exciting Scavenger Hunts that provide an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

So how does a scavenger hunt work?

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

Well, first and foremost, prior to having the students go on a hunt, the teacher needs to engage the students in a 5-7 minute warm-up activity whereby a brief introduction is provided on the subject in focus. Rules are explained, difficult terminology is targeted, and a subsequent activity is kept ready for early finishers.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

Then students armed with their recording sheets go on the hunt. They have to find the corresponding fact cards to answer the questions on their recording sheet. This entails careful reading of the fact cards and consequently comprehending the information on each one - now isn't that some much needed reading practice coming into play.

leap year hunt 2020

I find this application of reading skills particularly beneficial to my students who are reading challenged - in that, content information is presented in manageable chunks so to speak. The skill of decoding, reading and comprehending is still at work - but with snippets of text. Talk about the ideal way to set a child up for success!

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

You can also add an element of competitiveness to this activity by having students work in groups and rewarding the team that finishes the Hunt first or even set a time limit. Kids love the excitement of competing - all in good fun.

school holidays and celebrations such as halloween, thanksgiving, veterans day, australia day, easter, st patricks day, cinco de mayo, diwali, leap year, new years day, july 4th, april fools day, martin luther king jr, memorial day, groundhog day, valentine's day scavenger hunt activities

The best part is that learning is happening subtly, although outwardly - it seems to be all fun and games, students are consciously/subconsciously acquring information and learning is undoubtedly taking place.
leap year qr code activity

So if you are looking for a great big bundle of celebration-themed scavenger hunts that you would like your students to go on during the school year, why not think about investing in this mega bundle. It features all the major holiday celebrations. 


And if there's one hunt in particular that is not listed but you would like for your classroom, then do let me know by commenting below. My students are always ready to do a new hunt!

Also if you would like to try a hunt with your students and witness first hand the fun, excitement and learning it generates, then this April Fool's Day freebie is for you!

Happy teaching!
Until next time...