Monday, May 25, 2020

Week of May 26th

UAI Staff News

Volume VII
Issue 38
May 26th,  2020


Happy Birthday!!!
Ms. Marni (Monday, 25MAY20) and Ms. Giselle (Tuesday, 26MAY20)!!

Evidence of Mastery. 
As pedagogues, we are constantly looking at student behaviors, questions, and work products to evaluate in pursuit of knowing whether or not students have mastered what was taught.  In academics, we look for their ability to use new content and skills adeptly and accurately.  When looking at social emotional learning and behaviors that support academic success, we are often not so clear about assessing mastery.

Too frequently, we conflate academic behaviors (or social emotional learning skills) and academic competency  In the rush to move to a digital learning environment, no time or planning went into the technical social emotional competency of our students.  In fact, we didn't even understand that that was even a thing back in March!  Now, as we have experienced countless screens turned off, students self-muting, or students failing to sign up for Google Classrooms or use classrooms appropriately to submit assignments or access resources, we have a much better idea of the kinds of skills our students are missing and thus the hurdles that are inhibiting their (and in some cases our own) success with Remote Learning.

By this Friday, all AP classes, 8th grade classes, and senior classes will move completely into Asynchronous Learning for the remainder of the year.  By next Friday, the entire school will be in this structure.  This transition will give teachers the time needed to actively and creatively reach out to students who have shown you that they are struggling with Remote Learning.  They are showing you this via their inability to consistently submit work to you (or their inability to consistently submit quality work to you).  

Connection to the home is crucial at this time.  Emails, texts, phone calls, friend calls, Discord, however - this is the time to think outside of the usual boxes to creatively connect with your students in this bucket.  The goal is to connect with the students and their families and support them in completing the work in your class that is necessary to pass.  If you do not connect with your students after trying everything you can think of, please reach out to Kiri, Annie, or Jen.  We will work with you to think of a way to help you connect with the student.

From outreach thus far, many students report feeling unmotivated and disengaged.   Much of these feelings are directly the result of depression related feelings coming out of the stress and anxiety of living through a Global Pandemic for the last three months.  No magic wand can make these emotions go poof!  However, you do have the ability to help (not solve - just help).  Keep the goals small and achievable.  Instead of telling students, "Complete these 10 assignments" - which will only lead to more feelings of being overwhelmed - start them with, "Let's try this assignment first."  After they submit that first assignment, then continue working with the student to get her to move through the work, little by little and steadily.  

It will take constant outreach and work in order to connect with our students now.  When we are not in person, our only method of communication is digital or phone.  This is a lot slower and a lot harder, but it's all we have for now.  We need to leverage what we have to make sure we reach our students who need us most.

When we do that, we will get the work we need to evaluate student mastery and effectively and fairly give final grades in June.

To-Do This Week

<<Repost>> Post Assignments for Asynchronous Learning.  This week all AP classes will begin ending live (or synchronous) online instruction.  Remember, instruction is continuing.  We are moving to asynchronous (or non-live zoom lessons) for June.  This will give teachers the time and access to work live with those students who need extra help and support.  At the same time, those students who have demonstrated competency with online instruction can now develop their skills with asynchronous learning.
  • Students Who Are At or Above Course Learning Targets (so passing or higher).  For those students who have successfully demonstrated mastery in your course, please provide independent activities and projects for them.  The goal is to select high interest, engaging tasks that students can complete independently.  These should not be assigned to all students.  Rather, they should only be assigned to students who are meeting course learning targets or exceeding those goals.  If needed, you can identify office hours on a particular day for these students.  
  • Students who are in danger of failing (below course learning targets).  After your last live lesson (or synchronous lesson), your regular zoom times will be reserved for working with students who are in danger of not successfully completing your course by June (so, all students who are listed as having an NX as their floor grade - see the Remote Learning Tracker).  This includes doing outreach, tutoring, and anything that needs to be done to support these students.  If needed, you can identify zoom times for students working on the independent, asynchronous projects.  The main goal is to use your time as you need in order to make sure you connect with the students who need you the most.
  • When is Live Zoom Instruction Ending? Here are the dates of the last live zoom lesson
    • 29MAY20 - Last day for all 8th and 12th grade synchronous, live-zoom classes.  These are terminating grades.  So we are giving these teachers an extra week to work with students to help them meet course targets and graduate.
    • 05JUN20 - All other UAI Classes - last day for live zoom


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