Tracey Westwood's K2

Sunday, April 5th Update

Picture of Tracey Westwood
Sunday, April 5th Update
by Tracey Westwood - Sunday, 5 April 2020, 5:07 PM

A few bits for the week...

  • I really enjoyed chatting with everyone this past week. It really makes a difference in my day to see all those little faces. I was also happy to see how many of you have kept the children actively learning with reading, writing, math, and various projects!

  • We are still at the beginning of working out ways to deliver learning opportunities remotely. Mrs. Blackie, Mrs. Cole and I have created a Home Learning Plan to get you started. The directive from the Ministry of Education is to provide an hour of structured activities each day. I think you may find we have given you more than that so please do not think your child must do everything. As I’ve said, the social-emotional health of your entire family is the priority so if pushing 5 more minutes of printing activity is going to push someone off the deep end, save it for another time. On the other hand, many of the children are eager for more so we have also included extra ideas. Please don’t be afraid to give feedback on what we give you. We are eager to learn too.

  • Setting up for success will look different for all of you as your children and home situations vary so do whatever works. Here are some suggestions from the pros:

    • “This is your spot”. If possible, find a place with natural light for your child to work. It should be away from distractions such as tv and toys.

    • They don’t need a table but they do need a hard surface to lean on.

    • It helps to get in the right mindset if your child gets washed and dressed in the morning as they would for school.

    • If your child struggles to stay at a task for an extended length of time, try setting a timer for snack and movement breaks. Many 5 to 6 year olds can only focus for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. They typically have better seatwork stamina in the morning.

    • Help them gather their learning materials and keep them close at hand. A large cereal box works well for papers.

    • Go over the Home Learning Plan together and let them choose which tasks to work on first.

    • Put out a daily snack box for each child, with a few healthy, low sugar snacks for each day. Once your child has eaten everything, that’s it for the day. They should quickly learn to pace themselves, and not get distracted by the lure of food.

    • Make the most of the space you have, but don’t get stressed if you can’t provide the perfect learning environment; if need be, your child can work on the sofa or on their bedroom floor.

    • If you are working from home and there’s no one else to help, keep a cup or something as an indicator on your workspace. When your child needs help, they can flip over the cup without interrupting your work/phone call and switch to a different activity while they wait. Then when you’re done, you can go help.

  • Things to know about the Home Learning Plan:

    • The document contains hyperlinks to videos, documents, and examples.

    • There is one recurring link to Number of the Day. We are hoping this will be become a daily math routine. It is similar to activities we have done together in class but they may need reminders to help them get started at home. After a bit of practice, they should be able to do it independently.

    • When we say Read with Someone 10+ min, this can mean the child reads or another person reads. We know you can’t go into the library but there are many digital sources for books online. Don’t forget about oral stories, too. Feel free to make one up or pull out the photo album and share some stories from your own family.

    • Play a math game links to a booklet of many math card games for multiple age groups. Some of your children may be ready for grade 1 and grade 2 games. Use the table of contents to navigate.

  • Substitutions

    • If you don’t have cards or dice, print numbers on pieces of paper and draw them out of a hat.

    • If you want to save paper, print one copy of recurring sheets (like the number of the day) and place it under the glass from a picture frame or in a plastic report sleeve and use marker. Or if you want to get techie, take a photo or screenshot and edit it in your photo app.

    • If you don’t have a printer, you can hand draw it, it doesn’t even have to match as long as the content is there. Or again, edit a screenshot on your device.

  • Setting up for FreshGrade

    • I will be sending each of you a code to set up FreshGrade Student. You will need to download the app onto a device with a camera. This will be how we submit samples of student learning. At this point, we are not sure what the district has in mind for assessment and reporting but I would still like to see some of what the children are working on. There will come a time when I may ask for a particular thing but for now, I invite you to use it to upload anything that your child is super proud of. I will not publish everything to their portfolios as I am only permitted to publish particular artifacts but I will see them all and respond.

  • Video conferencing is on hold for a bit while the district debates about Zoom. Hopefully, we will be able to get that going soon.

  • Don’t hesitate to share your feedback via email. It will be important in shaping the future of this program.

Be well.