When schools were directed to close in March 2020, my district, like many others, delivered services (in a modified fashion) to students and their families through June. Unfortunately, teachers saw a significant drop-off in student participation with online lessons. Certainly, learning by watching a computer screen is less than optimal, and confounding problems like lack of internet access and student learning difficulties likely contributed to the marginal participation myself, as well as my colleagues, observed.
My district is beginning this year with remote learning and then expects to phase in a hybrid model later in October. I sincerely hope that those students who remain in an electronic learning situation remain engaged and actively participate in their classes. A mix of live and recorded instruction, as well as shortened class periods, are planned to help students remain focused.
NY State has not cancelled regents exams. Unless and until that happens, teachers must cover their course curriculum. I plan to use my PowerPoint Presentations, as well as my Questions on Notes, to teach the units in my class. I also expect to use some fun supplementary (but related) learning activities to help students better understand concepts.
Watch for upcoming blogs where I share some of those activities. If you use any in your classroom, please post and tell us how it worked out!
Gertrude Katz has spent over 30 years teaching K-12 public school students all major subjects. She has taught biology and education at the college level. The majority of her career has been spent instructing biology at the secondary level.