Classroom

K-8 Learning Plan

Learning Design

From the student view

  • Cohesive, enriching, and engaging
  • This is challenging, but I can do it!
  • Learning goals are clear to me and I know when I have reached the goal
  • I can ask for help and I get support when I need it
  • I get to express my thinking in the process of learning
  • I receive feedback and then adjust what I have done
  • I have opportunities to develop my home language

From the parent/family view

  • I know the expectations of my child’s learning because I can see what the plan is for the week
  • I know how to find appropriate learning resources
  • We have a daily schedule that we are able to follow
  • We do our best to provide quiet time and spaces for school work in our home
  • I talk with my child in any language that I feel most comfortable
  • I support my child with opportunities to develop our home language
  • I can count on my child’s school to support my family needs or the school can connect me to community resources

Communication

Given the stress and isolation of these times, we need to ensure that we stay connected to each student on a regular basis. We have seen over the last few weeks, how for a student of any age, seeing their teacher in a video and having a chance to respond or interact is very powerful and reassuring. All students should have opportunities to connect with adults multiple times per week. Therefore, we want to make sure that these connections come from a variety of adults, such as reading/special education/ELL teachers, music/art/PE/library specialists, and administrators.   

Examples from SPS Educators: 

  • Use of Class DoJo as a platform to easily connect to families
  • Weekly emails from a teacher that share activities and schedules for the week
  • Daily read-alouds or sing-alongs rotated by members of a grade level team
  • A chat using Google Hangout or other online platforms for morning meetings or for a class to practice listening and speaking
  • Connecting by phone or with a letter or postcard
  • A rotation among adults connected to a group of students to reach out and maintain contacts

Accessible Reading

We all know the importance of daily reading whether it’s an independent book for pleasure or for classwork. In these times, it’s even harder to ensure that students are accessing text within their level, but there are more and more online resources for assisting with this problem. Therefore, we will try as much as possible to make every text as accessible as possible at a variety of levels and in audio form.  

Examples from SPS Educators: 

  • Use of Readworks to assign readings that are available in multiple reading levels and audio
  • Directing students to sites like StoryOutline, TumbleBooks, PebbleGo, and Epic that allow students to read a high interest book independently at a variety of levels, as well as have the book read aloud to them
  • Use of online tools to have PDFs of text read aloud or simplified

Language Learners Need Many Opportunities to Speak and Listen:

Language learners need a consistent series of high quality speaking and listening experiences to make progress. We want to provide them with opportunities to listen and speak. The interactive concept of serve and return, where teachers put out a prompt or idea and students then are asked to provide structured responses, is very effective. Please see the Language Learners Continued Learning Map for more specific guidance and ideas for effective practices.

Examples from SPS Educators: 

  • Using Google Hangouts or another online platform to have class discussions
  • Watching educational television from WGBH, Telemundo, Discovery Channel, etc. 
  • Recording themselves interviewing a family member and submitting it to the teacher for feedback
  • Engaging in a math class Number Talk

Students' Daily Writing

We know both from research and our experience about the power of students writing every day in multiple subject areas. This is the perfect opportunity to have students do daily writing, whether it’s responding to short prompts, keeping a journal, responding to text, researching a topic, or writing a longer narrative or non-fiction piece. Students who are not as comfortable or skilled with writing have many other accessibility options, such as recording themselves speak, using speech to text, or expressing themselves in art or labeled drawings. Students who struggle in writing should also be provided with graphic organizers, preferably ones that they have used already (eg.,organizers from our literacy units, MCAS-approved organizers).

Examples from SPS Educators: 

  • Hosting sharing sessions for a class on an online platform where students share their writing and get feedback from the class
  • Kindergarten teachers engaging students in activities from our Talking, Drawing, Writing curriculum
  • Preschool teachers having their students dictate stories to adults or older siblings and then draw/act them out

Mathematics

In Pre-K to Grade 8, there is one area, mathematics, where standards build pretty sequentially. The math team will determine what those standards and skills are and provide educators with clear resources to deliver this instruction to students. We also want to reiterate our position in mathematics of extending and deepening learning, not accelerating students. We would also suggest having students explore other courses of mathematical learning such as coding and financial literacy.

Feedback

We know that feedback is an essential part of effective learning. It helps students understand the subject being studied and gives them clear guidance on how to improve their learning. We also know that feedback can improve a student's confidence, self-awareness, and enthusiasm for learning.

Examples from SPS Educators: 

  • Students getting feedback on their writing through Google Classroom or Schoology
  • A reading teacher providing feedback to a student who submitted audio of them reading a passage for fluency
  • A teacher using an online math program that provides her with a clear report of what feedback to give a student so they keep growing and don’t spin their wheels
  • A preschool teacher having children send a photo of themselves doing an activity or sharing a finished art or writing project, and then the teacher posting and offering feedback
  • A class giving their classmates virtual thumbs-ups or other emojis on something they just shared in an online discussion