All posts by Jill Gough

Learner, Love Questions, Problem-finding, Math w/technology. Interests: Collaborating, PLC, Formative Assessment

Day 6 (Day 1 Week 2) Learning from home: Choral Counting – it’s what we normally do; you can too

Choral Counting is an invitation; it provides an opportunity for each student to generate important mathematical ideas and for teachers to be curious about their students’ thinking. (Franke, pag.)

We want teaching and learning to remain as normal as possible during the time we are apart.

One important part of our math program is choral counting.  We believe choral counting lays a deep foundation for developing algebraic reasoning as well as fluency. Choral counting empowers learners to visualize and verbalize relationships and patterns.

Here’s a quick nine minutes of why and what to do.

We do not limit choral counting to our Early Elementary Division. We offer the following examples to show how we planned and anticipated what students would notice and learn.

Choral Counting: Start at 6; count up by 5

Choral Counting: Start at 0; count up by 2/3

These activities help us enact our commitments to equity. We know that a sense of belonging and investment, of being seen, known, and heard by teachers and classmates, is fundamental to creating schools where children and families feel welcome and where they flourish. Because these activities foreground student sense making and cultivate a joy for doing mathematics, they can be powerful tools for teachers to counter narrow views that only a few can identify with mathematics or that mathematics is disconnected from students’ home lives, their communities, and their own interests. (Franke, pag.)

As I said in the video, start with blank paper, sit side-by-side with your child. If there’s more than one child at home, have them do this together – the more the merrier! Don’t be afraid to start with 1 and count by 1’s even with older children. The patterns change every time you change how you write it down, and we see curiosity grow. The patterns are intriguing to all.


Franke, Megan L. Choral Counting & Counting Collections: Transforming the PreK-5 Math Classroom . Stenhouse. Kindle Edition.

(Note: My book is at school, so I cannot cite page numbers. I will update when I have the physical book. This above citation is what Kindle generated for me.)

Tech Tip: Subitizing with Quick Images in Seesaw

It’s been a loooooong time since I made “Tech Tip” videos, so I’m a little rusty. Please forgive me.

Trinity School uses Seesaw for our student learning portfolios to help students collect artifacts of learning, select evidence of learning, and reflect on how they’ve learned and grown.  Parents use Seesaw to see their child or children’s learning now and their growth over time.

MyLearning portfolios have been active at Trinity School for the past 8.5 years. Rhonda Mitchell, now Early Elementary Division Head, was the MyLearning designer and facilitator in those early years. Marsha Harris, now Director of Curriculum, researched and lead the transition from Evernote to Seesaw three or four years ago.

Our students and teachers have been using Seesaw to collect, select, and reflect on their learning. As we are now apart, we are learning more and more about distance learning, and we are collecting more evidence of student learning to see growth over time. #Awesome.

While we cannot be together, we want our learning experiences to be as close to normal as we can get.  One important number talk that we use across our school is subitizing with quick images.

Below are two videos that show the student view of a Seesaw activity for Dot Talks (a.k.a. subitizing) and then a quick Tech Tip video on how the Seesaw activity was created. These are rough cuts. I can drop them in iMovie and fancy them up, but that can wait.  Right now, we are working to be true to ourselves and our vision of teaching. Later, we will improve these. Please forgive any missteps and bobbles. I’m sure the outtakes reel will be hilarious.

Subitizing with Pennies on Ten-Frames

 

Illustrative Mathematics Grade 6 Unit 1 Lesson 6: Area of Parallelograms. Activity 1: Missing Dots.
(
Download for free at openupresources.org.)

 

Here’s the “How to” video to create a quick image using Seesaw.

We hope you will share your creative thinking, problem-solving, and learning as we go forward.

I hope this helps.

Day 5 Week 1: Learning from home – Intentional efforts to get us here

Exhausted, but proud and pleased describes how we feel at the close of Week 1 of learning from home. I want to share the intentional steps taken by the entire Trinity School community that got us here.

Joe Marshall, Head of Trinity School, challenged the Academic Leadership Team to lead the distance-learning planning, facilitation, and execution from our philosophy of learning. Here’s what we have done.

Philosophy
Develop, practice, and maintain foundational skills
in a multi-sensory way.

We commit to a whole-child approach to learning at Trinity.  We are taking a whole-family approach to distance learning.

To that end, we are going to use the tools and resources (Google, Seesaw, Dreambox, Keyboarding,  that we already use in learning and teaching. It is enough for our families to manage right now. We will not switch platforms or products at this time; we will not add new log-ins and new passwords any time soon.

We know that Trinity students are best served when with Trinty teachers. We did not prevent students from coming to school so that we could have a PD day to “get prepared.” We are prepared as far as communication tools go. Our students were with their teachers every day last week.  We chose to focus on student learning, and we know that we made the right decision.

We know that children learn best through intentional tasks and activities and that sitting in front of a screen for too long is unproductive.  At school, we follow a schedule to help everyone be together, and we limit the use of screen time.  While at home, our young learners will be with their families – our families – and the times will need to be scheduled by the family’s needs.

We will not have Morning Meetings in Week 1. Taking a whole-family approach, we know that families need time to adjust to their new normal. If both parents are working, they might need their child or children to sleep later in order to get work done before splitting their attention between work and learning.  Likewise, we know that our faculty members also need time – the same time  – to adjust to their new normal.  Remember, we have Trinity faculty members who are also Trinity parents.

So, in Week 1, we shared learning plans that provided multi-sensory learning experiences. A week’s worth of learning plans published to our families at 8:00 a.m. last Monday morning using our parent portal, MyTrinity. It is what we use whenever we need to send an announcement or post information.

Our teachers provided  daily math, reading, writing, and movement tasks/activities along with some Specials classes activities/tasks to emulate our current schedule.  We offered these tasks but did not schedule them. Families could choose when to learn to meet the needs and timing of home.

Over the course of the week, we saw and shared evidence of multi-sensory tasks being completed by active, engaged children. You can check it out at #TrinityLearns on Twitter and #TrinityLearns on Instagram. Some examples follow:

In Week 0, while still in the building teaching, learning with, and caring for our students, we asked teachers to embrace and enact the following goals.

  •  I can collaborate with my team to plan for age-appropriate distance learning.
  • I can plan, organize, and share age-appropriate activities that develop, practice,  and maintain foundational skills in a multi-sensory way.

Candidly, these two goals are the Trinity way of teaching and learning in or out of distance learning.

I grabbed one day’s worth of plans to share the level of planning for one day in a very short time while continuing teaching and learning together. Note: This is not any one day. It is a mock-up using actual activities/tasks from several different grade levels. I have asked teams for permission to share their full plans next week. As we move into Week 2, we will again adjust to a new “more” normal.  We know our teachers long to hear from and see their students.

We know the reverse is true too.

I hope you can see the deep, intentional, multi-sensory learning our teachers have provided. In Week 2, we will “see” each other more and more, asynchronously and synchronously.

I’ll keep you posted.

Day 4 Week 1: Learning from home…Snow day; YAY! This…NO WAY!

“Did you put a spoon under your pillow?
Did you flush ice cubes down the toilet?
Remember to sleep with your pj’s on backward and inside out!”

All in hopes of a snow day.

In January and February, when the temperatures trend toward 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the conversation around school would change. Excitement would build…would it come? You know, that amazing call, text, or email that said school was canceled, and it was a SNOW DAY! Yay!

This is different.
This is not okay.
While we would cheer, “yay; snow day,”
we now say, “no…not this way!”

We are learning, and we are together, even though we are apart. It is not the way we want to have school, but we are making the best of our situation. We know that it is important to #FlattenTheCurve and keep ourselves and our communities safe.

In case you are wondering if deep learning experiences are possible when we are forced to be apart, check out our students working through these age-appropriate activities that develop and practice foundational skills in a multi-sensory way. (Here are just a few glimpses of our students – our children – doing their part to learn and to honor our routines.) #Amazing

 

Watching school and learning from home is possible and is happening. You can check out more of what we share using #TrinityLearns.

How was it different than a normal day at school?

While I saw additional outcomes of our planning and work, I got to work with more teams to plan new learning experiences for next week. I wish you could see how intentional the planning, teaming, and effort is. #Grateful

Sarah, Rhonda, Marsha, and I got to meet with and hear from all 23 Specials teachers. We are awed and proud of their teaming to provide high-quality tasks for students. More than half literally said, “I am learning so much!” There should never be a doubt of these teachers’ commitment to Trinity School and our students.

How was it the same as a normal day at school?

#Joyful I spent the bulk of my day with teachers and my team.  I continue to express how grateful I am to work with such dedicated thoughtful teacher-leaders who are eager to plan new engaging, multi-sensory tasks.

What will I need to do differently tomorrow? 

I need to move my office to the back deck to have some sunshine! I also want to cut more screencasts for parents, teachers, and students.


I’m curious… How was your day the same? How was it different? What adjustments do you need to make?


And today: Super Better QUEST 19: What’s Your Number?
Today’s ratio: 3:1

Day 3 Week 1: Learning from home

On Day 3 of Week 1, Trinity School faculty teams are busy, busy, busy.  Team meetings are more frequent than normal as we work to plan for Week 2 of distance learning.  What could be accomplished as we eat lunch or pass in the hall now calls for a scheduled meeting. It is tiring and so great! We are learning more and more each day. And, thinking about how mindset matters, check out my calendar and notice the locations for these team meetings. #Awesome

Watching school and learning from home is fun. You can check out more of what we share using #TrinityLearns.

How was it different than a normal day at school?

I saw more outcomes of our planning and work. I love seeing our students’ workspaces, recess activities, and experiments. I know the teachers appreciate seeing their plans in action. #Grateful

I moved more today than yesterday, but not enough. I did have lunch with my daughter, and we helped each other take a much-needed break.

Scout-puppy stayed near me for most of the day and attended a couple of team meetings, well, he peeked in to say hello.

How was it the same as a normal day at school?

#Joyful I spent the bulk of my day with teachers and my team.  I continue to express how grateful I am to work with such dedicated thoughtful teacher-leaders who are eager to plan new engaging, multi-sensory tasks.

More visitors came to my office. Thank you, Rhonda, Sarah, Marsha, Justin, Sarah M., Kate, and Brian for dropping by.

I also learned new things about Google Meet, Zoom, and Seesaw.

What will I need to do differently tomorrow? 

More movement is still needed. My door remains open, and I am taking more brain and physical breaks. I still need to set a timer to remind me to walk outside, take the stairs in our home, and stretch. I’m reading Super Better by Jane McGonigal, and I want to try to create a power-up for more movement.

I also want to cut a couple of screencasts for parents, teachers, and students.


I’m curious… How was your day the same? How was it different? What adjustments do you need to make?


And today: Super Better QUEST 19: What’s Your Number?
Today’s ratio: 3.5:1

Day 2 Week 1: Learning from home

Day 2 of Week 1 of learning from home shows that we are beginning to adjust our mindsets. Grade-level teams met in one team member’s virtual room to debrief yesterday’s experiences, share successes, and begin to plan for the upcoming Week 2. The work aligns with our school’s mission and our philosophy of teaching and learning face-to-face and over distance.

I noticed that the language is “let’s meet in my room” which provides as much normalcy as possible in our thinking and language. Speaking of that, teachers started dropping by my virtual office, some just popping in, and others noticing who was “in the room” chose to come back at another time.  Isn’t that awesome? It’s almost as if we are in the building. Well, it is as close to normal as we can get, right? Mindset matters.

I won’t bore you with the hour-by-hour details, but it was a busy day. The Academic Leadership team dropped by several team meetings to celebrate and complement our teams.  I loved seeing and talking with my colleagues, teachers, and friends. As we proceed to the next week, we will take more time and care to stay connected.

Watching school and learning from home is interesting. You can check out more of what we share using #TrinityLearns.

And, here is today’s task for our 6th graders, Visual Patterns #20.  Kristi Story let me serve as a guest mathematician.  (We are using Seesaw so that students can see, hear, and interact with the task.)

How was it different than a normal day at school?

I moved more today than yesterday, but not enough. I had to fix my own lunch. #FirstWorldProblem, but I miss the great staff that takes care of me and my gluten-free needs.  Hat’s off to Chef Abel and his team. I do not clean and cut-up fresh vegetables as well as they do.

How was it the same as a normal day at school?

I did get to see, hear, and think with several teams. Words fail to express how grateful I am to work with such dedicated thoughtful teacher-leaders.

Drop-in visitors are returning to my office. Thank you, Rhonda, Sarah, Marsha, Kristi, Alyssa, and Ginny for dropping by.

I did finish finishing the Summer Learning Flyer and Summer Learning form. I’ve asked for feedback and it seem to be working.

What will I need to do differently tomorrow? 

More movement is still needed. My door remains open, and I am taking more brain and physical breaks. I still need to set a timer to remind me to walk outside, take the stairs in our home, and stretch.


I’m curious… How was your day the same? How was it different? What adjustments do you need to make?


And today: Super Better QUEST 19: What’s Your Number?
Today’s ratio: 5:1

Day 1 Week 1: Learning from home

Note: I’m working on
Super Better QUEST 19: What’s Your Number?
Today’s ratio: 3:1


Day one of week one of working, schooling, and learning from home is in the books. Our teams prepared, planned, and practiced. Metaphorically it might have looked like this.

We are learning to adapt to our new virtual meeting rooms. While there were a few kinks, the day seemed long but smooth.

My office door was open and busy. Just as on a regular day, there’s not enough time, and yet, the work is so rewarding.

Here’s the big picture breakdown of my day:

  • 7:30 – Quick chat with Amanda about technology and distance learning. Added bonus: SBT popped to chat too.
  • 8:00 – Quick check-in with Rhonda, Monique, and Caroline to troubleshoot a connectivity issue or two.
  • 8:15 – Check in with Joe.
  • 8:30 – Breakfast with my daughter.
  • 9:00 – Independent work organizing the Summer Reading flyer and form for faculty.
  • 10:00 – Academic Leadership Team meeting.
  • 11:15 – Soundcheck with various members of the Leadership Team.
  • 11:30 – Leadership Team meeting
  • 1:00 – Lunch alone. Annie had lunch during Leadership.
  • 1:30 – Quick check-in with Alyssa.
  • 1:45 -Continued working on the Summer Reading flyer and form for faculty.
  • 2:30 – Grade Level Team Leaders meeting.
  • 3:45 – Close office door to go for a run.
  • 4:15 – Diverted from run to take Annie to the grocery store and bookstore.
  • 5:30 – Fixed spaghetti and fixings for supper.
  • 6:15 – Talk about light refraction with Annie (I do not know about this part of physics) and listened to her explain her geometry homework.
  • 7:00 – Put ham in the oven and roast in the Instant Pot so that we have food for tomorrow (and more days this week).
  • 7:30 – Finally plodded around the neighborhood for a 2-mile run. Strava paused at 1.5 miles but 5K trainer says I covered 2. I agree with 5K Trainer.
  • 8:30 – Put finishing touches on Summer Learning Flyer and Summer Learning form.
  • 9:30 – Closing out.

How was it different than a normal day at school?

I hardly moved other than to go from my desk to get coffee and water. My desk allows me to both sit and stand.

What will I need to do differently tomorrow? 

More movement is needed. I made the commitment to keep my door open, but I should make myself take both brain and physical breaks. Setting a timer to remind me to walk outside, take the stairs in our home, and stretch might be my first planned adjustment to my workflow.


I’m curious… How was your day the same? How was it different? What adjustments do you need to make?


McGonigal, Jane. SuperBetter(p. 180). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.