This has been a HUGE adjustment for me. Not being able to see my students to see if they get it, to watch them work on whiteboards, to check in with them about their lives, to give High Fives... this is hard.
I don't mean that it's hard in the sense of being at home - that part doesn't bother me. I'm a huge introvert by nature and can do just fine with just a good book, a blanket, and my patio. My office is a comfortable place to work and I have a very walk-able neighborhood to get out for fresh air.
No - the hardest part is just the paperwork. I've actually really enjoyed having the time to learn more about Desmos, provide individual feedback on our activities, and exploring some tech tools that I can use moving forward. But the hardest part has been just the daily organization of teaching this way... keeping track of the daily communication with students and parents, monitoring who has done the assignments, contacting students and parents you haven't heard from. It's a full time job just to keep up with the emails!
Keeping my Sanity through Organization
Organization Tip #1 - Color Code Everything!
set of erasable pens from Amazon and I love them. I have had the Frixion pens before as well, but I kind of prefer the off brand ones :) I keep track of when I've contacted a student, parent, counselor, when a student has contacted me, who has done what assignment, etc. The best part of the eraseable set is when I'm doing my lesson plans, I can erase and fix errors! :) Yay!
Organization Tip #2 - Tracking Student Work
I also struggled with keeping track of what I actually assigned each day, comments of changes that I wanted to make for future use, and how many students had done each assignment, so I made a mini-calendar at the left to help me keep track. Right now, each day tends to just melt into the next one, so having a way to keep track of day-to-day lessons, which ones I had given feedback on, and a place to make myself notes was a must.
Organization Tip #3 - Tracking Parent Communication
Organization Tip #4 - Lesson Plan Binder
Organization Tip #5 - Rocketbook still Rocks!
But with my Digital Learning, my notes / problem sets are on normal sized paper, so my Rocketbook Frame was too small! EEKK! I talked hubby into helping as I was busy working on other stuff and he was able to enlarge it to an 11x17 page. Then I just laminated the frame and now it works perfectly with 8.5x11 notes. Yay! :)
Organization Tip #6 - The Bookmarks Bar is your Friend!
My Biggest Take-Away:
There is no "right" way to do this Distance Learning thing. Even as an organized person, I'm still struggling with keeping track of everything, but the tips above have definitely helped me keep my sanity and helped to tame the paper monster a bit.
What things have helped you keep organized during your shift to Distance Learning?