ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog
23 October 2020
In case you are wondering why you are tired, we went online 219 days ago. This is the first chance we have had to rest for a very long time. Your work up until this point has set us up for the rest of the year and the rest of the year can wait for a week!
Thank you to our wonderful Teaching Assistants who helped us celebrate this important festival.
ASSESSMENT, REPORTING & ATTENDANCE
- October 23:
- Common Subject Comments Completed.
- Specialist teachers advise Homeroom Teachers if they would like to add to a student’s personalized ISY Learner Attribute comment.
- November 6: Reports completed on Powerschool
- November 13: Reports sent to families on Powerschool
- November 19; Parent Teacher Conferences (No Classes)
- ES PK/K Progress Report Instructions: Q1 2020-2021
- ES G1-5 Progress Report Instructions: Q1 2020-2021
We are using online Reading A-Z / RAZ Kids Running Records this year. Please use this Elementary Reading Levels (2020-2021) spreadsheet to enter the levels of each student. You may need to add your new students to your class. Linked to this spreadsheet is the ISY Benchmark Reading Levels that you can use as a guide in assessing and reporting on your students.
Assessing what a student can do online is challenging. Just before school started, I sat in on some webinars that provided some really sound and practical advice on this. Here are some key ideas that I thought would be useful:
- Use the data that you trust the most – it doesn’t matter if it is summative (a test or final project) or formative (observations, discussion).
- All assessment is formative and it all counts!
- If you are unsure as to whether a student has mastered a skill or understands a concept, ask them to explain it to you. Generally, if a student can explain it, they know it.
That last point is I think important in any context, but especially online. It might mean that you do not have a lot of completed assessment tasks but you can take notes at any time with any discussion you have with a child and if you trust your assessment then those notes are valid evidence of learning – possibly even more so than a finished project or test.
It is important to have a system to record your notes. Our Early Elementary teachers are masters of this if you need any ideas.
Esther will keep sending attendance reminders out at 9:30am so she can check in with families early. But don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance to do it by then. The aim to have your attendance completed in the morning as soon as you can. If you have been advised by a family that their child will be absent, please mark them as absent and leave a note on Powerschool to say you have heard from the parents so Esther will not call them. I am not sure how to do this so check in with someone on your team if you are not sure.
We don’t want to introduce a formal Powerschool post-specialist attendance check in. However, if you have a student who is consistently not returning after a specialist class (or missing other classes) and, please reach out to parents with a friendly email…’We missed Milly in the afternoon today…’ Please blind copy Patty and I on those emails just so we know if we need to follow anything up. Parents will often be struggling to keep up with what their children are up to but is important that parents know if their children are missing classes when it comes to reporting on and explaining progress.
PLANNING FOR QUARTER 2: PROSPERITY
Please continue to plan for synchronous learning and we will adapt for Chinthe Learning Online. We will meet on Monday at these times to check in as to where everyone is at and to make sure we are still making connections:
- Monday, 2:00-2:40pm: Grades 2 & 3
- Monday, 2:40-3:15pm: Grades 4 & 5
- Tuesday, 2:30-3:15pm: Grades PK, K, & 1
MINDFULNESS & MOVEMENT BREAKS
To get through this last week before the Thadingyut break, remember to encourage students to move during their breaks and keep integrating mindfulness throughout the day.
Previous Elementary School Posts
Thank you, Delphine. We appreciate all that you have done for us and our school.
Each day this week has seen more emails from families preparing to leave Yangon and we expect that this will continue throughout this quarter.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for you all. It means a lot to be part of this group and I think it will mean even more as time goes on.
We might not feel like experts but today’s assembly was a chance to remind ourselves that we are now good at many things that we did not know how to do at all just a matter of months or weeks or days ago.
The reality of the current situation can make finding the bright side difficult. But research shows that in difficult times, it is important for our mental health to allow ourselves to acknowledge that times are difficult and to feel rather than suppress negative emotions.
We have long term, yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly plans but our planning and preparation has now taken more of a day by day focus. It will therefore need to be very fluid as we plan for our students’ safety and wellbeing, connectedness, and learning.