ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog

Something else to think about for next year…

Mike Simpson

May 21, 2021

We still might not know what next year will look like yet but I found this blog post useful in helping me think about what it could look like…
No More Easy Button: A Suggested Approach to Post-Pandemic Teaching” by Jennifer Gonzalez in Cult of Pedagogy, May 16, 2021. Gonzalez has some interesting ideas about lesson design, assessment, inclusivity, and relationships.

QUARTER 4 SCHEDULE

Here is the Quarter 4 Specialist Schedule from May 17 to June 16.

There will be no specialist classes on our last day, Wednesday, June 16. Next week, we will confirm the time of our end of year assembly.

QUARTER 4 PLANNING

IMPORTANT: In the last couple of days we have had a few parents tell us that they are moving into time zones that do not work for synchronous learning. We expect that more students will move into such time zones during up until the end of the Quarter.

These students will still get their work from their current synchronous classes but Jordan (Grades 4 & 5) and Mike (Grades 2 & 3) will meet with them online during the week to help them with the work.

This is manageable if we do the following important steps:

1. Grade 2-5 students will get all assignments from Google Classroom.

2. All assignments must include simple instructions on how to do the assignment plus links to all online resources that they will need to complete it. These do not need to be long – simple is best.

3. Specialists are also to post what they are doing each week to Google Classroom as an assignment. 

4. Please post assignments in this manner from next week.

Because of this change, we will not be requiring learning summaries on Fridays in Quarter 4. We will just send out a short email with the offline learning activities attached. If we do not need to use our current offline learning activities, we will need to update our offline activities for Friday, April 23.

5. Homeroom teachers within the same grade level should be assigning the same assignments to make this easier on students from different classes to work together with Jordan and Mike.

This quarter’s interdisciplinary theme is PARTNERSHIPS.

Here is a link to a summary of the PK-1, 2-3, and 4-5 Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions that we will use to connect learning in all subjects.

Here is a link to the Q4 PARTNERSHIPS SCOPE & SEQUENCE document from which all planning will be linked. Please complete this scope and sequence for your grade level by the end of Friday, April 9. It is ok if you are finishing up Quarter 3 up until Friday, April 9.

We have purposefully chosen EUs and EQs that allow teachers in all subjects to focus on whatever skills and knowledge that you feel the students need to either learn or revise before the year ends.

In all grade levels we are basically focusing on partnerships and how we work together and this interdisciplinary focus can be maintained while teaching anything. This will minimize the need for interdisciplinary planning meetings and detailed scope and sequences.

On Monday, we will provide more guidance on how we can record our planning. For now, just think about how you can incorporate a partnership theme into your subject over this last quarter.

HERE is a link to a folder with all of the slides that were created for Quarter 4 last year. These may or may not be of use this year. 

Students Leaving Yangon

If you become aware of a student who is planning to leave, please email Patty, Nimmi, and I and we will follow up with the parents. Please email us even if you have just heard this from the student and you are unsure if this is true.

Students withdrawing from ISY:

Students who are withdrawing from ISY are obviously no longer our responsibility from their date of withdrawal. These students will no longer be attending Zoom classes and teachers will no longer be providing feedback on their learning. These students will be removed from Powerschool.

However, given the extraordinary circumstances under which these families are leaving, we will keep them enrolled in our Seesaw and Google Classroom platforms until the end of the year. We will also keep them on other platforms such as RazKids. This will allow them to access learning should they wish to. This work is not for teachers to give feedback on and assess. We are unable to disable the chat and messaging functions of Seesaw and Google Classroom for individual students. We hope that this is not a distraction and if this becomes an issue with a withdrawn student, please let me know and I will reach out to the parents. 

These students will be asked to return their Chromebook or iPads and library books before they leave Yangon.

ABC WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE 

ABC Schedule: Wednesday, May 26

On Wednesday afternoons, Grade 1 to 5 students will get to choose two fun activities to do. They will be able to choose between fun Art, Body (PE), and Communication (Technology) activities.

Above in this Wednesday’s schedule. Students will click on the Zoom links in the activity description to join the activity. Homeroom teachers can share this schedule with their students however will be easiest for the students to join the activities.

QUARTER 4 REPORTS 

I am getting these instructions out now just so these reports do not sneak up on us  and we can back out of this crazy year as smoothly as we can:

ES PK/KG Report Instructions: Q4 2020-2021

ES G1-5 Report Instructions: Q4 2020-2021

The instructions are kind of wordy but they are basically the same as for Quarter 2 so if you do what you did for Quarter 2 all will be good.

This has been a real up and down year and the students have gone up and down too. This report is intended to give a final indication on what a student has shown themselves to be capable of – they might have shown themselves capable earlier in the year and then stopped producing as they lost motivation online. If we use the data that we think is most reliable to be reflective of what they are capable of (whenever that was in the year…) then we will be giving the fairest and most accurate report that we can.

Summary of the report writing timeline:

  • Wednesday, June 16: Quarter 4 Ends
  • Monday, June 14 @ 8am: All comments copied into Powerschool and all grades entered.
  • June 16: Reports go out to families

INCLUSION SHARE OUTS

1. Socially Inclusive Classrooms

As educators, we are constantly focused on the academic implementation of inclusion practices in our teaching but are we aware of the social behavior that we generate towards students receiving extra support? Can we alienate these students unintentionally? The values and expectations we have for inclusion are reflected in our actions and students pick up on these. Thus it is important that educators “intentionally facilitate” social inclusion in the classroom. Social inclusion encompasses the “values, belief systems, and expectations of behavior in a school setting”. Here is an article that suggests strategies to “intentionally facilitate” social inclusion.
10-things-you-can-do-make-your-class-socially-inclusive

2. Enrichment Clusters

Enrichment Clusters are a great tool that can be implemented as part of school-wide development or as an individual classroom initiative. Along the same lines of intervention schedules with RTI and MTSS, this time is scheduled to provide targeted, small-group engagement opportunities. Usually planned for one or two periods a week, the time focuses on essential skills, problem-solving, and collaborative learning. This is a great opportunity to organize students in a wide-variety of heterogeneous ability groups for interest based learning. Check out the following article for more ideas:
Enrichment Clusters

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