Rāmere, te 22 o Haratua, 2020
Easing back into the routines of school
Finding it hard to get around your entire class to give some lockdown-learning feedback? How about starting with peer assessment, while you work individually with other students. This activity could be done on shared Google docs, or as a pair, at a safe distance from each other.
The way this works is simple. Members from different groups pair up and engage in a five-step process. Each step takes two minutes. You, as a teacher, can keep a timer going and say, “next” when it is time to move to the next phase. In the first phase, the first partner gives an “elevator pitch” sharing the product/work. Next, the second partner asks clarifying questions while the first partner answers the questions. The rule is that there cannot be any feedback given. It has to be question and answer. Afterward, they move into the feedback stage, where the second partner gives specific feedback. This is followed by paraphrasing. Finally, they land on next steps. When this is done, the partners switch roles. John Spencer
Did you know that the word for an online hui is a zui? (Zoom + hui)
And did you feel exhausted after a few weeks of Zoom/ Meet/ FaceTime or Skype calls? Zoom fatigue is a thing. Our brains can only do so many things consciously at once, because we have limited working memory. In contrast, we can process much more information unconsciously, as we do with body language. Meeting online increases our cognitive load, because several of its features take up a lot of conscious capacity. Full article here
Karakia to use with your class
Orewa College recently introduced a karakia that we think is perfect for the current time and across our Kāhui Ako. It can be used to start the day or a hui and uses the calming of the sea as a metaphor for the journey ahead.
We have put it into a slideshow with both a video for those of us who need support and the words for the more confident. Link here.
Return-to-school activities and ideas
Something that can make a big difference is letting everyone know it is normal to feel a wide range of things from stress, anger, sadness and anxiety, to joy, gratitude, and relief. Using language that promotes care, solidarity and kindness will make everyone feel more included and able to talk about their experience and what they need.
To learn more about the benefits of using positive language and communication at work right now, check out this Covid-19 workplace resource by the Mental Health Foundation.
Transitioning back to school
Educational Psychologist Robyn Stead gives some great practical tips to prepare for students heading back to school. Follow the link here to her full blog and access the free download where students are able to record their feelings from lockdown in English and Te Reo.
Dr Jean Annan is a registered psychologist who works with teachers, leaders, whānau and organisations that support the learning and wellbeing of children. She has produced information on how we can support students back to school Covid-19. Follow the link here for the PDF to the full information sheet that is available on her website. Her message to teachers is simple:
- Keep calm
- Keep it simple
- Be a role model
Home learning success
As explained above, students, and adults, will have had a variety of experiences and emotions during lockdown life and learning from home. It is natural for students to compare themselves with others, but in these recent times, many students will feel this pressure of comparison and the need to ‘match up’ with their peers even more. As a result, anxiety can easily increase and the desire to attend school or participate may decrease.
Here are some ways to create inclusion and celebrate everyone’s successes at all levels:
Create opportunities to share:
* Some may want to talk or tell stories, experiences, funny or special moments
* Some may not wish to “tell” but want their creations to be on “show”
* They could demonstrate new skills
* They could display their learning/work
* show photos of a cake they baked or an aeroplane they made
* they could share a game they played
* If they don’t feel they have tangible things to share, they could arrange with the teacher to show a 5 minute clip of a movie they watched (you know which students may need this option)
Encourage the feeling of success and a variety of ways to show and tell. This removes the need to “match up” and adds choice or student agency to what they wish to share.
One way to normalise the various emotions or experiences of lockdown and the return to school is to create a word wall. Students can write words associated with their own experiences or feelings. Use coloured paper or sticky notes. For younger students the teachers can write suggested words. This creates a safe environment for all feelings to be OK. Teachers may need to suggest words to get the ball rolling. You could end up with a literacy wall of old and new words for learning.
And for a little light relief
Have some fun with your class listening to Taika Waititi present James and the Giant Peach, with Taika and Friends. Taika and his famous friends will be reading the entire story to raise money for Partners In Health. Follow the link here for the first episodes.