Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Celebrating Your Creativity and Ideas 🎉

It is always so inspiring to catch a glimpse of what you, our amazing USD teachers, are doing to make online learning a truly memorable experience for our students each week. There are so many inspirational and wonderful things happening each and every day, just a few which are shared below.

Please use these ideas to inspire your own creativity.
Outside of the box thinking always welcome!

At Home Learning Buddies

Jessica Friedman and Taylor Isaacs have introduced the idea of learning buddies with their 4th graders through weekly art challenges. In the first week, students were challenged to create a learning buddy using materials found at home: an old sock, an egg carton, yarn… The learning buddy not only provides encouragement during at-home learning time, it is a friend students can read to, and is an additional class member that joins students during Zoom meetings. Most importantly, the learning buddy reminds students that they are creative and original too!

This is a quick glimpse into the learning buddy challenge:
Weekly Art Challenge #1 - Create a Learning Buddy

Choose Your Own Adventure

The 7th grade team at UMS began a four-week “Choose Your Own Adventure” project that was built from ideas posted on Twitter by Pernille Ripp. Students begin by choosing the path they want to pursue: Independent Reading, an Inquiry Project or Creative Writing. Students then complete their adventure in a customized Google Classroom which joins students together who have chosen the same adventure. Each teacher manages one of the adventure paths and hosts live check-in sessions once per week with the students while holding office hours and posting lessons or tasks on other days. This experience has truly highlighted what creativity online learning can provide for students. It is also a testament to collaboration and thinking outside the (classroom) box.

Connecting with our Preschoolers

Pre-K teacher Laura Better-Henry has been utilizing SeeSaw to connect with her students and as a way to meet a variety of her students' diverse learning needs. Every day, Ms. Better-Henry sings the "Day Of The Week" song. She also conducts a calendar review, reads her students story books, gives art lessons and even leads her students through yoga exercises! With these student connections and interactions, Ms. Better-Henry's students continue to learn and practice their language, motor, and learning skills during at-home learning. To help us stay inspired, here is Ms. Better Henry (I can’t help but sing along every time)!

Ms. Better-Henry: Days of the Week song

A Collection of Stories

Members of the Lietz staff have come together to record readings of a variety of storybooks. Teachers then post these readings through SeeSaw or Google Classroom as part of their ELA assignments. Here is just one example of Mrs. Gustafson reading The Adventures of Beekle, An Unimaginary Friend

Mrs. Gustafson Reading: The Adventures of Beekle

Checking in on Student Wellbeing

Sixth grade teacher Ginny Espinoza checks in with her students using a Google Forms before classes begin each day. Ginny began this process before at-home learning and continues to use it to gauge where her students are emotionally before diving into a lesson. Inspired by work with Ken Shelton, Ginny asks three simple questions each day: Student Name, "How Are You Feeling?" and, "Is there anything I can do or you need from me to support your needs, your wellbeing, or just you in general?" Using the information she receives, she checks in with students who need extra support for that day, though sometimes they just enjoying sharing fun facts, like what they ate for breakfast. Ginny noted that, “It has been really beneficial in building strong relationships with my students. I've noticed that they seem more inclined to share with me, and it has been a great way to quickly see how they are doing.”