I’ve received lots of messages from teachers looking for tips and tricks for remote teaching and learning, particularly time saving tips for teachers so these are a few things that are working well for me.
Grid schedule for the week
We send a weekly schedule to parents every Sunday. (Scheduled send by email) This gives parents an overview of the plan for the week for each subject. If there is anything that needs to be printed, this can all be done on Sunday so it’s ready for the week. I break it down day by day so the children know exactly what to do each day. This is also uploaded to Seesaw so the children can see what they need to do each day.
I have 6th class, so this gives the children independence with their learning.
Scheduling activities on Seesaw
If you have Seesaw plus, you can schedule the work to be sent to children every day. This is an absolute must for me as it means everything is ready for the week for my class and will be released daily.
Short videos for Maths and Irish
I want to cover new content with my class. In the classroom, I would give an introduction to the lesson before children work independently on the task so I wanted to recreate this (as much as possible) for distance learning. I use a HUE HD Pro visualiser for the Maths lessons and record through Screencastomatic on my computer. I talk through the new concepts being covered and do 2/3 examples so the children fully understand what they need to do. The videos are less than 5 minutes in length but provide support for the children at home. They can pause the video and look back on any part they don’t understand.
For Irish, I record my screen on Screencastomatic. We’re currently doing work on Siopadóireacht. We use Abair Liom so I talk through the story and the questions with the children and then they complete the work independently. I read the story to them in Irish and then ask the children to pause the video and try the translation themselves. If they can’t, they can continue on with the video and I go through it with them too.
This is something I learned from the last lockdown. There is a lot involved in online teaching, creating lessons and content, emailing parents, corrections on Seesaw, video content, meetings with colleagues, planning for live lessons etc.
For the first few days of this week I was trying to do 2/3 things at once but quickly realised everything was taking way too long. Now, I batch the work together. I login to Seesaw at 9am to make sure everything is set up for the day. Then I do planning for 45 minutes to an hour. Then I go back to seesaw and do any corrections. Then I answer any emails that have come in. Back to Seesaw. Then record lessons etc.
For creating videos etc. for my class I tend to do this in one go as I only have to take out the equipment etc. once and do any editing etc. then.
This is probably the most frequently asked question. How do I manage the corrections. There are lots of solutions for this;
- Give specific tasks that the children upload each day (don’t tell them which task until 1.30/2pm so they have to complete all their work to a high standard as they won’t know which one will be uploaded)
- Allow children to upload everything but then only give detailed feedback on the items you choose.
- Self corrections
- Videos with worked out answers for Maths
What I do
I allow the children to upload everything. Why? Because I feel if they’re doing the work then this deserves to be recognised. I quickly like any work that doesn’t need a detailed correction and approve it.
For Work It Out (our mental maths book), I provide videos with worked out answers so the children can self correct.
For other areas I correct (edit the item in Seesaw and tick/write down comments) and then a quick comment in the box to say Well done or great work or give the next step for learning.
Cut Off Time
I really think this is so important. I don’t correct, comment or respond to anything after 3/3.30pm in the evening. I know for some children in my class that this (or later) is the time they upload work. However, I correct this work the following morning and give feedback then.
It’s really important to maintain a work life balance during online teaching.