School: New Field Primary School
Text: The Distance Learning Playbook Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement & Impact in Any Setting by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie and Connecting with Students Online – Strategies for Remote Teaching and Learning by Jennifer Serravallo
Study Group Leader: Tiffany Welsh
Study Group Members: Megan Francomb (3), Katy Spore (3), Lauren Tauber (1)
Goal: Original Goal – Create effective instruction that includes an intentional balance of engaging student-led and student-centered tasks in addition to teacher-led instruction (goal: closer to 50/50 teacher-led to student led learning)
Final Goal (changed mid-year based on student and teacher identified needs) – Learn about and implement strategies to increase student-to-student collaboration digitally (e.g. in discussion, groupings, project-based learning, etc.).
While working toward our original goal, we dedicated much of our thinking around building student independence, which was critical in the beginning months of the school year. As the school year continued, our priorities and focus shifted to building student connection, collaboration, and talk amongst one another.
Rating and effectiveness of the professional text
Connecting with Students Online – Strategies for Remote Teaching and Learning by Jennerifer Serravallo
- Rating/Effectiveness: Helpful “go to” reference text for use, as needed, based on specific needs/questions/areas of improvement, applicable to “in the moment” teaching
- Information is well-organized, succinct, and action-oriented
- Recommended for any teacher engaged in remote instruction
The Distance Learning Playbook Grades K-12: Teaching for Engagement & Impact in Any Setting by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie
- Rating/Effectiveness: Gives the reader big ideas and conceptual framing most helpful for setting up remote learning at the beginning of the school year. We found that this text was not supportive in providing many specific, actionable items to use once the digital school got going. Recommend for new remote teachers or for use before the school year starts.
Implementation in the classroom and reflection
- Shifted from studying Distance Learning Playbook to Connecting with Students Online as our teaching and student goals evolved across the school year – From supporting student centered learning and independence to promoting student-to-student connection and collaboration
- Implementation for Kindergarten: Primarily through increasing live talk during class time via Interactive Read Alouds and Math Talks. Student talk was promoted asynchronously via Seesaw.
- For Third Graders: Increasing small group discussions in breakout rooms and via collaborative book club time and documents. Student talk was promoted asynchronously via Flipgrid.
- Increased Student Engagement: students took ownership of their learning, thoughts, opinions, and experiences. They were able to express them collaboratively and interact in whole group and small group settings or via Seesaw or Flipgrid responses.
- The integration of more thoughtful opportunities for student talk and collaboration led to richer student assessment and more robust, well-rounded student work products (versus previous use of worksheets, reading logs, etc.).
- While many of the strategies and tools we learned this school year grew out of the needs of remote teaching, we have been considering and discussing how we can continue to use these tools once more students return to the school building (e.g. collaborative Google Slides, recording videos on Flipgrid, continuing use of Seesaw, Math Talks, and Interactive Readalouds).