By Benjamin Barbour
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed education and forced teachers to reconsider how they assess students. The virtual classroom demands something other than the traditional multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank test, assessments that even in the best of times often require little more than recall. Students learning from home have access to the internet and, in some cases, their textbooks as well. This requires teachers to “google-proof” assessments by asking questions that demand more creative and analytical responses.
Remote learning provides educators with an opportunity to try new approaches to evaluation. I have found that incorporating current events into my classroom in a more systematic manner has opened new opportunities for both formative and summative assessment.
Continue reading “Using Current Events for Online Assessment”
By Todd Stanley
Even before this massive school shutdown, some schools and teachers were finding difficulties in coming up with ways to challenge their gifted students. We cannot overlook these students in the virtual classroom either. Here are five things teachers can do to meet the needs of gifted children in a virtual classroom:
Continue reading “In the Age of COVID-19, Don’t Overlook the Gifted Student”
By David Nurenberg
Even if a course is designated “honors” or “remedial,” anyone who has taught real children knows that there is no such thing as a homogenous class—unless it has just one student. Forty years of research tells us that just because two dozen students share a classroom, it doesn’t mean a one-size-fits-all approach will serve them.
Thanks to the pandemic, those students don’t even share a physical classroom anymore. Students are in so many different situations vis a vis their ability to engage with class, and the amount of support they have available at home, that we can no longer harbor any illusions that “teaching to the middle” will suffice.
Continue reading “A Wakeup Call for Differentiation”
By Suzy Pepper Rollins
School hallways have been still for weeks. Normally bustling cafeterias, sports fields, and playgrounds prolongingly silent. But most importantly, classrooms have been empty. No science labs, no sharing of writing, no dissecting of poetry with an elbow partner, and no exploratory math stations. No nods of approval by teachers or laughter at humorous sections of a novel. No leaning over to a classmate’s desk for assurance on a tough math problem.
What will the learning toll be on millions of students whose educational experiences were abruptly switched to remote, often online, learning? Some learners may have barely skipped an academic beat and will return to school ready to move on. Others may have experienced daily frustrations. And many will fall somewhere in between.
Continue reading “A Tactical Plan for Learning Gaps: What to Expect Post COVID-19”
By Caitlin Krause
Students feel our sense of presence, connection and care as teachers, and this greatly impacts their learning, whether it’s in an online space or in a physical classroom. When moving classes online, we might naturally get so caught up in the technology (Is the platform stable? Is there latency? Can everyone hear and see each other?) that we’re a bit frazzled and frantic in our energy instead of present, calm and receptive.
What should be a joyful coming together feels stressful, and our impulse might be to jump straight to the expected topic at hand or content. We might forget that connection trumps content—and, in fact, connection is what will give that content context and meaning. So, it’s a necessary base. As online community hosts, our role now involves inviting everyone to our virtual home. What is our greeting at the threshold? How are we sending messages, implicit and explicit, that “All Are Welcome”?
Continue reading “3 Ways to “Get Grounded” at the Beginning of Hosting Your Online Session”