Just like that my first grad class comes to an end. I am so happy to have started with this course as I feel much of what I have learned is relevant and will be useful in my classes going forward and most definitely in my teaching. It was a steep learning curve however, I walk away with more knowledge and tools than when I started. Thank you for the professional discussions, feedback and sharing of experiences. Best of luck to all my classmates for the remainder of your school year and I hope me meet again online or in person! Enjoy my summary of learning!
Here it is, my final module and my course prototype: Reading support of French Immersion students reading significantly below grade level, in French. My course was inspired by an in person reading program that my Teacher Librarian and I, a Learning Resource Teacher, have delivered in person. I have built on it, added resources, created a Teacher Handbook and put it on an online platform to increase the ways it can be used in order to bring support to more students. It is put together from the perspective of a Learning Resource Teacher.
Google Classroom is the LMS that I used for my course. I have created multiple Classrooms to support my course, for ease of use. The first is a Teacher Handbook where all the information is housed. Within the handbook is the course profile to explain the course to another teacher that may use it to differentiate and support students within the classroom. I have made a few changes to the course profile from my original blog post about my profile. Below, I have attached screen shots of the updated Course Profile from the handbook.
I have enjoyed the process of creating this course and am reminded of the importance of feedback. Having feedback from my peers, my course has evolved into something I am proud of and something that I feel is useful and user friendly. In my blog post, Improving with Feedback, I outline the changes that were suggested. Those changes are reflected in my final prototype.
When I submitted my first module, I included a walk through of the first module as well as the course prototype. You will notice a few visual changes to the daily template and changes to the number of sections that I will create, based on the feedback from our class breakout sessions.
Another change you will notice from the original walk through is how I have created the lesson plans. At first, I had created lesson plans for the first 4 days and was going to continue for 16 lessons as that would be the length of a session. However, I believe in meeting students where they are and providing individualized support to their areas of challenge. With that in mind, it didn’t make sense to create rigid plans. What I ended up doing instead is creating a teacher resource section. There is an example of a lesson, which I created as my second module, a lesson plan template and I have compiled resources that can be used to support each of the stations. I feel this would be more user friendly. Teachers would be able to chose activities from the list based on the needs of the students.
To review: for Module 1, I created Section A which would support of non-readers to level 2. I explained the activities I would use for each of the four stations and included video references for the students. These videos would be used when the students are working independently and need support. The activities in Section A are based on alphabet sound recognition. Flipgrid was used as a tool to have oral communication from the students and to have the students interact with one another. This can be seen in greater detail in the video below that was shared with the Module 1 submission.
For Module 2, I created Section C which would support level 6 – 10. These would be learners in grade 2 and 3. I focused on resources that have high interest at the appropriate reading level. This can often be a change to engage students reading below grade level with age-appropriate content, especially in French. I have made a lesson for day 5 of support. This way the students would be familiar with expectations and the online tools. I added Book Creator to this group as a tool to promote writing in the Word Work station. My hope would by having the student compile their writing into a book during the support block and “publish” the book at the end as something to be proud of.
My final walk through goes another quick overview of the Teacher Handbook followed by a walk through of the new Module- Section C, Jour 5. I look forward to hearing any feedback on my final submission and can’t wait to use this with students when I get back in the classroom after maternity leave.
I have always been a big fan of receiving constructive feedback. When you look at a project for a long time you see what you want to see and maybe not exactly what is in front of you, which can lead to missing pieces. Being receptive to feedback helps me to improve my work and in turn become a better educator. Having conversations about our courses, having the opportunity to review the work of others and having our work reviewed will all help me improve on building an online course which is a first for me. Thank you to my wonderful reviewers Bev and Leigh. I appreciate your complements as well as your suggestions. I feel like I am on the right path.
Below, I have taken quotes from my reviewers and have made notes on how I plan to address these ideas in my course.
I did not notice considerations for attendance or students who did not have access to technology, she may wish to include these details. (From Reviewer 1)
I am not a homeroom teacher and my support is extra and done on top of what the students are learning in class therefore, I am not directly responsible for attendance. Having said that, if a student who requires support or is supposed to be working with me is not attending, I would work with the classroom teacher to communicate with the family. I would suggest that the student work on this course at home. I would also take the opportunity to try and discuss what other obstacles may be in the way of the student attending.
At school, all students will have access to the technology that is required. During remote learning, our school division provided families with the technology that they required ie. Chromebook or iPad. If a student isn’t able to access the course at home, I can provide paper copies of most things.
This would depend on your learners and their background knowledge of the Boom Card games, but it might be helpful to provide short video explanations of how to play each game and which games they should play on that day. (From Reviewer 2)
My course uses a variety of apps; Flipgrid, Book cards, Je lis, Je lis and Book Creator, that will be accessed through Google Classroom. I think an effective way to teach these apps and how to use Google Classroom would be to create mini lessonss, activities and a video on how to use each one. I would meet with classroom teachers to find out which of these apps are new to the students. Before beginning the reading groups, I would provide these mini lessons to each of the classes that I will be working with. This way all students are learning the tools and teachers may choose to use them in their classroom. If the class is already familiar with the tool, I could provide a review or just post the videos for reference in the Google Classroom.
I will absolutely be updating my course profile and course shell based on the feedback from others and from viewing others courses. The following points for improvement came from our breakout groups in class on March 2, 2022.
I had planned to make many different sections to support different reading levels, as presented in the screenshot below. Robert mentioned, I wouldn’t likely be working with students reading close to grade level therefore I probably don’t need as many groups. After further reflection, some of the sections would also be working on similar concepts so that would also lessen the number of groups involved.
Another idea that was discussed in a breakout group was instead of creating detailed daily plans in the teacher resource I will instead create a list of activities and links for each section. That way the activities chosen can be adapted to meet the needs of the students you are working with. The teacher can chose the activities to support what the students need that day instead of following a pre-made plan.
The format of the lessons plan will stay the same with the four sections as it is above. The difference will be that I will have a list of possible activities and the teacher would choose one for each section instead of assigning the activity that should happen on a specific day.
The next update I plan to make came from seeing Leah’s course. She created some great Google Slides for sorting activities. I didn’t know you could do this and assign them as an assignment for each student to be able to complete the sorts.
I was also inspired by Leah’s slides and the way she designed them to appeal to her grade 3 students. I can do a better job of the visuals for my grade 1-3 students. Stay tuned!
Accessibility and Equity
When building my course I was trying to be mindful of the learners I would be working with. For this reason, I have included written instructions, audio instructions, visual cues and videos. I have chosen a font that is clear and easy to read. I have also tried choosing activities that would engage the students, keep their interest and help achieve the learning target or outcome. In chapter 9, Bates says “The range of activities increases the likelihood that a variety of learner preferences are being met, and also encourages learners to involve themselves in activities and approaches to learning where they may initially feel less comfortable.” By having a variety of activities and a time frame to keep interest, students will be able to stay engaged.
I plan to pre-teach the applications and online tools to all students before begining to the support groups in hopes of helping with the digital literacy piece.
Finally, in thinking about choosing the appropriate technology and tools for my course Bates shared the following in chapter 9.
As I continue to modify, update and complete my course I will keep the idea of accessibility in mind to make adaptations as I go. I also think it’s important to keep your learners in mind and make modifications when working with each group of specific students. Knowing their learning abilities and challenges as well as being aware of the adaptations used by the classroom teacher to accommodate each child.
I am excited and nervous to share my course shell and first lessons for my blended course Reading Support program. The main concept of my course stems from a support that I have done with the assistance of our school’s Teacher Librarian. I feel very fortunate to have the support and expertise of another teacher but realize that this will not always be possible. By creating a blended, in person and online, version I will be able to run this program on my own and share it with classroom teachers to use as a support and differentiation in their classrooms.
I am using Google Classroom as my learning management system. I am hoping to get feedback on how I have organized the materials. My target population is Grade 1-3 students so I would like it to be as user friendly as possible. A great amount of pre teaching will be required for the students to learn the platform but once they do, I hope they can work with some independence.
I have created two Google Classrooms so far. One is the Teacher Resource, which gives an explanation of the course as well as the lesson plans for each section of reading levels. This will be explained in more detail in my walk through. The second Classroom is for Section A, which is non readers and level 1 readers. I have created a reference section with videos, logins and links to the other apps that will be used. I plan to create a separate classroom for each of my Sections in order to keep the activities and information separate and appropriate for each group. This is were the lessons will be posted daily as well as resources and other information that would be helpful to the students.
Next, I have created two videos to show the walk through of the student Google Classroom page. I wanted to use an iPad for this as that is what the students would be using. I was having a bit of trouble recording that so I went back to the laptop to complete the recording, this is why there are two video for this section.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my course. I welcome any feedback and look forward to editing and continuing to develop my course.
*In the lesson that I shared, I make reference to a game I call “Jeu des animaux”. This game comes from Maternelle avec Mme Andrea. She has many great activities and tools for teaching French to primary students. I highly recommend that you check out her blog if you are looking for ideas.
The course that I am creating is a support for teachers to use and it is a course that I will use when working with students in small groups. Creating a sense of community and safe space for learning are always high on my list as I begin any school year and when I begin working with a new group of students. Once this is built, we work to foster it for the duration of the year.
At the beginning of a session, I plan to have in person face-to-face interactions with my students and when this isn’t possible we will use Google Meets. During these first interactions we will set up expectations for our time together. This will be in-person expectations as well as expectations when using technology such as Google Meets, using apps and other activities done online. I found a good Resource for helping make a matrix for setting up online behaviour expectations. Below is a great example of a visual of expectations that could be used with elementary students.
In the article Guide to teaching 1st grade online, the author says “Many teachers have found that the best way to help students get used to the system is to begin with low-stakes, fun tasks to complete using the LMS.” During student- teacher face-to- face interactions we will also spend time getting to know Google Classroom, the LMS I plan to use for my course. Some of these activities can be set up for interactions between students.
I am nervous about the idea of using discussion boards with students from grade 1-3. I work primary with students working significantly below grade level and often don’t have the skills developed yet for spelling. However, this many be a fun and engaging way to practice. I am also considering using Flipgrid to provide the students an opportunity to create videos with questions or examples of their reading. This would provide an opportunity for student-student and student-teacher interactions.
Finally, thanks to Leona for providing an excellent review of Book Creator, I think this would be another great way to have the students interact. At the writing station, the students could create a book together using their simple sentences. I think this would be a fun and engaging way to encourage writing and creating together.
By starting each session with a discussing the expectations, having visuals for the expectations and referring back to them will be important on helping make these interactions meaningful. The Flipgrid videos, Book Creator books and possible discussions boards, these can be shared with the classroom teachers to be used as part of assessment and see the growth in their students.
I would love to hear your feedback on using these tools with grade 1- 3 students. Have you successfully used any discussion boards with grade 1- 3 students?
When I was reviewing the list of possible content creation and teaching tools for testing, the heading of Mindmapping jumped out at me. I thought of my grade 4- 8 students who use assistive technology, Chromebooks, on a regular bases to support their learning. They would benefit from a online tool to do their preplanning, prewriting, organizing ideas, brainstorming etc. To decide which tool I would explore, I went to each of the suggested websites to see which app would catch my attention. Murial.co grabbed my attention first. It looked like it could do what I had in mind for my students however, it was a bit too much and over complicated for our needs. Next, Notability also looked very neat however, I don’t feel it would meet my students needs as it looks like it might be better for older students. Padlet was next up. I am sure it is also great but it didn’t grab my attention. The last Mindmapping tool on the list was Popplet. The home page was exactly what I was looking for. Popplet is the tool I dove into.
The home page is simple and clear. This was the first thing to grab my attention. As I scrolled down the homepage I came to Popplet for Education. These four points are exactly what I was after.
Easy to use and easy to learn
Any language- since I teach in French, this is always something I look for.
Distance Learning Ready.
As I continued to play and create, I found other uses for my students. Popplet can also be used on an iPad. This would be great for my younger students in K-3 who work with iPads as their classroom technology. The Popplet website has suggestions and ideas on how you can use this tool with a variety of subject matter. They have a detailed example on how to use for a Word Family lesson for grade 1 students. You could do so much with this in a group setting and the teacher could create the Popplet as part of a lesson. Once the students become comfortable, they could create their own Word Family Popplet.
I created a Popplet to try out all the tools. Below is what the screen looks like as you are working, very simple. I added a YouTube video a “How to” introduction to Popplet. I added a picture from Vecteezy and text in English and in French. You can also use a drawing tool which is not very neat when using a laptop. Those are the four options you have when you add a box. The boxes are easy to add and easy to attach to one another, once you figure out how to do that. With the share button you can share with another student who also has a Popplet account and they can add to each others work. The name of the student shows up above the box they create. I did not try out the share feature.
It is a simple Mindmapping/ brainstorming tool.
There are only a few steps so students would catch on quickly.
A Popplet can be shared between students and teacher.
There are premade examples to look at to inspire creating your own.
There is a free option.
It is simple therefore, it has minimal things it can do.
It was difficult to add pictures from the internet as they had to be a particular size. This may be difficult of younger students to navigate.
I had trouble with the zoom feature and would often have to start over because I couldn’t bring my Popplet back down to size.
Upon reading reviews from educator who have used the tool, I learned it can be glitchy and can need to be shut down often.
Limited possibilities with the free version. Would you school/ division pay for you to use this tool?
Overall, I would give the Free app a try with my students in K- grade 8. I feel that the simplicity would be great to keep students on task as the app only does one thing. It would meet the needs of my assistive technology students to help them get their ideas down in pictures or simple words. I also really like the ability it has to be shared with others to be able to work together.
What is your experience using Popplet? What suggestions to do you have? Any other strengths or weaknesses you could offer?
This is an exciting project to start to build a course that I can take and use in my classroom. My classroom looks a little different because it only has a few tables, a variety of seating and it is a small space. I am a Learning Resource Teacher. I am new to the role and have only held the position during the pandemic which comes with restrictions including not being able to mix students. This is what has led my thinking in the development of my course. If I can’t mix students but see similar needs across classrooms even different grades, how can I best support these students? To me, it is important to be as efficient as possible as I strive to support as many students and teachers as I can, in a meaningful way. This is the direction I am going with my course profile.
Target population: My target audience would be grade 1- 3 students who are reading below grade level, in French, in a French Immersion classroom. These students could range in age from 6 to 9 years old. Thinking about my current school, we have students from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of abilities. At the beginning of the year, it is my responsibility to get to know that students. I review learning plans including IIP’s and ROA, records of adaptation to see what supports have been used in the past and what learning goals students may be working to achieve. This helps me to better understand the learner I will be working with and adapt instruction accordingly to meet their learning needs. This includes EAL students, students with diagnosed learning difficulties such as dyslexia, a learning disability and ADHD to name a few and students who just aren’t there yet. Also, we often have grade 1 students starting in French for the first time with no background of the language. Grade 1 teachers typically prefer that I wait until January to start working with their students. This gives the classroom teacher a change to develop a base knowledge of French and determine which students are going to benefit from the additional supports.
Course format: This course will be a blended format. My hope is that this would be a support a classroom teacher could use to differentiate during literacy, it could be used as stations with me or could be used as extra support at home. For example at school, it could run as synchronous stations with technology stations as well as face to face small group stations. There will also be asynchronous activities to be done at home or in the classroom setting for extra practice and support.
I would run the course in 4 week blocks with a formal reading assessment at the beginning and end of each block to see if each student should continue for another block or if the support is no longer needed.
The technology tools will include teacher made videos, the use of apps., interactive websites and Google Classroom to manage the information. At school, we would use iPads as each classroom has access to iPads as well as I have iPads I can use with students. When I communicate with home about this support, I would check what technology tools are available and provide paper copies of activities and books where there is a need.
The face to face stations will include guided reading, sound and syllable work and any instruction or reinforcement specific to each student.
Course toolset: As mentioned above, I will us Google Classroom to manage the students, activities and to communicate with students, teachers and parents. I have chosen Google Classroom because I have used it in the past and am somewhat familiar with it. I also know that through the school division my students would have access to it so that I can use this program in the future. I will also use email to communicate with parents.
Assessment will be done in a variety of ways: a formal reading assessment will be done face to face or over Google Meets. Informal assessments will take place when working one on one with a student, checking student progress on the apps and websites we will be using as well as during games played as a group.
Other resources I plan to use are : BOOM cards, Je lis, Je lis, literacie!, Kahoot!, Saskatchewan Lit and GB+ series of books, just to name a few. I have access to some of these programs through Regina Public Schools and I am able to give my students online access to them as well. I will continue to develop a list of resources as I put the course together.
Course objectives: I am designing this course to meet students where they are at. My hope would be to see an improvement in reading level during a block of support. There may be a grade 1 and a grade 3 student working at the same level, doing the same activities. When the students are working online from their classroom or from home they won’t be aware of how is doing the same activities. This could certainly be an advance to working online. The students will only beware that they are working at their level and will be celebrated when gains are made. For this reason, I am including curriculum objects from the grade 1- 3 Saskatchewan curriculum.
The French Immersion curriculum is written in French however, the outcomes have been translated for parents to understand as well as administrators in a French Immersion school who may not speak French. I have included these translations below:
Component: Students acquire knowledge of the language and of socio-cultural references
É-AC.3 Demonstrate awareness of the acoustic and prosodic features of the French language.
É-AC.4 Manipulate orally the parts of words.
É-AC.5 Associate oral language and written symbols.
É-AC.6 Build a repertoire of childhood socio-cultural references: certain idiomatic expressions, nursery rhymes, rhymes, songs, and characters in stories.
AP-AC.1 Use cues to negotiate meaning and express themselves, including: visual cues; morphology; syntax; sentence segmentation; syllables; graphophonics; semantics.
Written ComprehensionStudents will:
3. CÉ.1 Identify the content of a variety of texts: the message in an illustrated cause and effect, problem/solution or enumerative written text;elements in an illustrated story that provide answers to the following questions: Who? Where? When? What? How? Why?the general meaning of a short, unillustrated text.
3.CÉ.2 Use a variety of methods (strategies, language conventions and reading cues), before, during and after, with teacher assistance, to: plan their individual silent reading time;choose a text;understand a message or a text:make predictions;make connections between elements of the text and their prior experience;consult reference material;apply their knowledge of language conventions;respond to a narrative or humorous/poetic text by expressing their preferences and personal opinions; andreflect on their reading process.
Conclusion: I am really excited about the possibilities of this course. The thought of being able to support more students, create a support that a classroom teacher can fit into what they are doing without taking time on their end to differentiate to meet the needs of a student that is working far below grade level is very exciting.
I welcome any feedback you may have for me.
Grade 1- 3 teachers, what would you like to see that I may have missed?
Do you see something like this working in your classroom?
Bates talks about blended learning as a continuum taking on a variety of forms with a component of face to face instruction as well as a technology component. Blended learning can take on various forms with technology being a classroom aid to providing students with flexibility to when and how learning is completed online or in person.
Hybrid learning is placed on the right side of the continuum of blended learning, closest to fully online learning. When we dig deeper into what is Hybrid-Flexible learning or Hyflex learning, we can see that when done correctly, it is far from moving the classroom online.
Whenever I dig deeper into a topic, I always look through an elementary school lens. The following are the questions I had running through my head while reading about Blended and Hyflex learning.
How can this be applied to my real world situation teaching in an elementary school?
How can my role as a Learning Resource Teacher support teachers and students using this model?
What are some advantages and disadvantages to this model?
Going forward, is this a realistic sustainable way of learning?
With my current understanding of Hyflex learning, I do not see it as feasible in an elementary setting. However, blended learning is an absolute possibility and we can prepare students for an increase use of technology as their academic journey progress towards high school and post secondary education.
In reading Bates textbook, chapter 4 and 10 speak specifically about college education and professional development using blended learning. Students in a university setting are much different from those in an elementary classroom. Something that was mentioned over and over which stood out to me is the need to build skills. Bates summarizes key points of chapter 3 and 4 saying: “We need teaching methods for teaching and learning that lead to the development of the skills needed in a digital age.” This is where I see elementary school fitting into Hyflex learning, preparing students for more independent and flexible learning by teaching them important skills for using technology, analyzing the information they are getting online, creative thinking and so on. As the students move forward in their education and learn these skills they can move further right on the continuum.
As a Learning Resource Teacher, I can request technology, such as a Chrome Book, to support student learning. Students require guidance on how to use the Chrome Book as tool to support their learning. Learning about Blended learning highlights the importance of all students learning skills for the digital age. This is an area I could support the teachers to best support their students.
Bates and Beatty both talk about Hyflex learning at a post secondary level for more mature learners. This is also why I don’t think it is possible at the elementary level as many students don’t have the decision making skills and motivation to be independent learners. They are still developing those skills.
Beatty shares advantages of Hyflex learning for students as: increased access to courses, schedule control and increased learning resources. Advantages for staff is being able to reach more students and provide more support to students. Reference is made to students who are working or that have to travel a distance to school would benefit from this type of program. From personal experience as a university athlete during my undergraduate degrees, balancing my academic schedule as well as training, travel and games I had to miss some classes however, it was required to keep a certain academic standard to be able to play. Having the option to take a Hyflex class would have been a great option in that situation as well.
Disadvantages that Beatty points out are: students have to be able to manage their time and schedule to complete their work and having access to the appropriate technology. The development of the program for the instructor takes time to learn and design the program. Instructors would require time and education to be able to properly prepare their courses.
Finally, Bates talks about rethinking the learning space. At the post secondary level this would be very costly and where do you start? Would it be worth making major changes not knowing if this design model is here to stay. This is another area where I feel elementary schools could start preparing students for a Hyflex type of learning by rethinking the physical space of the learning environment.
I feel that Hyflex learning is here to stay. At the elementary level, we can start small by rethinking one space at a time as this would be a costly project. I was on a committee at an elementary to school to redesign our library to be a space where group work, independent work, using technology and presentations can be done in a more modern way. We talked about the importance of moveable, comfortable furniture to have more flexibility in our groupings and teachings. This is an example of where a elementary school could start.
What do you think, is Hyflex learning here to stay?
Bienvenue and Welcome to my blog! My name is Laurie Blair Dueck. I have been teaching since 2006. I started teaching Physical Education at the high school level, in Swift Current, Sask. After one year, I moved to the Regina Public School Division where I am still currently teaching. I have taught a variety of grades and subjects: French Immersion Physical Education and Core French for k-8, grade 1-3 French Immersion, grade 6-7 French Immersion and most recently Learning Resource Teacher in a French Immersion center. I am currently on maternity leave with my two and a half month old daughter and two year old son.
Along with my Education and Kinesiology degrees, I have a Certificate in Inclusive Education. I am passionate about Inclusive Education, French Immersion Education and Physical Literacy and movement.
This is my first masters class in the Teaching, Learning and Leadership program. This semester, I am looking forward to having professional conversations with my colleagues and learning from their experience with online teaching and tools. I am looking to become more confident in using a variety of platforms to engage with my students as I have limited knowledge and comfort in this area. Finally, I hope to create tools and projects that I can take with me into my teaching world.