Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Welcome Back to School and Distance Learning

Many students and teachers are heading back to school and in a distance learning situation. How should students and parents prepare for this new environment? Here are some helpful tips that may help your children to succeed. 

 1. Organize a study place. 
 The place of study at home could be a nook in a room with a bean bag chair, a traditional desk, yoga mat or all three. Whatever makes your child comfortable in the 6 hour long work day. You might even decide to have several study locations available for a change of pace. Add his or her school work schedule in a prominent location. Provide shelving or designate a place for reference materials, books, craft materials and other electronic devices. You and your child can craft decorations for the study place, add a colorful plant and provide inspirational posters. Scented plug ins for the room will give a nice aroma, such as lavender, pumpkin spice or vanilla. 

 2. Create a checklist of daily work for the week.
After creating the checklist, have your learner check off the assignments as they go. 

 3. Highlight due dates. 
Some work may not be due until the end of the week. Have your child work on the assignment daily or as required, so that the work will be completed in the best possible way and not all at once. 

 4. Create a distance learning work routine that includes breaks. 
 Some classes might be at a certain time of day where your child will need to be present online to contribute to the topic. Plan around these times and offer a time to relax, and off of the computer device. What does your child like to do? It may be time to make a craft, ride a bike, fiddle around in a garden, or draw and play some music. Try to limit computer or online games in favor of physical activities.

 5. Decide if you want to monitor the daily work or use a trust system. 
Make sure the assignments are completed or if your child is mature, use the trust system. Having a student learn to develop ownership of his or her learning is so important. But, sometimes when children are not ready to take on such a large task, parents need to check the work. Last year, a math teacher called the day before the end of the quarter to say not all work had been completed in my child's math class. This led to a race to the finish for my child to complete the work. How much real learning can be done in this manner? 

 6. Reward, reward, reward. 
Noted, work is not always rewarded in the regular work world. But, a child is not in the traditional work world yet. So, when your child has checked off all the work for the day or week, allow them to choose a reward. Having a treasure box or goody bag at home filled with small toys, crafts, squishy or slime and clay can make the end of the school week more fun. Also, playing family board games such as bingo or chess, having an indoor or outdoor picnic, or family movie with popcorn can provide something to look forward to for your learners during the week.

Stay safe!

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Please Welcome Fun Science with Mr Chun

First of all, I would like to thank Lynn of TiePlay Educational Resources, LLC, for giving me this opportunity as a guest blogger.

                                                                        About Tim Chun

   I am from Bayside, New York but I currently reside in Houston, Texas. I have been teaching for about 18 years and have taught students in grades 7-12 and currently teach biology & aquatics science. My most recent journey on Teachers pay Teachers began about a year ago. I am now starting my blog this year. I will be sharing about how to implement strategies in the classroom on my blogs. One of the things that I love to incorporate into my classroom is the Escape Room.

Student Engagement

   Student engagement is one of the most challenging obstacles in the classroom. The teacher will not be able to teach their lesson because they are disciplining the student and then students in the classroom will get frustrated because of all the disruptions. Does this sound familiar?

Escape Room Challenges

   One of the ways I solved this issue was to implement an Escape Room in the classroom. All I did was walk around the room and facilitate. There was engagement from all of my students because they were cooperating, communicating, paying attention to details, and having great teamwork. There was a 30-minute time limit for this activity. Here are some helpful tips when you implement the Escape Room activity in your classroom.

1.         Before you begin this lesson, make sure that you place students into groups of less than 3. Students need to get along in order to have a successful escape room lesson. Make certain that students are able to work with each other prior to implementing this lesson and confirm with them as well. This will assure you that there will be fewer issues on the day you are planning this Escape Room activity.       

2.         Make sure that your students have prior knowledge of the subject that you are using for the Escape Room. For example, I used the Virus Escape Room in my classroom but I didn’t plan on using this lesson until the end of my unit and used it more as a formative assessment. If the students have not built up their knowledge of the topic, their frustration level will be higher than normal. Students will begin to shut down. In order to minimize this, it is best that you use this towards the end of your unit plan.                                                   

3.         Let your students know that you are planning an escape room activity so that they are looking forward to that day. In 2019, I implemented 2 Escape Room activities. When I told my students that I was planning to do this activity, my students looked forward to that day.                                                   

4.     Challenge your students. There is only a 30% success rate in the actual Escape Room.

5.         As you walk around the room, provide support to students who are struggling with the clues.

  At the end of this activity, all of my students were able to remain focus and think outside of the box in the classroom and complete each task. They had lasting memories of my class and these are lessons that are very valuable that they will not forget.


Tim Chun

Teach 100