What does your family do for fun? What do you do every year that when its missing doesn’t feel like the Holidays?
After collecting all our holiday differences we designed a party to celebrate those differences for our Christmas/Hanukkah party! The differences we all bring from our humor to our compassion has really been fun for me to observe this year. We all have strengths and weakness and celebrating one and working on the other has been absolutely pleasant this year! Then you add the family traditions dynamic and we get a few belly laughs and eye rolls. Here is a photo montage of what we did. I didn’t take pictures of any of the outside activities but we had a perfect afternoon.
The holidays are distracting and attention to details started to wane: and grades were going down!
I was watching the kids in class after Thanksgiving and their attention to details and researching the correct answers began to wane; grades were going down. They were settling for just passing. I knew that all of them could do much better especially since our format (the platform that our district is using is Edgenuity and Schoology) is to fill out notes during the video instruction and they get to use those notes on their quiz’s and unit tests. The answers are basically at their finger tips they just needed to slow down, read the questions and possible answers, find that section in their notes and then look for the key words. Soooo after Thanksgiving we decorated for Christmas and cut out a bunch of Christmas ornament shapes from paper. If a students gets a 90 or higher they get to write their name, class and percent on the ornament, and hang it in the front window. It looks like decorations to the rest of the world but to us we are celebrating being a student!
We had a half day the other day of POD where everyone was done with their work after lunch! What do you do? We work on our fine motor skills and creativity with tracing, coloring and creating a group project. I found a mini tree in the Christmas decorations, some rainbow permanent markers. and a pack of Shrinky Dink paper. I had the students create a list of things that reminded them of Christmas and then send me a coloring image they found online, we printed them out and spent a relaxing time discussing family traditions our favorite things about Christmas and coloring. After we colored them in we cut them out and put them in the oven on parchment paper at 250 so we could watch them shrink. Then we strung them with fishing line because our holes shrunk so much. We did learn that you need to punch your hole if you want to hang them before you shrink the paper because it is impossible to punch a hole unless you use a drill. The size of 1/2 a page for your tracing pages is perfect and the image shrinks to 1/2 that size. It was so fun and festive and when your hands are busy it is easier to share your feelings and ideas. We had great conversation.
This is my first blog so its going to be lengthy, I promise I will learn to shorten them and be more to the point!
Hi, my name is Adrea I have lived in Ellensburg for 25+ years, I am married to Ryan and have a 5 year old daughter Lenét, I own dirt here (big smile). 2020 has been a crazy year and many of you might not even recognize me… I had two family members get diagnosed with breast cancer this year and so when chemo started, we all got together and buzzed off our hair to walk through this with my mom and my sister. Add the pandemic to this upheaval. Around the same time in June I had a friend reach out to me and ask me if I could help her children while they were on virtual learning. My first response was nope but a seed was planted and I started to dream about it. This led to research on the benefits of children working together, and the accountability of having a schedule and the known difficulties and benefits of virtual learning.
Learning POD is Born So, while on a camping trip in August my husband agreed to help me remodel the basement and we started our Learning POD. In the brainstorming stage we imagined that it would be for 4 hours a day because we did not want to have the kids on the computer for longer than that. As the Ellensburg School Board zoom meetings started and we had an open house for the students who had signed up I realized that we were going to need to be a full school day… This has been a blast. With all the different grade schedules and multiple districts (Cle Elum/Roslyn and Ellensburg) we have been able to have a designated schedule to include inside and outside activities. Fast forward a few months from fulltime virtual, where I saw the kids every day and now on Hybrid A & B schedules. We have begun a two-three-day attendance week. When setting up I chose 10 kids as my maximum because of the range of grades that I had sign up and I felt like it was our governors’ magic number as he opened us back up. As a coach I wanted to be able to offer my time to each student and more students than that, I felt I was not going to be beneficial to the individual.
Getting to Know the Districts and Families Like I said earlier… I have had a blast! I have loved getting to know the teachers through email and supporting their classroom protocols as well and sending them celebration moments for the kids… I love the part where we have peer help, social growth, brain breaks that lead to full on belly laughs, lots of time outside where we solve problems and probably most of all I love the part where I get to share my love of creating things with the students. A lot of this ‘creating’ comes into play in spontaneous supplementation of their lessons… magnets have been great fun, so was the owl pellet lab, and lots of math… but most of all the creating that takes place when we have craft afternoons and everybody works so hard to be able to be in the craft room and create something and try something new. As I blog, I would love to share with you our struggles and celebrations as we walked through this online learning platform & POD Coaching.