• Last modified 859 days ago (April 2, 2020)


First day of (online) school

Students return to school with statewide experiment in distance learning

Staff writer

Tyler McMichael looked over his lesson plans Tuesday in his empty fifth-grade classroom in Marion Elementary School and made sure his computer was good to go.

At 8:30 a.m. he would be part of an effort to keep students learning during a statewide school shutdown to fight an outbreak of Covid-19.

McMichael intended to try and finish up classwork on a lesson about volume his students tackled before spring break — then maybe move on to geometry and shapes.

But first, he needed to answer several calls from parents who were having trouble logging on.

“This is new to everyone,” he said. “The teachers had to learn how to use Zoom. We had never done this.”

A computer McMichael set up to record himself perched on textbooks for a better view of the classroom’s Promethean board.

He will be the math teacher for Marion Elementary’s fifth-graders the rest of the semester.

His co-teacher, Tina Hague, has already recorded lessons in language arts for the students as she recovers from surgery.

Sheila Baldwin and Charlotte Waner will split teaching Marion Elementary School’s fourth-graders, they explained Monday as they passed out class packets to students.

Both will teach from their homes using Zoom. They will download video for students who are unable to watch their classes live.

Baldwin plans a book study for a reading exercise and will have her students do a research project for social studies.

“They will work on a state project like they would have done in the classroom,” she said.

The fourth-graders can find information online or use any books they might have, she said. But she has plenty of resources to help them if they get stuck.

“I have lots of websites that have reading books that are free,” she said.

The teachers have set up a private social media page where students are able to ask questions, and they can be reached by email.

Students will turn in their work by taking a picture of it with a Smartphone, tablet or computer and uploading the shot to Seesaw.

“We grade ours together,” Waner said, smiling as the line of cars pulled up outside the school. “They’ll just show us what they have on their page and I’ll grade it quick.”

And the teachers will all get to see their students again — even if it is on a screen.

Last modified April 2, 2020