Using Tools to Engage Remote Learners
Who would have thought a year ago that we would be teaching students remotely? It would have sounded absurd, impossible, unrealistic. Yet Landmark Elementary•Middle Schoolers learn remotely every other week. And it is not absurd, impossible, or unrealistic. Yes, it might be hard sometimes, but our teachers and students are finding a rhythm and getting creative in ways that will forever impact the way we look at learning. Dare we say there has been some silver linings to being forced into a new way of learning?
We have adapted our curriculum for remote learning in countless ways. Here is just one example. Below are pictures from an eighth grade science class during their remote week. As the Middle School students are introduced to topics within the Properties of Matter and Basic Chemistry unit, they are getting a fundamental understanding of the periodic table of elements and basic structures of atoms. They use that information to figure out the orientation and numbers of protons, neutrons, and electrons of a chosen element, and then apply the computer tools in Google Slides to create their own atomic models.
Had this activity been done in the classroom, students likely would have been working at their desks or table with worksheets. And while they could collaborate at a table or in small groups, the use of technology and the capability of Google Slides to see edits in real time, allows students to better view and work together.
This activity calls on students to engage with the content, create their own models, give feedback to one another as they see peers filling in their atom template, and provides immediate accountability as everyone can see them working.
In remote learning, Landmark teachers have been able to stay true to Landmark's Six Teaching Principles. Within this one activity, the teacher is able to provide models of the expected work, use the template to break the project into smaller tasks, provide opportunities for success, engage students in the learning process, solidfy automization with practice, and use multi-sensory approaches.
Remote learning has found a way to be successful in ways we never could have imagined. We are continually impressed by the creativity and dedication of our teachers to make these adjustments and innovations in teaching.