How I Remote Taught (part 5 - What's next?)

We've just about made it through this school year; students are finishing up their last new assignments this week and will have next week to go back and work on anything they missed.

So instead of spending hours working on materials to post for next week, this leaves me time to think about what could happen in the fall.  We're hearing that there could be some kind of blended model of school to start the year so that not all students are in the building. Or it could be half days. Or we could be doing all of this remote learning at home again.

Who knows?! I think that will be the hard part - planning for what could happen when there are so many options.  Of course I would rather just start school like normal, but if we don't I definitely want to be prepared.

My initial thoughts:
1. I get comments every year that students love the name tents, so I'm trying to think of how that could work virtually. Maybe a set of google slides for each student?  That's definitely something I'd want to do but would need to be rethought.

2. I haven't had any sort of synchronous class time; I had optional office hours but most students didn't show up. I think to start a year like this we would have to have some face-to-face time, whether it's actual teaching time or just "getting to know you" stuff.  From seeing my own kids (just finished 7th grade and 10th grade) and their online meetings, they groan about the 10-minute check-ins that teachers made them do. So I think anything "required" would have to mean something. A short lesson a couple of times a week maybe?  It could be recorded and posted for students who aren't able to make it.

3. For precalc, we spend over half of the year with trig and I'd really like to be face-to-face for that, so I would seriously consider rearranging the order I teach topics. I like to start the trig early (helps with ACT) but I could imagine doing matrices and some of the other function review work first before jumping into radians and the unit circle. I can't even imagine trying to verify identities remotely. Major kudos to those who are!  (You'd definitely have to do something synchronous for that, I think!)

4. My district is transitioning back to Alg1-Geo-Alg2 from the integrated pathway that we've been using the past several (6? 7?) years. That honestly doesn't mean a whole lot to me; I teach Math 3, which is pretty much just Algebra 2. I'll just have to remember to change the headings on all of the documents I make. :)  But we are looking at trying out a new curriculum; we're going from nothing (which I honestly like because I like making my own stuff) to possibly a Pearson product that's pretty scripted. If we start with remote learning that could be a good thing assuming that I figure out how it works. And from then I could pull back to use it as a support.

I think my classroom works because I try to make connections to students - any success that has happened the past 7 weeks could be traced back to this. So starting a year like this and not knowing any of the kids coming in is a scary thing.

All I can ask for is time to prepare for whatever situation comes.