Prepping for the fall

This whole summer (and because we've been home since March 13, it feels like it's been a loooong one!) has been a waiting game.

Waiting for things to open so we could leave the house. (They did. Mostly. Just hope they stay that way!)

Waiting for news on what school would look like in the fall.  (Back to school 5 days a week! For now.)

Waiting for any changes to the back-to-school plan (Not yet...)

I'm working on school plans like we'll be remote, at least at some point.  The Coronavirus numbers in Ohio continue to rise, the governor just mandated statewide masks, and I am just starting to hear of people in my community who are testing positive.  It's hard to believe that even if we do go back to school full time (like is planned) that it will last for a long period of time.

Here's my to-do list (and what I've done):
  • Create videos of lessons for both Precalc and Algebra 2
    • I'm thinking about using these even if we do go back to school (and stay). I've been reading Crystal Kirch's book Flipping with Kirch and am considering flipping. Plus, even if I just post the videos I make for kids to watch if they're absent or just need a refresher, what's the harm?!
    • My LMS, Schoology, apparently works hand-in-hand with EdPuzzle, which would be an amazing tool if I choose to flip.
    • I've finished videos of Unit 1 in Precalc and just got Unit 1 organized in Algebra 2 (I'm starting both classes with matrices)
  • I was introduced today to a site called Bakpax, which after playing with for just a few hours (I had a lot of screen time today!) I really think could be helpful. It's a way for students to work on assignments, submit their work, and have it graded.  It seems a lot like Classkick with a few exceptions:
    • Bakpax has the option to print the worksheet so that students can write on it. They can then take a picture of the worksheet and upload it into the site. Because the worksheets are coded (QR-code looking things on each page), it would then be automatically graded just like they'd completed it online. And the teacher can see all of their work to get the answers.
    • Bakpax has topics already created. If you use Illustrative Math and teach Algebra 1 or Geometry, I'd STRONGLY suggest you check it out. I was able to import a lot of their pre-built assignments to my Algebra 2 class because I do a LOT of Algebra 1 review.
    • From what I saw of Classkick, teachers have the option to see students working in real time.  That would be nice, but I think the option to print is much more beneficial - we're a BYOD district and very few of my students can "write" on their computer.  
  • I'm trying to think of how I want to start the year with my classes.  Time will be of an essence and I want to get the kids "trained" with all of the sites I would like to use.  So tonight I created a "to-do" list of all of the things I want them to do in the first few days. I made it like a checklist so they can check things off as they go.
    • I have my Schoology course set up for them, but I want to create a "Getting around Schoology" video where I talk through how I've set it up and where they can find things. And maybe I'll put it in EdPuzzle to kill two birds with one stone?
    • I will include all of the course codes on this so they have them to sign in.
  • I find myself very thankful that I'm not teaching any new courses this year. I've taught both Precalc and Algebra 2 for several years in a row and am pretty happy with my content.  One thing I am doing, though, is rearranging, especially my precalc course. Instead of starting with matrices and jumping into a semester of trig (which is mostly brand new to them) before finishing with a review of functions, I'm going to switch semesters. We'll still start with matrices but then I'm going to do the review material.  I'm hoping that the second semester will be a more "normal" experience and we'll be able to do the trig then.
So now to work on videos and keep hoping that my own kids get to go back and have their fall sports seasons.  Wear your masks, people!