I am about 1 week behind schedule in my grading. I also realize that I'm not sure how much longer we can keep up with virtual learning. I miss being able to take a piece of paper and marking it up with as many marks as possible. I'm kidding of course. But, the grading process used to be a lot faster with a paper and pencil test. I started out the virtual learning by giving students multiple choice exams through Google Forms. I did that for the first quarter. I thought I would mix up the way I administer the test for quarter 2 and quarter 3. What I found out was that the students I thought had their act together, didn't really know the material when I asked the students to show their work on paper and then submit it through Google Classroom.
Currently, I am teaching graphing polynomial functions. We already went through y = mx + b for the linear equation (n = 1st degree) of the polynomial and y = ax^(2) + bx + c for the quadratic function (n = 2nd degree). However, I realized that the students missed all of quarter 4 last school year for their previous math course. Some of the students did not learn quadratic functions and their graphs. I gave them a review chapter test regarding quadratic functions and what I found out was about half of my students didn't know how to graph a quadratic function. The students that want to learn and have the support at home will continue to do well in school regardless if it is 100% virtual learning. But, what about the rest of the students? How do we reach those students? For each lesson, I make an instructional video clip and place it on Google Classroom for students to view on their own. I am hoping the instructional videos will make a difference for some of the students.
I was hoping all the students would complete their chapter test by the indicated deadline. The last time I checked earlier today only about half of my students completed their test. In reality, quite a few of the students are burned out. Distance learning is not for every student. My instructional strategies so far in a distance learning class involves direct instruction, breakout rooms on Google Meets, Your turn examples in between instruction and instructional video clips for students to view together with the notes I place online. The big question is how do you motivate students that really don't want to be in a virtual class environment. I hope that when the district decides that the school is safe to return to at least blended learning, we can help students advance in their learning.
After grading some tests and quizzes and then writing today's blog entry, the feeling of being overwhelmed because the likelihood of completing the scope and sequence for this years course is looking more and more difficult. A teacher friend asked me today, "is it Friday yet?" That was how I felt also at the end of the day. I am looking forward to Friday.