Bring a Pet to Class (virtually)

year 7 pets collage
As teachers, we are constantly being reminded not to ask students to do too much. Remote learning is different to face to face. However, this can be a juggling act – what is too much vs too much free time! I think in the first two weeks many of us were a little anxious about how it would all work and wanted to make sure that students had work to do. There were fairly high expectations from our leadership team at school and also from a number of parents. (Remember that I teach years 7 to 12).

VCE classes (year 11 and 12) were to be run as ‘normal’ as possible. But, I teach year 7 ICT two times per week and always during period 6. This is the hardest lesson to try and engage them especially period 6 on a Friday.

I liked the idea of Bring a Pet Day but know that students will have lots of ideas as well. To get their input, I added an answer garden on my blog and asked what we could do to have fun?  Students in years 7 and 8 were asked to submit their ideas. (See screenshot below)

answer garden snip fun
Go to AnswerGarden

 

At the end of each class, students will vote on their choice of activity for the next lesson. During week 2: Bring a Pet Day and Share a Photo was chosen.

Unfortunately, I forgot to record the lesson in MS Teams but students did an amazing job. We were shown many different types of cats and kittens, a variety of birds and dogs. We saw the indoor pets from inside the homes but were taken outside into the yard and saw the dogs playing, a bucket fed calf and cats eating from their bowls. Parents came along too and helped with the photography and screen sharing. Most students looked quite relaxed and used screen sharing in Teams whilst some students uploaded images of their pet to the chat as they were not easy to locate. Students were quite confident in screen sharing, presenting the pet (if they would sit still) to the screen and using the microphone to tell us about their pet. Not an easy task, especially if you are outside. Students asked questions of each other in the chat or gave comments re the pets. The 50 minutes went very quickly.

Surely, these are such valuable skills for remote learning, the remote workforce and for developing many soft skills like confidence, sharing, mentoring, collaborating etc.

Highlights of the classes

  1. I saw relaxed, confident students sharing their pets
  2. Enjoyed seeing parents helping out
  3. We were able to invite our Principal and Assistant Principal to be part of the class. Our principal has never been keen on a Bring Your Pet to School Day but really enjoyed seeing them paraded in this manner!

Read some student blog posts

  1. Pet Day  by Lauren
  2. Bring a Pet by Heath
  3. Pet Day by Tiffany
  4. Bring a Pet Day by Zara

 

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