After 3 months of face to face teaching and relative freedom, with masks only needing to be worn in crowded spaces, on public transport and when it is impossible to distance socially, we have community transmission of COVID-19 in Victoria once more. A 7 day circuit breaker lockdown was announced on Thursday of last week. Teachers were given a student free day on Friday to prepare for remote learning, and online classes commenced yesterday. Vulnerable students and children of essential workers can attend school. Unfortunately, our numbers of cases are rising, COVID has found its way into aged care homes, and the number of exposure sites is extremely high. Personally, I feel our lockdown will be longer.
Therfore, we are all back to watching the daily Premier’s briefing, media updates and waiting to see what happens next.
Yesterday, was hard. It was hard to get back into online teaching, MS Teams and its fantastic Live Meetings had changed a little but today, the second day is a little easier. Our primary students from foundation to year 4 only have school in the morning. The rest continue with their normal timetable as much as possible but teachers are cautioned not to overload students with work, nor expect them to be on face to face time for the whole day. My VCE classes continue as usual but I try to play music as they enter the virtual room to give time to relax and settle in.
What my ICT (computer classes) looked like yesterday.
On entry, played the song “I don’t like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats. Students discussed whether they agreed with this statement.
- We looked at the news for today including COVID-19 numbers, special days acknowledged for May 20th. Macaroon Day was of high interest and I was intrigued to note that most students had not heard of them, nor tried them. In Australia, it is also Reconciliation Week and our last day of autumn.
- Students shared how they were feeling in the chat by using an emoji (inserting a gif from MS Teams)
- Students found a picture of the last food that they ate and shared it in the chat.
- I had emailed each student with a few questions about eg what they did on the weekend and a challenge. They had to write their first and last name all as one word and then put each letter in alphabetical order. They had to reply back to me using email.
- Next class I will collate all the jumbled names in a table in MS Word. Students will then unjumble the names.
This all seem to work well, students were interactive. Some chose to keep their webcams on, others remained icognito. The majority of students from each class were in attendance.