Back to School Anxiety Making a Plan due to Covid


If you are anything like me, you are having anxiety over the back to school plan due to Covid. I was not a huge fan of distance learning and the idea of it all over again makes me so nervous. I have found myself staying up at night thinking about these questions. 
  • How I'm going to keep my students safe?
  • How my family is going to stay safe?
  • How I'm going to teach these children going between different learning platforms (at home and at school)?
  • How am I going to have time to help my own children at home who need to learn as well?
  • Who is going to take care of my youngest if we are at home while I'm teaching?
Does any of this sound familiar? It is such a hard time right now for everyone.  I have been trying to look at the positives and focus on what I can control. I do have a job. My family is not struggling financially. We are all healthy right now.  
Are you having anxiety over going back to school. I have made a plan for dealing with this anxiety due to Covid. I am working on what I can control. I have made a curriculum map and lessons that I can use if we are in person or distance learning.

To decrease  my stress and anxiety, I decided to come up with a plan. I wanted to focus on what I can control. By working on some of these things, it has reduced my anxiety and made me feel a little more in control of my life. I wanted to share with you my plan of instruction for this coming year. Even if you can't do all of it maybe some of it will help you! 

Curriculum Map

First, I made my curriculum map for the year. I decided that regardless of where I'm teaching my students, I'm not changing what I will be teaching them, just the delivery. I have posted this curriculum map for FREE if you would like to grab it HERE.  It does not include Science or Social Studies as I integrate those into my reading as much as possible. It also doesn't include Small Group Guided Reading because that is a whole different ball game.

Are you having anxiety over going back to school. I have made a plan for dealing with this anxiety due to Covid. I am working on what I can control. I have made a curriculum map and lessons that I can use if we are in person or distance learning.

Consistency

Next, I decided the best route for my students will be consistency. If they are presented information the same way either in school or at home, it will be easier for them. Our school is a Google school so I used that platform to create my daily lesson plans. 

In School Plan

If we are in school, I will open my Google Slides for the day on the SMART board. I will deliver instruction from beginning to end by clicking on each slide. Of course, if we are in the room, I will add more and deliver differently but following this format will be helpful to all of us. 
If you are wondering what these slides look like, you can grab  a FREE DAY here. They are between 45-60 slides that cover PHONICS, SPELLING, WORD WORK, READING COMPREHENSION, GRAMMAR, WRITING, and MATH. It includes bits and pieces of things I already made all combined into 1 daily lesson. Did I mention I have included YouTube links to songs, audio files of songs I wrote, and ALL of the WORKSHEETS?   As a district, we decided regardless if we are at home or at school, our K-3 will have paper pencil activities.  We will offer weekly drop off and pick up of the paper pencil materials. 

Distance Learning Plan

If we are distance learning, I will do a Google Meet every morning. I will record the meet for the students who do not attend. Using the same slides, I will present the lessons digitally through screen sharing. After the meet, the children can then work on their paper pencil activities. I will share an entire copy of the lesson and the recorded lesson with them through Schoology or Google Classroom. If your school will not offer paper pencil activities, all of the the worksheets I created have been uploaded to Google with text boxes and are ready to go. 
Doing all of this has eased the fear of how I will teach. Either way, I will be prepared for instruction with my curriculum map and my lesson plans. Now that I can check that off of my list, I only have to worry about the health and safety of my family and students. 
If this sounds like something that would be helpful to you, WEEK 1 is DONE!
Are you having anxiety over going back to school. I have made a plan for dealing with this anxiety due to Covid. I am working on what I can control. I have made a curriculum map and lessons that I can use if we are in person or distance learning.

Here are some things to note...
  • I will have 4 weeks done each month beginning in July
  • I will be bundling them every 4 weeks
  • If you want to buy them week by week and get the bundle price, make sure you are following me on TPT. I offer the bundle price the 1st 24 hours. 
  • The curriculum map is subject to change. I will post updated changes to the file on TpT if there are any.

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Reading Comprehension Strategies One Song at a Time

Are you ready to reach all of your learners and build their reading comprehension strategies? We all know children learn in different ways. Reading comprehension was always a struggle for me as a child. I didn't want that for my students. One way I decided to help them was through song.
Increase your student's reading comprehension strategies by using these recorded songs, posters, and worksheets.

In my classroom we focus on one strategy a week, and build off of them through a program I created Guided Reading with a Purpose. I have used this program for 4 years and I honestly can't say enough about it. Last summer I wanted to find another avenue to really focus on those strategies, so I began writing songs. 
Since I wasn't blessed with the most beautiful voice, I hired someone to sing them for my class. He not only sings them, but he added the music as well. We were up and running by September and it was AMAZING. My students loved having the audio and so did I. Let me share with you all the ways we used these in my room.

Song Marble Composition Book

On the first day of the week, after the strategy was introduced, we learned our new song. First, we glued the half sheet copy of the song into our marble composition book. Once we had that glued in, I played the audio for them. We listened to it a few times that day. 
Increase your student's reading comprehension strategies by using these recorded songs, posters, and worksheets.

As the week progresses, we open the composition book up every morning to sing and review our strategy.  This might be one of their favorite parts of the day.

Small Group Instruction 

The learning doesn't end there. I have also included comprehension worksheets to go along with the skills. We use these worksheets during small group instruction and sometimes in large group reading instruction.  
Increase your student's reading comprehension strategies by using these recorded songs, posters, and worksheets.

Fluency in Literacy Centers 

I also create 3 binders filled with the songs. I put these binders in my classroom library. If they can sing the songs, they can read them. They love to sing to themselves or with a partner during literacy centers using the binders. 
Increase your student's reading comprehension strategies by using these recorded songs, posters, and worksheets.

Comprehension Posters

I also created posters to hang in the room all year or when you are focusing on the strategy. I have mine displayed in the front of the room. Each time we learn a strategy, it goes up and we keep it there all year to review. 
Increase your student's reading comprehension strategies by using these recorded songs, posters, and worksheets.

Remember that marble composition book, we use that to review our songs too. If we have a few extra minutes, I choose a student to pick a song and we sing it. It is great for fast finishers, and brain breaks too. We love to get them out and sing! 
Last year when we went to distance learning, I was able to play these audio files and they could sing away at home too. It was great to have to reinforce what we were learning. 

Warning!!!!

Once you start singing, you won't be able to get them out of your head!
If you would like to check them out, I have created one entire goodie for you for FREE. The Check for Understanding bundle is yours, just click here
All of the songs I use in my first grade classroom are also bundled together HERE
Increase your student's reading comprehension strategies by using these recorded songs, posters, and worksheets.

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Digital End of the Year Activities for Distance Learning

Wow! This has been a year to remember, or forget. Just because we can't be together, I still want to make it special and memorable. This is what I will be doing for my Digital END OF THE YEAR ACTIVITIES!
Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.
END OF THE THEMED DAYS
Every year I have been doing  End of the Year Themed Days using my paper pencil versions. They are so engaging and fun for the students. They are excited to come to school and see what the next theme will be. What they don't realize is that they are reviewing all of the skills we have learned over the entire year! If you have access to printing and can do these with your kiddos, I highly recommend them. 
Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.
If you don't have printing available, no worries! I have created Digital End of the Year Themed Days! I'm super excited to share these with my students. Each day is filled with activities that could last way more than 1 day. I like to have options so I made lots of them. I figure my students could also work on them as review over the summer too. If you would like to try out a sample of these you can click here. In addition, I made some fun Digital Escape Room activities to match my themes. They are shorter and are completed on Google Forms. To make it extra fun, I am going to encourage them to dress up and meet me in ways that match the theme. For example, on beach day I will be wearing my Hawaiian shirt, sitting on a towel, and meeting them outside. Also, I purchased these adorable Google Classroom Headers from Bricks and Border. I'm going to change out my header every day for our theme. Any way I can make it memorable I will!
Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year. Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year. Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.
POST CARDS
Send a little snail mail surprise! Bricks and Border created some amazing Postcards that are simple to print and send. This a perfect way to surprise your students with a personalized message in their hands. 
Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.
MEMORY BOOK
We always complete a Memory Book at the end of the year too!  I have already started doing a digital version with them this week. Every day, I go over two pages with them on our Google Meet. It has been great to reflect together on all of the fun,  positive things we did in our room before all of this happened. The digital version is ADORABLE, if I do say so myself. After they finish it, their parents can print it if they want. They could also print it and write it at home too. Here is a peek at some of the pages included. 
Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.


AWARDS
Another fun way we close our year is with End of the Year Awards. It is always great to celebrate their unique qualities in the room. This year, I made digital awards for grades K-5. It was so easy to fill these out and get them ready. I am going to present them on the last day of school. I opened the file, typed the kid's names in the text box of the award I was giving them, and deleted the rest. Now all I have to do is present them during our google meet. I CAN'T WAIT!

 K Awards 2nd Grade Awards 3rd Grade Awards 4th Grade Awards 5th Grade Awards

PICTURE SLIDE SHOW
On the last day of school,  I have prepared a slide show with pictures throughout the year. This was so easy to complete thanks to Having Fun First! She created pre made photo templates. I simply put my pictures on top of the boxes and sent them to the back. Luckily, I had taken a lot of pictures. I wanted some for the end of the year too, so I'm asking parents to send me 1 or 2 pictures from home to finish it up! In Power Point you can export slides as  a movie.  Check out her three different versions below, earth tonespasteland brights.
Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.Distance learning digital end of the year activities. Google Slides and Google Forms that are perfect for Google Classroom and wrapping up a school year.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I hope these digital end of the year activities are helpful to you in some way. 
Stay safe!



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