April 30, 2020

Even though we have all known deep in our hearts that school would not be starting on Tuesday, it’s been a tough week of facing reality. We’ve hung in there, though! Those of us who need to, are still showing up every day and still smiling. Attitudes are good and we continue to do what’s best for kids. Kids are hanging in there, too. They keep working and we look forward to seeing their faces in Hangouts.

April 23, 2020

Tough day for all of us today. We really miss our students and hearing the message that we don’t get them back was hard!! Even when you know it’s coming, it’s a tough thing to hear. We’ll be fine, and we’ll carry on, but today we get to be sad.

April 22, 2020

Kindergarten updates today! We have a lot of future farmers in kindergarten. Today some students talked about weather the farmers need and what seeds need to grow. Other students worked on new word lists and adding two digit numbers. These students are so busy learning new things!! They have done diagraphs and blending, have alphabetized words about the weather, and are busy polling family members so they can creat graphs! Even with distance learning, the joy of gaining new skills continues.

April 20, 2020

Time slipped away! I have to admit, though, that days kind of blur together. I continue to be amazed every day, however, with how awesome our students are. They are staying on track and getting work done and turned in. So many of them are working harder than ever. I keep asking teachers to check in to see if kids are hanging in there, and the kids keep saying they’re feeling ok with how things are going. It is so fun to drop work off with kids and see their smiles! And so fun to see the things they are doing!

April 8, 2020

I almost missed today! We are so getting into a routine, though, that days are uneventful. We had some technology issues this morning so teachers and kids had a little trouble connecting, but things picked up in the afternoon.

I have to say that I am enjoying my classes. My students are working hard and learning! This new way of teaching with my computer open to Google Classroom and my phone set to speaker so I can work with a student on an assignment is a little Jetsony! And, yes, I know that’s not a word, but this distance learning feels like a series of episodes from the Jetsons.

Someone was telling me today that so many schools are spending these days doling out worksheets for students to just review what they have already learned. I am so glad that we are going way beyond that by challenging our students to keep learning. We are reading books and learning new skills – something new every day. I’m looking forward to listening in on science presentations next week, and every day I am invited to math – even though I rarely join the hangout. Maybe next week.

April 7, 2020

Sometimes it’s nice to have a boring day. Today was one of those. Things went smoothly. Routines are in place. Technology cooperated. As one of our teachers said, “Pretty normal day – if this is what normal has become!“

Kindergarten students got to go on a Hangouts field trip when Mrs. Neid and her phone took a garden tour. They learned about sprouts, roots, leaves and seeds – virtual science!

Third graders learned about kilograms and grams. Fourth graders studied quadrilaterals.

Students read together over hangouts and talked about their books. We keep delivering more books for these readers.

Journaling, handwriting, spelling…band and choir lessons…science and math…school goes on. All is “normal” and a little bit boring! Sometimes that’s a good thing.

Today was the beginning of Distance Learning Week 2. I am so proud of our students. I asked teachers today about how things are going, and almost all of them said students are in class and doing their work – every day! They even beat us to class some days. I was late to meet with my after lunch group, and had a chat waiting for me asking where I was. Work is being turned in and learning continues. We’ve got this!

And now for a few comments from teacher reports today.

A student lost their tooth and was able to proudly show me and then the whole class during our group chat.

Another student called me this morning and parents were working and siblings were sleeping yet. She called, but not for help with homework really. She misses school. I’m so grateful for the ability to still connect with them.

Today was a bit hectic. Technology seemed to have quite a few glitches today for many students. We were able to troubleshoot most of them, but they did take up class time to figure out. Many students are finishing their books and requesting new ones. I spent a little time this morning delivering books. Wednesday, I will be making another run. Students seemed a little tired today, but then again, I guess it is Monday!!! I am looking forward to a little sunshine therapy today after school. It is amazing what the sun shining down on you can do for the spirit!!!

At school today. It’s way too quiet in this building! Taught individually with everyone this am – wearing my mustache! Lots of giggles! Met with the group at 1:00 – we try to do this everyday. Today we played tic-tac-toe – what a hoot! I’m trying to get them used to using their white boards.

Today was a good day! It was fun to see the mustaches that students wore.

April 3, 2020

And week one of distance learning comes to and end. I have heard so many great things from teachers this week. Kids are checking in when they are supposed to, turning in their work and staying positive. I look forward to walking in to classrooms and hearing “Hi, Mrs. H” from faces on screens. And there are funny moments each day – kids greeting teachers to work in pajamas while eating peanut butter toast, kids not quite out of bed before class starts, sharing art and singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo.”

And the parents!! I have parents juggling schedules so they can be there for their kids – parents making sure things get done and sent back – parents hanging in there and being patient with teachers and kids as we work through daily glitches.

I am not thrilled about this experience that we are working through together, but I am grateful for the fact that I’m working through it with this community!!

Have a great weekend!!

April 2, 2020

I hope things are going well for our families! It’s difficult to tell. We are seeing our students checking in regularly, and I am so impressed that they are really taking school seriously even though it’s so different. Today I started the day in a video chat with some of our second graders. They showed me their new schoolrooms! Overall, the interactions we’re having with students are so amazing! I love walking into a classroom to see teachers engaging in video chats with their students and really spending individual time with kids making sure that they are understanding. I think we all go home at the end of the day exhausted, but we also end each day being thankful for our amazing students and their parents!!

Second grade thoughts
Kaylee Romsdahl

April 1, 2020

I’m too tired to write today! This new way of doing school is exhausting – and I only have to teach two classes. I have a growing respect for the teachers here (not new, just growing) who are teaching classes all day long. So today’s report is from kindergarten thanks to Mrs. Neid.

Lots of computer glitches today.  We worked through it.  I was able to 1-on-1 with everyone today and individualize as needed.  I’m getting the hang of it slow, but sure!   We went through compare/contrast, describing, author/illustrator, vocab, even/odd, calendar concepts, our April calendar intro, and stories.  We started a morning calendar so that helps with calendar concepts. The kids check in with me as they finish their work, which is an all day affair! Today they had an illustration based off a question.  Cute pics and discussion. I put together the Farm unit for Week 5.  Found a site called SplashLearn for math K-5 and sent it to my families.   I hope to get out pictures for Facebook this weekend.  I’m getting some cute ones and as always these kinders love to share! Parents are doing a great job.  I’ve adjusted my schedule to accommodate theirs so I have one I check in with later in the day.  We’re making this work!

March 31, 2020

And March comes to and end. As I talked with teachers today, I heard quite a few comments about adjusting to this new routine. Some of us realized that pacing needs to change, and assignments need to be adjusted. Some teachers have commented on how awesome our students are being. They are checking in when they need to and are getting the work done!! We are finding that some students hate to participate on video chats in a way that means we can see their faces, and some want to be seen. Art projects are getting done, and kids are interacting with teachers by asking questions and getting the help they need. I am enjoying stopping in classrooms and interrupting video chats to say hi. Along with hearing about how great our students are, I’m hearing such positive comments about the efforts parents are making to have their kids up and “in school” on time – some juggling multiple kids and Chromebooks to make that happen!

Day 1 Email: Kris Sellner

My day began two weeks ago…but we survived. It has been overwhelmingly busy. I remind myself of how my students must be feeling with all the emails from all directions, all the classrooms and all of the new/different expectations. There were soooo many happy faces!!!! The excitement on a first distance day, the excitement of the first this has ever happened, ever.  It was great to see parents working hard to help their children every step of the way.  There was class for everyone with the exception of 1st grade who did their work in Seesaw. We kept it simple today…sketch work, and working through the various apps. THERE WERE MANY TECHNOLOGY ISSUES. To the best of my knowledge we worked through most of them. 
We are so lucky to have the support of our parents. I have families who are already done with materials sent home to begin this week… going above and beyond to get things done.   When I was worried it might be too much to ask…families made this an opportunity to work together, learn together and and gain an appreciation for each other. ​ Through this​ one of my students texted me that they are thankful for their dad. This is the stuff that makes this ALL worth while. 
All but one of my students received their supplies. IN ART THAT IS HUGE! I had three angels helping me. Our paras disinfected the tools, sorted, organized, & packaged the materials by the deadline. They helped with massive amounts of lumber, pottery, glues, paints & glazes. Not many probably realize just how much they did…but the work was intense for days on end. They always had a smile & said they were thankful it helped pass the time. I believe that it kept our mind off the world. 

March 30, 2020

The bell just rang to end our first of day of virtual school.

This is certainly a brand new experience for all of us. My messages from teachers this morning have indicated that most students are checking in and getting to work, although most of us are using this first day to explain what’s going on and get started with some initial assignments. Throughout the day, teachers have been telling me how impressed they are with student attendance and the time they have spent making sure they are getting their work done. We have some teachers who have spent the day working 1:1 with students, teachers meeting with students in hangouts, and even an online storytime. I had fun popping into classrooms and seeing at least the faces of our students on screens. I am so proud of these kids!!

Just to share a couple of the comments I received from teachers today:

Homeroom everyone checked in!!!

Today the students and parents were very supportive and ready to go.  I truly felt supported by our families and their commitment to make this work.  We are very fortunate to be working with such great people!!!

Wow! I am really impressed with the kids today!

March 29, 2020

It’s been a busy week at school as teachers have been preparing for the week ahead. Students have been contacted, and it’s been good to see so many responding to teachers requests to join hangouts. I have had questions filling up my email and so many elementary students using the chat function on Hangouts to say “hi.” I’m looking forward to checking in with you in the days and weeks ahead!

This is a challenging time for all of us, but we can get through it. Parents have already shown their amazing support for moving ahead with this, and I am confident that we will deal with the challenges that lie ahead as a community. Look for postings and stories about how things are going. Some day we can look back on this and pat ourselves on the backs for staying strong!

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