Every Wednesday is a remote day for all of the students in the school building. For the teachers, they post the work, lessons, and videos for the kids to complete on this day. If the students have questions, they can come to an office hours session with the teacher. I started out the school year using this method, but it wasn’t working for me or the students, so it changed. Now, I meet with my science classes and my ELA class.
I will teach a lesson or mini-lesson and the students will complete a task or activity. I also like to use this day in ELA to review concepts that I am teaching in class, but the most special part of the week comes at the end of every ELA class on Wednesday. On Friday (of the week before), I pull a question from Table Topics for the kids to answer at the end of class on Wednesday. They can answer aloud or in the chat. Here are the questions from the last few weeks:
Would you keep a secret if you knew someone would get hurt if you did?
What do children know more about than adults?
Who can make you feel better when you’re sad or angry?
If you were showing someone new to town around town, where would you bring them first? Why?
Who is one of your heroes and why do they inspire you?
You get to pick your question – 1. How does a person become courageous? OR What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Which punishment do you dislike the most?
What are the qualities that you look for in friends?
Through the twenty-five weeks of questions, I have learned so much about my students. With this activity alone, during the hybrid/remote learning schedule, we have created a close-knit learning community. I use every second of ELA class time on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to teach the kids the reading and writing skills that they need for the future, and because of this, there is little time to create a classroom community. As it turns out, Wednesdays are the most powerful days of the week in ELA because it’s when we create a classroom community where we learn successfully the rest of the week. Even when we go back to a more normal school schedule, Wednesdays will still include time to create a classroom community with our Table Topics answers and discussions.