Returning to in Person Learning: Next Steps

Have you returned to full in person instruction yet?

I feel very lucky that here in MA, viral rates have been dropping over the past few months and teachers have had the option to register for vaccines for about 2 months.  The children switched from hybrid instruction (in September) to fully in person at the end of March.  Like many schools, I’m seeing some children who were remote learning rock stars and others who struggled.  Plus they haven’t interacted with half of their peers for over a year!  The building was closed from March to September, and then my students were separated into 2 cohorts for 2 days in, 2 days asynchronous, and 1 day of remote instruction.  So now what?

Now that I feel more protected (and my mom and husband are too) I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.  It’s true that group and partner activities don’t work like they used to.  Protocols around eating and general sanitation are still in effect.  But the brain fog I experienced with too much all at once has cleared.  I’m feeling a sense of cautiously moving on.  So I’ve started thinking about next steps as a teacher for my students to finish the year stronger and prepare for the inevitable learning gaps some, but not all children will have next year.  My first priority with this class was some extra social and emotional learning time during the day.  But at night, now that remote learning is out, planning differentiation is my biggest priority! 

The good news is TpT is having a sale, so if you are also prioritizing differentiation now (or planning for next year) you can save 25% May 4th and 5th. 

Differentiating Your Return to in Person Learning

Many people love my Long Division Matching Game.  It’s easy to explain how to play (flip them over and try to find a match).  But what about students who have been unable to complete their work for the past 15 months during remote instruction?  Yes, some fourth graders still haven’t grasped the concept of multiplication, and it can feel frustrating when we want to move on to fourth grade standards.  This game will help you bridge the gap.  This Multiplication Arrays Matching Game looks very similar to the long division graphics, but it features multiplication equations.  I like to work with my multiplication skills group this game while the rest of the class does the long division one.  I spend time modeling how to count rows and columns to match the equations and then matching it to the answer on their multiplication table.  Soon they are playing the game independently and getting that much needed repeated practice with the concept of what multiplication really is.  It also helps them transition to the long division concept. 

On the other hand, some of your students probably did fine over the past year, and a few may have really excelled at online learning.  I found that although many of my students need reteaching now that they’re back full time, others are ready to move on.  Many people love my Line Up! series for comparing and ordering fractions.  What started as a small, quick activity has expanded into bundle covering multiple standards, and then turned into a Google Slides version with a motivating superhero theme for remote learning (although as adorable as those cityscapes look on the Chromebooks, I prefer using the original because the kids get up and moving to discuss the sorting process).  But what about students who are ready to move on to decimals?  This new addition to my product line:  Line Up!  Compare and Order Decimals takes the game your students are already familiar with and has them apply the process to comparing and ordering decimals.   

Or if you want low prep practice to introduce the topic, check out these Decimal Number Line Worksheets.

And if you missed my last blog post (or were waiting for a sale…and now it’s nearly here) I have Compare and Order Peppers:  Numbers to the Hundred Thousands Place.  This product is priced for the 4th grade standard but comes with levels of differentiation above (over a million) and below (under 10,000).  Keeping with the spicy theme, the levels of the place value are grouped into mild, medium, hot and extreme heat.  The illustrations and Scoville Heat Units for each pepper were researched to be accurate because most years my 4th graders become seriously interested in this topic.  Comparing and ordering numbers for different place values has never been more relevant to them!    

Are there other math skills you find yourself reteaching this year?  Let me know!  I might have a product already, or it might give me an idea to put on my to do list. 


Take Care!

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