Snow storms. Ice. Hurricanes. Flooding. Heatwaves. Inclement weather can keep teachers and students out of school for days on end. We know that those hours must be made up, but the loss of workdays can be frustrating, especially at the end of the grading period when grades are due. No one wants to lose precious days from Spring Break and Saturday school is just as bad! So what other options do you have? Instead of scheduling make up days, some districts have used those inclement weather days as “eLearning” days. Teachers and students stay home but are required to communicate with each other or complete assignments by a specific time as determined by their districts. Teachers often assign activities that are an extension of their classroom instruction and are “digitally” available in case students need assistance. Students take time out of their day to complete the work, reaching out to their teacher if necessary, and just like that, Spring Break is still safe!
For eLearning days to be effective, there are some guidelines to follow:
- Teachers and students need to have internet access and internet-enabled devices
- Teachers should remain reachable for a specified period of time
- Content should be the same as it would be in the class
- Content should be available to all students (accommodations for those who receive them)
- Students should be held accountable for the work
With the level of technology that is available in most classrooms now, eLearning days are increasingly easy to implement. But what if you had a hands-on activity planned? An experiment that cannot be done individually, or without the proper materials? What can you do that is still relevant to the content, challenging for your students, and gives you a formative assessment for your records? The answer is right in front of your face…
Using an effective online writing software, create a relevant and meaningful prompt for your students to complete while they remain safe at home. Simply log into your classroom interface or portal and hyperlink the website for MI Write. There, your students can write an essay, a letter, a newspaper article or short story based on the concept or idea you are working on. There are already over 50 pre-packaged prompts within MI Write that you can use or adjust to fit your needs. If you can’t find one that’s just right, you can create your own in any subject area.
When students log in, they will be able to use the graphic organizers to collect their thoughts, and then begin to write their essays, using the material they’ve already learned from your class and any stimulus material you may have attached in the prompt. Students can spend some time in the interactive lessons and reading through the feedback from the PEG (project essay grade) scoring engine. You are able to check in with them through the messaging feature where students can ask questions, or you can give them suggestions or things to think about. You can even set up peer review groups for them to collaborate with their classmates.
Writing is an excellent way to see what your students really know and understand about a topic, and MI Write helps teachers focus on what’s important about their students’ writing. With PEG doing much of the lower-level scoring, teachers can concentrate on content, making sure that their kids are getting the big ideas.
Let MI Write help you conquer eLearning days!