It’s been pretty hard to focus on anything but “Covid” lately. Electric trucks or solar panels seem to pale by comparison! So, even though it’s probably all you’ve read about recently, I had to share this story.
My wife, as many of you all remember, is a first grade teacher. “The Covid” (as her students refer to it) has forced her to teach remotely from home. I’ve had a front row seat for the trials and tribulations that have taken place while she has been challenged to learn one “on line” teaching tool after another. From before I leave in the morning until just about bedtime she’s on the laptop meeting with peers, recording videos for instruction, hosting live group sessions with her students or checking and responding to her students “flip grids”. Many of the assignments don’t start rolling in until after dinner when the working parents have time to help their kids. There has always been a lot of homework with her job but I’m pretty sure this process has been more time consuming!
As I’m sure a few of you can relate, tech stuff doesn’t always make perfect sense to us middle age folks let alone the glitches that seem to appear out of nowhere and have your heart in your throat wondering if the whole lesson is going up in smoke! I’ve watched her accept this challenge with her usual positive attitude and not only become accomplished at it but take it to the next level. She was asked to do something called a Korda Project which was challenging enough in the classroom let alone remotely.
The Korda approach involves community based learning experiences. I enjoy it because it takes a business approach to learning. I thought it was a great idea but couldn’t imagine how you could do it at the first grade level. It’s an exercise in problem solving and team work. A problem is clearly defined by a business person in the community. The class is divided into teams. The teams conduct research, interviews, collect and analyze the data. The individual team members draw their conclusion on what they think the best solution to the problem is. They present this to their teammates who all then have to agree on their team’s final solution. The teams then make a final presentation to the business person. The final piece is a self reflection for the students.
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