This is my March blog post as part of an initiative I started to get more people reading and blogging. It is #MTBoS2020. Find blogs here: Link
It is a very weird time for our whole world as we are facing the Corona Virus and most of the US is shutting down. Our school closed last Wednesday, which I will remember because it is my husband's birthday. I live in Massachusetts and within a week of closing down schools, lots of other things followed suit - daycares, playgrounds, restaurants and bars (except for take out). Restaurants that did do take out are now doing it to survive. Breweries are closed and are bringing the beer to you. Grocery stores are still open but the shelves are empty. Forget about finding toilet paper. If you are lucky, there will be kleenex for you to buy. They even made special hours for elderly to shop without younger people to get them sick without knowing it. It is uncharted territory.
My home life/family life: I have four sons. My 28 year old lives in and works in Maine. My 25 and 21 year old both live at home and are still working. My 18 year old started the school year at UMaine, about 6 hours from our house and just moved back home to learn remotely. My oldest was supposed to get married on April 17, 2020 but they are working on moving the date. I am sad for them, but it makes it a tiny bit better than everything is closing and shutting down.
My school life: I wasn't sure how our school was going to instruct on how to move to remote learning. I am happy with their plan for the next two weeks and it may change after that. For now, we had Tuesday to plan our lessons. On Wednesday, we sent out our lesson plans. On Thursday, we had to start holding office hours using whatever platform works for us for one hour each day. I chose email. Our lessons were to be 90 minutes of enrichment to be completed over the next 6 school days. Then, next Friday, we plan and assign a new cycle of lessons for the following week. When I say enrichment, that means no new material. I am a planner. I am a calendar. I have my entire lesson planner written in until the end of the school year with each lesson and assessment day. I have had to let it go and I am okay with it. It will be okay. This will pass but for the time being, we all just need to do what we can. I am reading on Twitter about all the different ways schools are doing it across the country and I am so happy with ours. I think it is reasonable for both the students and the teachers. When we (both students and teachers) are home full time with the rest of our family, we don't know what this will involve. Will they have a quiet work area? Will they have wifi? Computers? Chores? Are they sick? So many things to think about. While 90 minutes of math might seem like a little or maybe you think it sounds like a lot, well, our students have 6 or 7 classes so it does add up. I am trying to keep it straight forward and perhaps fun.
Algebra 1: We have almost finished our quadratic unit so I assigned some practice with solving quadratic equations and word problems. I had the worksheet already complete so I just entered the numbers into a google form so I can see the kids answers. I also assigned a Desmos Quadratic marbleslides. It is self checking and fun and I can see their work on the teacher dashboard (I highly recommend it)
Geometry: We were getting ready to quiz and test so that is out, but we could use more practice time of Geometric Mean, Pythagorean Theorem, and Special Right Triangles. So, practice for them.
Algebra 2: We just started graphing Sine and Cosine. I wish we were a little further into the unit, but Desmos practice graphing it is.
Some life things I have been thinking about. A lot of people have been saying the Corona virus shutdown is like hitting the reset button and I totally agree. People always say they need to slow down, they need more time. Here you go.....all the time in the world. I suggest making a list of all the non-fun things you need to do, either around the house or for work and then make a list of all the fun things you want to do. And, then each day, do a balance act pulling from each list.
I am an introvert. I love being by myself because most of my hobbies are individual, so I don't have trouble with this. But, I can see extroverts running into trouble. We have mental health issues in my family, so I can see more of it setting in without a routine and with all the doom and gloom of the news. Call someone. Like on the phone. Sit and chat for a while. You have the time. Maybe you need it, maybe they need it. Enjoy the reminiscing. Make new memories. We will get through this and then you can look back and think - Oh, remember when we were shut down and we did this...
Try to exercise each day. Go outside each day. It is okay to stay in your pajamas here and there but once you shower and get out again, it will feel good. Drink more water. You are home, drink water. Eat fruit. Try not to eat too much junk and then regret some CoronaWeightGain. I found a group on facebook called Quarantine Karaoke. People are finding creative ways to have fun. Jump in. The time is now. You have time.
One thing I love to do is jigsaw puzzles. I have a bunch of puzzles. I lent some out to friends and families. Now, they are sending me pictures of their puzzles. Share the puzzle love!
Another thing I love is reading books, especially Young Adult books. Read. Escape. There are so many great stories out there. I keep wondering who will be the first one to write a fiction book about surviving through the Corona Outbreak.