How to Help Our Elementary Children Learn Online and Write Stories
Many parents and students continue to struggle with remote learning. As a substitute teacher/tutor for second grade students using the Google classroom platform, I provide literacy writing units for students and tutor them in reading and writing. I also help students understand how to use their preferred learning styles when tackling difficult subjects. For example, one of our students loves to sing her math solutions. Other students love to calculate math solutions. Still others write and describe the steps to solving math problems as they complete the computations. When teaching students how to write about a topic, we provide students with options on how they can complete their assignments.
Writing Tips for Students
Here is an example on how students can own their writing successes on learning about the Air Quality Index (AQI) based on our newly published Student-Engaged Assessment: Strategies for All Learners book:
- The teacher lists the reading and writing learning intentions and academic standards that are being used for a writing activity on how to use the Air Quality Index in their daily lives.
- Students read and discuss a story about the assigned topic. They can learn about extreme weather and how thunder and lightening storms can create fires and smoky air that is hazardous to their health. They can also learn how to create an evacuation plan for their family and how to read the Air Quality Index each day before going outside to play.
- Three options are provided on how students can create a reflective five sentence paragraph about the story. They can (1) draw a picture and then write a story, or (2) draw a series of pictures that illustrate the story and then write a sentence under each picture to complete their paragraph, or (3) use the voice dictation feature on their computer and then edit the story.
- Students will write a reflective paragraph that can include the following sentences:
- A sentence that introduces the topic
- A sentence that describes how they can use the Air Quality Index in their daily life
- An example of what they can do outside with the knowledge that the air is safe
- A second example of how they can use the Air Quality Index for outside activities
- A concluding sentence about they learned and the importance of the Air Quality Index in their daily lives
- Students review an example paragraph or write as a class an example paragraph that includes the #4 sentence prompts.
- After students write their own paragraphs, they can read them to the class and reflect on these questions:
- What did you learn today?
- What worked for you when completing this activity?
- What did not work for you?
- How will you use this activity for other learning assignments?
- How can you use this activity in daily life?
Much success as you support your children’s writing successes!
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.