Image Map

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ideas for Closing the Distance School Year

With the school year now officially ending without re-opening our buildings, it's time to think about how to provide some sense of celebration and closure without being able to gather in person. From school-wide events to special student send-offs and distance assignments for the end of the year, here are my ideas to try to end the year the best way we can.

Virtual Talent Show

I am so in love with this idea and can't wait to get mine going! While there is definitely more than one way to make this happen, my favorite option for this is Flipgrid. I am setting up a "grid" for the whole school with the talent show as the "topic". Students will be given the link to submit their videos one week in advance, and all the videos will go live on the "show date". A few tips to keep in mind:
  • Make sure the topic is set to be moderated. That way you can collect videos before the show date so you can have all the videos go live at once while giving everyone time to get them in, and you can obviously make sure the performances are school-appropriate before sharing them with the school.
  • Set a short time limit for the videos. I'm doing 3 minutes. 
  • As with an in-person show, set out clear guidelines for performances. What types of "talents" are allowed? Can they do group numbers with family members? What type of music/ clothing/ etc is appropriate? I am telling students to make sure they have a plain background and a quiet space to record to avoid distractions (or accidentally inappropriate things). Check with your district guidelines and school social worker to make sure you've taken everything into consideration.
  • Get explicit permission from families to share student videos before posting. I am requiring families to email me giving permission to share with the school. Our school grid is set up to only be accessible through our school domain so it's not a public website, but it's still the internet and still shareable if someone really wants to.
  • Consider turning off the ability to like or leave responses to avoid it turning into a popularity contest.
If you want to try out Flipgrid, Katie Wardrobe has an excellent tutorial specifically for music teachers- she has tons of amazing ideas for lessons as well- which you can watch right here.

Student Send-offs

We are a K-6 school so we usually have a special ceremony at the end of the year for 6th grade and for Kindergarten. There are lots of cute ways to celebrate them but one of my favorites is to set up a google doc for each student and invite staff to write messages, memories, and other celebrations for individual students. Then at the end of the year, save the docs as a PDF and send them to each student. Students get personal messages from their favorite teachers and they can keep it forever!

End of Year Lessons

I always like to end the school year with fun lessons that are active and keep the focus on student interests and community building. It's so much harder to do that without being together in person, but my favorite ideas that I'll be using are:

Choice Boards (give students a choice board and invite them to choose their favorite ones)

Song Suggestion Playlists (invite students to suggest their favorite songs to you, then add their suggestions to a playlist to share with the class)

Talent Show (same format as the idea above, but just do one within the class rather than school-wide)

This is most certainly not the way any of us would like to close the school year, but I hope these ideas help you still create memories and some amount of closure for your students and school community! Don't forget you can find all my posts on distance learning topics on this page below:

No comments :

Post a Comment