Problem Solving Challenges and Tutorials
At Neilston Primary, we are creating instructional videos to set daily problem solving questions for our primary six and primary seven pupils.
Using existing resources, we prepare a PowerPoint to set the question and a separate PowerPoint explaining the solution. Principal Teacher, Andrew Howie, then uses online recording tool – Loom, to video himself explaining the problems and the solutions. Loom places a recording of Mr Howie in a small circle directly on top of the PowerPoint image, allowing him to be seen and not just heard and as these videos are relatively short, it is easy to record in one take meaning no editing is required.
We then post the videos on to Google Classroom and Twitter. These post are scheduled (using TweetDeck for Twitter) to appear at the correct time – 9am for the problem, and 3pm for the solution. By posting the videos on Twitter we have also found younger pupils engage with them and share their answers.
Moving ahead, we hope to record and schedule a whole week’s worth of posts in advance. This will help streamline the process, and we also hope this means the videos can be shared in advance with other schools in the authority who may find them useful.
The videos can be viewed on Twitter @neilston_madras
Increasing Pupil and Parental Engagement at St Mark’s with Twitter
In St. Mark’s, we have been working hard to increase parental engagement and maintain relationships with our families during school closure. Twitter has been a great tool for us to celebrate the achievements of our pupils and stay connected to our families.
Teachers have shared examples of good work that has been submitted on Google Classroom and we have tweeted them from our school account to celebrate their success. Mr Hutcheson used examples of tweets from parents in his virtual assembly to highlight the excellent work that was taking place at home to all pupils.
PE, STEM and art challenges set by teachers on Google Classroom have been some of our most popular tweets, the creativity and enthusiasm of our pupils has been exceptional. We have also set a variety of challenges for our pupils and families and have observed a noticeable increase in engagement with these over time. The most recent Getty Museum Challenge has been fantastic and has again highlighted how creative our pupils and staff are:
Feedback from parents/carers regarding the use of Twitter to stay connected with our learners has been extremely positive and, in some cases, has helped to increase engagement with Google Classroom. Sharing examples of their learning in this way has helped to motivate pupils to attempt more activities and has had a positive impact on their confidence and enthusiasm for learning.
Digital Registers at Mearns Primary
Our class teachers set a question on the assignment tab asking if the pupil is present or not. This allows the SMT team to easily see who has engaged with the learning that day and who has not.
They followed this guide made up by one of our teachers:
Members of SMT take this information and complete this Google Sheet for each classroom.
This form is set up to provide an overview of the school statistics and percentages of pupils completing the digital registers. We then use this information to contact pupils who have not been engaging and see if there is any reason for this and if we can provide support.
Google Forms for Hub Provision
We have been using Google Forms to allow parents & carers to communicate what pupils require provision in the hub and for which days they require this. We use that information to populate a Google Sheet which we use for our daily register. It provides our office staff with the information they require for FileMaker.
Similar to the digital registers, our hub daily register generates statistics which we use for our records.
During this period of closure it is more important than ever to have families involved. Our photography competition invites all our stakeholders to enter and be part of something creative.
The final exhibition will be online but we hope to host it in a virtual art gallery using artsteps.com and allow our visitors to take a virtual tour where they will be able to admire and comment on our entries.
It isn’t quite the same as being in the gym hall but being in the same ‘virtual’ room is a step in the right direction! Creativity and connection are both good for mental health, which is a priority at this time.
Online Learning at St John’s Primary School
St John’s, in Barrhead, have created their very own free-to-use website for teachers, parents and pupils to support learning from home during isolation periods of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The purpose of the site is to support pupils and families by offering a wide variety of:
- Daily Challenges
- Activity Ideas
- Useful Websites
- Useful Apps
- ‘How to…’ videos
- COVID-19 Support Resources for Children
- YouTube links to support learning
- Google Drive Resources
- Discussion Groups
There are a wide range of resources available across a number of different curricular areas in line with Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. It is live and dynamic and is updated regularly.
Using Google Classroom Data to Gauge Engagement
Each class uses Google Classroom as the vehicle to support learning and teaching. The teachers set up a ‘task chart’ of activities as an introduction each Monday. Children and families have the flexibility to complete lessons and assessment across the week to suit their individual circumstances. A ‘learning log’ is then completed by each child to reflect the ‘task chart’ contents. This ‘learning log’ is a Microsoft Form which provides a useful report for teachers and SMT to analyse in terms of planning for the following week and Google Classroom engagement.
Any children who have not engaged are then flagged up to SMT. This will entail a cross-reference with a school Google Classroom usage report which we receive weekly from our Google Classroom Administrator showing who has logged in and the volume of activity for each child in the school.
Class teachers are consulted by SMT and a decision is then made to contact those families via Groupcall – a generic ‘We’ve noticed your child has had minimal engagement with their Google Classroom content this week. Please contact the school if there is anything we can do to support…’ type communication. For the most part, this is sufficient for the families to re-engage or let the school know in which ways they require support.
The next level up of contact would be a phone call from a member of the SMT. This personal touch is sometimes necessary and beneficial to reassure families and agree a more personalised support strategy for their child. The use of the ‘learning log data’ ensures a weekly touching base with all departments, stages and classes to allow us to target support and assistance for our school community.
Our Lady of the Missions have also created these handy guides for adults to help learners access Classroom: