The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted how education is delivered. Beginning in March, all Stanislaus County school districts – including Denair Unified — were forced to suspend on-campus classes and move to a distance learning model. Today, in the latest in a series of profiles, we talk with a Denair teacher about distance learning, some of the challenges involved and the lessons that can be learned.
- Teacher: James Zepeda
- School: Denair Middle School
- Grade/Subject: 7th– and 8th-grade science
- Years in the district: 1
What does a typical school day look like for you now? How do you organize your time?
I wake up at 5 a.m. and begin checking emails from students or parents who may have concerns regarding my class. Depending on the emails, if any, I reply with the best of my knowledge and information. Depending on my lesson plan for the day, I begin looking over the Google Slide, Homework, check-in question or Kahoot to ensure the information is easily accessible. By 7:45 a.m., I arrive at school ready to begin my day and meet all the students in my classes. From 8 a.m. to noon, I will hold a class for students Monday through Friday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I review with students the topic(s) we are discussing that incorporate Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and post a “check-in question.” On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have homework assignments(s) about the discussion on the previous days and will go over the homework with them. On Fridays, in class, we play Kahoot. In Kahoot, the questions are based on the week’s lecture materials, homework assignments and previously covered materials.I utilize Kahoot as a tool to help create a fun environment to help refresh and reiterate lessons and major essential NGSS concepts.
As noon comes around, I have my lunch and start working on other assignments/materials related to my work. From 12:30 to 2:45 p.m., I hold online office hours for the students to ask questions, work on assignments and get guided/scaffolded instruction on any homework assignments. After 2:45 p.m., I head home and respond to emails or questions concerning my class from students or parents until approximately 8 p.m.Continue reading “DMS Science Teacher Uses Fun Game, Interactive Assignments to Keep Students Engaged” »