|"Jungle" flickr photo by Anders Adermark|
Shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) licence
First, some context.
I teach high school math and science (chemistry and grade 9 science this year) in the Toronto District School Board in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I'm not going to get into all the details of our COVID-19 situation, but I'll share some of the factors that affect my practice:
- We still have to wear masks indoors in schools, though we can remove them as needed to eat or drink, and generally when we are on our own in a classroom/prep room/department office/etc. We can remove them when we are outside, so long as we can keep a 2 metre (about 6 foot) distance from others.
- None of the classrooms I teach in have windows, though those who have windows are supposed to have them open. All classrooms have an air filtration unit in them (these are to be run on high for an hour when we first arrive for the day, and then we can turn them down to a lower setting for the rest of the school day, turning them off when we leave).
- Desks are to be spaced apart as much as possible, not placed in groups/circles/etc., all facing the front. My largest class this semester has 32 students, and even though a few of them are virtual, this still means that I cannot maintain the 2 metre (about 6 foot) distancing that was the rule last school year.
- Group work is still allowed, as well as labs; any equipment that has to be shared during the same class is supposed to be sanitized before another person handles it.
- General welcome, attendance, and helping everyone understand how the "simultaneous" model will work (getting the in-person kids to wave to the virtual kids, and help them understand who's doing what)
- Mindfulness activity: "Three Good Things" - and have them answer on a Padlet at least one of their responses
- General course overview (with a more detailed trek through the course outline planned for the next time we meet)
- The same 30-minute video from our admin and student leadership teams that the grade 9s saw Sept. 9 (Code of Conduct, who's who, getting involved in clubs, etc.)
- Mindfulness activity: "Looking Back, Looking Ahead" (not including the Extension)
- Going for a walk outside to our back field (including a mask break), relaxing a bit, and discussing how math/chemistry is involved in the world around us
- If there is time after that, I have an activity planned for the math class using cubilinks (real or virtual), and the chemistry class will go over WHMIS 2015 symbols and play a related Kahoot.