An Irvine teacher proves that while distance learning isn’t a replacement for in-person learning, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
A USA Today article described how daily Zoom lessons in Brandon Wislocki’s fifth-grade at Stonegate Elementary in Irvine were an experiment in creativity. While still learning the core math and English standards, students in Mr. Wislock’s class participated in lessons that featured guitar playing, discussions about literature, live math lessons, and fun games, such as Oreo stacking and household scavenger hunts.
The article noted that distance learning doesn’t have to be seen as “bad” and offered families advice to help vet the quality of a school’s distance learning program.
Several education experts have stressed that giving students project-based assignments at home that incorporate their lives or their interests — and that take them away from the computer — should be prioritized, according to the article.
“We have an opportunity right now to try things that we’ve wanted to try but have never had the time to do,” Wislocki told USA Today. “So let’s do some new stuff.”
Here are some other stories we’ve been following this week:
- During his daily briefing on Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom provided new guidance for schools including information on testing, distance learning, face coverings, and how to reopen and close schools in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak on campuses.
- In a 4-1 vote, the Orange County Board of Education approved non-binding recommendations for reopening Orange County schools that were not in alignment with those released a month ago by the Orange County Department of Education. The board’s white paper stirred national and local news headlines on CNN, Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, Voice of OC and others.
- Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares joined NBC News’ Erin McLaughlin this week to discuss OCDE’s recommendations for safely restarting school this fall.
- Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner and acting Orange County Health Officer Clayton Chau issued a statement Wednesday that put some distance between themselves and the OC Board of Ed’s recommendation, the Register reported.
- Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the state, California schools are most likely to start the school year with distance learning. In a joint press release, the Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified school districts announced they will not return for classes in the fall and will continue with online learning until further notice.
- Joining the growing list of districts not reopening their campuses this fall, the Santa Ana Unified School District announced this week that they will pivot entirely to distance learning to start the upcoming school year out of concern for the safety and well being of the entire school community.
- In lieu of an annual Local Control Accountability Plan, districts will be required to submit a Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan that encourages parents to submit feedback related to distance learning plans.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.