Teachers and staff at Independent School District (ISD) 318 only had eight days to prepare for the transition from in-person to distance learning. Throughout these changes, teachers of all grade levels have come up with creative and inventive ways to connect with their students.

Language Arts teacher Dana Seville at Grand Rapids High School (GRHS) is having her students post to the program Padlet to display their creative projects for the Dystopian Literature class (English 11).

“Usually we walk around the room and then write about what we saw, so this electronic bulletin board is the next best thing,” Seville said.

Students post their project to the program and are able to respond in writing to each other’s projects.

Bigfork first grade teacher Kreisa Duwe put together a video wishing a happy birthday to one of her students, Ruth, who missed celebrating her birthday with her classmates.

“My student had her birthday last week on April 1 and counted down the days starting in March when we were in school,” said Duwe. “She really wanted to celebrate with the class so the class sent messages in.”

Angie Carlisle, social studies teacher at Robert J. Elkington Middle School has made fun videos for her students to watch at home. Carlisle performs as the character Mrs. Carfrazzled, an eccentric guest teacher, along with her dog Crosby, to teach various lessons. Currently, Mrs. Carfrazzled, has been teaching lessons about World War I.

Even the school counselors are finding ways to connect to their students. Nate Elsen, counselor at GRHS is engaging students through social media platforms and the program Schoology. He posted an animated movie bracket challenge for students with the hashtag, “#GRHSanimated.”

While teachers continue to teach their lessons through these creative methods, they recognize the changes parents have also gone through during this time.

“I would like to give a nice thank you and a big round of applause to all the parents out there working so hard to make this successful,” shared Jamie Feldt, second grade teacher at Murphy Elementary School. “We could not do this without them! Good job!”

ISD 318 has compiled many resources for families to access. These include at-home learning resources, advice for creating an at-home learning environment, learning apps, technology and internet access resources, and library resources. All of this can be found at https://sites.google.com/isd318.org/318-and-covid-19/distance-learning. Or visit isd318.org, click “ISD 318 COVID-19 (coronavirus) Response Plan” and go to the “Distance Learning” tab.

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