ELA Expectations for Student Engagement 2.0
Dear Students and Families:
By now, I’m sure everyone has received the latest District communication regarding how we will move forward with online student engagement opportunities as the COVID-19 school closure continues. I’m also mindful that students and parents are trying to manage new realities and expectations while at the same time keeping safe and sane as everyone shelters in place. Hopefully, I can provide some English Language Arts (ELA) expectations that are both reasonable and routine.
What does Student Engagement Version 2.0 look like for ELA?
- Students should be reading at least 40 minutes every day. This is the same expectation ELA students had for their independent reading while school was in session. Research shows that there is a correlation between time spent reading and performance on standardized tests of reading. Students who read at least 40 minutes a day typically score in the 90th Keeping this expectation is reasonable.
Students can apply for Sno-Isle Library cards online and check out books and read them on their devices if they cannot access physical texts at home. Check out Ms. Herber’s (Heatherwood’s librarian) website for recommendations.
Students were to have turned in three (3) reading logs this semester prior to the closure. No reading logs will be submitted during the closure. But, students can still take Accelerated Reader (AR) tests for books they finish that have an associated AR test. AR tests can now be taken at home, just like during the summer.
- This is “Week Two” of a Six-Week Zinc Reading Sprint. So far only 24 students have logged into Zinc to start the sprint and only three (3) students have finished Week One’s activities.
There are two (2) Close Reading, two (2) Articles, and two (2) Vocabulary activities assigned each week. If worked on sincerely, each of these activities could take between 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the content and reading level. A new set of assignments are “dropped” every Monday.
There is a “feedback” mechanism for each of the activities. If a student gets an answer incorrect, they are either “coached” to the correct one, or they are given reasons why their answer was incorrect and the rationale behind the correct answer. Students are given a score at the end of the activity. These scores are also recorded cumulatively.
I will start using LMS to record the Weekly Sprint activities students complete and what their scores were. These will not be part of a student’s formal grade but will give parents and students an idea of a student’s engagement and level of performance/improvement. It will also serve to let parents know if their student is engaging in the material at all.
Additionally, I have been participating in a sprint as a “student” so that I can experience what they do. I am preparing a list of “tips” for optimal engagement and success in a Zinc Reading Sprint. Look for it in the next day or two.
- On Wednesdays I will post a new Scholastic Scope lesson in the Google Classroom. The lesson will include an article, a set of skill assignments and a quiz (to be taken after all the skill assignments have been completed). The Scope lesson package will be due the following Wednesday. Again, I will track students’ performance on the Scope lessons in LMS.
Tomorrow, I will start directly emailing students and families who have not engaged in any of the online opportunities so far. If I cannot reach a parent/guardian or student by email, I will start phone calling at the end of the week.
I have been sending these emails to both parents/guardians and students with emails registered in the LMS system. Some students may not even realize they have a school email account. Here is a link to instructions for how students can access their school email.
For students who need tech support for their Chromebooks, here is a link to the Technology Support page.
Lastly, I will start to warehouse these email communications on my district website so that you can reference them if you need to.
Stay safe, stay well,
Monte J. Scholz
6th-Grade ELA & Honors ELA Block
Heatherwood Middle School
Everett Public Schools