Peer Reviews & Thoughts on Accessibility

Well to start off, I can not thank Bev and Kendra enough, they were the best “hype girl” reviewers ever!

I appreciate the confidence you have in my course and also the suggestions made!

Two points that were provided, included the math game Prodigy being too challenging for Grade 1 students! Well, it totally was because I had the grade setting on Grade 3!! It has now been changed back to Grade 1 and Patterning activities have been assigned! (Feel Free to give those a try Bev and thank you for bringing that to my attention!)

The other suggestion, was to add my “I can…”  statements from my profile into the online activities! Love this idea!

I find “I can..” statements easy for parents to understand the intention of the lesson and the scaffolding process. These statements are also used during face to face, class periods, which provides familiar language for grade 1’s! I also find then very encouraging for students to know they will be able to perform the task!

Moving on to this week’s classroom discussion about accessibility and equity. This is a concept that hits home to my current teaching role. Many of my students lack accessibility to basic needs such as food, a clean, safe home and access hygiene supplies. School to these students and families, is so much more than just learning. So, our initial response to the pandemic was “Holy Cow, they need food.” With and amazing admin. and strong staff we were able to supplies food to families to get them through the week. In the first wave, we had very little participation online, but at that point it seemed like fed families was more important.

When we entered the second (or third, or fourth, who knows how many there were!) we had that time to prepare and make learning more of a priority. Again, thanks to a wonderful admin. we were able to get permission to supply technology to families who needed a technology. However, there were some guidelines. We choose to provide to families who we considered reliable, leaving some students out. Although I understand that decision, as I was a part of it, I do understand it isn’t fair to the students.

To be honest, I don’t know what the solution would be to this. My school always made sure to provide paper copies to families without access to technology but then they aren’t able to interact with peers and teacher, ask for help and get support.

To end on a more positive note, I am very glad that there are so many tools to help with families who don’t fluently speak English and also to students who aren’t able to read yet!

The LMS I decided to use was Seesaw for these reasons! On Seesaw families are able to translate to all written messages to the default language of their device very easily. They can also respond back using their language and it will come to the teacher in English. For this reason, I always provide written instructions. Seesaw makes it very easy for the teacher and students to record audio instruction and responses, which allows students to understand and share without the ability to read or write.

I feel like Seesaw has created an easily accessible, straightforward platform to adapt to multiple needs, as long as families have technology involved!

One Reply to “Peer Reviews & Thoughts on Accessibility”

  1. Hi Brooke!

    You bring up some really interesting points here! And it certainly comes back Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If students basic needs of food and shelter are not being provided, then everything else on top of that is challenge to complete without a sturdy base below.

    I have heard really good things for Seesaw and how accessible it is for Families so that is great to hear how you are implementing it into your course module.

    Thanks for sharing!

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