Knowing that this school year we would be teaching both online and in-class students simultaneously, I immediately had to think about the best way to implement my lessons based on a hyflex learning model. In particular, I wanted to revamp my Daily 5 Choice Board. This choice board has been part of my literacy block for many years and it allows for differentiation, higher level thinking, choice and much needed small group time. I came across a colleague’s retweet of Nadine Gilkison’s Daily 5 Online Options Google Site and was immediately inspired to create a Daily 5 Online Choice Board tailored to meet the needs of both my online and in-class students. This board would also allow me to embed my version of the phonics mats shared on the Grade 1 Facebook group I am a part of. Working with our Teaching and Learning Coordinator Melissa Thompson, I was able to quickly learn a few basic computer skills I had not yet mastered and she was an excellent sounding board for some ideas I had. I began by creating my phonics mats, keeping in mind the different learning styles of each student. As each activity was completed, I kept asking myself the same question. ” How does this task reinforce the phoneme sound being introduced?” Once satisfied they did just that, I moved on to completing the rest of the board.
The completion of this board did not come a minute too soon, as we never did return to school after our winter break. It was a necessary tool to help my students navigate our Daily 5 literacy block online. Thank-you to Morah Lianna for sharing her template and timer. Now linked on the online schedule, the students have successfully continued to complete components of the Daily 5 and participate in Guided Reading groups. For the many parents who now juggle working at home alongside their children, certain tasks were starred as a must do. This alleviated the stress felt to complete it all. The board gives my students many options, allowing them to own their own learning while practicing their literacy skills. It also gives parents an easy way to find games and books to help support their children with a lagging skill. As I reflect on the completion of this board, I am truly pleased with the content. I will be changing the vowels, blends and digraphs highlighted depending on our focus each week. A lot of time has been invested in creating this choice board, and I believe it can benefit multiple grades, second language students and be used by both French and Hebrew teachers. I am excited to get feedback from parents, students and colleagues once they have used the choice board for a few months. At the OJCS, we continue to be guided by our North Stars. We learn better together, and I am grateful to belong to a school filled with many excellent educators who support each other and make great things happen.