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A Self-Directed Learning Schedule

Whether you’re a student in college who needs to manage their time, or a K-12 student stuck at home learning remotely while the world is on hold, we’ve got just the thing for you. We recommend using a technique for managing your time known as block scheduling. It’s the way that classes are scheduled in college, and how Montessori schools organize their classroom time for learners. Regardless of how you size it up, the idea is simple: carve out blocks of time for working on different categories of tasks. Then, when that time comes up work only on tasks for that category. We think this weekly block scheduler from Charlie Gilkey at Productive Flourishing is among the best out there. Learn more about how Charlie does time blocking and download a blank block schedule to use for yourself here. The example below is for a middle or high school student doing school remotely. You can adapt the format to fit your specific situation and needs, as you like.

Remote Learning Choice Board

For self-directed remote learning, choose any 3 of the squares on a given day to complete so that your choices make a tic tac toe. For each square, first do any tasks your teacher has assigned for that subject; however, If you have none, try the activities in the square for that subject, or make up your own activity. Try to make a different tic tac toe each day!

Download the choice board below to access all the embedded links.

Secrets of Successful (College) Students

The following 10 Healthy Habits of Success come from a recent workshop presentation about the top ten practices of successful college students, called “Managing Your Newfound Freedom. These practices are helpful to all students (and adults, too) and the action steps from this presentation can be adapted to fit just about anyone’s situation. With remote learning, even K-12 students are in a college-ish situation now, so these tips might be helpful to all learners, because success begins with these practices:

  • Practice 1: Prioritize Sleep
  • Practice 2: Eat Well
  • Practice 3: Stay Hydrated
  • Practice 4: Be Active
  • Practice 5: Work Smarter
  • Practice 6: Be Resourceful
  • Practice 7: Avoid Isolation
  • Practice 8: Budget Time
  • Practice 9: Realize Limitations
  • Practice 10: Manage Stress

View the full presentation here that explains each practice, identifies the pitfalls, and gives ideas for taking action.

Try This Daily Reflection: 

What’s the one practice you’d like to work at incorporating more into your academic, professional, or personal life? Meditate for just a few moments on what that practice currently looks like for you and what you’d like it to look like. Then, when you’re finished, tell yourself one action step you’re going to take next that is going to move you forward in developing that practice from what it is now to what you would like it to become. Turn that action step into a daily phone reminder for the middle of the day asking the question, “Have you done __________ yet today?”

Using Flipgrid to Drive Video Expression

We ❤️ Flipgrid, and think you would, too! Do you wonder how to best unleash all your students’ potential? Consider the possibilities with video. Flipgrid is an intuitive video-discussion platform and app that empower students through individual expression and collaboration across all content areas. Teachers can use it to engage students in discussion, offer constructive feedback to drive student learning, or even to engage learners remotely and enhance dialogue with video. See our full presentation with ideas for how to use Flipgrid here.

BONUS: We are re-sharing the recent email newsletter from Flipgrid on remote learning to give you even more resources for what’s possible. You can find all of these resources on their Remote Learning post or check them out below:

From Flipgrid…

As educators, learners and families are impacted by COVID-19, know that our entire team is always here for you. Inspired by the simple and innovative ways you foster community beyond the classroom, we have curated a collection of resources to help you and your peers.

  • This one-page PDF will help you set up Flipgrid for a remote classroom. Please feel free to download and share with any interested educators.
  • In this Disco Library playlist, created by Jornea, Jess and Ann, our Flipgrid Educator Innovation Leads, you will find innovative Topic ideas for at-home learning.
  • During FlipgridPD webinars we explain the basics of Flipgrid and answer your questions.
  • Share this simple guide to help the families in your community use Flipgrid to keep their children active, connected and engaged while they are home from school.

Apps We Love

Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a parent navigating the remote learning landscape, apps will be essential to how you get things done and make learning happen from anywhere. The following Symbaloo board is a curated set of apps that perform a wide variety of functions. Each tile in the board hyperlinks you to that app, and categories are as follows for the colored sections of the board:

  • Green = organization and productivity tools
  • Burnt Orange = presentation tools
  • Black = curation tools
  • Red = graphic creation tools
  • Purple = visible thinking tools
  • Light Grey = literacy (writing, reading, speaking, listening) tools
  • Brown = photo editing tools
  • Gold = quiz making tools
  • Blue = Google’s productivity tools
  • Dark Grey = animation tools

Questions For Conversation & Activities to Spark Curiosity

One of the main focus areas upon which our educational consulting firm was founded was STEM education. We feel so strongly that early childhood STEM education is crucial to creating pathways to STEM learning later in life, that we launched a children’s science book series last year called Science With Scarlett and STEM resources that go with the book.

We believe that education is more than just teaching knowledge—it’s drawing out passion and excitement from within the learner—and we think that for Generation Z learners that is done best when you foster a child’s inner geek. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of question STEMs (pun intended!) activities, and books that you can use with your learners to engage them in EPIC learning about science, technology, engineering and math.

Science With Scarlett Activities

The following activities go along with the book Science With Scarlett: What Color Will It Be? and can be done with our without reading the book. These activities explore the color mixing of light, which models how the human eye sees color. You can either get LED colored flashlights to do the experiments or use a online simulation from the University of Colorado (PhET).

Explore the Great Lakes (From Home)

Great Lakes Now is a monthly magazine-style show produced by Detroit Public Television and available on PBS affiliate stations around the Great Lakes. They cover news, science, and human interest topics dealing with the Great Lakes region.

And they want to help your students explore the Great Lakes.

That’s why they’ve designed a collection of lesson plans that engage students with the science and study of the Great Lakes. Designed for middle school classrooms, these lessons will help students to become familiar with geologic, geographic, and environmental concepts about the Great Lakes, as well as provide them the opportunity to evaluate contemporary issues facing the lakes. While the lessons are aimed at grades 5-9 learners, they could be adapted to work with younger students.

The collection is divided into two sets, the first of which addresses the structure, function and formation of the Great Lakes and the second of which focuses on the threats to the ecosystems from pollution, invasive species and climate change. Each lesson includes a student-centered learning framework and activities to help students experience, participate, and connect with the learning. Plus there’s a “virtual field trip” with videos exploring coastal wetlands. Check out all the resources here below:

Collection 1: An Exploration of the Great Lakes

Collection 2: An Exploration of THREATS to the Great Lakes

Educational Resources

Inventing Tomorrow

Follow young scientists from Indonesia, Hawaii, India, and Mexico who propose innovative solutions to fix some of the most complex environmental issues facing humanity today – right in their own backyards.

The Inventing Tomorrow film documents how these students are preparing original scientific research projects they will defend at ISEF, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the largest gathering of high school scientists in the world, attracting approximately 1,800 finalists from over 75 countries.

From the comfort of your own home, you can:

Learners of all ages will be inspired by the efforts that these young people are taking to STEM environmental issues for the future generations in their countries.

STEM Storytime

Here is a #STEM resource for parents and teachers alike! Created by Darbie Valenti, 2017 Missouri Teacher of the Year, STEM Storytime is a resource that pairs a story with a STEM challenge that students can do at home. Hear the stories read aloud online—by the author in some cases—and try your hand at the challenge to make, do, or create something using your STEM talents that goes along with the book. More stories & challenges will be added in the coming days! Find STEM Storytime on Flipgrid and have fun sharing what you create!