Distance learning assignment sends students outside
Beth and William Rocheleau both teach science at Tejeda Middle School. With distance learning in place, the husband and wife duo were looking for a creative way to inspire their students to explore their own backyard. Their ‘Organism of the Day’ assignment tied perfectly into their biology unit about the classification of organisms.
“We wanted to add an interactive component where the students would classify each organism by name and what type of cells the organism is made of,” said Beth. “Next, we’ll have the students identify the Domain and Kingdom as our lessons progress.”
After students find their organism, they can share a photo or video with the rest of the class, while providing feedback and comments to others. Beth believes engaging assignments can encourage participation, especially through online learning.
“We feel this is so important now with the limits on activity for the community and it gives our students ownership to their learning without having to leave their backyard,” said Beth. “We give them direct feedback and encourage higher-order learning through our follow-up questions which come directly from the comments and posts of all the students.”
A surprise upside of the transition to distance learning has been the comradery and support that students have been able to offer each other online.
“Students have stepped up in leadership roles by helping other students remotely with their technology issues,” said Beth. “It makes a huge difference when the students can relate to some of the challenges and help troubleshoot together so that no one feels left out or alone.”