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Bixby Public Schools Keeping Students Connected Through Distance Learning

Posted at 8:53 PM, Apr 14, 2020

BIXBY, Okla. — For the second week, school is in session - online.

Sitting wherever she can find space in her full house, Sara Mitchell teaches her Bixby North second-graders from her computer. The first week included some struggles for students and teachers. Mainly getting students logged onto their Google classrooms.

“So, it kind of throws you into constant learning mode," Mitchell said. "We’ll learn it one way and something else might change.”

The district posts weekly “learning menus” for each grade. It consists of a grid of activities for students to do and how long they should do them. They’re all things students can do at home without technology.

“It gives them a lot of freedom," Mitchell said. "I think choice is a huge key. And plus, it’s just keeping it very simple.”

Mitchell meets with all of her students together once a week through video. She also keeps in touch with them constantly through the class Google stream, where students can show off their work.

“It’s really unique to our class and they can see their classmates and what they’re doing and it makes them want go, 'Oh, I want to put my picture up too and post,'" she said.

When students finish the district assignments, Mitchell posts additional, optional learning items.

“Something interactive to where I’ll say, ‘Watch this short four-minute brain pop video about habitats and tell me two facts you learned,'" she said. "And then the kids will get on and list facts and then they know I’ll reply back to them.”

Their conversations aren’t just online, they’re writing letters, too. Mitchell wrote all of her students to say how much they mean to her and now they’re writing back.

“The silver lining in all of this is you don’t normally have time for those types of life skills and lessons," she said. "And that’s like a language arts lesson within itself that a parent can do with their kid.”

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