Thursday, May 7, 2020

Let's Chat About Using Informational Text During Remote Learning and Beyond!

We hope this finds you and your students as well as can be during this strange time. As educators, the set of dynamics and concerns that we are normally in the midst of, especially as we near the finish of a school year, has shifted dramatically. As always we want to care for and support our students while also challenging them to expand their knowledge and develop their skills; however, this global pause brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us all to question what that means and what it looks like, or should look like, both now and whenever we might return to our non-virtual classrooms and school buildings.

As you likely have over the last several weeks, we have been trying out new tools that enable us to keep doing what we’ve done in the past, and some that have enabled new forms of interaction and learning. It’s great that so many tools and platforms are being offered for free to educators and students right now, but it also creates option anxiety, and who needs anything else to be anxious about right now?

What has grounded us professionally, as well as personally, in the last several weeks has been the virtual conversations we’ve had with colleagues near and far, to share strategies and common concerns, and of course, to offer moral support. So, we’d like to do the same with our Using Informational Text friends.

Informational text certainly has an important place in making sense of this time, and especially when used to help students make connections with literature that depicts other times, places, and peoples experiencing their own cataclysms and everyday lives. So, let’s get together and talk about how to do this work at this time and in whatever the future may hold for teaching and learning.

Please join us on one of the following dates/times (click on the link to register):

Click on the link(s) above to RSVP for your preferred date/time; you will receive the Zoom invitation upon approval of your registration.

Our approach to using informational text has always been about building relevance and engagement. So, the underlying question of our discussion will be: What makes sense now? What is our purpose? We will share ideas about text pairings in our current climate, including strategies for leading a whole-class or small group discussion of a reading via videoconference and ideas for how to use informational text, including media links, to foster engagement and community.

We’d also be happy to join you and your students via whatever remote platform works for you to read and discuss an informational text with you. This moment is particularly conducive to remote guest appearances! Let us know what and when might work for you. Reach out to us via Twitter @usinginfotext or email.

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