Emily's Update 5-18-2020

posted May 18, 2020, 12:19 PM by Cynthia Friedman

Greetings, partners in distance education!


Is My Child On Track?

Distance learning has given all of us new tools and new challenges when it comes to keeping up with children’s progress. If you’re wondering how your child is doing, check in!  You can ask your child for a tour of their Seesaw activities (like a to-do list) and their journal (a portfolio of what they’ve done).   As a general benchmark, most actively participating older student have more than 60 finished assignments in their portfolio.  Younger students are averaging a little less. You can also view your child’s portfolio through the Seesaw family app. 

I’m more than happy to schedule a virtual meeting with you and take you on a “teacher’s eye view” tour of your child’s participation.  We can look through Seesaw work  and help customize or problem solve as necessary.  If you are feeling overwhelmed or even just curious, please drop me a note!


Biography Project

Last week children selected the peacemakers they’d like to study and identified multiple sources of information.  Next week we’ll begin the prewriting process by taking notes about the peacemakers’ lives. 


I’ve made a planning booklet to help kids stay organized.  There are three ways they can access this:

·      Print a copy of the planner from this link

·      Let your child make their own headings within an existing notebook

·      Have your child make notes directly within Seesaw

I feel that taking notes on paper will be best and easiest for children.  They can then upload a photo of their work to Seesaw.  If your child makes their own planner, the headings are:




Character Strengths



I will introduce these topics one at a time over the next week or two, with examples and discussion of what to include.  Our goal is to collect a few facts in each area.  I discourage sentence writing for this.  Keeping this stage informal (list making and basic facts) helps kids create better, more original first drafts later. 


Text Dive Update

The text dive group is working on a final draft this week.  As with all of our text dive work, this process has been broken up into small chunks.  If your child is in this group, make sure to check in on their progress. 


The best way for kids to create their final draft is by typing it and uploading the file or taking a picture of the printed version.  A legibly handwritten final draft also works – but double spacing is a good idea in case we need to do any final changes.  Typing a draft into Seesaw is pretty clunky and only works as a last resort.


Book Passing Video – Due Monday

Thank you for all the adorable book passing videos!  If you haven’t sent in a video yet and want your child to be included, take a video grabbing their favorite book from the left of the screen (their right hand), then handing it over to the right of the screen (passing out of their left hand).  Carmen will put all of the videos together and share it this week.  You can send your completed video, questions or challenges by email (we can’t get the videos off Seesaw) to carmen.coleman@ridgeline.org.  Let's have some fun!


Post-Meeting Check Ins

We have been meeting up with a few kids each day after our Zoom meeting.  This can be a time to address questions about a project, set goals for the day, or just to connect and hang out.  Kids often volunteer to stay late, but if you think your child would especially benefit, let me and Carmen know.  We’ll get them some personal attention and check in.


I hope that distance learning continues to work for you and your family.  Please let me and Carmen know if we can help in any way.  Also, for technical challenges (Seesaw and otherwise), contact seesaw.support@ridgeline.org and you’ll get a response within 24 hours.  Thank you!