Some mornings I wake up thinking that this was all a really strange dream. The reality that we are all living is so surreal! As weird as life is right now, it is comforting to know that we’re all in this together. Every day I wonder how my students are doing and how this all looks through their eyes. I hope they are all doing well. I miss them so much. It’s amazing how incomplete a school year can feel when you’re only three-fourths of the way through it. I hope and pray that the great minds of the world are inspired and can help us win the battle with this terrible virus.

I would like to call each of my students each Friday until this is over to check in on them and see how they are doing. It’s hard to make a schedule for this because I don’t know how long each call will take. If there is a certain time or number that would be best for me to call, please let me know. Otherwise, I will start at about 11am and will call Mom’s cell phone that I have on record. The number I will be calling from is my cell phone. I am really looking forward to talking to my students! I will start calling right after I send this email.

Educators all over the world are scrambling to transition to online learning. My teaching method relies so much on being present with my students, so this is hard! It’s just killing me to not be with them! ALA has been working this week on setting up Google Classroom, and it rolls out on Monday. The first week of content (March 30-April 3) is created entirely by them and they are not allowing us to edit it. For the second week (April 6-10) we compile the lessons using approved content that they provide to us. We can give feedback through Google Classroom but have been instructed not to grade anything. They are also not allowing us at this time to record videos of us teaching lessons, etc. I hope they change that soon (even though I’m always a little uncomfortable filming myself!).

Students are also welcome to continue working on the materials I sent on March 16.

Here are the instructions on joining Google Classroom using Clever. Clever is a portal to a lot of the online resources we use at ALA. They use it a lot at school, but might not have logged in at home before and the instructions are a little different.

  • Go to clever.alaschools.org (I would bookmark this)
  • Click on “Log in with your ALA Google Account
  • At this point, if you are already logged in to Gmail or Google with another account, it will show that account and you will need to click on “Use another account.” This will not log you out of the other accounts that may be logged in, but will add your child’s account, and after that you can easily switch between them.
  • Enter your child’s full ALA email address
  • Enter their password
  • Now that you’re in Clever, click on Google Classroom
  • If it asks what account to use, select your child’s account
  • Click “I’m a student”
  • Click “Join” on Mr. Eyre’s 3rd Grade Class
  • Now, you should be able to return to clever.alaschools.org at any time (or click the bookmark you made) and you will already be logged in (if you have more than one ALA student or Google account, they may need to choose their account each time) and then go straight into Google Classroom. 

No assignments will be available until Monday, but I want to be sure that everyone can log in. If you have any trouble, feel free to respond to this email or call me and I can help.

As stated in the newsletter from ALA, “Although participation is optional, we strongly encourage students to participate in the provided lessons to the best of their ability.”

Which reminds me, during this crazy time I want to be sure that you are all receiving the emails that ALA is sending out. On Monday the 23rd you should have received an email with the subject “March 2020 Important News!” and yesterday you should have received one with the subject “Chromebook Pick-up TIMES.” If you did not receive those school emails, please check your spam folder, and if they are not there, please let me know so that I can be sure you are on the school email list for important communication.

The next week or two will be really interesting. I’ll be in touch! Please give those kids a hug from me!