Leasyl Richards -- Wheelers Hill Primary School, Victoria Australia
Leasyl Richards, Assistant Principal at Wheelers Hill Primary School (Victoria, Australia) shares how her school adapted to remote learning during the period of school closure, and their use of Mangahigh.com with students to raise mathematics engagement and provide continuity of learning during remote learning.
If you are new to Mangahigh, and would like to reach out to Leasyl to get her view on her experience with the platform for teaching mathematics, please feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leasyl, as the world has seen a sudden shift in the last couple of months, can you share how you have adjusted to the new normal?
The first few weeks were very difficult adjusting to working from home with very limited preparation time. Everything that normally happens in a school just stopped! Once things settled and new routines for how to manage working from home were established things became much easier. The focus on reducing everything to its simplest form has actually been welcomed. We have been able to take stock of what is important - both at work and in our personal lives.
Can you throw some light on the general preparedness of your school to handle this never-before change in pace and style of schooling that we have experienced recently?
As a school we already used platforms and programs like Mangahigh for our Year 3-6 students so it was easier for them to transition to learning from home because they were familiar with the platforms already. For Prep - 2 it was more of a challenge but we were able to find a platform that allowed teachers to share the teaching and learning programs and also allow children to share their work.
I don't think anything could have prepared the teachers for the learning from home program as it was so vastly a different way to teach than they would ever have imagined. The teachers' flexibility and ability to adapt so quickly was a highlight of this time and something we have and will continue to celebrate.
The first two weeks of learning from home were exceptionally difficult as teachers were bombarded with questions from both students and families. Once routines were established and students and families became familiar with the new processes and expectations then the workload for teachers eased considerably.
While teachers were still working very hard they were able to establish routines that worked for their teams and for themselves. They became confident with the way families could manage tasks being set and the time it would take students to complete tasks.
Teams of teachers worked especially closely finding a balance of focusing on core learning of literacy and numeracy and also ensuring creative and communication time and activities and finding the right amount of screen time.
Using WebEx as a way of communicating in "real life" was so very important to teachers and families. Teachers used WebEx for one on one communication, whole class communication and small group work - this was positively received by parents and students.
Specifically with Mangahigh, can you share how you have used the program to support your students' learning?
Mangahigh has been used differently for our two year levels who utilise the program. One year level has continued to use it as they normally would in the classroom to supplement the learning program and the other year level has used it for revision of maths topics already covered.
What are the elements/features/activities on Mangahigh that have been the most useful for you to continue to be an effective teacher?
Not being in the classroom, the teachers tell me that using Mangahigh as a support to the areas they are teaching is valuable. Students are engaged and appreciate that there is a variety of activities.
Thoughts from your students... are there any comments from students that you might like to share?
"Love the games!"
"Enjoy the fact that the tasks are challenging -not too hard, not too easy!"
"Love the avatars!"