At the end of our last Zoom lesson the girls in the Senior Room read notes they had written for Aoife, Kellyann and Ruby while the boys sent best wishes to Abdul, Bradley, Cathal and Evan. During your time in Gortskehy you brought a smile to school every day and will be such an asset to Mount St. Michael and St. Colman’s. Beir bua agus beannacht go deo. We’ll miss you.
This short video is a snapshot of how we used Zoom during the Covid-19 lockdown.
From our experience over the past few weeks, here are some practical tips which may be helpful to other schools.
– Set up one recurring Zoom meeting for all sessions and have pupils register before joining. In this way, the same link and meeting ID works for all sessions. Having pupils register also means that the results from Zoom meeting polls are linked to each pupil in your class.
– Set up breakout rooms by class (boys/girls). Before most of our Zoom lessons pupils log in early so they can chat to each other privately in the group breakout rooms. Some also chat together after each lesson and it’s a great social aspect to the Zoom Education platform.
– At the start of each lesson click on the ‘Participants’ button and ask pupils to raise their virtual hand to make sure they all can hear you.
– Mute all microphones at the start of the lesson. Pupils can unmute their own microphones as required.
– Use the Chat feature for feedback and to check for understanding. This is useful on a number of levels:
1) everyone is engaged at the same time;
2) feedback is private so pupils don’t have to worry about being unsure of the answer;
3) the teacher can accurately assess who understands the particular concept and who doesn’t.
– Bring in a guest speaker. Almost every community has some friend or family members living abroad so there’s great excitement in interviewing them on Zoom.
– Sharing video can have mixed results depending on the quality of the pupils’ internet connection. Maybe, try podcasts instead. Get the children to write two or three questions in their copies as they listen. Have a Q & A session after every 10 minutes using the pupil questions to keep the lesson interactive. Check out Imagined Life and American Innovations
– In a multi-class setting, maths lessons are best held in individual class groups. All other subject lessons work fine in common.
– Team teaching on Zoom with the SEN teacher works great.
@gaa5star @activeflag @OpTranRTE @GAA_Handball
We have had a great 6 weeks of handball here in Gortskehy, led by Tim Foley of Tourmakeady Handball Club.
Handball is an all inclusive sport, where anyone of any ability can play. It incorporates lots of our fundamental movement skills, such as catching, throwing, side stepping, running, balance and striking with the hand. It also enables children to develop other skills such as hand-eye coordination and concentration.
We were very lucky as we got to go to Ballinrobe Handball Alley to see a handball match. We also got to play in a 40×20 alley. It was a wonderful experience for the children to see a real alley and have the opportunity to play there.
We would like to thank Tim Foley for being so generous with his time over the past few weeks and giving the children the opportunity to try a new sport.
Earlier this year we visited Ballyhaunis Community School to meet and chat with pupils from other countries. We learned a lot about the similarities and differences between Ireland, Syria, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Malaysia.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish Alex, Jessica, Josh and Michael every success in secondary school. They were a pleasure to teach and will be missed by all in Gortskehy next September. Go n-éirí an t-ádh libh!