Thursday, August 20, 2020

Whether virtual on in-person, LaRue hopes to play some Dean Martin music for her students...

Hey pallies, likes we so often sez 'round these Dino-parts, "Youse just never know where our Dino will turn up next.  Today thanks to the swank scribin's of Mr. Tim Crow writin' for the local newspaper of Taylor, Texas, "TAYLOR PRESS," we learn  of 8th grade  social studies teacher, Miss Melissa LaRue's love of our most beloved Dino.

In Crow's perfect prose below, we hear news of how Miss LaRue in tryin' to help her new class of students get to know her better as they study there virtual lessons durin' the pandemic has incorporated her powerful passion for our Dino into the declaration 'round her desk.  As you will vitally view in the intriguin' image below a powerfully potent pix of our Dino is on the wall behind Melissa's desk on her left.

We are totally totally totally thrilled to have this excitin' educator be so open and affirmin' of her devotion to our Dino with her charges to the point that as the article below points out, "Whether virtual on in-person, LaRue hopes to play some Dean Martin music for her students..."  Likes think of the neat number of her students that Melissa will be awesomely aidin' in there Dino-discovery.
Miss LaRue's wonderfully witnessin' to her devotion to our Dino will surely help others be welcomed into our Dino's wonderful world...and likes how fantastically fabulous is that pallies?!?!?!?!?!

We shouts out our awesome appreciato to the pallies at "TALYOR PRESS," to writer Mr. Tim Crow, and to terrific teacher Miss Melissa LaRue for sharin' yet 'nother way of helpin' today's youth to get into the Dino-groove.  To checks this out at it's original source, likes simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-report.

We Remain,

Yours In Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Opening school safely, effectively, virtually

Tim Crow Aug 15, 2020  0


When students log in for their first virtual lesson in Melissa LaRue’s eighth grade social studies class at Taylor Middle School, it won’t take long for them to know they are in for a fun year of learning. The colorfully decorated teacher’s desk matches LaRue’s cheerful personality, and there are obvious clues that she loves Dean Martin, Barbie Dolls, theater and Texas.

“I think every teacher has their theme, and the kids get to know you by your theme. Mine is Barbies and Dean Martin,” said LaRue. “You can’t just be the teacher. You’re a real person, and this is my way of letting them know something about me. It’s a fun thing, and hopefully they’ll see something about me that will pull them in.”

Preparing for a virtual start of school has required teaching staffs across the district to step out of their comfort zone, but LaRue says everyone has been incredibly positive and supportive.

“Some of us have more technology strengths than others, and others have other strengths that can help those who are more efficient with technology,” said LaRue. “So if I have an activity that works really great in the classroom, I’m going to a technology person for help in figuring out how to put this into a digital format.”

When COVID-19 hit in the spring, teachers at all levels had to switch to virtual instruction very quickly. Since then, the district has had time to look at some of the best online practices and implement a quality program for the fall.

“Teachers and administrators have been up here all summer doing hundreds of hours of professional development to prepare for virtual learning,” said Megan Wendler, TMS instructional specialist. “We revamped our entire professional development schedule to target everything for that virtual aspect.”

Wendler and Sue Engelke, also an instructional specialist at TMS, said the school’s virtual master schedule includes teacher collaboration time, time for working with small groups of students through Google Meet, and teaching live synchronous lessons as well as recording videos to post. During training, teachers were able to see the online learning platforms from the student’s perspective.

“We are expecting our students to use Google Classroom as a platform, so we are using that with the teachers,” Wendler said. “We are collaborating through Google Meet with our teachers because that is what they are using for their live classrooms with their students.”

In physical education, coaches will post workouts into Google Classroom with demonstrations of exercises and explanations of proper form. Students will then answer questions after an assignment or activity.

TMS teachers will be available after hours on a set schedule for parents to have their questions answered. The majority of daily assignments will be submitted through Google Classroom, and teachers will be able to track student progress through the online curriculum.

“For students that can’t participate at the exact time of the live presentation, those presentations will be recorded so that they can access them at a time that works for their family,” Engelke said. “We want families to know that if they have any questions to please ask. We are here to help.”

Along with all the academic plans, safety continues to be the top priority.

“TMS and TISD are working tirelessly to ensure that we are providing a safe environment for students and staff as we plan to transition to in-person education,” said TMS Principal Chelsey Ellison. “This is not an easy feat, but one we are dedicated to committing to and could not accomplish without the support of our phenomenal custodial staff. We will follow the TISD ‘Start of School Plan’ that can be found on the district website as it covers all safety and health aspects in detail.”

School starts in Taylor Aug. 20 with the first four weeks being virtual only. During those four weeks, a decision will be made to either continue instruction as virtual only or to give parents the option of traditional in-person attendance. Students will keep school supplies at home for now, and when in-person attendance in possible again, they will each use their own supplies.

The district has added a COVID-19 tab to the website where updates and additional information are posted. Included on that tab is the school’s Start of School Plan, which outlines procedures and safety precautions that are in place across the district.

Whether virtual on in-person, LaRue hopes to play some Dean Martin music for her students and turn on the Christmas lights that are in her room year-round. Her first virtual unit will be “Thinking like a Historian,” and she is looking forward to meeting each one of her classes.

“I think everyone needs to know that we really miss our students,” said LaRue. “As much as I’m looking forward to learning new technology, I really like it when the kids are here. I want parents to know that whether their child is at home or in school they will receive the same love, care and quality instruction. My goal is to reach my students on a level that makes them feel safe and secure and that they want to learn.”

1 comment:

Danny G. said...

Ms. LaRue is definitely a cool cool chick, pal! Teachin’ the next generation ‘bout the powers of Dino will keep this big ol’ world spinnin’ on its heels! Ha!