I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Days 15 & 16 - Choice Board

Saturday & Sunday, March 28-29, 2020

My mom texted me at 3pm Saturday: "Illinois declares Remote Learning Days beginning on March 31st to finish school year." I look online and see nothing. I don't call her to find out where she got it from. I simply text her back - "Sigh." When she sent me the article, it only said until April 7th.

It's how we RESPOND to what happens, right?

So. I'll share my "choice board" routine I've been tweaking the last two weeks.


The top four things (check Feedly for blogs I follow, check GMail, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, check the stats on COVID-19 - the Johns Hopkins site - and three lessons of Duolingo Spanish practice) I get done early in the day. The next few (learn something, start/complete a project or clean something, walk or bike, workout and stretch) I normally get done after my shower sometime. When I'm relaxing, it's time to call Mom, read, practice my banjo, or read some more. The two on the side (nonfiction and audio book right now) swap in when I have them. Right now I'm reading an adult fiction book (online) and a professional book. Sometimes I have the other two instead or in addition. By the end of the day, hopefully I've had all the water I should have, I've written and published a post (except for one per weekend), and I've played those games on my phone (Word Search, Boggle, Differences, Stop, and a peek at TikTok - to learn / stay on top of trends). The paper clips are there just in case I don't get to all three Duolingo lessons right away, or write but not publish, or only play one of the games...

These can be done in any order, and I'm letting myself say it's okay to skip one, but not two days in a row.

This is how I'm managing this unstructured time. Usually these are all in a pile, then I flip them over as I complete them into a new pile. Sometimes I just want to throw them away, but I know it's giving me some sort of goal... It's providing me control over what I do, and yet parameters for what I should be doing.

I wish I could be creative right now like Daniel Matarazzo...

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