Welcome! Bienvenidos al
Salón de la Sra. Jones!
For the most up-to-date information about our class, scroll to the blog below; it will be kept up to date on a weekly basis.
También tengo un Edblog en español; vean los links a la izquierda.
On this page, you will find a description of what we're doing in our, new ONLINE classroom.
From now until the end of the school year, please check into Schoology first. There, you will find the agenda for the day, as well as links to the assignments. If Schoology is down (as might be the case the first few weeks, while we all learn how to use the new Learning Management System, or LMS), then check the stream on Google Classroom for directions.
We are currently on Spring Break; Online instruction will resume Tuesday, 13 April.
Con mucho cariño,
"El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz" - Benito Juarez, pasado presidente de México
Jemina E. Jones, EdS
W. E. Mitchell Middle School
Language Acquisition Specialist
Office Hours for Week of 4- 8 May, 2020
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 10:00-10:45AM, 12:15-1:00PM, and 2:15-3:00PM
Via LIVE Conference on Schoology
Also, NEW: Zoom for Parents on Fridays at 12:15PM
(email me for Zoom invite)
End of the Year Traditions and CelebrationsPosted by Jemina Jones on 5/18/2020
Dear Marvelous Marauduer families and friends,
Two more weeks of Distance Learning, and this school year comes to a close; safely.
What comes next? No one knows for certain. For now, please check our school website for updates and announcements.
Dropping off textbooks/ picking up certificates
8th grade students and family can stop by the school to pick up their P.E. locker belongings, drop off textbooks, and pick up their promotional certificate. Please check the school website for specific days and times.
6th and 7th grade students, you also will be allowed to collect your things and drop off school issued materials, not limited to, but including musical instruments; Your time and dates are also posted on the school website.
Social distancing guidelines still in effect
Please honor these dates and times as we are making great effort to adhere to social guidelines still in effect. The goal is to keep the number of people on campus at a minimum.
We also ask that everyone visiting the campus wear masks and maintain six-feet distance between others, at all times. Please, be respectful of all people, including vulnerable populations and individuals prone to sickness.
Awards/ recognitions/ celebrations
It is our school's goal to celebrate our outgoing 8th grade class, as well as recognize outstanding academic and athletic achievements. Check the school's website for details about these "virtual" events.
Wrapping up Spanish 1A
Well, we've accomplished quite a bit, these past few weeks, in Distance Learning mode. Students have transitioned quite smoothly, figuring out the nuances of doing school through a Learning Management System (LMS). From logging in, to checking their classes, to participating in Discussion forums, to attending LIVE Conferences, AND turning in assignments, I am confident my Spanish 1A students have access to the tools they will need to be successful when the school 2020-2021 year begins; and will be able to solve problems with technology long after they have completes their middle school studies.
I am asking students to turn in the "Daily Routine Summative" to earn a "Pass" in Spanish class. It's not a difficult assignment; it's actually something we worked on throughout the entire school year. But it is the one assignment that has yielded the highest success rate in my class, for several years, now. The challenge we are currently having is that many students are under the impression that a "Pass" was a given and have not participated in class for over six weeks (this includes the six weeks we've been in Distance Learning and the three weeks in between).
As per MOU language, students are not expected "to learn", per say, though quite a few of them have shown admirable resilience and strength of character; particularly the ones who have participated in class on a regular basis! However, students can be expected to try, wherever possible.
Other ways students can demonstrate "effort" is through Discussion forum participation, as well as LIVE Conference attendance. Students also have the opportunity to fill out weekly reflections; as well as complete and turn in any pending assignments via Google Classroom.
Students who already turned in the Daily Routine summative and have earned the "Pass", currently have the option to work on a Final Project, to compile and organize any and all Spanish related content learned this school year; an invaluable cognitive activity.
Finally, I am planning on having a Spanish class specific end of the year celebration with the kids, next week. Please, see the schedule embedded in the link below.
I will keep my "virtual" page El Salón "Virtual" de la Sra. Jones active during the summer months, as well as continue to post useful resources on the FB page.
I hope you find this information of use. As usual, if there is anything I can do to help, please, let me know.
FOUR more weeks!!!Posted by Jemina Jones on 5/4/2020
Good morning, parents, guardians, friends, and family!
Welcome to Week 18 of the semester! Including this week, we've only FOUR more weeks to go, before the official start of summer break!
This is what I have planned for the next four weeks:
Week 18: Daily Routine "Summative" (Criterion A)
Week 19: Review Units 1-6 (Criterion B, & C)
Week 20: Work on "Final Projects"
Week 21: Present "Final Projects" (Criterion D)
As you may have already heard, the final decision on grading was made based on "equity" concerns. Public schools nationwide were designed with the notion of "Common" schooling in mind; as such, our goal remains to make quality education accessible to ALL.
At our school, specifically, we've done this by making sure that ALL students have access to all the resources available, including "access" to highly qualified teachers and instructors; but with the closure of schools due to the current global epidemic, this simply hasn't been possible.
I want to take the time to recognize your effort; more than half of you, based on current student active participation, have been able to provide your children an alternative learning space at home. Thank YOU! I know this transition to Distance Learning has not been easy, and doing "our best" right now has obvious limitations, for some more than others.
So, while we continue to make an effort to provide you with all the tools necessary to ensure our students continue to learn, we know this comes with a myriad of challenges and setbacks.
The "summatives" I'm giving through the remainder of the school year are voluntary. In other words, I am strongly encouraging students to be of growth mindset and "try", but I am not requiring them to do so.
What I do not want to happen is for your child to experience undue anxiety. If they simply "can't" or "wont" it's okay. Really. But, encourage them to try.
The Daily Routine "Summative" specifically, is something we did last semester, and something we carried into this semester; they were already expecting it.
I'm also giving students the opportunity to demonstrate content "mastery" through the measurement of the other Language Acquisition criterion, but am not calling the last two assignments a "summative".
What can you expect on a weekly basis?
Late Sunday night or early Monday morning, I post all the pertinent information for the week in a Google Slides presentation, with the week's title, for example: "Week 18 (4-8 May 2020)". This presentation is available on both Schoology and Google Classroom. Students are expected to preview the presentation, before attending the first LIVE Conference of the week, on Tuesday.
The presentation has instructions/information for what to do on a daily basis, along with links and directions for how to access content/assignments.
On a weekly basis, I expect students to participate in both "Discussions" and LIVE "Conferences". At the end of the week, students are expected to turn "something" in; Typically, this is an End of the Week Reflection through a Google Form, labeled as such.
The link to "Discussions" is in our course stream via Schoology and marked with a "speech bubble" icon; this is an opportunity for your child to actively engage in conversation with other classmates.
LIVE Conferences are also available via Schoology, but are accessed through the course menu on the left. These can be glitchy, sometimes, so "try again".
On a regular basis, I hold LIVE Conferences on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students can choose to attend one of three sessions, each day. LIVE Conferences are typically at 10AM, 12:15PM, and 2:15PM and last about 45 min.
Zoom for Parents
If any parents are interested in having a general Q/A session, I will be holding a weekly Parents Zoom meeting on Fridays, starting this week. Am thinking 12:30PM is a good time? Please drop me a note via email and I will send you the Zoom invite...
Welp, that's it, for now. I will continue to update this blog to keep you updated as best as I can. Please, email me if there is anything else I can help clarify for you.
Week 16: Earth Day CelebrationPosted by Jemina Jones on 4/20/2020
Dear Family, Friends, Parents and Guardians,
Happy Earth Day week! Welcome to week 16 of the semester (only FIVE more to go after this one); Week THREE (3) since we officially launched Schoology as the new Learning Management System (LMS) and have been doing this thing called Distance Learning.
DISTANCE LEARNING, update
The second week of Distance Learning was more successful than anticipated. In my classes alone, only FOUR of my 188 students were not able to successfully log into Schoology; that's a 98% success rate! And more than 40% of students are turning in an "assignment" of sorts. I say it in this manner, because the grading policy has not yet been established... More on that in a different post. Also, more students than not are leaning towards the "I really LIKE Disatance Learning", as compared with "I do not like this way of learning at all!", on an incremental grade.
In other words, little by little, we're all figuring out how to best make sense of this new normal. Kids are extremely adaptable and resilient, even the ones that aren't. To the middle schooler, change is terrifying, at the same time thrilling. I know, who gets them!?! So, it wouldn't surprise me if 80% of our students demonstrate positive growth during Distance Learning... Sorry, I get chills (the good kind) when I "see" how well our students are adapting to these new and constantly changing times. I'm trying to keep up with them...
This said, I know there are students who still haven't gotten off to the greatest start. I'm including several things to this post: 1). this week's "What to do's" 2). a link with directions to help you help your kiddo to ADD the Drive app in Schoology..., and 3). words of encouragement.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION
Newsela, our District approved age appropriate "News" outlet has a many articles on a wide variety of topics; In English, en español, with adjustable reading level... FYI this week, I posted the article "Healthy plate, Healthy planet," as enrichment material (not for a grade).
(The link for the Newsela article is on both Schoology and Google Classroom).
If there is a particular TOPIC/SUBJECT you'd like me address with the kids, for example "Math en español", I can do that, too.
Parents and Guardians, some of you probably never imagined having to be your child's home school teacher, as such, this transition has been beyond burdensome; for some, more than others.
To ALL the parents THANK YOU! you are doing a great job!!! And hang in there, the school year will come to an end on the accorded date; the last day of Distance Learning, will probably be the last day of the semester, Friday, May 29. I'm sure there will be clarity on this from the District in the near future.
In the meantime, six more weeks; WE GOT THIS!
Follow my Facebook page for additional resources to help you with the littles and not so littles at home:
Thank you for everything you are doing!
"Structured Time"Posted by Jemina Jones on 4/14/2020
Welcome back from spring break!
This is Week 15 of 21 of the semester; in other words, the end of the school year is closer than you think...
This post is intended to help you set up "Structured Time" for your child at home. If you follow my page "El Salon de la Sra. Jones" on Facebook, you can see my post with other "chic" suggestions for setting up structured time, by age and subject area.
During "Distance Learning", the recommended amount of time a middle school student should spend on school work is about 2-3 hours a day.
You know your child best and can help them set up somthing that works best for them, and yourself; a win-win, if done right.
Here's the link to a suggested "Structured Time" schedule:
There are two (2) schedules; the second one is more of a pacing chart that can be individually modified, depending on your child's starting point...
In the classroom, we completed Units 1-4, and came close to completing Unit 5; with only the Unit 5 Summative to do. For now, students are expected to turn in a complete Unit 5 "formative" (on Google Classroom).
The Unit 5 formative is a Pen Pal Letter, in Spanish; and consist of 30 sentences describing no more than 10 family members.
We will officially be starting Unit 6 next week.
Okay, this being said, let's pause and take deep breath.
The intent is NOT to create undue anxiety, but to help students navigate through Schoology, the new Learning Management System (LMS), first, then to give them the opportunity to demonstrate "mastery" in the material already covered in the classroom.
In about four (4) weeks' time, we'll be working on the Final Project. This will be your child's opportunity to demonstrate what they learned (retained, can easily retrieve, and apply).
So, technically, your child has until then to master Units 1-5... More on this later.
For now, suffice it to say, that establishing "structured time" will help your child do your best.
Spring break is onPosted by Jemina Jones on 4/5/2020
We are officially on spring break through Monday, 12 April. We get the day after Easter Sunday off, and we resume online instruction, via Schoology, on Tuesday, 13 April.
What should students be "working" on?
Officially nothing. But, if your son or daughter is still not caught up with Units 1-5, this is a good opportunity to do so :)
We can't "grade" assignments, yet, but I imagine we will be able to do so, soon, somehow, to determine an "equitable" letter grade for Semester 2.
As I've mentioned to several of you already, this is a new era in schooling... We get to redefine "grading", for example; and this is really an exciting time to be an educator.
I'm advocating for a an adjusted 3rd Quarter grade; whereby students can, during the 4th Quarter "instruction period", earn a higher grade, only, but not more than a letter grade... BECAUSE home support is not the same for everyone...
Which is why I'm encouraging ALL students to get caught up with Units 1-5, first.
Here's something fun: Find a way to make flashcards ONLINE! (Try something like Quizzet)
Same thing goes for Vocab Logs... We're going to "learn" how to make a "portfolio" online (For now, it will be as simple as turning in a 10-12 slide presentation :)
What does Direct Instruction look like, now?
I will be providing structured instruction time, starting next week 13 Tuesday. By the end of this week, I will be posting an official schedule for LIVE Conference hours; for which students simply need to show up.
On a daily basis, student should log into Schoology, first; Even if their teachers don't have material posted there, yet.
After signing in, if teachers don't have material posted on Schoology, strudents can go to Google Classroom. Please defer to individual teachers.
Google Classroom will continue to be the main learning platform for many teachers, but please, first log into Schoology.
I will keep using Goolge Classrom for two weeks after Spring Break. Starting Moday, 27 April, I'm hoping to only be using Schoology.
My goal is to post daily; Students will have access to a short insructional video and a "Question" in the morning and meet with other students for a LIVE Conference at 10AM and/or 12:15PM. Here, students will have the opportunity to ask questions about the day's lesson. I'm also thinking of creating a "Fun Room" where students can socialize... If you have any suggestions for how to make this new mode of learning a more engaging process, drop me a line, please.
If any or all of this is simply TOO much right now, it's okay. Students are NOT going to be penalized.
It hasn't been officially decided, but in terms of "grading," most everyone is leaning towards a "grades can't go lower than the grade already earned for 3rd Quarter" policy.
Parents, please hang in there. Know that I'm here to support you, as well, and will do my best to provide your son/daughter with a valuable learning experience, for the remainder of the school year, despite the fact that absolutely nothing is "normal" right now.
Please continue to check the school website for the latest updates.
I will make updates on this page regularly, through the end of the school year.
"Distance Learning"Posted by Jemina Jones on 3/29/2020
Good evening, Parents, Guardians, Friends, and Family!
Tomorrow, 30 March, 2020, ALL Mitchell Middle School students will be resuming instruction, albeit, online, at home.
If you still haven't picked up a Chromebook, stop by the school, this week, to check one out. Check the school website for open hours, as they might change. For the most part, there will be someone available between the hours of 8:30AM-2:30PM.
Also, there will be tech assistance, throughout. So, please check the school website for specific times.
In our Spanish classroom we'll be working on transitioning from Google Classroom to Schoology; hopefully we'll be able to ALL get into Schoology in the next couple of weeks.
We'll still be using Google Classroom, to be sure, but now, we all have to get into the routine of logging in through Schoology, first.
Expect the next couple of weeks to be an "adjustment period" as we learn the new routine...
Specifically, I will be posting a weekly Google Slide presentation, with an overview of activities/assignments students can work on.
On a daily basis, I will post a short video with captioned instructions.
I will also be "available" for questions/answers from 10AM-12NOON, on a daily basis, M-F.
I do have this vision where I am Live streaming the lessons on a teacher channel I've registered for; More on this, soon.
We will more than likely NOT be using Zoom, at this time, per District recommendation. But, I will be providing students opportunities to "socialize" via secure/closed group "Chat" or "Discussion" rooms. Also, more on this, soon.
In the meantime, please, make sure your son/duaghter is all caught up with the material we've covered in class, so far; students should be done, or almost done, with Units 1-5.
Teachers, Admin, District leaders, union reps, and County/State Educators are ALL engaged in the discussion about grading. Please know, that your child's well being is our utmost priority.
What role will you as a parent be playing? You will be the home "facilitator". If you haven't already received Schoology login information from your child's 2nd period teacher, you will.
Please, please, please, be patient with us as we navigate this new learning platform, together.
We will be in "Distance Learning" mode, through 1 May, 2020.
I have created a parent support page on Facebook you can follow. I've added tons of resources YOU can use at home with your children. All the links are vetted by reputable Educators across the country, and most of the resources are free.
Please, drop me a line, let me know how teachers can help you.
This is where I'll be working from; my very own guestroom turned classroom... :)
Will school be reopening soon?Posted by Jemina Jones on 3/24/2020
As of an hour ago, this is the specific statement received from the district, regarding school closures:
"The District will continue to take its direction from public health officials advising area school districts on appropriate measures to protect the health and safety of our community. While the District has not changed its scheduled reopen date of April 14, we are preparing for the possibility to be closed for the rest of the year. We will communicate updates to families as details are available."
Do you need a Chromebook?Posted by Jemina Jones on 3/22/2020
Good evening, friends and family!
I hope this Shelter in Place has given you the opportunity to, at the very least, slow down a bit, to take a deep breath, and enjoy the company of your loved ones.
Here at school, Admin has been working really hard to figure out how to best move forward. So, I will share with you what I know, and please, also check the school website for more updates.
This week, Monday, March 23-Wednesday, March 25
If you need a Chromebook for home use, you can come to school between the hours of 8-10AM and 1-3PM, to check one out. Please fill out this form.
Instruction will resume via Distance Learning (online learning from home) next week Monday, March 30.
I will share more information with you, as the week progresses and we receive instructions from the school district.
In the meantime, visit Google Classroom and take a look at the "Week 12" post; it has a list of suggested activities for the week.
Thank you for everything you so!
Comprehensive list of authors' read alouds (free)Posted by Jemina Jones on 3/18/2020 4:00:00 PM
I am so impressed by the level of collegiality being expressed on social media these days; Educators are sharing thousands of resources to help both parents and educators as we transition to the new "normal."
Here's a link I think you might find useful.
Distance Learning or not?Posted by Jemina Jones on 3/18/2020
While discussions of equity in education take place at the highest levels of institutions of public education, I share with you free education resources, accesible from your home.
If you do not currently have access to the internet, please call your service provider and ask them about their free online education program. If your service provider does not currently have a program for free internet, try Comcast.
I'm sharing TWO (2) educational resources today:
1. The entire collection of Animorphs online, free at https://animorphsforum.com/ebooks/1/
2. Recommendations for the stay at home family (en español)