Welcome Back!

posted Apr 5, 2020, 10:18 AM by Patrick Johnson   [ updated Apr 6, 2020, 4:15 AM ]

Learn At Home Information Sheet 

Welcome Back

Hello! Welcome back after an extended march break to our new ‘virtual classroom’. In this information sheet I will outline details about our new virtual learning environment. 


This first week will be about 1- getting everyone set up and comfortable with our Google Classroom, 2- trying out some apps and websites we will be using in our learning and 3- building our virtual classroom community (we are going to take things slow to start).

Google Classroom

We will be using Google Classroom as our virtual learning environment.

SCDSB (Simcoe County District School Board) chose this platform which is great news for us since our class has been using it since last September. Recently I sent everyone an email about how to access it, in case students have forgotten. 

Please make sure your child can login to Google Classroom (website on a computer or app on a device) using their school Google accounts (username@scdsb.on.ca) followed by their 4 digit password). They are used to logging into Google (or a Chromebook) but need to remember to add @scdsb.on.ca to their username.

Breakdown of Google Classroom 

In Google Classroom there is the STREAM section which lists every posting in chronological order as well as the CLASSWORK tab, where work is collated and assigned. 

In CLASSWORK you will see LEARN AT HOME-WEEK 1. This is where I will post all of the proposed activities for each week. 

It is organized with an:

OVERVIEW (what to expect from this week and what you need). There are also Youtube videos of the land acknowledgement and Oh Canada, which are items we used to use to start our school day. Students may like to have them as a way to start their at home learning, too. 

DAYS OF THE WEEK activities that are broken down from Monday to Friday, 

EXTRAS in case you want to add them in (such as music, movement breaks and extra practice). ASSIGNMENTS and FEEDBACK: During the week, sometimes your child will be asked to submit work. This will be done directly in Google Classroom and feedback on the work will also be given in Google Classroom (more information will follow next week about this).


I understand that access to devices can be a challenge when moving to online learning so quickly. I try to design activities to work on any device (computers, Chromebooks, tablets, phones) but we are sure to run into some difficulties along the way.

Apps (tablets/phones) and Websites (computers) we will be using:

Flipgrid: https://info.flipgrid.com/

-Flipgrid, endorsed by SCDSB, allows students to record their answers by recording a short video. The video is private and can only be seen by our class. 

Raz-Kids (see blog post below for more information): https://www.kidsa-z.com/main/Login?_ga=2.185357036.419713663.1586102294-636770089.1586102294

-Raz-Kids is an online Reading Program



-A comic creator. It is all web based so no need to download an app. Works across devices.

Cospaces (website as well as a phone and tablet app)


-Students already have accounts (they login with their Google account information)

-Creates virtual environments

Apps we will likely use in the near future:

-Google Slides

-IXL (there is an app and website): https://ca.ixl.com/

-Nearpod (website and app) https://nearpod.com/

Videos I post in Google Classroom

Videos I create are hosted by Google Drive. This means that only people who are logged into our classroom (using a SCDSB Google account) can see the videos. 

Occasionally I might post videos from Youtube. You may need to use another device to view them if Youtube is blocked. I might also repost Youtube videos to our class blog for easier access.

Video Conferencing

This is something we will work towards. The preferred SCDSB video conferencing tool is Google Hangout/Meets. Zoom is a popular tool right now however there are security/privacy concerns with their software. So if we do any video conferencing it will likely be with Google.

Thank you

Thank you for all that you are doing to support your family during this difficult time. I am here to help. If you have any questions about our new virtual classroom, please email me at pmjohnson@scdsb.on.ca