This year will certainly be different. Different may mean that it’s a change from how we are used to having our classes and seeing our students. However, it will be the same in many ways too. As educators, we always have the opportunity to teach students. Be it in person or virtually. You can inspire your students from a distance too.
With that said, I want to share some things that will help make distance learning a little smoother for you and your students.
1. Make sure you have a schedule with a predictable routine. This will help you and your students stay on track and will also provide structure for your students’ day. Just like when we are in the brick and mortar school building where there is a schedule, an online schedule should be used to help the flow of the school day and help your students to know what comes next. Whether your day will be the same length, bell to bell like when in the building, or shortened hours, create a schedule that will work for you. I would also recommend that your students have access to the schedule. It is up to their parents to display it for them, but having it next to them where they can see is very beneficial.
2. Breaks also need to be built into your schedule. Sitting for long periods of time is HARD. It is hard for you and super hard for your students. Both you and your students will need them. Breaks that get your students moving are even better! GoNoodle.com is free and has a huge variety of brain breaks that get you moving! Some of their videos are silly and students absolutely love them! I’ll admit that the songs get stuck in my head too. Hahaha…you’ll see!
3. Help your students (and their parents) become familiar with the site and with the expectations of virtual learning. There will be buttons for your students to click throughout the day and it would be beneficial to practice navigating. It will boost independence in your students if they are able to navigate the site themselves and will help the day go smoother too.
4. Class Rewards are always fun and within virtual learning, they may be different, but your students will still love them! You can have them earn points, virtual tokens, virtual gumballs, etc., and give the class “prizes” when they reach the goal. Some virtual prizes can include having a virtual dance party, choose a story for you to read aloud or as a virtual story, choose a brain break video, no homework for the day, extra recess time, talk time, online game, et cetera.
5. VISUALS! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “‘Visuals speak louder than words.” It’s true. Words can become redundant and students can “tune you out”. Using visuals can help you achieve the desired outcome, while limiting the verbal prompting. Click here (or the picture below) to go to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and get a visual pack that I created for both online and in-person teaching.
Here’s a picture of what’s included in the visual resource.
I hope this post helps you plan for your virtual instruction. YOU can do it! Your students are lucky to have you! I hope you have a GREAT year!