As a retired teacher and grandmother of a kindergartner about to start school remotely on August 30th, I am finding myself wanting to help my fellow teachers in any way I can. You all are so amazingly flexible and talented. You have so much to give. But I know, setting up for this type of teaching takes so much brainstorming and trial and error. Many of you have figured out a lot of this last spring.
I’ve run into several helpful ideas for teaching remotely. When I retired (June 2019), I was close to paperless in my 6th grade ELA classroom, albeit I had 2,500 books all around my room. One of my favorite resources for all things tech (especially Google Tools and Google Classroom is Alice Keeler). She has a YouTube Channel that is so helpful: https://www.youtube.com/c/AliceKeeler/featured
One thing I would be doing (and the 6th grade teacher who took my place is using) is Bitmoji classroom. It’s a great way to have things organized in a virtual classroom for your students to use when your not live with them. Another great resource I had always found good information and resources is We Are Teachers Website. This article shows you how to create a virtual classroom to put up on whatever online platform you’re using: https://www.weareteachers.com/virtual-bitmoji-classroom/
Here’s how to use it in Google Classroom:
Teachers are sharing their online classroom set up. I love these ingenious ways some have figured out how to make remote teaching as personal and interactive as possible.
First Day of Kindergarten Using Remote Learning Kindergarten Example
My daughter-in-law has been stressing about how her 5 year-old, antsy, talkative daughter will be able to do remote learning. She has visions of her having to chain Copeland to her seat and be at the computer for five hours a day. I’ve assured her that teachers know what their students can handle and will adjust accordingly.
Sure enough, Mr. Greg pulls it off! I can tell that he has been in contact with families prior to this first day and somehow sent them the necessary materials ahead of time.
Districts Need to Be Flexible and Creative, Too
In the article I shared on LinkedIn, it talks about creative was that school districts can look at handling the change in delivery of education for our youngest learners. I feel that not only can we do this it will be a must.
As my son and daughter-in-law are preparing for the beginning of this school year which for their district will be doing remotely for at least the first few weeks, one of their biggest concerns for Copeland is that she connects with other kids. She is an only child and surrounded by her parents, grandparents, and aunt regularly, but she has very little time with any peers.
One thought I’ve had is that once school is started, is to ask her Kindergarten teacher to set up small “play groups” from the class roster. Then, either by Zoom or even planned, socially distanced meet-ups at a park or other safe meeting places, doing activities like making slime where everyone brings their own supplies and 2 or so adults monitor as the kids work at separate stations facing one another so that they can still experience, talk, show, and play together.
Even interacting with Zoom can be pretty fun and allow at least for some connection with peers. But this is also great for teachers to do a BRAIN BREAK while online with their class.
This was a last minute idea to put together this post. I just want you teachers who are trying to figure out how to do this year if you are teaching remotely to see there are all sorts of good ideas out there. We, teachers, are known for “beg, steal, and borrowing’ from one another and then giving it our own spin.
For A Few Laughs Thanks to This Very Creative Principal:
Fortifying you from a far. You can do this!