By Melody Johnson, Curriculum Developer and Writer from Georgia
This is such a scary time for people. Especially teachers. There are papers to grade, assessments to give, and observations that need to be made by teachers for students to see if they met their goals.
If there was no plan put in place for what to do with your students, do not worry! Below is a comprehensive guide for educators as they transition to teaching from home.
Distance Learning Activities
We all know that students love to complete work and sometimes you have students that work faster than others. So, to support the teachers and students, here are some resources that have been frequently popping up on Facebook:
Google Spreadsheet Resource
This Google Sheet lists a plethora of companies that are offering their services for FREE (or at a reduced rate) to educators and kids that are experiencing school closures. If you do not have any extension programs that your students can use while at home, please consider looking into those companies.
Getepic.com, which is listed in this sheet, is an AMAZING company. It is under high volume right now so if you see some errors on links, it is most likely because companies did not anticipate this much traffic to their website.
Teachers can recommend companies from this list to parents since this might be a bit of a challenge for parents to navigate on their own.
Activities for Fun
- Book Report: Have your student choose their favorite book from home or an online book source. You can choose Starfall.com or primarygames.com. With primary games, there is also a tab that says “learn.” Click that and there are four subjects of learning your child can choose from. You can create a free account for your class and they can have access to many books. Have your students do a book report AND dress up as their favorite character using only the stuff at home!
- Make a Maze: Have your child create a maze within a shoebox and test it with a mini ball or marble. Have your child predict how the ball might move and document the results.
- Maze Painting: Have your child get a shoebox or box. Place a plain paper on the bottom of the box. Using a marble or ball, dip it in paint and allow the ball to roll around all over the paper. Then, allow the paper to dry. You can add different types of texture to the paper once it dries, such as putting glue in a pattern and placing salt over the glue. Then allow it to dry and hang in a place where the child can display it for all to see.
- Other Activities: Here is another Google document that was floating around on Facebook. I wanted to share this since many teachers are trying to find an adequate amount of activities for their students.
Monitoring Student Performance Remotely
You may be wondering: how do we do this all from home and get accurate data?
Simply put, we can take the data that students give and compare it to the data that is only accessible to a teacher. See if they balance each other out. This is how you can get a quick grade (if needed).
Do explain to parents that these assignments will count as a grade. With students that do not have access to the internet, you can explain to parents in a brief phone call what to do so they can get credit for the assignments.
Here are three quick plans that you can implement immediately for making sure your students don’t fall behind in their learning.
Plan #1 — Download Remind.com
Create an account for your class if you don’t already have an account. It’s free. Anyone can make an account. It helps if you have your class list and contact sheets for your parents.
Email your parents and ask them to click on the link you will send to them about the Remind.com app. Encourage your parents to download this so you can see homework assignments!
AHEAD OF TIME, send an attachment of what the assignments are for the day. Remember to simplify it for the parents in case they need support.
You will then attach this to your Remind.com message to your parents. You can also send out a video to the parents explaining this is what you will be using.
**You might have to call your ESOL student parents to let them know to expect an attached document to the message.**
Plan #2 — SeeSaw App.
If you have this app, you can post assignments, both you AND the parent can see what the child posted. The great thing about this app is you can check what has been posted to the wall before the entire class sees it (just in case).
If you are not sure where to start, click here for directions on how to use seesaw.
Plan #3 — Approved Software for the County
Whatever software the county has you using for the students, incorporate that into a single lesson for the day for a particular subject area. Ex: If your class uses McGraw-Hill’s My Math, assign the math assignments to the child through this app.
If the student has a reading app, then have them read a book for a specific amount of time and have them snap a photo or their favorite part (if possible) and discuss why it is their favorite part.
Send out an email and let the parents know with screenshots/ pictures of the apps that the child needs to access using their username and password. I would also let parents know if they do not have it, to please contact you so you can send them the information.
**Some teachers may assign a weeks’ worth of lessons so that the parents can do one lesson with that child daily.** — Again, remember we want to simplify this for the parent since there is also a high probability that they might be working from home!
Take a deep breath and remain calm!
You are an amazing teacher and we appreciate all that you do for the parents and the community! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication.
Melody Johnson is a curriculum developer, educator, and creator, writer, lover of coffee hot or cold, reading, writing, and baking. She is a proclaimed supermom, combustible content creator, and aspiring future pet lover of two Sphinx cats or hermit crabs, old or young! Born a New Yorker, but living and loving the Southern life in Georgia, she is married, with three amazing kids.
She is the creator of Positive Masterminds. Positive Thinking Podcast: https://anchor.fm/posmas
You can also connect with Melody at 4Kids2Read for online reading tutoring services by contacting customer service email@example.com.
You can also click here to sign up for a FREE tutoring session online!
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