This year many of us have to teach in a classroom where students have to be 6 (3) ft apart and/or in masks. This is going to change the way we teach of course! So, here are my social distance teaching tips!
Adjust Over Deleting
I have been hearing many teachers say, “I just don’t know how I am going to get the resources and ideas to teach this way.”
There is no reason that you have to completely change the way you teach everything.
When you are looking at things that you do every year think about how you can adjust it, instead of delete it.
For example, I love STEM activities to go back to school. So, I made a Google slide that two partners would have. They will be typing on it while they are completing their STEM project and watching each other six feet apart! I could have deleted the activity all together, but instead I adjusted!
Brain Break Timers
Set a timer on your computer or phone for every 45 minutes. Then, no matter what you are doing stop and do a brain break. Students won’t be moving around as often and need these movement breaks.
Plus, the timer and the anticipation makes it even more fun.
Using Technology for Group Work
Students can be on the same Google Doc working. If you are very clear about your expectations and you practice this skill with them you can create really amazing group work with technology.
I will be using my partner Google Slides to have students write stories, play math games, and more! They can sit six feet apart and work on a Google assignment together and still be making that connection!
When you look at your schedule or your year let your kids in on the choosing and ideas. If you have a problem that you can seem to think of a way to solve it, ask them. They have more ideas than you would ever think.
Right when school starts ask your kids these three questions..
- What do you want to learn about this year?
- What makes you nervous about the new expectations? Is there anything you think we should change?
- What would make you feel better about this school year?
I bought some cheap crayon boxes at the store and are using them as “tiny tubs”. All this means is that I can fill them with morning tub (or project) supplies to be used for one student.
For morning tubs, my students will all have a tiny tub for a week and then they will sit out over the weekend and be switched the following week. This is an easy way to make sure they are still having experience with different materials, even if they can’t all share.
Move Them Often
I will be switching chairs weekly. This means I will be switching their flexible seating options weekly. They have to stay in desks that are spread out, but they can still use the flexible seating options at their desk. Switching these weekly will help keep up excitement and energy in the classroom!
I will also be moving their seats often. Kids love moving seats and it is a great way to change up the scenery for each of them. I plan to do this every other week!
What I Wish My Teacher Knew
I plan on reading this book and then setting up a little box at the front of my room. Students have index cards in their desks, and if they have something that they wish I knew, but they don’t want to come up and tell me, then they can put it in the box.
I am going to have them put a smiley face if they want me to talk about it with them and nothing if they’d rather not talk.
The reason for this box is that students are going to feel all kinds of emotions this year and I want them to have a safe place always.
This is also a great way for students to tell you something when you are working with other kids. as well.
Allow for Change and Grace
We all know that every day, every week, every hour, things are changing. We have to allow ourselves to be okay with the change. We have to give ourselves grace when it all goes wrong.
It will not be perfect this year, it won’t be pretty, and honestly it is just going to be crazy.
So, instead of resisting, jump on the rollercoaster. Enjoy the moments that you have.
Give yourself Grace and enjoy the ride.
Got questions? Email me! I’d love to help!