Considerations

With the spread of the novel coronavirus and the closure of all schools, learning for our students is moving from brick and mortar classrooms to online. It is a shift in the delivery of instruction in a classroom where you can't see the faces and behaviors of your students, which is often one of the means of formative assessment. As a result, you need to increase your other senses in order to be effective. Karen Young, Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan Instructional Coach, shares lots of helpful advice for moving your class online.

Remember the experience that most of your students have with online is Tik Tok, Snapchat, YouTube, Bloxburg, etc. Short bursts of information and then they move onto the next thing.

DO think about how you will communicate your curriculum and expectations carefully. Your students will no longer be able to immediately raise a hand to ask a clarifying question. How you will you give directions that are specific enough so students can follow them step by step?

DO think small. You are not moving to teaching online for the entire school year (well at least not for now). Look at the standards you were planning to teach for the next month and work backwards. What is the “big” assessment you were planning to give to make sure that your students had met the standard? Was it a test, book report, project?

DO develop a modified “unit” plan that outlines the knowledge needed to achieve the “big” assessment.

DO limit online resources that can help students obtain new knowledge needed or revisit what you have been teaching in the classroom. We love to provide students access to everything however in the online environment you want to make sure your resources help you tell a very clear and specific story.

DO transfer your instruction into writing. Remember you will now be writing your instruction and expectations rather than standing in front of your class. Your directions for students to visit resources and complete assignments should be very specific just as if you were giving directions in front of your class the shorter and more concise the directions the better for your students to make the transition to online instruction with fewer questions. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your students by trying to do too much.

DO provide your students a schedule. It is hard to focus your time when you have all your toys and the Internet right in front of you. Remember not everything has to be online or part of a project. Students can have silent reading time or go to a math website to practice their math facts. 9:00-9:45 Reading Google Classroom, 9:45-10:05 Read a book, 10:05-10:20 snack break, 10:20-11:05 Math Google Classroom (if you finish any subject area early read a book, write in a journal, or practice your math facts.)

DO think about your students who do not have access to the Internet. Is there a project they could work on such as read books and design book talks to give when they get back to class. Practice math facts by making flash cards. Create a science project at home and write what they learned. There are many fun tic tac toe boards on the Internet that have assignments already developed based on different intelligences that students can complete to show what they know.

DO give yourself grace. You have been given a big task during an unprecedented time with possibly no training. Any access to learning is significant