TST BOCES Regional School Success team has curated a list of resources to support educators as we mitigate school closures. The team has gathered feedback from around the globe about best practices from educators that have been dealing with long term closures and combined them with regionally developed resources that will help students, families, and teaching communities engage with our educational communities.
Around the world teachers that have been experiencing closures resoundingly indicate that keeping it simple is key. Reduce engagement time to a total of two hours a day and do not expect to deliver a normal days content and curriculum. It is important to minimize screen time both for the health of students and families and to limit the stress on our internet systems. Content and curriculum will not be as important for our students as connection and contact with teachers and school staff. It is our people that make our classrooms and schools engaging and valuable and together we can work to provide some safety and security for our students and families in uncertain times.
Our team created this website to provide educators with tips and tools to make the transition easier. In the coming days, we will also begin to host e-office hours in which teachers and administrators can connect with us for guidance and support as needed. You can find our office hours here:
Keep it simple.
Use 1 standardized method to communicate (Google Meet--free access or Zoom--SLS has Zoom licenses available)
Use already introduced, familiar platforms as much as possible
Standardize lesson structure: format, length, content, and accountability
30 minute zoom call to open the day with the teacher and/or co-teacher
2 hours of instruction or less
Establish a routine.
Ex. 30 minute intro with educator,
20 minutes of reading with library/special ed supports,
15 minutes of physical activity that the student develops and records/reports back on,
15 minutes of creative time, i.e. write a story, choose a task from a teacher curated list, etc.
End with 30 minutes of time with educator, i.e. teacher checks in later in the day--reads younger students a bedtime story, etc.
For older students, set them to work on long term research projects that connect to curated resources from SLS.
Reduce workload, i.e. chunk lessons to create greater access and layer in modifications where possible. Ex. students utilize Learning Ally for their learning task for the day.
Prepare a checklist each day with the expectations for the day and post it/review it for students and caregivers.
Introduce new content, or new tech, but not both. Start with new content and add new tech slowly.
Incorporate the home environment as much as possible. Try to minimize screen time.
E- Learning Doctrine:
It's a good idea to establish essential agreements for online learning with your district employees. For example, as a district you may want to outline a plan for all K-2 teachers to engage with students in similar ways. With older students, you might encourage teachers to structure a long-range research lesson or unit that will keep students engaged for multiple weeks vs. one off lessons. A doctrine will help codify expectations for students and teachers and provide caregivers with an idea of what to expect. Click "Make a Copy" below to see an example and make it your own.
List of Assistive Add-Ons and Extensions