Grand Valley State University is dedicated to supporting K-12 students and families as they temporarily transition to online instruction and instruction at home. To do so, the Charter Schools Office and the College of Education have created ever-growing resource lists for students in elementary grades, middle school, and high school. There are also resources geared toward social emotional learning. The lists will be updated weekly as GVSU and its partners learn more about the content areas where families need the most assistance.

(Latest resource update made on April 3, 2020)

SAMPLE DAILY SCHEDULE/ ROUTINE

Experts agree that one of the most important things that you can do during this time of school closures (to address both social-emotional and academic needs) is to set a routine.

While these schedules below are simply a place to start, it is important to also remain flexible to the needs of your students and your family.

Before diving into the resources below, we recommend building an instruction schedule. The image to the right is a sample schedule that includes suggestions for students in elementary grades, middle school, and high school.

Detailed instructional schedule for students learning at home

Having trouble reading the schedule? Click on the image to enlarge it.

Grades K-2 Resources

Below are activities and resources you can engage with your children in grades K-2 while schools are closed. Students should prioritize work and learning activities their teachers might have given them to complete first before they engage in these activities and resources.


Literacy Online Tools

  • NEW! Tumblebook Library - This free online library offers books for all ages. The monthly newsletters suggest texts each day to enrich students’ lives

  • NEW! Wonderopolis - provides a “daily wonder” (e.g., 3/24 is “What is an Amoeba?”), which includes images and text to answer this question as well as additional opportunities for learners to explore

  • Unite for Literacy - Kids can listen to a variety of non-fiction books in 30 different languages

  • Story Time from Space - This project sends children’s books to the International Space Station where astronauts video record themselves reading books to children on earth.

  • Read Works -- Read Works is a free online resource with thousands of interesting articles for grades K-12th. Students can read or listen to a story and then add 2-3 things they have learned about the story in their Book of Knowledge. There are questions that go along with the stories to help students with comprehension and build their vocabulary.

  • Scholastic Learn at Home


Hands-On Literacy Activities

  • NEW! Connect the Dot with Letters: This letter familiarity activity will get children moving and their brains thinking. Revamp the basic connect-the-dots by writing a handful of repeating letters in random patterns around a large piece of paper. Kids can connect the letters in any way they like, so long as all of the G’s are connected to the other G’s, and so on. Materials: paper & markers

  • NEW! Stories in a Jar: This activity has 2 versions. Find a clean, clear jar. Then: (1) Fill the jar with 5-6 small items from around the house. Then, take turns telling a story that includes the objects; OR (2) Read a book together and then find 3-5 items from around that house that represents the book, theme, characters. While placing each item in the jar, talk about how that item connects to the story. Materials: clear jar, household items .

  • NEW! Mini Alphabet Sensory Bins: Fill a bin with objects that all start with the same letter. Tape the letter on the front of each box, or have children guess the letter as they examine the objects. Either way, ask students to describe the different objects and make note of the starting letter of each object. Materials: small bins, household item

  • See previous hands-on literacy activities and games


  • Writings of the Week for April 6- April 10

Each day have your child focus on one story element by only writing about that aspect of a story. Each day they will continue to build their story so that by Friday he or she can pull all of the elements together to write a complete story.

      • Monday (Setting) - Describe where your story takes place

      • Tuesday (Characters) - Who are the characters in your story? What are their names? What do they look like? What do they like to do?

      • Wednesday (Rising Climax & Problem) - The characters are going to be encountering a problem. What is the problem and what were some details that led up to it?

      • Thursday (Falling Action) - How did the characters handle the problem? What did they do to fix or solve the problem?

      • Friday (Conclusion) - How did it all end?

      • See previous Writings of the Week


Math Online Tools

  • NEW! ABCya! - Children can practice their fact fluency (addition, subtraction, multiplication & division) by choosing easy, medium or hard levels. The basketball shooting at the end of each fact practice is engaging and keeps children practicing over and over again. Added layer, parents can time their child while they practice their fact fluency and then keep a running log to see if they can beat their previous time

  • Cohesion Education - Cohesion Education is a comprehensive, K-5 video library of math concepts in 10 minutes or less. The videos are designed by teachers, for parents

  • Math Playground - This is a great site for kids who need a break from packet work. It is an interactive website that allows students to play math games, logic games, go on math arcade adventures and listen to math stories & videos. Easy to navigate and broken down by grade levels. No sign in required and no fees


Math Hands-On Activities/Games

  • NEW! Math Fact Race- Tape addition and/or subtraction facts around the house while your child hides in one room. Once they are all placed have your child come out of the room and rush around to find the facts. When a fact is located have your child stand in front of it and yell out the answer. If the answer is correct then he or she can take the fact. If it isn’t then they leave it and have to go find another fact. They can come back and answer it again later. Materials: paper, paper plates, sticky notes or something else to write on !

  • NEW! Head Up Addition Up- The parent asks his or her child to draw 2 cards from the deck and hold them up to their foreheads without looking at them (could have sticky tape already on their foreheads and the cards could be stuck on the tape for added fun). The parent then adds the 2 cards together and tells his or her child that the total of the 2 cards is 10 and one of your cards is a 7, what is your other card? If the child gets the right answer they get to keep the cards. If they are wrong they have to give them back. Once the deck is gone whoever has the most cards is the winner! Materials: Deck of Cards & Tape (optional) King, Queen & Jacks are worth 10 and an Ace is worth one

  • NEW! Subtraction Concentration game- Parents can take the classic game, Concentration and turn it into subtraction practice. Write out subtraction problems and then the answer on separate cards. So you might have 10-5 on one card, and then another card would have 5. Have your child pair the problem with an answer for a correct match. You could even color-code the cards to make it easy to distinguish math problems vs. answers. Materials: writing utensil and index cards, paper cut up, old flash cards and/or sticky notes

  • See previous hands-on math activities and games

Grades 3-5 Resources

Below are activities and resources you can engage with your child in grades 3-5 while schools are closed. Students should prioritize work and learning activities their teachers might have given them to complete first before they engage in these activities and resources.


Literacy Online Tool

  • NEW! Tumblebook Library - This free online library offers books for all ages. The monthly newsletters suggest texts each day to enrich students’ lives

  • NEW! Wonderopolis - provides a “daily wonder” (e.g., 3/24 is “What is an Amoeba?”), which includes images and text to answer this question as well as additional opportunities for learners to explore

  • Unite for Literacy - Kids can listen to a variety of non-fiction books in 30 different languages

  • Story Time from Space - This project sends children’s books to the International Space Station where astronauts video record themselves reading books to children on earth.

  • Read Works - Read Works is a free online resource with thousands of interesting articles for grades K-12th. Students can read or listen to a story and then add 2-3 things they have learned about the story in their Book of Knowledge. There are questions that go along with the stories to help students with comprehension and build their vocabulary.

  • Scholastic Learn at Home


Hands-On Literacy Activities

  • NEW! Stories in a Jar: This activity has 2 versions. Find a clean, clear jar. Then: (1) Fill the jar with 5-6 small items from around the house. Then, take turns telling or writing a story that includes the objects; OR (2) Read a book together and then find 5-6 items from around that house that represents the book, theme, characters. While placing each item in the jar, talk about how that item connects to the story. Materials: clear jar, household items, paper, pencil

  • NEW! Mini Alphabet Sensory Bins: Fill a bin with objects that all start with the same letter. Then, ask students to write 1-2 sentence descriptions of each of the different objects. Materials: small bins, household items, paper, pencil

  • NEW! Nutty News Stories: Give your child a newspaper (or news stories from online) and have them go through and cut out individual words (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives). Explain what each kind of word is as you go—nouns are things, verbs are actions, adjectives are describers. Then, have your child use these words to make up funny fake “headlines”. For example, “Senator Eats Baseball Team.” They can glue or tape the words to the top of a blank piece of paper and then write a short article (3-4 sentences) to go along with the headline. Help with ideas by asking questions about who, what, when, where, and why. Repeat and see how many silly articles your child can come up with! For extra fun, your child can dress up and pretend to be an anchorperson, reading the silly headlines and articles for others in your home to enjoy. Materials: old newspapers/news articles, scissors, paper, glue or tape

  • See previous literacy hands-on activities and games


  • Writings of the Week for April 6 - April 10

Each day have your child focus on one story element by only writing about that aspect of a story. Each day they will continue to build their story so that by Friday he or she can pull all of the elements together to write a complete story.

      • Monday (Exposition/Introduction) - In the exposition stage of the plot of a story, the setting and characters (especially the main character, known as the protagonist) are introduced, as well as the main problem, conflict or goal of the story

      • Tuesday (Rising Action) - The rising action stage involves an inciting incident. The inciting incident pushes the plot into motion, events begin to build, the protagonist takes action, and the story line becomes more complex. During this phase, there is often a sense of tension.

      • Wednesday (Climax) - The climax is the turning point in the plot of a story. It involves a “climax” (hence the name) – the central struggle. The protagonist faces the main challenge which will eventually lead to the outcome or goal of the story. Typically, this is the most emotional part of the storyline and it often involves the most action

      • Thursday (Falling Action) - During this stage, the action winds down, loose ends get tied up, events are resolved and we learn the results of the protagonists’ actions

      • Friday (Conclusion) - In the Conclusion stage, the goal is resolved and the conflict ends (could be positive, negative or neutral). This is the end of the story

      • See previous Writings of the Week


Math Online Tools

  • NEW! ABCya! - Children can practice their fact fluency (addition, subtraction, multiplication & division) by choosing easy, medium or hard levels. The basketball shooting at the end of each fact practice is engaging and keeps children practicing over and over again. Added layer, parents can time their child while they practice their fact fluency and then keep a running log to see if they can beat their previous time

  • Cohesion Education - Cohesion Education is a comprehensive, K-5 video library of math concepts in 10 minutes or less. The videos are designed by teachers, for parents

  • Math Playground - This is a great site for kids who need a break from packet work. It is an interactive website that allows students to play math games, logic games, go on math arcade adventures and listen to math stories & videos. Easy to navigate and broken down by grade levels. No sign in required and no fees


Math Hands-On Activities/Games

  • NEW! Math Fact Race- Tape multiplication and/or division facts around the house while your child hides in one room. Once they are all placed have your child come out of the room and rush around to find the facts. When a fact is located have your child stand in front of it and yell out the answer. If the answer is correct then he or she can take the fact. If it isn’t then they leave it and have to go find another fact. They can come back and answer it again later. Materials: paper, paper plates, sticky notes or something else to write on !

  • NEW! Head Up Multiplication Up- The parent asks his or her child to draw 2 cards from the deck and hold them up to their foreheads without looking at them (could have sticky tape already on their foreheads and the cards could be stuck on the tape for added fun). The parent then multiplies the 2 cards together and tells his or her child that the total of the 2 cards is 56 and one of your cards is a 7, what is your other card? If the child gets the right answer they get to keep the cards. If they are wrong they have to give them back. Once the deck is gone whoever has the most cards is the winner! Materials: Deck of Cards & Tape (optional) King, Queen & Jacks are worth 10 and an Ace is worth one

  • NEW! Division Concentration game- Parents can take the classic game, Concentration and turn it into subtraction practice. Write out subtraction problems and then the answer on separate cards. So you might have 49 divided by 7 on one card , and then another card would have 7 Have your child pair the problem with an answer for a correct match. You could even color-code the cards to make it easy to distinguish math problems vs. answers. Materials: writing utensil and index cards, paper cut up, old flash cards and/or sticky notes

  • See previous hands-on math activities and games

Grades 6-8 Resources

Below are activities and resources you can engage with your Middle School aged child while schools are closed. Students should prioritize work and learning activities their teachers might have given them to complete first before they engage in these activities and resources.


Online Resources

  • Khan Academy Parent Resources - As a parent you may have a student who is using Khan Academy to continue to grow in their core classes or prepare for AP Exams or the PSAT/ SAT tests. Khan Academy has developed a list of helpful suggestions and FAQs to help parents to support their students as they are using Khan Academy during school closures.

  • Khan Academy -- a nonprofit with the mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Students are able to sign up to take courses (aligned with courses in which they are currently enrolled at their Middle School), learn content, and complete assessments to demonstrate understanding.

  • Edmentum -- Edmentum offers digital learning experiences for all subjects as well as printable materials for students who do not have access to a device or the internet.


Hands-On Activities

  • NEW! Have your child organize a family night. This could be anything from setting up a game night, leading everyone in some type of team building game, or teaching your family a lesson that they have learned in school this past year. The goal of this activity is to give your child an opportunity to plan an activity, clearly explain what the activity is, and learn more about how your child leads.

  • See hands-on activities from previous weeks


Writings Prompts of the Week for April 6 - April 10
Have your child write 3-5 paragraphs on the following prompts. Make sure to follow up with them to discuss their responses and push their thinking:

      • Monday - What is the most important problem in our world right now? Why?

      • Tuesday - What is a problem in our world that gets a lot of attention and money towards, but you believe is not that big of a deal? Why?

      • Wednesday - Go back to the most important problem in the world prompt from Monday. What do you believe the solution to that problem is? Think of the solution in terms of time, talent, and treasure

      • Thursday - How could you personally help solve this problem? What skills or knowledge do you need to have in order to fully address it? What is your role in addressing it?

      • Friday - How would you argue with someone who said “you’re only one person and that problem is too big to solve with just one person?” How would you respond?

      • Review previous writing prompts

I'd like to find even more writing prompts

High School Resources

Below are activities and resources you can engage with your High School age child while schools are closed. Students should prioritize work and learning activities their teachers might have given them to complete first before they engage in these activities and resources.


Online Resources

  • Khan Academy -- a free tool where students are able to sign up to take courses (aligned with courses in which they are currently enrolled at their High School), learn content, and complete assessments to demonstrate understanding. Additionally, Khan Academy provides SAT Practice for students who are preparing to take the PSAT or SAT in the upcoming month as well as courses aligned with specific AP Classes in preparation for AP Testing.

  • Khan Academy Parent Resources - As a parent you may have a student who is using Khan Academy to continue to grow in their core classes or prepare for AP Exams or the PSAT/ SAT tests. Khan Academy has developed a list of helpful suggestions and FAQs to help parents to support their students as they are using Khan Academy during school closures

  • Edmentum -- Edmentum offers digital learning experiences for all subjects as well as printable materials for students who do not have access to a device or the internet



Hands-On Activities

  • NEW! Interview project (3-4 hours): have your child conduct an in depth interview with a family member or family friend about their experience with COVID-19. These interviews can take place over the phone and could last anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. The focus of this interview should be to discuss their experience with COVID-19, what past event this reminds them of, and their overall feelings about the situation. Below is a breakdown of hours associated with each step.

    • Pre-interview (1 hour): introduce this project with your child and have them draft a series of questions to ask a particular family member or family friend. Have your child connect with this family member or family friend and ask them if they would be willing to participate in an interview about COVID-19.

    • Interview (1 hour): have your child conduct the interview.

    • Editing (1 hour): have your child type up the responses and write a summary of the interview.

    • Debrief (30 minutes to an hour): it will be important to discuss this experience with your child. Ask them questions about what they learned about this process, what they learned about the interviewee, and why it's important that we conduct interviews. Be sure to share your own feelings or answers to some of the questions in your debrief.

    • Resource for conducting interviews: https://storycorps.org/

  • See activities and college preparation ideas from previous weeks


Writing Prompts of the Week for April 6 - April 10
Have your child write 5-6 paragraphs on the following prompts. Make sure to follow up with them to discuss their responses and push their thinking:

      • Monday - This week we will analyze the theme of distance vs. connection. What does it mean to be distant? Are we more or less distant from each other with the situation around COVID-19?

      • Tuesday - What does it mean to be connected? Are we more or less connected from each other with the situation around COVID-19?

      • Wednesday - Discuss a time in the past two to three weeks where you have felt distant and a time where you have felt connected

      • Thursday - Are we more distant or connected during this time? Why?

      • Friday - Reread your response from yesterday. Now write a response to the same prompt only you must defend the opposite opinion. Be sure to include evidence in your response.

      • Review previous writing prompts

I'd like even more writing prompts

Resources for Social Emotional Learning

The school closure decision can be overwhelming for parents and cause fear and confusion for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourage parents and those working with children to talk about COVID-19 in a way child can understand. A frequently asked questions and answers resource about COVIS-19 is also available Tips provided by Healthychildren.org include the following:

  • Simple reassurance.  Remind children that researchers and doctors are learning as much as they can, as quickly as they can, about the virus and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.

  • Give them control. It's also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, and getting enough sleep

  • Watch for signs of anxiety. Children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Keep the reassurance going and try to stick to your normal routines.

  • Monitor their media. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc. For older children, talk together about what they are hearing on the news and correct any misinformation or rumors you may hear.

  • Be a good role model. COVID-19 doesn't discriminate and neither should we. While COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, it doesn't mean that having Asian ancestry – or any other ancestry – makes someone more susceptible to the virus or more contagious. Stigma and discrimination hurt everyone by creating fear or anger towards others. When you show empathy and support to those who are ill, your children will too.


There are many resources about COVID-19 and social-emotional learning available online and at your local library. Some of these resources are as follows:


General Social-Emotional Learning resources:


Encouraging Kindness and Empathy


NEW! Cultivating Perseverance and Resilience

Enrichment Resources

Below are resources for families that taps into student interests like art, animals, and more.

  • NEW! Animal Diversity Web - (University of Michigan Zoo Museum of Zoology)- This is a wonderful site where kids can learn about animals and can even hear what they sound like!

  • Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari Resources - Join the Cincinnati Zoo each day LIVE at 3pm ET where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.

  • Creative Bug - Experience the joy of engaging in creative and artistic works with classes taught by top designers and artists. Enjoy a free 30-day trial.

  • NEW! Grand Rapids Public Museum: - they offer multiple programs on their site that children can explore.

  • Lunch Doodles with Mo - Mo welcomes you to draw and create with him in his studio at 1pm ET weekdays for lunch doodles

  • NEW! NeoK12 - NeoK12 is a collection of videos, arranged by subject, that have been individually reviewed by K-12 teachers. The videos are all via YouTube, all the ads have been stripped, and all related videos removed

  • San Diego Zoo live cameras - includes baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, and more