Tips, Activity Ideas, and Resources for Virtual Learning

As you make the transition to online teaching, here are some tips, activity ideas, and resources to support your virtual classroom:

  • Communicate to parents the supplies their children will need for at-home learning. Virtual Learning at home
  • Set up your digital classroom rules or at-home learning rules: send students home with the rules for online or at-home learning and communication with you and with each other. Asking questions will help guide learning as well: Where is your learning space? How much time do you need to complete each task?
  • Consider beginning each “digital day” with a Morning Message or Responsive Advisory Meeting Announcement. This direct communication from their teacher will help students stay connected to you and their classroom. You might email this to parents or post it to a shared school or classroom chat space. You might even consider adding your student’s individual names in your messages (a few each day) for a personal connection (for example, “Rosemary, I’m so glad you enjoyed yesterday’s reading!” or “Ben, I think you’ll enjoy showing your parents Bug in a Rug.”).
  • Keep kiddos moving! Link students to daily energizers and brain breaks with GoNoodle. You might suggest 2-3 each day. For younger students, a great idea is to have them teach their family or babysitter/nanny an activity from class, such a Bug in a Rug or Baby Shark.
  • To simulate interactive learning structures, consider using an online resource like Flipgrid. Our older students could navigate this on their own; younger ones will need parental help.
  • To maintain a sense of belonging, significance, and fun, have students do “daily check-ins” with each other. This might take the form of a discussion board on Google Classroom or a Google Doc where each student posts a response to a question with each classmate responding to two others. Questions can range from academic (What do you think is the most important part of the human brain?) to personal (Describe the perfect birthday cake.); just make sure the questions are open-ended to stimulate discussions! For younger students, these could be written or drawn as part of an at-home journal that students will bring to school when they return.
  • Daily reflections simulate closing circle, and research shows that reflection helps all learners retain information. Think about how you can have students reflect on learning with something as simple as Three Words, Picture This (a drawing of something from their day), or What Stuck With Me to facilitate reflection.
Here are some additional resources to consider:

All Grades 

Grades K-4

Grades 5-8 

 

Written by Emily Parrelli and Megan Florentine, Responsive Classroom Consulting Teachers
Tags: Engaging Academics, Transitions, Virtual Learning

20 Replies to “Tips, Activity Ideas, and Resources for Virtual Learning”

  • Hello Emily and Megan,
    These are awesome suggestions, and can be adapted to all ages! I have already been incorporating a morning check-in with my advisory students. Perhaps in the future we will be better able to set up digital rules and expectations, considering we had little preparation for remote learning at this time. I would also suggest teachers to keep an empathetic eye out for kiddos who are not responding or may have more challenging situations at home. For them a learning space set up or parental help may not be as easily accessible.

  • Hey Emily and Megan,
    I wish I would have read your article at the start of remote learning. I needed your tips when I started out. The Daily reflection could be given as an exit ticket each day for students to stop and think about how things in their day went. Despite only have two weeks left, I will share your tips with my school so we are ready to go in the fall if we are still remote learning.

  • Hi!
    Thank you for this helpful article as teachers are navigating the world of E-Learning! Now that we are in our last week of E-Learning, and after reflecting on my practice, I think one of my biggest regrets is not having a morning meeting. This is something that I implemented in my classroom, but did not make the transition into E-Learning. A daily check-in or “hello” to set up the kids’ day would have been helpful and to engage the students in the lessons for the day. With the unknown future of E-Learning this is definitely something I am going to keep in mind as well as the closing circle. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • I’m familiar with Filgrid and I think that Daily Reflection are fantastic but especially fun for the lower grades.

  • I really enjoyed this article. I love the idea of students doing daily check-ins with each other!

  • The reflections simulate closing circle, and research shows that reflection helps all learners retain information. Think about how you can have students reflect on learning with something as simple as Three Words, Picture This (a drawing of something from their day), or What Stuck With Me to facilitate reflection.

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