The Constant of Change
After two years of distance learning, we appear to be heading back to in-person learning. Online learning has had various degrees of success. Learning loss and sliding academic achievement has been only part of the picture. Problems with social-emotional learning and behavior has been the other part.
Lack of predictability has caused us to pay a heavy price, yet it has also fostered change. What works with face-to-face instruction has not always translated to the tablet screen. Whether learning is masked or not, it is still learning. Teachers and their students have adapted.
It has been extremely difficult for parents who often have had to juggle jobs, childcare and home schooling. They are in increasingly in charge of creating and managing the home learning environment.
The primary challenge for schools was simply to get students to attend. Anyone who has raised or worked with elementary school children knows that holding their attention is a major challenge. In the physical classroom, a teacher is able to see what is going on, and to coax appropriate behavior. In the virtual classsroom, students can simply exit the camera - assuming they even stay in their seat.
Keep Learning Engaging
We read stories aloud to our children, we point at pictures, and and we try to keep it interesting. With math we start by counting, and continue building from there. If children are not engaged, they tend to tune out or act out. Learning becomes a battle. Learn to take breaks, and try to bring some joy back to learning.
As children grow into teens, school work evolves. It involves deeper comprehension, making connections across content areas, and engaging in abstract and critical thinking.
- Find out more about teaching reading.
- Learn that math can be fun
- Science is a perfect way to integrate learning with crosscutting concepts.
Parents are our first teachers
Here are some tips for supporting better learning at home:
- Read every day.
- Set up a study environment, and set a regular time to do school work.
- For younger students, have them read aloud. Avoid too many corrections. Help them sound out words.
- Ask them to predict what will happen next, even if you have read the story 10 times.
- Mistakes and struggle are an essential part of learning. They are not intentional.
- Take a deep breath if you find yourself getting frustrated with a child. Be patient. Avoid anger. Be ready to adapt.
Technology is your co-teacher
Zoom and other video chat programs have become the dominant mode of instruction. Some parts of each lesson may be in the form of prerecorded lessons. Two apps favored by teachers include Flipgrid and SeeSaw
Google is your friend
Don't know something? Learn to ask Google. You will get better and better with practice.
Google Classroom is an extremely popular learning management system used by schools. Every student has a protected, private email. They can see and submit assignments online.
Check out this Parent's Guide to Google Classroom.
|Read The Parent Challenge on Rick's Blog for an in-depth treatment of this topic. You will find additional teaching tips and methods.|