Updated 16 April
There is lots of information on the internet on the changes required by the shift from classroom to distance learning in the secondary classroom and in tertiary institutions but very little about how it affects the learning of primary students. The best thing I have found is this infographic which makes some nice suggestions about the different ways we need to approach our learners.
If you want to take this further and find out more about synchronous vs asynchronous teaching and learning, just do a google search and there is a mine of information (as always) that you can wade through.
I did find one link that seemed to have relevance to the primary situation.
Updated 7 April
“It's very easy to do far too much...so go softly and slowly. Don't be surprised that kids haven't remembered many of the things you've taught…it's been a real eyeopener to see how many kid’s best strategy had been to rely on their peers.” Hannah
As a classroom teacher I was always frustrated, irritated, cynical even when my homeschooling friends told me they got all the teaching done in a couple of hours in the morning, leaving the rest of the day free for ‘other things’. I always used to wonder what that looked like and just how much teaching and learning occurred.
I am now thinking that in this new era of home based learning, maybe we have to see this as a realistic sort of approach.
The biggest shift for us is that, unless we install cameras in all of our students homes (not a serious suggestion), we are losing much of the opportunity that we rely on to monitor our students responses to the work we set (do they understand the task), and the opportunity to monitor the engagement, to motivate, encourage, re-engage, remind, and prompt. I read somewhere the other day that our biggest impact on our students' learning is our presence.
So that learning dynamic has changed. And because of that we can’t expect to run a 9am-3pm timetable. We can’t just pile on the homework. For our students the words procrastination, isolation and absence of support spring to mind. And we mustn’t expect the parents to deal with all of this in our absence.
So, while we continue to aim high, until we get this thing sorted we have to expect way less.
'Teach' in the Morning
We are suggesting that you focus on a good start to the day. A platform like Google Classroom (see more about this under 'Using the Technology') can provide you with some contact time where you set clear expectations about work tasks and completion rates. Have some 'must does' and some 'can does'. Find ways to model what your expectations are (but don't overwhelm). Make this the time you are available for one-on-one responses (remember that these sorts of responses are going to be much more time consuming than classroom conversations) but have a cut off point.
Self Directed Learning in the Afternoon
Allow for self directed work in the afternoons for your students and some planning time for the next day for you.
Keep your evenings free for your own life and family.
Well that’s the theory we have come up with. We would love to hear about the reality. Please contribute in the response form below. Share your experience, successes and frustrations.
The Supporting a Teacher Series
Making the Shift
Easing Into a Remote Reading Programme
Providing Reading Tasks and Reading Responses
Using the Technology
Upskill Yourself in Guided Reading
These webpages are aimed at supporting teachers everywhere who are having to make a rapid transition into remote or home based teaching and learning. Look for weekly updates as more information becomes available.
Posted 2 March 2020
And be easy on yourself!
There is lots of information on the internet on the changes required in the secondary classroom and tertiary institutions but very little about how it affects the learning of primary students. The best thing I have found is this infographic I found (see previous post).