Help kick-start learning at home with these easy-to-use, customizable packets.
Many teachers tell us they're new to remote instruction, but it's our K–2 teachers who are coming to us urgently with the following question: How do I turn my classroom into a distance learning environment when students have little or no experience using digital tools independently?
The answer isn't a simple one. Making a transition to distance learning in the early elementary grades requires parents and caregivers (or students' older siblings) to help with the effort. But without a plan that's easy to understand and implement, families become frustrated and student learning suffers.
To help, we've developed three new fun and friendly packets for grades K–2. These weekly learning plans can help you open up the lines of communication with students' families and ease them into some new digital learning routines. Think of these resources -- which you can easily customize -- as a quick-start guide for distance learning at home. They're each structured around the following principles:
1. Start with digital citizenship. Digital citizenship is the basis of all digital learning. In order to play, learn, and create online, students and their families have to understand what it means to be a responsible online citizen. Just as you started the year off setting norms for a happy, safe learning environment, teaching about digital citizenship will serve the same purpose.
2. Set reasonable goals. Teaching remotely and learning remotely are totally new to many. Don't expect things to go smoothly from the start, and let parents know that it's OK if they don't figure everything out the first week. Be realistic about the goals, especially in the first few weeks.
3. Attempt a schedule. It's not always possible to keep the schedule, but setting one to strive for is helpful in structuring the day and helps young students know what to expect.
4. Let Common Sense pick the tools. With so many apps, websites, and games that are great for learning, where should you start? We've picked our favorites so that you and families don't have to. Be assured that your students are getting the best of what's free or available at low cost thanks to our team of talented reviewers.
We know these guides are no replacement for a real-world back-to-school night, but we hope they can help you establish a healthy, positive culture of online learning with your K–2 students and their families. (Spanish versions coming soon.)