Don’t do double work
This sounds easier said than done. Yes, you are teaching in person and required to plan for remote learning, too. But, the schedule can work to your advantage. You are essentially teaching the same lessons in school twice. And, your remote learning lessons and materials will be going to all students. The key is to get into a groove where your groups of students are on very similar schedules. This could be tricky at first when you are just getting started. But once you see how the first week or two play out, you can start to see what tasks are most important in supporting your groups of students. You are still planning for 5 days! Break down your week to take a look at how things repeat. When I did this, I felt a little less overwhelmed (and color-coding things always helps!)
Communicating your expectations for students and families going to be key. Provide reminders about HOW and WHEN you are best reached. And, if they cannot reach you (like when you are in school teaching the other group of students), who can they contact for assistance?
- Communicate you are and are not available to respond to messages and emails
- Create a FAQ sheet for students and their families to reference when they have questions
- Make video walk-throughs and store in one easy to locate place
- Develop a back-up plan for when they do not know what to do or when technology fails
- Find out if someone at school can be the “go to” person for urgent questions when you are not available
Lesson planning has never been more crucial! I created this hybrid lesson plan template (with example plans) to share with my colleagues. I made sure that my remote lessons all connected with what we learned the day before and that the activities were a balance of online and offline work.
We are using Seesaw for delivering remote learning materials. So, after I typed my plans, I went back and highlighted everything that would need to be uploaded onto Seesaw. My suggestion would be to split up the work with your team or try to upload things for the following week as you go. Then, at the end of the week, sit down and schedule everything that will need to be sent out.
Supporting your students in being independent learners and problem solvers will require empowering them with the resources they need for success when they are not with you. Find a system and stick with it. This is where consistency is key. I would recommend a simple checklist–whether on paper or digital (or maybe both!) for outlining what they will be doing on their “off” school days.
I want to make sure my students and their families can easily locate everything they need to complete work. Using these symbols will definitely help!
If you are using Seesaw, a daily checklist either posted within the activities or on the main feed will help students know exactly what to do!
Our students will need to be provided activities and resources that they understand how to use independently. Avoid sending home complicated projects, crafts or activities that have a lot of directions and too many steps. Keep it simple! Make it the same version of something you did in class (except with different questions/problems). Get them started on it in class so they have an example to work off of at home. Keep these activities things that they are used to doing and can complete with little adult intervention.