Tips for Teaching in a Hybrid Model

So, you are going back to school full time but the students will only be there part time. How will I manage in person AND online learning simultaneously? This might feel like you are being expected to do two jobs at once (let’s face it, you are). Even though it feels daunting, there are many possible advantages to this structure. With a smaller class size, you can hone in on students’ individual need better. Classroom management challenges have just been cut in half leaving more time for quality instruction. And even though the time students are not with you is being termed “online learning”, the opportunity to send students home with materials allows for much more flexibility than we had during emergency distance learning in the spring.  Here’s how this can all work smoothly:

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
This *FREE* Parent Tech Help from Sublime Little Scholars is a great tool for families!
Parent Tech Help EDITABLE (Distance Learning, Hybrid, or In-Person)
  • 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
Another helpful tool for families is a suggested schedule. Obviously, this wouldn’t work for every student but many families like to see what their day could look like. This is editable and free!

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.

Using a paper checklist for each day might work best for some students. You can easily type in assignments and make copies for the entire week so these checklists are ready to go! Make sure to review what their expectation is for what they need to complete on their day(s) they are not with you.

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!

This template works great for older students who can easily read about their assignments.
This will work perfect for younger learners! You can now LINK pages within a Seesaw activity. Put this as the first page and then connect all of your subject activity pages to this main landing page.

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.

You can download all of the templates above for FREE.

I wish you the best of luck no matter what your school year looks like! I hope this all helped 🙂
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