The current health crisis has made remote learning a necessity. But this can be a particular difficult task for preschools as they're largely based on play- or project-based approaches.
Children learn best through free play within carefully thought out environments with their peers. It is through play that children learn social and emotional skills, motor skills and develop future academic skills. One of the main questions early childhood educators ask is how to inspire play virtually.
As preschools start preparing for remote learning, it is important that the core principles of having open-ended materials to encourage children's engagement remain. Here school management software comes. It helps to keep your work in order and make it more effective.
Your greatest ally in this journey are the child's parents. Distance learning will redefine parent-school partnership as you work closely with parents to keep the children engaged!
We have put together some tips in this article to help you kick start your journey on distance learning. Let's get right to it!
Draw up a plan before distance learning
Same as anywhere else, it is ready for further changes to be better than meeting them unprepared. The same thing with virtual learning. You need to be fully equipped and well prepared before launching this program.
Being fully prepared helps. Put together a list of to-dos before the actual lesson begins.
Some things you might want to take note of are:
- -- Does everyone have access to a computer and internet?
- -- Do they have the program installed? Do they require an account to access the platform?
- -- Do they require to have a webcam to participate in the activities?
- -- How will the children submit any assignments to you if required?
(b) Lesson plan
- How many children are you planning the lesson for? Taking note that the levels of interaction will be very different from a classroom and you may need to split the class into smaller groups.
- Do you require them to have any materials prepared beforehand to participate in the activities?
- Have the parents been briefed on what they need to do when the lesson is going on?
It may be interesting: School Preparedness After Home Learning in Lockdown
Establish a partnership with the child's parents
It is no easy feat keeping a young child seated in front of a computer. You're going to improve your parent-reacher communication. It helps to prepare the parents in advance, taking note that they might have other responsibilities as well.In this instance, a weekly email can be sent to the parents sharing the lesson timings, lesson plans and materials to prepare will be extremely helpful for parents to prepare in advance.
Learning goes beyond the four walls of the classroom, or in this case, beyond the webcam.
This can be achieved by involving the parents. Design projects that involve a parent working together with their child, and if a family misses one or neglects to complete a project, send a note to check in.
Be kind to yourself
This is a new experience for yourself and for your students. Remember that previous measures of success should not be applied in this instance. There has been no precedence set on how distance learning must be conducted.
Measure your success by the smiles of your students. If you observe their attention dwindling, take a pause, and switch it up. Play some music, get the children on their feet and start a sing & dance activity. It is important to also note that not all parents want their kids to have more screen time. Similarly, some kids may not enjoy the screen time too.
A teacher from one our client's school shared, “It is 100 percent okay to not participate and opt to play with your kids. Distance learning for children should not be seen as a requirement." All in all, we are all learning to cope and we are doing our best with what we have!
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