In times of crisis, schools will inevitably be affected. This could mean closures or you being asked to teach remotely. And as elementary educators, this is probably uncharted territory for you.
Teaching remotely is a completely different ballgame. It’s a new way of teaching for you, and a new way of learning for your students.
And it has its challenges. It’s already a struggle to keep children engaged at school when they’re physically in the classroom, so how will they pay attention while learning remote?
Video keeps you in front of your students when distance learning is the only option. It allows you to bring fun and excitement to your students’ remote learning experience “in person.” That’s what will keep them immersed in their education.
The fact of the matter is that students don’t need a brick-and-mortar classroom to learn. They need you.
There are so many ways you can incorporate video in teaching. Many elementary school educators are already doing it. Here’s how you can, too:
Send Recordings of Your Lessons
It’s very possible that your students come from households with multiple children. And not every family can afford multiple laptops, tablets or other electronic devices for their kids to use to learn from home.
This means that not all of your students will be able to access live-streamed video lessons on Zoom because their siblings may have to do the same. But if you send them recorded video lessons, they can access and absorb the information when a computer is available.
Make your instructional videos enjoyable with festive backgrounds, colorful whiteboards, etc. Dress up in costumes. When you’re teaching history, dress up as a historical figure. Or when you’re teaching science, put on a lab coat.
Teaching with video doesn’t have to be boring. Keep things entertaining, so your kids will absorb more of the knowledge you’re sharing.
You can even use a screen recorder, so your class can see your presentation slides and you at the same time. Stephanie does with her fourth-graders in the video lesson below…
Read a Class Book on Camera
Reading a book aloud was likely a big part of your in-class routines. Especially if you teach younger kids who are still learning to read on their own. And they probably looked forward to it.
You can still read to your students face to face with a video. Record yourself reading a book from your class curriculum for them to enjoy.
It’ll help you continue instilling a love of reading with the kids. And it’s a nice break from the textbooks they’re using while learning remote.
Karen sends book reading videos, like the following one, to her students regularly…
Keep Parents Informed With Video Messages
Communication is a struggle with parents, even when normal class sessions are taking place. Teaching remotely adds another hurdle.
And plain-text emails can easily get lost or misinterpreted, causing more confusion and frustration for parents.
This is all new to them, too. Communicate with them more clearly and effectively by sending them video messages.
Send them regular updates on class announcements, important dates, projects, and assignments, and student progress. Offer them resources and tools to help their kids with their remote learning.
Answer any questions they have on camera, and just keep them informed. Make communication one less thing they need to stress about when they have their kids learning at home.
See how McKenzie clarifies her students’ reading assignment for parents at the beginning of the video below…
Send Video Practice Questions
Practice questions are a regular part of classroom curriculum, especially in math. As you teach remotely, you can still do that with video.
Share the practice question, offer guidance, and motivate your students to participate. Use a whiteboard if that makes it easier for you.
Stephanie sent a math problem via video to her fourth-grade class for them to do at home…
Connect and Offer Support To Your Students Using Video
Your students will inevitably need you even more as they learn from home. They’ll need you to further explain assignments. They’ll need you to answer their questions on homework or specific subjects they are having trouble with.
They’ll need you to remind them of important class announcements. They’ll need your encouragement along the way. And all of this is better communicated with a video.
Even as you teach remotely, you can still be there for them in real-time as you would in person. Video gives you the opportunity to really connect with your students in a more personal way.
This gives them a solid foundation of trust in you, so they know they can count on you to support and help them reach their full potential.
See how Karen accomplishes this with her students in the following video…
Bonus Video Tips to Teach Remotely at Elementary School Level
• Class Challenges: Offer more learning opportunities with fun educational challenges via video. Watch Christina launch her class’ reading challenge in the video below…
• Collaborate With Peers: Send videos to your fellow teachers to share lesson plans, tips and resources for teaching remotely, and more. Check in with one another and collaborate as you navigate through remote teaching together.
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