Learning and Pedagogy / Apr 07, 2020

Adventures in Virtual Learning

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Teachers, students, and families have instantly transitioned from a traditional classroom setting to distance learning which, of course, presents a number of challenges.  It seems that instructionally, you are getting the hang of things!  Kudos!  However, especially in the final stretch of a school year, there are numerous exciting and fun opportunities that kids look forward to and make lifelong memories from!   So, here are some ways we came up with to weave more joy and adventure into your virtual classroom!

1. Virtual Field Trips

Awaken your inner explorer!? Share a link with students from one of the following websites and let their curiosity take over:

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The experiences are breathtaking and range from viewing museums to national parks. Virtual Tours and Field Trips truly bring the interactive learning experience of going to a museum or visiting with wildlife to the comfort of your own home!

Pro-tip: Take this to the next level by casting it to your television as you explore to make it life-size! 

2. Mystery Readers

Create a volunteer request for mystery readers with time slots where students can log in. Let families get involved in sharing a love of reading by hosting a live Google Hangout or Zoom meeting where students can listen in! Need a few easy-to-share books for free? Check out these awesome resources:

3. Class Parties 

Host a virtual class party with a theme. One idea is to host a writing or poetry breakfast where students can share their work. Students dress up and come to an online poetry breakfast–with their favorite breakfast food!  The options for class parties are endless, and you can keep everyone in the loop with ClassTag by creating an event!

4. Recess and Physical Education

Find ways to incorporate movement with learning! Studies show that physical activity can increase the retention of new information. Share specific physical skills that students can work on at home. It can be as easy as telling them to practice throwing and catching a ball while practicing their spelling words for the week.  Try these resources for fun learning challenges while moving:

5. Spelling Bee

Share spelling words with students using ClassTag and hold a virtual Spelling Bee on a video conference! Create an event under the activities page so everybody can shine! Help your students practice their spelling lists with:

6. STEAM Fair

Let students shine through the arts and science! Create a “STEAM Fair” post on the main page and pin it to the top. Link apps that show student data, media and information for their project, such as:

7. Student-created School Museum

Bring history alive with a School Museum created by students! Students can discuss important people, place, things or events in history to curate a schoolwide museum. Allow students to present in a fun medium, including narratives, podcasts, vlogs, presentations or even a short skits. Pro-tip: ClassTag’s schoolwide makes this a breeze! Create an announcement for the school, with a list of sources and instructions on how to participate! 

8. Class Picnic 

Bring technology outside and find a sunny spot to enjoy lunch and snacks. Let students leave their microphones on to take turns reading to the group, or read a book aloud. For an active twist on the picnic: do an outside scavenger hunt and let students share what they find! Here’s a free one to get you started: Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt.

9. Show and tell

Consider holding weekly meetings on Friday mornings. Give each student a few minutes to participate in a class meeting to share something from their home. A student share with the class about some baby chicks that the family recently took in can turn into an interactive lesson about the needs of baby chicks! Give your families the platform to share on ClassTag by responding to posts with comments, pictures and videos. 

10.Virtual Pen Pal 

The best kind of learning is doing. Assign students to practice writing with virtual pen pals.  You can enable inter-parent/student messaging on ClassTag to give them a safe way to write messages to other class members. Not only will students find this a novel way to post, but they will also learn digital etiquette. BrainPOP’s Digital Etiquette interactive lesson can help you start the conversation!

11. Spirit Day

Break the day-to-day monotony of sweatshirts and business casual and schedule a spirit day! Crazy hair day, sport team spirit, and mismatch days can all happen remotely. Help parents plan ahead by scheduling spirit days in advance so that parents get reminders ahead of time- and the day of the event! Pro-tip: Administration can make this a schoolwide activity by creating an announcement!

12. Field Day

Each year, teachers and students count down to Field Day! Collaborate with teachers at your school to create a choice menu of age-appropriate activities that your students can replicate at home. Teachers can get creative and create videos of how to play the games, or find tutorials on YouTube This is a great time to have a dance party using resources like this Zumba Kid video to share with students.  

Learning virtually can be fun and enriching! Let students show off their skills in different environments and really shine while at home!


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