Learning at Home
Our world is getting turned upside down. Educators are trained to lead a room of learners in face to face interactions that may include hands-on creations, technology infused lessons and video chatting with experts. Now we are asking, in a very short time, to turn the tables and create activities they can do at home.
From the non-educator, isn’t that what they are supposed to be doing all along? They have computers and all these great websites to use. Why is it so hard?
Our students come from all walks of life. Some from a privileged home with technology that can be for the family or each person, reliable wifi and adults that can guide them through obstacles. Some come from a family that have a shared device with wifi that isn’t strong simply because they live away from bigger populations. Others come from families that are doing everything they can and a computer and wifi just aren’t priorities. There are families where the adults must work shift work and siblings are in charge of each other. All of those scenarios make up a class. Now create a lesson to meet the needs of all the learners.
Bringing this back to our teachers, all of these things must be considered when creating activities to keep the students’ minds fresh. Below are ideas to help you plan. They are broken into Unplugged/Non-Digital and Plugged/Digital.
- Use chalk for computation, shapes, spelling and art.
- While reading a book, create a character chart show how each is connected. Add some fun by using dolls, Lego characters, or any other toy that could represent someone in the book.
- Throw a ball as far as you can. Measure the distance with your foot steps, a stick found on a hike or laying on the ground one person after another.
- Time how long it takes to run around the house. Keep a chart of 10 times. Find the difference of the time. Add some people into the mix and see who is the fastest and by how much.
- Create an obstacle course where you have to jump a certain distance, move around to make a shape, go over/under items or build a tower out of objects found outside.
- Gather boxes, rubber bands and anything else that will make music. Compose a song that describes what you have been learning about in school.
- Develop a Family Feud type game. Questions can be focused on a recent book you read, vocabulary terms you are learning (think synonyms and antonyms), or reasons for a historical event
- Using a device, create a 45 second Flipgrid video that describes a vocabulary term. Share it with a friend and have them guess the word.
- If you have an iPad, create a Worm Hole video. Locate a picture of a map and Playdoh. (In the video example, she uses a circle cut from a colored paper.) Use the Playdoh to create a green screen background. As you move the Playdoh around the map, a new part of it will be seen. Now try the same concept with popsicle sticks.
- Minecraft is all about creation. Use this tool to show how the Space Shuttle landed on the moon. How about demonstrating the Westward Expansion?
- You may have a home with multiple devices. On one device, create a Google Doc and share it with your family members. Person #1 writes a sentence to start the story. Person #2 continues the story. This continues as long as you want. If you are having a challenge staring the story, use this Emoji tool. This same idea can be applied to a Google Slide where each slide will contain part of the story and picture.
- Drawing programs are fun, but what can you do with them? Someone must draw a part of a story they are reading, a show they are watching or something they read about online. The catch is they can only use certain shapes. Great programs to accomplish this are: Google Draw or Wixie.
- Remember there is always coding. This is one of the best ways to keep the mind moving. Great sites are code.org, swift on iPad, Tynker or Scratch (scratch, jr on the iPad).