4 Ways to Maintain Consistency While Teaching Virtually
When I talk to teachers about students who do not respond to change well, I remind them what physical flexibility is like. Our muscles are in certain places. They have some flexibility with only minor discomfort, and you can push a little more for a short period of time while being very uncomfortable…but at a certain point, you will sustain an injury if flexibility is pushed too far too fast. That is what we need to watch out for right now. Some of our kids were pushed too far too fast, and are now trying to recover.
In order to prevent further injury, we should try to maintain a little stability. The major changes are already in place, so what are some things we can keep the same as educators?
Keep predictable assignments.
Use activities kids already know and expand them to the home right now. Do you do word sorts? Fluency pages? Word ladders? Daily edits or daily math sheets? Try to keep those things in your teaching to promote consistency.
Talk to students about expectations daily, and work to keep expectations the same.
Utilize websites, books or texts that were introduced in school earlier in the year. Your assignments can be more in-depth, but the familiarity will bring a little comfort!
Don’t forget, WonderGrove Social Skills and Habits of Mind animated lessons provide some very predictable learning material on varied topics. With each video, you will find a fluency passage, coloring sheet, and printable book.
Janelle Vargo was an elementary intervention specialist for over ten years in Dayton, Ohio. She has been using Habits of Mind animations and lessons for her students both in the resource room and inclusive classrooms since their creation. She currently works as an educational consultant. Janelle has written lessons and articles for private educational companies, as well as consulting with companies and school districts looking to make their interventions simple, efficient and meaningful to children.
As a local business owner of Two Birds Artwork, which specializes in custom artwork and art classes for kids through adults, Janelle strives to incorporate multi-sensory creative learning opportunities for young students who are often bored and uninterested in school. She and her husband also run The Athletic Proving Grounds in their hometown which houses workout groups for adults, speed groups for 5th grade and up, and Sport differentiated training for student athletes. Through these experiences, she seeks to instill a “beyond the test” mentality in her students where they are able to participate in activities that engage imagination, movement, problem solving, and perseverance.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.