12:08 PM

Beginning of the Year Best Practices 

Digital or in-person? Homeschool or public school? In our ever-changing climate, it can be seemingly impossible to tackle the job of teaching. I wanted to give a word of encouragement to teachers in this crazy season: No matter your current situation, people are people. Children are children. You know what you are doing and you can do this too! 

Three quick reminders as you begin the school year:

1. Wait time
Whether in person or online, allow wait time for your students. Especially as we all try and navigate the technology components, giving your students time to think and respond is a key part of teaching! Wait time is a powerful tool - be sure to use it! 

2. Over plan
No one wants to be stuck with dead time, thinking, “NOW what should I do?” As you plan your days and weeks, always keep a couple of extra activities in your back pocket just in case things finish early. It’s better to have too much to do than too little! Simple games like Hangman or Pictionary can be played in class or online. They’re great for filling those last five to ten minutes and they go a long way toward building positive classroom rapport. Other fun extra time activities could be estimation jars (hold it up to the camera and let the students estimate!), piggyback stories (someone starts a story and passes it along for classmates to continue), or funny games like Body Count can be great for ending lesson time on a fun note!

3. Attention spans

A great tip that you probably know is that a child’s attention span is usually their age plus two. So if you’re teaching six-year-olds, they can probably hang in there with you for a maximum of eight minutes before they need to move on to something else. Consider attention span length when planning mini-lessons and direct instruction. Keep it as short and sweet as possible - you can always come back and reteach! 

Classrooms and schools look very different across our world right now. Be encouraged though - there are best practices that remain true no matter the setting!  

by Robyn from The Snodgrass Smart Store

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