Remote schooling using the virtual model is hard! My son is a first-grader and lost part of the last school year when schools closed due to COVID-19. He struggles with telling time, staying on task.
We have tried using Alexa to set timers. I also like the visual timer in Time Timer (iPhone, iPad, Android) because it provides both a visual and timer you can use out loud. Time Timer app is currently free as of the time of this post. It’s great because you can set it up in advance with timers, to make your child more independent. It also provides a visual cue with the red shrinking as time counts down to completion. I find this app especially helpful when it’s break time, lunch/recess time during remote learning to provide a visual for my son as he tries to figure out how much time he has left. In addition to the visual, it also displays the time. We also use this during independent reading (10 minutes) to make sure when my son takes his eyes off the screen, that he comes back to his virtual learning on time.
Bluebee to help during school
He especially enjoys using Hudson the Puppy and Sammy the Bear. He can use it as a sensory item or we can Bluetooth it to his Chromebook or iPad to speak the words in the classroom. Other families have used a cardboard poster board or a box to help them set up a school “environment” for their children.
Remote Learning setup at home
One of the ways that we help to prepare for the day of remote learning is to create a schedule, provide reinforcers for completing tasks, and making sure we have everything all set for the day. We also organize items by subject to make it easier to find them when the class transitions to the next material. We try to use bookmarks in order to make it easier to open up in packets and workbooks the next day. Whenever possible and especially with my older son, we use Google Drive or scan items to keep electronic items rather than paper items. https://www.bluebeepals.com
Independent Reading Tech Style
At independent reading time during remote schooling, my son will often use Bluebee Pal Leo the Lion to help us read aloud. This way, he can snuggle with Sammy and we can read aloud on the pages while tapping out words as needed. Our school uses Fundations which encourage kids to tap out words to determine if the book is hard or easy. Our library has curbside pickup during COVID-19, we can work with the librarian to get books that are “just right” and that interest my son. I also love trying audiobooks with my son so he can independently listen and then look at the words on the pages while finding sight words and items he recognizes. We also love bringing Hudson with us and listening to audiobooks in the car which I check out from our local library and then play via my phone and with our Bluebee Pal. Hudson provides a huggable stuffed animal who speaks the voice of the audiobook reader, support during reading, even someone for kids to talk to.