Following the rapid switch to virtual learning at home in the last year, lots of students have now gone back to school while many others continue to receive instruction at home. Others are receiving hybrid options of virtual + school instruction. Even with schools reopening, virtual instruction is here to stay in some form. It can be used during times of inclement weather, homeschooling, or even during illness when a student can not physically attend school. In any case, it can be a challenge keeping student interest and engagement!
Here are some tips to hold and keep students “tuned-in”:
*Parent involvement: Communicate with parents and caregivers regularly. Encourage them to set up their own routine for virtual learning and teach them how to continuously support their children in learning activities. Take the time to establish good working relationships with parents. Welcome parents as part of your child’s educational team and share goals, objectives, and progress on a consistent basis.
*Emphasize structure: Children thrive under structure and routine. This will help them focus, understand expectations, and support organization skills. If needed, try setting a timer to give the child a sense of end time.
*Meet sensory and movement needs: Incorporate music and movement activities. Use high interest video or song clips and brain-based thinking games to get students interested and engaged.
*Be flexible and prepared to change planned activities: Students may get bored with your planned tasks. Keep lots of alternate digital resources, books, toys, and activities ready to keep them engaged if students lose interest. Move onto something else if your original plan is not working.
*Use what students have at home: To make virtual instruction more hands-on, students need to have manipulatives. Plan activities with parents that use common objects found around the house. Bubbles, dolls, favorite toys, craft supplies, homemade sensory bins and snacks for reinforcement
*Use engaging materials: Incorporate pictures, objects, games, novel toys, boom cards, fun interactive materials and games, and digital resources to hold and maintain student interest.
*Bluebee Pals are a great novel teaching aide that come with a free learning app, book and lesson plans that provide fun, high-interest teaching opportunities!
What Are Bluebee Pals?
Bluebee Pals are softly huggable, lovable, plush interactive learning tools/toys that connect via Bluetooth to all iOS and Android devices. They wirelessly pair with all apps with a narrative, which provides endless educational opportunities and entertainment for children of all ability levels. Bluebee’s mouth and head realistically move while speaking, making reading, educational apps, games, and activities so much fun! Which Bluebee Pal will you choose? Hudson the dog, Riley the zebra, Leo the Lion, Lily the lamb, Sammy the bear, or Parker the monkey?
* Bluebee is compatible with ALL apps with a narrative.
* Bluebee inspires learning with educational apps.
* Bluebee makes storybook apps come to life!
* Bluebee is compatible with text-to-speech apps
* Bluebee teaches language and AAC (alternative augmentative communication).
* Bluebee sings with your favorite music apps.
* Bluebee acts as an educational tool with voice recording apps.
* With Bluebee, children become immediately more engaged and attentive, and eagerly look forward to focused learning opportunities!
Check them out here!