Resources for Virtual Teaching During COVID-19
New Considerations in Lesson Planning
In these few weeks, classrooms across the world have gone virtual, pushing face-to-face instruction outside of the box. We have discovered that more is not always better. Many state departments of education are stressing a limited scope of delivery. As teachers, we have to ask ourselves some key questions with each lesson we plan for our digitized classrooms:
- Is the activity or lesson essential?
- Can it be done successfully remotely?
- What do students need to master to complete the unit or course?
- What is “doable” both for the students and for me?
A benefit of this new environment is that it gives teachers an innovative way to differentiate instruction. You can use a collaborative learning plaftorm like Moodle or Google Classrooms to engage with students. Mix this method with asynchronous assignments like paper packets and pre-recorded lessons to create a menu of activities for students to choose how they demonstrate mastery of standard(s) and knowledge. There are a lot of options you can use to introduce variety:
- Learning Management Systems like Canvas and Moodle
- Google Classroom
- Pre-recorded lessons that are sent to students or posted for student review
- PowerPoint lessons
- Live lessons through video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Facebook Live Private Groups
- Paper packets of learning materials for students
Also, many state programs are providing programs that help teachers and parents keep their childrens’ education on track. The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) has developed an Online Learning Community to provide multiple educational tracks and subject areas. Alabama Public Television has began airing grade-specific shows. They also have resources for follow-up activities aligned with each show.
Continue Your Student Teaching
Traditionally, our teacher candidates apply what they learn in a brick-and-mortar classroom under the guidance of a mentor teacher. In the era of distance learning, we are finding ways to let our students complete their fieldwork in a virtual setting. TeacherReady students can use any of the above options to deliver instruction for required field hours and Lesson 1-7 fieldwork assignments.
Final Field Experience (Lesson 8 Culminating)
If you are currently a teacher of record, you will pick your standard(s) for your final teaching project and use the questions below to guide your planning. If you are a para /assistant teacher or are working with a mentor teacher, you will meet with your mentor first to discuss your culminating teaching. During this meeting you should brainstorm the following.
- What is your instructional plan?
- How will you provide accommodations for Sped, 504 and EL students?
- What are your delivery options (see above examples)?
- How will you give a pre- and post-assessment?
- What is your plan for assessing student work and how will you provide feedback?
- How will you assist students with their assignments? (Homework help?)
- If you make a packet, make sure that you include an explicit example (step by step directions) of how students need to complete the assignment.
Create a plan for your virtual teaching experience that includes detailed lesson plans for teaching at least five lessons, pre- and post- assessment, your delivery option(s) and how you will provide feedback to your students. Depending on your delivery, you may need to teach for two weeks instead of one. Submit this plan to your advisor for approval and once approved you will proceed with teaching.
Required Lesson 8 Assignments
- Detailed lesson plans for at least five lessons
- Administer a pre-assessment
- Four daily reflections of your teaching and student learning
- Administer a post-assessment and complete related assignment on student learning
- Complete a final reflection from all teaching days
- Give your mentor the link in your Lesson 8 for your culminating evaluation
Virtual teaching may not be something that you are used to doing. So, our student advisors rounded up a list of additional articles and resources to help you navigate outside of your comfort zone:
- Windom Public School District — In rural Minnesota, Windom Public School District has been relying on distance learning in high poverty areas for many years. Teachers K-3 are using SeeSaw [portfolio and communication tool] and teachers in grades 4-12 are using Schoology [Learning management system]. The detailed teacher work is not accessible because they are within the learning platforms. View the district website to see how WPSD tackles distance learning.
- 3 Practices to Teach 21st Century Skills in a Virtual Classroom [Teaching Channel article]
- 7 Ways to Maintain Relationships During your School Closure [Edutopia article]
- 6 Ways to Support your Students During Isolation [Teaching Channel article]
- 7 Practices to Swiftly Move Learning Online [Teaching Channel article]
- 7 Best Websites and Apps for Distance Learning [Pocketful of Primary video]
- Google Classroom [File sharing tool for teachers and students]
- Screencastify [Screen recording tool]
- Jamboard [Interactive whiteboard tool]
- Ziteboard [Interactive whiteboard tool]
- Google Meet [Video conferencing tool]
- Zoom [Video conferencing tool]