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Learn specific big picture actions and lesson preparation actions that will help you support every learner in your remote classroom

Toolkits

 Click here to access the Student Access and Opportunity Toolkit. 

 Click here to access the Special Populations Toolkit. 

Big Picture Actions to Take

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Big picture planning actions that will support learning for vulnerable students

  • Build strong relationships
  • Spend time processing students feelings’ together (see resource 3 for a sample remote activity to do this)
  • Do 1:1 sessions to walk vulnerable students through use of technology. Repeat this as necessary until students master it.
  • Use social stories to prepare students for their new remote school environment (see resource 4 for a sample social story)
  • Use visual cues for
    • Vocabulary
    • Key instructional routines (example: breakout rooms)
  • Create visual schedules for students to use at home as needed
  • Consider family access to any tools students would need for successful focus and work completion during in-person schooling
    • Visual timers
    • Pencil grips
    • Visual aids
    • Weighted vests
    • Sensory tools
    • Flexible seating
  • Teachers and other personnel should continue to deliver instruction and services in compliance with all IEPs, and 504 plans, and with services needed by students for whom English is a second language.

​​​​​​​Lesson Preparation Actions

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As you engage in the lesson preparation process, consider the following to ensure that all students have access to the lesson content

  • Who are the students that may struggle? Pinpoint their anticipated struggle as specifically as you can.
  • Think like the students you have in mind: how would they approach a problem/question? What misconception might they bring?
  • What is an entry point you can provide these students?
  • What is the background knowledge needed to access the content? Build an activity to provide this background knowledge.
  • Can you pre-teach something in a small group or 1:1 to ensure a student will have access to a whole group lesson?
  • If students had to read independently in prep for a synchronous discussion, provide a read aloud of the portion required.
  • Are there visual supports needed to better understand a word or a concept?
  • Are your visual supports easy to read and understand?
  • Is font size appropriate?
  • Are there key sections students may need to be prompted to re-read to get big ideas?
  • Be mindful of the “listening time” being asked of students.

Activities to Support Students in Processing their Feeling about Covid-19 and Returning to School

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Key Point: Students will have a variety of thoughts, feelings, and emotions about returning to school in the fall.

Rationale: Students need to have safe and structured ways to discuss and process their feelings.  

Activity Name

Steps to Complete and Modifications Based on Delivery Method

Rose, Thorn, and Bud

  • First, define terms for the activity: A rose is a success, higlight, or something positive that happened. A thorn is a challenge or something you need more support with. A bud is a new idea that bloomed or something you are looking forward to.
  • Next, give students a few minutes to reflect silently about their rose, thorn, and bud. Students can then write down their ideas on paper or on a graphic organizer.
  • Students (and teachers) can then share their rose, thorn, or bud, or reflect on the activity as a whole. 
  • Last, check-in after finishing the activity and ask students to reflect on their thoughts before and after the activity. The teacher can also have students brainstorm how to turn their thorns into buds or roses.

Digital:

  • During a synchronous lesson, the teacher will have the students complete the rose, thorn, and bud activity.
  • The teacher will video conference with students afterward to follow up on the rose, thorn, and bud they shared.

Hybrid Half In-Person/Half Digital:

  • For digital students, the teacher will have the students complete the rose, thorn, and bud activity during a weekly synchronous lesson. As a group, the students will create a list of some of the roses, thorns, and buds to share with the in-person students. 
  • For in-person students, the teacher will facilitate the activity as described above. As a group, the students will create a list of some of the roses, thorns, and buds to share with the digital students.   

Snowball Toss

  • First, the teacher poses a question. The students write down their thoughts on paper, anonymously.
  • Next, crumple paper and gather in a circle.
  • Third, toss the paper balls and have a snowball fight.
  • After students toss the snowballs, they will collect a snowball and read what one of their classmates wrote.
  • The teacher can ask follow-up class discussion questions. This activity allows students who might be hesitant to share their feelings aloud with the group to get validation from their peers.

Digital:

  • The teacher can have students write down their thoughts on both a physical piece of paper and share anonymously through a website such as PollEverywhere or Kahoot to allow students to share their thoughts anonymously.
  • Students can have a snowball fight by throwing their physical piece of paper at the computer. Then the teacher can display the responses shared. The class can then discuss.

Hybrid Half In-Person/Half Digital:

  • For digital students, the teacher can have students write down their thoughts on both a physical piece of paper and share anonymously through a website such as PollEverywhere or Kahoot to allow students to share their thoughts anonymously. Students can have a snowball fight by throwing their physical piece of paper at the computer. Then the teacher can display the responses shared. The class can then discuss.  As a group, the students will create common ideas that were discussed to share with the in-person students. 
  • For in-person students, the activity can be completed as described above. As a group, the students will create common ideas that were discussed to share with the digital students.   

Restorative Circles

  • Gather students in a shared space.
  • Prepare questions and topics ahead of time.
  • Develop and review circle agreements or guidelines for behavior during the circle, including “listen with respect,” “honor privacy,” or “respect the talking piece.”
  • Utilize a talking piece to be passed around the circle. Only the person with the talking piece shares.
  • Ask a series of questions about a topic for students to respond to (feelings about returning to school, the impact of Covid-19, etc.).

Digital:

  • During a synchronous lesson, the teacher will engage the students in a restorative circle. Circle agreements can be developed to reflect the digital setting.

Hybrid Half In-Person/Half Digital:

  • For digital students, the teacher will engage the students in a restorative circle during a synchronous lesson. Circle agreements can be developed to reflect the digital setting.
  • For in-person students, the activity can be facilitated as described above.

Back to School Social Story- Sample

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