Distance learning presents a set of formidable challenges for younger learners that goes beyond the normal challenges older students face. Depending on the level of maturity and skillsets of early elementary students, a K-2 distance learning experience can be frustrating, and quite possibly ineffective, for students and parents alike. Fortunately, there are tools that exist to ease the challenge of delivering classwork to young students at home.
For educators who find themselves teaching students who are now learning from home, we’ve pulled together a collection of K-2 distance learning strategies. Here are tips for using Edulastic with young learners in a virtual classroom or remote learning setting:
1) Empower Parents
With young students, it can be very important to keep parents up-to-date to provide student guidance. Send home information on how to access Edulastic, including username and password, with our parent-friendly letter and the Print Roster feature in Manage Class.
2) Online Classes with Google Hangout Meet
Google Classroom users can launch Google Hangouts for Edulastic classes from the video camera icon in your Manage Class. This will instantly open a meeting for the students on your roster. Students can click on the video camera icon on their Edulastic dashboard and also access the class session without entering passwords or urls. Teachers can interact with the students as they are taking assessments in Edulastic.
3) Print-Friendly Features
Teachers can administer paper-based tests in Edulastic. Print these ahead of time and include in a paper-based packet of work. When students turn in their assignment(s), teachers can efficiently enter the scores using Express Grader (Premium).
This ensures that teachers can continue to use the automated data analysis tools in Edulastic even when students can’t take an assessment digitally.
- Print Paper Assessment and enter scores later in Express Grader
4) One on One Instruction
Teachers can give a verbal test via video conference or telephone and enter student scores directly into Edulastic using the Express Grader.
5) Question Types that Support Content Delivery
Use video clips, images, and links to audiobooks to provide direct instruction within an Edulastic assessment. Embedding multi-media into any question in Edulastic is quite simple and has a big impact on young learners. The sample lessons below can be used directly, or duplicated and modified for your students.
Here are some sample lessons:
- ELA grammar assessment for grades 1 and 2 featuring a read-aloud story called Alfie the Apostrophe
- Here is a multi-day sample that walks students through the steps of writing an Opinion piece. https://app.edulastic.com/#renderResource/close/MTIzMjUzMDgzNQ%3D%3D
Here is a science activity using a video clip from BrainPop about The Scientific Method. This lesson will work for grades 2-3 and could be adapted for K-1.
And tools for making your own lessons:
- Build and assign complete digital lessons
- Search the public library for existing distance learning lessons
- How to Embed multimedia
Tip: Save time in building an assessment by using pre-made questions along with your own direct instruction. Find a video from a source like YouTube and embed it into a “passage-based” question type. Then add pre-made questions in the Item Bank that assess the skill.
6) Read Aloud Features
If you are a Premium subscriber, Text-to-speech, powered by Amazon, is our read-aloud feature. Read-aloud can be set for an entire class or for individual students.
Once read aloud is activated, students can click the green play button to hear the question.
Engaging younger learners with technology can be challenging. With the right tools at your fingertips, you can provide learning opportunities that stick. We hope these ideas help you and inspire you as you navigate k-2 distance learning tactics. If you learned something new, we encourage you to log into your Edulastic account to try it out. New to Edulastic? You can sign up for your free account today.
Looking to get ideas or ask other educators what they’ve found most useful? Join the Edulastic Community page on Facebook. Or view additional distance learning support and ideas on the distance learning hub.