Be Virtually Inclusive: Do's and Don't For Educators
Schools are rapidly shifting to online learning, at least for now. So that means you are likely to begin the school year much differently than ever before. It’s now time to embrace the season we are in and adapt to new teaching methods. Effective teachers are resilient and therefore capable of creating sustainable online classrooms when they are all in. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that online classrooms may never feel the same as live instruction, but we can do our very best to make our virtual classes come to life. While planning out your lessons it’s important to consider how you will ensure that your classroom is inclusive and accessible for all learners. While you may be teaching from behind a screen this year, don’t let the screen box in your thinking! Students need to feel a sense of belonging, and they also need to be able to access course materials. What principles of inclusive/ accessible teaching are you drawing upon that will help students feel accepted this year? How will you support them in achieving learning goals while you are teaching them online? Empathy and resilience on the part of both students and instructors will be of the essence. To help guide you toward full inclusion and accessibility with your virtual classroom this week's blog will give you do’s, don’ts, and other simple ways to modify your virtual classroom design to create space that will accommodate learners and inspire them to do their best work.
Let's Get Moving!: 20 Tools for Effective Online Physical Education
Online physical education may seem like an odd concept for some parents and even educators! How does online physical education work? The truth is online physical education has found its way into many virtual schools around the world, even before the beginning of the recent pandemic! Interestingly enough, in combination with reliable technology, PE Coaches have found innovative ways to get kids moving over the years! In fact, a Health and Physical Education teacher at EdOptions Academy Virtual School talks about how physical education works in his virtual gym. One thing he mentions is essential for effective online Physical Education is allowing students to explore, attempt, and discover new forms of movement that they enjoy, as well as establishing physical activity as a positive experience. One other important element in physical education he mentions is showing all students the joy of movement and taking care of one’s body. He states, “Exercise is critical to good health, relaxation, and stress management—plus it’s just fun!”.
Rise Up Educators: Let’s Make Lemonade Out of Lemons!
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the new upcoming school year? If you are a school leader, an educator, a parent, or a student, you may be feeling anxious, nervous, or entirely fearful of beginning the school year amidst COVID-19. For some of you, the 2020-2021 school year has just started or is about to start; however, this year, unlike any other year, the stakes are seemingly higher. Currently, many educators are feeling the stress of having to prepare, find tools, and learn how to conduct distance learning via Zoom, Google Hangout, and other online platforms overnight. Understandably, while they are in the process of learning how to use video sharing, chatbox tools, modifying their lessons for the online curriculum, as well as establishing new routines and procedures, many teachers are mentally exhausted. Not only are they coping with the logistics but also dealing with a profound emotional toll. Teachers went from being able to see their students daily to having limited contact with their students while trying to balance their own lives at home with their children who are also going through the same thing. So while most educators struggle to learn how to teach differently on the dime, they are also grieving from missing their students.
Empower Your Classroom: Let's Talk About Assets-Based Instruction
Let's talk about it! Both assets and deficits have a huge impact on the learning experience. This is the reason both asset-based instruction, and deficit-based instruction have found their way into classroom lesson plans nationwide. Of course, both techniques require teachers to truly KNOW their students' weaknesses, strengths, and more. Who are your students outside of the school walls? What do they love? Where did they come from? What do they fear? All of which are questions that are required with this particular approach. Consequently, teachers benefit a great deal from having quick and intentional conversations with their students. By doing so, you are not only fulfilling the need for students to communicate and articulate their reality but you are also learning more details about who they are. These are important aspects of both asset and deficit-based instruction and they are also what fuels both modes of instruction towards student mastery.