Tips to Make Online Elementary School Fun
Teaching elementary age students can be tough enough when you’re working with them in person. Children at younger ages often have a hard time focusing for long periods of time, need lots of variation in their learning, and benefit from one on one instruction during various lessons.
Throw into that mix the need to do all of those things through an online forum and the idea alone might be enough to make a teacher sweat. However, online learning for elementary students doesn’t have to be scary or stressful. In fact, there are lots of great ways to encourage great learning – even through a computer screen.
Check out a few of our tips below.
- Create A Fun Virtual Learning Environment
When teaching online it can be tempting to just pop open that computer screen and pop into view no matter where you might be in your house. However, that style might be distracting for your students and get their brains thinking of all kinds of questions to ask that don’t relate to school.
Instead, recreate a learning environment that they’re familiar with by staging an area of your house to look like the classroom – complete with colorful curtains, a book display, and house plants. If you’re able to maybe even head into the school each day and teach from your actual classroom.
- Keep Lessons Simple
Your students already have enough to keep track of during the day and if they’re facing even minimal distractions at home teaching anything too complex might be overwhelming to your students. Instead of overwhelming them, which could cause them to shut down completely, teach each lesson very simply. Introduce one concept at a time and make sure your students are keeping up with the lesson as you go. If you start to notice signs that they’re becoming overwhelmed, pause and then simplify the lesson even more if possible.
- Break Up the Day
In addition to keeping the lessons simple, we also encourage teachers of online classes to encourage movement throughout the day. Just because you’re learning on the computer doesn’t mean you have to stay there all day.
Instead, get your students up out of their chairs throughout the school day and make them shake out the wiggles. From taking a quick lap around their room to playing games like simon-says through the screen can all be helpful. It gives both the mind and body a break and is likely to help keep them engaged during class.
- Use Tools and Props to Your Advantage
There’s no harm in breaking out props or visual tools to help you teach your students, and we’re not just talking about silly hats or toy puppets. In fact, online tools like white boards, flash cards, digital backgrounds, and diagrams can all be helpful ways to reinforce for your student what they’re learning.
While many of us aren’t used to the idea of virtual learning, it’s becoming more and more common, and is also a great way to engage students with different learning styles or who require more flexibility than an in-person environment provides. We hope our tips will be helpful for those teachers who choose to lead online elementary school classes.