How is E-Learning going for you? Do you feel like you’re getting into a bit of a rhythm or still feeling scattered? I go through waves but overall, I feel like I am doing the best that I can with the circumstances. Just a reminder from Angela Watson, “Don’t expect yourself to accomplish what you normally do, because your world is not functioning as it normally does.” It is so important to remember this because as teachers I feel like we naturally want to save the world and do it all. I urge you to check in with yourself and repeat Angela’s quote!
Typical E-Learning Outline
In our classrooms we thrive on structure and routine. That could not be any more important as it is right now, and that’s not just for our kiddos. Giving yourself a weekly routine and structure will take the daily guesswork out of how you should run your online learning. Use that brainpower for something else! In my county, we have been using power points with pre-recorded videos, online links, and activity choices. I LOVE THIS. It’s a one stop shop for my families and they can do as little or as much as they want, WHEN they want! Just a few hints if you try this: keep the slides to minimal background and design, logos, etc. We have found that this slows downloading for our families! Note: I use Screencast Recorder (free version) to video myself and the screen/webcam video combos. I can also use the features of my MacBook Air to record just my screen by pressing Command Shift 5.
Circle Time Routine
I kept my circle time routine similar to what I would teach in class (just shorter of course). In fact, my whole PowerPoint up until the specials slides really feels like my circle time. Each day, I give activity choices and the PowerPoint ends so I feel like this would naturally be where my “work with teacher time” would be if we were back in the classroom. For circle time we always start off with saying Hello verbally/on devices and then we dance and sing to Go Noodle’s Hello Song. We then go into our calendar routine, talk about the letter of the week, review previous letters and then read a book. Each day I switch up the activities such as pulling objects out that correspond with the letter, or I will read an alphabet book. I repeat a similar pattern with math for the day, switching up the activities. The Shapes Adapted Book used below is from Made For Me Math’s Shape Unit! Check out the videos for some examples!
Work with teacher
For work with teacher, I provide several follow up activities through The Autism Helper Boom cards (LOVE, click here), printables, a craft, and/or an alternative activity through my amazing assistant! This may sound like a lot, but it only takes a few minutes to find matching boom cards, or a printable that matches. My parents also know that not all of this is mandatory. They can choose one activity, all of them, or none, it’s whatever is best for their family! My amazing assistant will create a short video of an alternative activity that correlates with my lesson using minimal supplies. We have to be cognizant that not every family may have a rainbow pack of construction paper, or paint sticks, or glue. Usually her activities involve plain paper, a pencil, and some crayons! She is amazing and I trimmed the original video so you could see the activity part.
I hope these videos give you more of an idea of what you can do. I keep them short and try to be as entertaining as I can through a screen. Please know that I worked up to these PowerPoints and amount of resources. I used the first two weeks to try different activities with my families so that parents could practice logging in, and I could troubleshoot problems. It’s going to be ok! Happy teaching, those kiddos are LUCKY to have you!