Distance learning is a new reality for most students. COVID-19 numbers are still high, and in-person learning is delayed in many school districts. Many parents are choosing to keep their children from attending in-person classes for the foreseeable future. One of the keys to a successful distance learning experience is making sure teachers increase family engagement with clear communication by ensuring parents are aware of expectations and can find the help they or their children need. Here are some ways parents and teachers can keep students motivated and on track to complete schoolwork.
Provide structure, routine, and accountability.
A schedule provides the stability kids need and minimizes the likelihood distractions will derail their entire virtual school day. Teachers have found that creating a plan clarifies expectations of students, and enlisting parents as partners in maintaining the plan with the student can help them meet their goals. Even having students schedule daily check-ins with friends over text or online chats can help keep students accountable to progress in class. Accountability helps kids realize they’re not alone and gives them an incentive to work hard.
Incentivize their learning experiences.
These are unusual times and rewarding students for their appropriate behavior or classroom accomplishments help build motivation. Still, you want to individualize rewards so students feel confident in the work that went into earning their reward. Find out what rewards motivate each of your students and create a list of milestones that should be reached to obtain them. Goal setting with benchmarks in their calendar can help students understand progress, which also helps them see how far they’ve come.
Get creative and experiment with different formats.
Are students struggling with reading an assigned book? See if it is available in an audio format from the library. Try explaining math problems visually or through games. Maybe there is a YouTube video that can communicate a concept in a way they haven’t heard it before. A change in learning formats can do wonders for a student’s motivation.
Break up their day.
Occasionally consider switching things up a little. Perhaps the students are a bit low energy one morning. Let them have a slower-paced morning and do the majority of their work after lunch. However, reach an agreement with your students in advance and be clear about what is expected of them in exchange for some leniency.
Remember to create memorable occasions.
Give children something to look forward to by planning an online celebration, such as a virtual class party.
Learn how Sage Day has been innovating through the pandemic to support students with therapeutic education in New Jersey.