Sooo I started teaching completely online last week and spent the majority of last week meeting with parents & doing an hour with my kiddos in the morning & then joining them for their hour with Specials Teachers (Computer, PE & Intervention). I used that 2nd hour to be more of an IT support for parents, making sure if they were not able to log on in the morning, that they were able to get on in the afternoon (I was able to talk them through it & one parent actually brought her device up to the school so I can physically help her too!). I would say this helped SO much to ensure that ALL families could get on to the Google Meets that we are using!
ALSO… I create Kindergarten “To Go” Kits – check them out for ideas on what else I gave students to help prepare them for E-Learning for the first 9 weeks of Kindergarten!
But something I found SUPER helpful was teaching my littles about their TECH TOOLS!!
Yup! That’s me, holding up our Mute Button (I attached them to a small plastic plate, with the UnMute button on the other side for quick & easy switching around. They were easy to make (yes, you could have just laminated them BUT I don’t know about you, but I tend to loose things pretty easily & these weren’t flat… so it has helped me SO MUCH when searching to find them FAST!! Because if you’ve been online with a 5 year old (or lets be honest.. in person with a 5 year old too) you need to find the MUTE button QUICKLY and OFTEN!!! hahahaha
We played some games with the MUTE & UNMUTE button – repeat after me games, one at a time, greetings for each child, mute & unmute “races” and even awarding points for the “fastest muter!” This has been SUPER helpful during lessons (although I still have 2 that think unmuting then saying what they had for breakfast, or their dad’s favorite color is, or what they had for dinner yesterday, or…. whatever comes to their mind and then quickly muting in the middle of a lesson it still ok… BUT we still did this during real lessons in our classroom anyways, haha!
We also played games with the VIDEO button! I turned off my camera, changed one thing about me, then turned it back on. Students had to unmute themselves to guess what changed! I did this a few times (showing them that I could still talk to them and see what they were doing, even though they couldn’t see me.. this was super important especially when I began my lessons & started sharing my screen, I wanted kiddos to understand that even though they couldn’t see me, I could still see them!). Then, I had 2 students at a time, turn off their cameras, we all slowly counted down from 10, then they flipped their cameras back on & we took guess on what changed on their screens! It was quite humorous to see what a 5 year old came up with!!
My Computer Teacher (shout out to Mr. Woods) taught my kiddos how to go to the Chat Button and practice typing in their name (of course this took a while…..) BUT this would be a great way to “take attendance” each day or as a good activity to do for littles while we wait for everyone to log in! (that way they aren’t just staring at you! hahaha)
I also created a “Hang Up” Button. I show this at the very end of the lesson (duh! hahah). I remind students when they should be “tuning” in to see me next. I have them hold up their fingers to show me the time (we log in at 8, 1 & 2, so its all pretty easy!), then they have to unmute themselves, say the time, then say goodbye & hang up. Because this whole process can be a little noisy (they ALL want to be acknowledged for saying good bye before they ACTUALLY hang up! lol) the button is SUPER helpful! And makes it super easy to find for the little ones!
Overall these simple Tech Tools have made a BIG difference in our online learning!!
If you have any questions or more tips, please leave a comment below!!