My students who are engaged in online learning are tired. This past week has been the most difficult for them since the pandemic began. They had difficulty focusing, answering questions, and staying positive. It has been a lot for them. All my students have an Intellectual Disability and communication takes a lot of effort for them. They have difficulty understanding me with my mask on and have a hard time understanding each other. Up until this week, they have done a great job of meeting every day with a positive smile and enthusiasm for learning but they are running out of steam.
To be honest, I am running out of steam too. It is difficult to teach in a hybrid model where you are constantly going back and forth between being online and in person through out the day.
With the announcement of the delay in March break and the realization that we have 6 weeks together before a break, I decided to try and add some excitement to our online sessions together. I asked my students on Friday to choose the themes for our morning sessions for the next six weeks. They had some great ideas and I hope that this will help us stay engaged through these very challenging times. Below is an example of one of the upcoming morning meeting presentations and how it supports my student’s IEP goals.
The theme for next week:
We start off every meeting with a welcome song.
Many of my student’s have communication goals that connect to speaking to others. The next part of our gathering everyone will be picking someone to say good morning to and sending them a shooting star with their hands.
Many of my students continue to work on developing their literacy skills. Each day throughout the week, we will listen to a different story and have a discussion about it. The first story is really exciting as it is told by an astronaut from the International Space Station.
The IEP goals of many of my students are connected to building skills counting and recognizing numbers. The planet choice board has links to Boom cards that practice those skills. Students will take turns deciding what planet we will be going to visit for our math each day!
Next in our online learning session we focus on movement.
Finally, we practice our reading skills.
Then we end just like we began, with a song.
What are you doing to keep your students motivated through these next six weeks?