At London CLC we are lucky to be part of a thoughtful and creative network of educators through our work with schools. During this difficult time, we’ve been inspired to see so many teachers sharing their brilliant ideas for supporting home learning. We thought we’d share some of our favourites.
Hitherfield Primary School, like many of the schools we work with, has added a section to the homepage of their school website which summarises important information around COVID-19. In it is a link to their dedicated home learning page, listing all the activities the teachers have planned for each year group. If you are struggling for ideas, these PDFs, which Hitherfield have generously made public, could be an invaluable resource.
Lucy Coates, an early years teacher from Reay Primary School, has been handwriting instructions to help parents complete some simple activities at home with her pupils. She has been photographing these explanations and sharing them via Twitter with parents, empowering them to participate in the learning process rather than simply delivering all instructions herself through a screen. Lucy tells us that she’s gathered up ideas for these Tweets from a range of places, including White Rose Maths and NRich.
Another #practical #maths #EYFS idea which you could get ready this evening so it’s all ready to go tomorrow if & when you want it... Tried to make it as clear as possible but let me know how you get on. You could do this all day & get loads from it @ReayPrimary @mrsrachelreay pic.twitter.com/EuToomabg1— Lucy Coates (@LucyCoatesReay) March 23, 2020
Many schools already have a line of communication with families via a school blog, so this can be a brilliant way to set home learning tasks. For example, Rosendale Primary School’s Mandarin teachers are using blogs with embedded videos to set daily MFL challenges for both KS1 and KS2 pupils. These videos are hosted on the school’s Youtube channel along with lots of other videos created by Rosendale teachers, which can also be seen on the school’s class blogs. Rosendale is taking a blended approach to remote learning, using videos to share Madarin lessons, singing assemblies, fitness videos and stories, and using SeeSaw to allow children to submit work to their teachers for feedback.
SeeSaw is a cross-platform app which can be used to create a virtual classroom environment, through which teachers can set tasks and pupils can respond to them. It is well designed and easy to use; so much so that Lauren Carter from Hitherfield is using it to set tasks for her year 2 class, and has invited her colleagues in year 1 and 2 to do the same. Through SeeSaw Lauren is able to set activities like this one with explanatory text, images or videos, which are received by the members of her class. The children then post their responses, which Lauren is able to read or watch and approve, writing personalised feedback and extension activities as she goes. There is more information about how to set up and use SeeSaw in our guide to online learning.
Another great idea from Reay’s Lucy Coates demonstrates how teachers can use open video hosting platforms like Youtube. Videos can be a great way to communicate aspects of learning that are harder to achieve without a teacher’s direct instruction. Lucy has been using a teddy bear puppet called Chocolate Chocolate Button to keep the children up to date with their phonics activities. Providing this kind of regular, personal input is a lovely way to help children feel connected with their teacher during this period, as well as helping to maintain a sense of routine in these unusual circumstances.