7 Tips for Managing Distance Learning in Pre-school

Our current health crisis has provided a global platform for remote learning, with schools across the country closing work-from-home orders. For early childhood educators who encourage a play- or project-based approach, traveling far can be a particularly daunting task.

Preschool relies heavily on the openness of free play in a carefully planned environment. Through play, children develop basic social and emotional, executive functioning, and academic skills. Early childhood educators often act as facilitators, building on children’s natural curiosity. To encourage play, we designed spaces using open-plan materials that encourage children to interact with each other and their surroundings.

Even though kindergartens have closed and shifted to remote learning, it’s important to maintain these core principles. Work with families to build play-based, child-centered learning, not just using screens. At my school, we keep virtual meetings to a minimum (30 minutes maximum) and instead provide families with tools to encourage learning at home.

Once a week, we host a large choir of about 30 families. All other virtual meetings are held in groups of 3 to 6 children to ensure diversity and ensure that all children have a chance to speak. Participation is voluntary.

Here are other things my kindergarten is doing to help families continue learning at home—while staying true to what young children need most.

7 Tips for Managing Distance Learning in Preschool

1. Let your child guide you:

Although we are not together, the children still play, explore and learn at home. Families are asked to submit photos or videos of children playing. Check out this document for trends. During group meetings, we display these photos or videos so that the children’s voices are heard, and teachers are not the only ones facilitating remote discussions.

In my school’s case, one of our teachers noticed a trend in the photos and videos we received from a small group of families: a few kids at home playing with trains, cars, or trucks. At a virtual class reunion, the teacher sang car-related songs and posted videos of kids playing with cars so they could see themselves and their friends. The children then discussed and compared their games.

2. Provide meaningful alternatives to screen time

Children aged 2 to 7 are still in the preoperative stage, and it is developmentally unreasonable to expect their learning to be entirely screen-based. In this car-inspired piece, the teacher invites the children to continue their exploration by building a cardboard car after a virtual session. The teacher then invites families to share photos or videos created by their children.

To inspire these real-world ideas and make sure they’re feasible in students’ homes, invite families to submit photos of their rooms or survey them to better understand the resources available to them. At our school, at least half of the families in each class provided us with these details.

3. Remember your family is your partner

Families are excellent allies and can support you by expanding your child’s learning at home. However, we must remember that families have other responsibilities besides helping us teach. Volunteer for virtual meetings, and if a family misses a time or fails to complete a project, please send a note to stand up and share what was missed, but attendance is not required.

4. Building remote relationships is critical

Relationships are the foundation of our school. Although we can’t be together, we can keep in touch and express our concerns. As a staff member, connect with family members by phone or video chat once a week – whichever works best for them. A school-wide email is sent daily.

To ensure this work is sustainably distributed to your staff, create a schedule with faculty and take turns writing daily emails so everyone’s voice is heard. Ideas for daily emails include: thank you notes, video recordings of readings or songs, kid-friendly cooking recipes, and instructions on how to paint or build imaginary structures using household items.

5. The music is amazing

Children respond well to singing and dancing on the Internet. For children, engaging in a song or dance is an easy way to interact with the screen as they can follow the leader. The rules for this interaction are clear and translate well into an online format. Try a school-wide chorus or the occasional song to re-engage children who might be distracted during virtual meetings.

6. Leverage your tech-savvy team members

Even if your school is typically a low-tech environment, there may be tech-savvy teachers or families. rely on their creativity. Getting your school online is a collaborative effort – every idea is worth trying.

7. Treat yourself better

The previous success metrics no longer apply. Measure your success in attendance and smiling. If the kids aren’t interested during the virtual session, remember they’re young and this is new for everyone. Do not leave suddenly in person. If overall attendance drops, call or interview family members to understand their needs and try to make adjustments. Finally, admit that you can’t always be right for everyone. We all just do our best.

About the article

Our current health crisis due to COVID-19 has provided a global platform for remote learning, with schools across the country closing work-from-home orders. For early childhood educators who encourage a play- or project-based approach, traveling far can be a particularly daunting task. In this article, we’ve discussed 7 Tips for Managing Distance Learning in Preschool

Bill westermen

Digital Entrepreneur, Website Builder, SEO Consultant and Professional. I have 12 years experience in Digital Marketing, And this is the future of Business

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