I’ve been in the curriculum creation business for quite a while now! I LOVE IT! I look at it as my creative outlet. I get to write a little, do a little graphic design, and package it all up pretty.
Did you know my very first product I sold on Teachers Pay Teachers was a back-to-school presentation? I made it because I wanted my students to have fun learning all the new routines and procedures.
Classroom Management starts the first day of school, but what if you aren’t going back in the traditional way? My original presentation would be pretty useless about now. So, how do you do “Day 1” when you’re remote teaching? As I saw this worry over and over on social media, I wanted to do what I could to help!
So, I created a new presentation! It’s one that can be used to introduce your students to distance learning and can serve as a resource while they get into the swing of things.
You’re more than welcome to use my design, or you can just use my outline and create one that is perfect for you.
What Should Your Back-to-School Presentation for Distance Learning Include?
There are 4 main areas that you should consider when you’re putting together your back-to-school presentation that you’ll use to teach rules and procedures.
1. Behavior Expectations
2. Online Communication
3. How to Use the Technology
4. How Online Learning is Different from Traditional Learning
Let's Look at Each Part
Discussing Behavior Expectations
Having expectations and communicating them clearly is the best way to create a classroom environment that produces successful students. The expectations for distance learning look a little different. Think about your personal teaching style and build your expectations around that. Maybe you were into flexible seating in your classroom and don’t mind students laying on the floor during a Zoom meeting. Or maybe you believe that students learn best when they’re sitting at a table. While these details can vary, what’s absolutely necessary is that students know your expectations and the consequences you have in place for not meeting them. Be specific. Give examples and non-examples. And most importantly, be consistent with holding your students accountable for their choices.
My first year teaching, I LOVED it when students came up to my desk to get help. To me, that alone was proof I was a real-life teacher. Fast forward a couple of years, and it bugged me to no end when students congregated in a long line (impatiently) waiting their turn to seek my advice.
Well, one good thing about distance learning is that long lines at your desk won’t happen. But how will students get help that they desperately need?
It may not seem obvious, but students need specific examples of how to contact you for help. If students don’t know how to do this, they won’t do it. They’ll move forward with their work, bringing gaps right along with them. Take time to show them appropriate ways of asking questions. What should they say? How long should they wait for a result? Students need to know all of this, but the only way they’ll know is if you tell them.
How To Use Distance Learning Technology
Making a How-To Library will save you SOOO much time in the long run. You’ll no longer have to answer the same questions from students or parents over and over again. Think about all the different technologies you’ll be using and the important parts of each one. Make a quick video using your favorite screencasting program and place it in a location that students and parents can find easily. Here are some things you might want to think about and make short How-To videos over.
- How do students get their assignments?
- How do students turn in their assignments?
- How do students check their grades?
- How do students email or message you?
- How do students create their own video messages or responses?
- How do students send audio messages or responses?
- How do students use tools to complete their work, such as adding text boxes, sharing docs in Google, uploading pictures of their work, etc?
- How do students get on their Zoom call?
- How do students show they’re present for synchronous learning?
Remind Students That Distance Learning is Different From Traditional Learning
Distance learning definitely has many challenges. One of the biggest challenges is shifting students’ mindsets. Students must believe that they can learn independently with supports. Teaching this is an explicit thing.
Did you know students have to learn how to learn from videos? or audio support?
Most of a child’s experience with video is sheer entertainment. The video feeds them and expects nothing in return. If they get bored, they turn the channel or find something else to do. Learning from a video is very different. Instructional video expects something in return. Watching to learn is an active process, not a passive process. Students must be given direct instruction and strategies for learning from what they watch.
Back-to-School Orientation is a great time to begin having these discussions with your students. This is a skill that will have benefits that last the student’s entire life.
You Can Do This!
I know that you’re being challenged in ways you didn’t know were possible, but YOU GOT THIS! Learning all this new stuff and investing so much time into your classroom management strategies and academic lessons will have lasting rewards. You’re learning new things that you’ll continue to use long after everything goes back to normal. And that’s because you’ll wind up liking some of the things you’re being forced to learn. Trust me!
If you want my presentation design to get you started, you can grab it by clicking here.