Three important points to take into account when running a virtual class with a young audience.
Maintain class rhythm and rituals
Whether they are gestural or verbal, whether they begin or punctuate an activity, the rituals promote the dynamics and cohesion of the class group.
For the little ones, these are important landmarks that generate a feeling of security. In times of distancing, it is important to:
keep the activities that punctuate the class: songs, rhymes, mimes …
readjust the rituals and games according to the tool and modality chose: welcoming rituals by playing with virtual backgrounds, quizzes in front of the camera, use of a mascot to switch from one activity to another, etc.
promote oral and written interactions using networks to maintain group dynamics.
Follow students and involve parents
From a distance, the parents’ posture changes: they enter into a dynamic of co-education in collaboration with the teachers. To have an individualized and regular follow-up of the pupils, it is necessary to be able to ensure the implication of the parents and to help them to accompany their child.
To follow the student, do not hesitate to remind him of the time of the lesson and the address of the virtual class, by a means of communication used by the whole class.
For the little ones, it is advisable to send specific instructions to parents, for example asking them to prepare the material, help the child to carry out the activity, and send the result of the activity to production in video, or in the photo. Use translation and favor the language mastered by parents when possible.
Keep the link with parents and students, reassuring them about learning independently.
Anticipate and vary modalities and activities
Readjusting classroom activities to digital tools requires organization: from a distance, it is difficult to improvise. You need to:
adapt the duration of the sessions: the distance sessions are shorter than the face-to-face lessons in order to maintain the students’ attention
diversify activities and supports by using different tools (a pallet for collaborative writing, flashcards for a quiz, etc.)
anticipate the time of each activity
- plan the working time for each skill (for example 15 minutes of oral comprehension in a virtual classroom, then 10 minutes of written comprehension on a file exchange platform)
- anticipate and identify assistance needs: difficulties in accessing the tool, the transition time from one tool to another, etc.
adapt the modalities according to needs and according to the public: for the little ones (3-6 years old), we will rather favor asynchronous classes, with video capsules; for older children, we can choose to focus on a particular skill, while varying the tools.
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