By now, we are all pretty used to the idea of this pandemic being around. We have been adjusting our personal and work lives for a few months to make life continue to happen as normally as possible. As teachers, with many schools going back to learning routines recently, we have seen lots of new learning environments for our students to experience.
Some schools are fully in-person lessons, some are fully on-line or home-based, and some are experimenting with some combination of the two. The students at school look a little different with face masks and other protective equipment, but they are in school and have access to the resources there. Students who are at home learning or online, will have to learn what that looks like for them and their education. Many schools are providing electronic learning devices for students to use from home and some students have their own devices, but some do not. Those students who are home without an internet accessible device still need paper-based work and lessons to keep up with their class.
In-person learning environments will look very different than they have in the past. There will be fewer surfaces for children to touch. This means fewer books, decorations, toys, and other supplies to share. Students will most likely have their own set of materials that will be more closely monitored than previous years to make sure no swapping of pencils and other supplies occurs. There will be more hand sanitizer around and more hand-washing breaks to keep students’ and teachers’ hands free of dirt and germs. Most classrooms will require face masks or coverings of some kind to prevent the spread of the virus through mouths and noses. Students will have to be careful to maintain social distancing. Beside that, though, in-person classes will feel the most normal for students and teachers as they will be able to see one another’s faces on a daily basis. Students in the classroom will most likely need lessons with worksheets and digital resources.
Distance learners will need to learn the same material as students in the classroom and they will be doing a good chunk of the work on their own or with parental assistance instead of the teachers’. It will not be the same for us as educators, as having a student sitting in front of you listening to the instruction. For stay-at-home, distance learners and their teachers, the Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) platform is now making it easier to convert PDF worksheets into digital products. Through TpT, teachers can use PDF worksheets and resources to create digital activities that can then be assigned through Google Classroom. Google Classroom allows the students to access the material at home through the internet, complete the activities, and submit the assignments for review and grading. Through the TpT platform, buyers can see the activities submitted by students, add feedback for students, and return the assignment to students. With this feature of the TpT platform, working online with your students will be easier than ever.
Here are a few products from my store that I have created in the paper AND digital format:
Students who do not fit into either the in-person learning environment or the online learning environment, may have the greatest struggle this year. These students do not have internet-based devices to help with their lessons and will need to keep up with school work and saty on track with the rest of their peers. Teachers will have to create packets to physically send home for students to complete on their own. The TpT platform can be of immense use in this situation as home-bound work will require paper products for students to learn.
All of our students, teachers, parents, and guardians have a new set of rules to follow when it comes to instruction this year. Whether your district is in-person, online, or your students are at home relying on paper products for lessons, it will all be a learning curve these first few weeks. If you become overwhelmed as an educator, breathe and reach out for assistance from colleagues in your district or on the TpT platform. As educators, we know it will be difficult and we are all in this together. Trust us to help!