Our year of Covid education was interesting, to say the least. It encompassed many things; good, bad, and ugly. Along the path of getting through this past year, teachers got even more creative and we problem solved more than ever. We learned some new skills and ideas that we may want to keep going. Let’s dive into those great Covid Ideas teachers want to keep going.
What are Some Covid Ideas Teachers Want to Keep?
My favorite thing about the Covid Education Year is we got rid of a lot of fluff and really got down to simpler things. We had to be honest, some of this toning down was needed. Holiday and class parties were simpler. We focused on the basics as much as we could, because teachers had to start with the basics. We gave families the benefit of the doubt and hope they gave us the benefit of the doubt in return.
Virtual Classroom Timers
One of the Covid ideas teachers want to keep going for me, includes the use of large classroom timers. Last year I had to use these to keep time whole group since I couldn’t pull students into small groups. Instead, I move along the room to students in groups. The large visual timers were a hit with my students in the classroom and at home so we could all keep the same time. Not only was this easy to make, but it was also fun! I plan to keep using a large Countdown Timer in my classroom.
(You can read and see how to make one of these here.)
This year, I plan to use this timer to countdown time during the transition and for whole group learning. For example, we can use this class timer idea while we are working in social studies to tell us when to stop working to clean up before lunch. I love using this class timer and I love using the website www.classroomscreen.com.
Student Tool Kits
Next, I loved the individual math and phonics kits I made for students last year since everyone had to have their own materials. We used these often and regularly and they were a hit. I felt that I saved so much planning time and paper copies since they already had too many materials in their hands ready to go. (You can read about how I made these tool kits here for both phonics and math.)
This year, I won’t be using one tool kit per student. Instead, I will have 8 small group kits total and we will use them in small group reading time and also small group math time. This means I can make better kits with more hands-on activities, but for less money. This also means students won’t have to store their own kits. This caused issues last year, as some students struggle to keep up with pencils therefore keeping up with math manipulatives is a huge struggle. I won’t lie, I am super excited about this and can’t wait to dive into these small group student kits!
Self-Checking Boom Cards
Next, I learned how to dive deeper into many technology elements for our learners. One of my favorite platforms that were a win for both me and my learners was Boom Cards. I had these on my “must check out list” forever, but I finally found the time to check them out in 2020. They were a HUGE hit and I know I will be using them more in years to come. (If you don’t know a lot about Boom Cards, you can learn more here.)
Last year, we used these games for both home and school. Many parents loved having access to learning games at home that were self-checking. I plan to use Boom Cards as an in-class learning option and set up help for parents with Boom Cards at home if they choose. Since they are so easy to assign, I can easily level learning with these fun games. These games also make excellent fast finisher games and even morning work activities.
A Little More Simple and a Little More Grace
Finally, the biggest and best Covid idea teacher want to keep comes down to this. We want to keep things as simple as we can. I liked the simplified holiday and class parties. Also, I enjoyed giving families the benefit of the doubt and when they gave us the benefit of the doubt in return. We are not out of this pandemic yet and families are not all back to their new normal yet. Therefore, they still need a little more grace and understanding from us.