It will be important that children are held to the same expectations at home as they are in school, so that not only are they physically safe, but they also feel safe with a secure knowledge of procedures and boundaries.
We’ve encountered that one of the most effective strategies for hybrid-models of distance learning is to educate parents early on in the process, communicating that collaboration is key to create the best learning environment for the student. We’ve seen the highest attendance rates on our digital learning platforms for those parents with whom we were able to make solid contact at the beginning of shelter in place. Additionally, for the new preschool year, we plan to create a series of instructional videos for parents on how to support a young distance learner and how to use movement for both play and learning. Most of the content of these videos will cover how to transform a living space into a play space. More specifically, we will include how to try tumbling with a couch and carpet, how to use the wall to practice handstands, and how to act out a story through dance.
Families that want to enroll their students in our preschool will agree to participating in this new curriculum. Given that the school day will end before lunchtime, part of the at-home lessons will involve students engaging with a 30 min. movement video created by our movement instructors. Additionally, students will be provided individual sensory and art kits each week to play with separately at home and at school. An example of a sensory kit might be a Ziploc bag filled with a portion of Playdough, a few buttons, and a few animal cards. For the art kit, we are planning to include an individual set of crayons, paper shapes, and stickers. To maintain the accountability of the at-home learning environment, parents/caregivers would be responsible for photographing and briefly documenting the students’ work to share with the entire class. Not only does this help teachers track student learning, but when the students get to see each other’s work, even if it’s through photographs or videos, it reinforces that the children, their ideas, and their play at home are an important part of the learning community, too. We are still working shopping our ideas of course, and they continue to evolve with the updated information. Any thoughts on these ideas? We'd love some feedback!