Back-to-school ideas for teachers during COVID-19
With in-person classes resuming around the U.S., teachers will need to think of new ways to engage their classes while promoting safe social distancing during COVID-19.
Here are 9 activities to try while social distancing in the classroom
1. Virtual museum field trips
If you can’t do an in-person field trip, there’s probably a virtual alternative.
Let your students pick a museum they want to visit and have them present the most interesting things they learned to the class, or put the tour on the projector and explore it together.
Google Arts and Culture features works of art on display in museums around the world, and several leading science museums offer their own virtual tours.
2. Take a walk outside
The Centers for Disease Control has recommended taking activities outdoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So, when the weather’s nice, take your students outside for a walk in the fresh air.
Kids might have a hard time sitting down and focusing outside, so take everyone for a slow walk around the playground as you go over the day’s lesson. You can also have kids break into small groups to brainstorm projects as they walk.
3. Outdoor science experiments
Your students are probably itching for some hands-on activities after a year of learning in front of a computer screen.
Luckily, there are tons of fun science experiments to do outside.
4. Classroom garden competition
Which class can grow the best garden?
Gardening is a great way to get outside and teach kids about plant science and responsibility. Your garden can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be, and you can even invite other classes to join in to see who has the greenest thumbs.
5. Scavenger hunts
Stump your students with an educational scavenger hunt around the school. Turn your lesson into a series of riddles that need to be solved to reveal the location of the next clue.
6. Use Google tools to collaborate
Kids can still get together to collaborate on assignments using much of the same technology they were using at home. For example, you can have your students upload their writing assignments to Google Docs where their classmates can review and edit their work.
7. Personal chalkboards/whiteboards
Sometimes classroom activities can get pretty lively, but turning your activities into small writing tasks will keep students calm and focused. You can give each student a small chalkboard or whiteboard to write down their responses to questions so everyone can participate.
You can also play games like Telestrations or Pictionary to prevent sharing materials.
8. Guest video speakers
Everyone is using Zoom these days, which means it can be pretty easy to get interesting guest speakers into your classroom.
See if your town’s Fire Chief will do a presentation on fire safety, or maybe a local historian can give a quick lesson about an interesting landmark in the community. The possibilities are endless!
9. Classroom movies
It’s nothing groundbreaking, but winding down a busy morning with an educational movie can be the perfect way to keep kids spaced apart in the classroom as you prep for more lessons.