Remote learning has been such a strange adjustment for teachers all across the world over the last 18 months. In just days, we flipped our entire profession on its head. We frantically upskilled ourselves. We learnt the complexities of video conferencing with 20-30 kids all at once. We established digital classrooms, made videos, created new resources, became IT help desks for 20-30 families, re-wrote learning programs and spent hours providing individual feedback to all of our kids.
My favourite part of remote learning has been my daily Zoom chats with my Kindergarten class. They are utterly chaotic, but also so full of laughs and, surprisingly, so full of learning. Here are just a few of my favourite ZOOM remote learning activities!
The kids quickly draw up a simple grid on whiteboard/paper. You can work on any skill you want to target. Some examples could include:
- Sounds (differentiate or mix it up by asking students to identify the beginning, middle or end sound in a word)
- Numbers (differentiate or mix it up by asking students to identify the number before/after, doubles facts, friends of 10, or addition/subtraction problems.
- Syllables- students write a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 on their Bingo boards, and cross off as you say words with different numbers of syllables.
SHOW ME A NUMBER
This is a great open-ended activity. Students can show you a number in a range of ways that could include:
- Numeral form
- Word form
- Ten frames
- Addition/Subtraction sentences
Photo from @seasideteacher
FIX MY SENTENCE
On a mini whiteboard (or via screen-share) hold up a sentence with errors, and students correct on their own whiteboards or paper. You can work on specific sentence focuses such as capitals, spaces, full stops or adjectives.
FACT OR FICTION
Students point to their heads (imaginations) if I say a Fiction statement, and give a thumbs up if I say a Fact statement. The fiction statements are guaranteed to get them giggling. You might also like to get the kids involved in thinking of statements to present to their classmates.
This is always a hit with the kids. Give them a random squiggle to get them started, and see what creative drawings they come up with! Here's an example of the Kindergarten Team creating a Mr Squiggle video for our students during remote learning in 2020.
This one is an absolute favourite amongst my kids- and I'm sure your kids will love them too! A few ideas to get you started:
- Colours e.g. find something that is blue
- Beginning sounds e.g. find something that starts with 's'
- Syllables e.g. find something that is 2 syllables
- Senses e.g. find something prickly, find something that is loud, find something that is tasty
- Length e.g. find something as long as a spoon, find something shorter than your hand
- Rhyming words
- Letters or numbers
You might like to pull up an Art for Kids Hub YouTube tutorial, or I've even attempted a few of my own directed drawing sessions. We have created pun cards for both Mother's Day and Father's Day.
Roll a Silly Sentence
This is a fun way to consolidate phonics- we roll the virtual dice (or you could also just hold up a real dice) and create some silly decodable sentences using the sounds that we have been learning. These digital slides are available here.
Some examples of phonics games or activities that we've done via Zoom include:
- Swap the sound e.g. from mat to map
- Missing sound
- Decodable words and sentences
Some examples of sharing questions could include
- Would you rather...
- What's your favourite...
- Something I'm grateful for...
Show me the answer
This can be used to consolidate whatever skill you're working on. Some examples could include:
- Hold up the number of sounds/syllables on your fingers
- Multiple choice with Heads or Tails (or Heads or Shoulders)
Brain Break Movements or Dances
Sometimes we'll play a quick game of Simon Says, or have a quick movement break with something like star jumps. We also love to put on our favourite Pevan and Sarah songs for a dance!
I use screen-share for Phonics Powerpoint slides or explicit modelling of a writing or maths lesson. My tip is to use screen-share sparingly, unless the kids are interacting as you go on mini whiteboards. Interaction is the key to keeping wriggly kids engaged on Zoom!
Whether it's wearing a onesie or your pyjamas, crazy hair day, wear a particular colour, or anything else in between... dress ups will always get the kids excited!
Here are a few open-ended question ideas from Seaside Teacher. You can find her at @seasideteacher on Instagram!
Show & Tell
Students will love giving you an insight into their toys, families, or other adventures at home. They'll also love you giving them an insight into your life, or appearances from their class pet!
Some other ideas could include:
- I Spy
- Guess the number (I screen share a hundreds chart)
- Celebrity Heads
- 20 Questions
Many of these activities translate well into the classroom as well. They are a great to have up your sleeve for brain breaks, lesson warm ups, or class bonding exercises!