Winter is Coming

School bus in snow

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. Some of our subscribers have already seen snow! Preparing for the winter semester is nothing new. We write back up lesson plans, incorporate extra time for snow days, and dream up indoor activities to keep students' minds and bodies engaged when it's too cold to go outside. This year, those plans are expanding to include more options for staying home, and increased learning from home. Today we've compiled some ideas for your Winter Ready checklist. Remember, you can reach out to your school care team any time you have questions. We're here to help!

Access, Access, Access

Resources are only useful if students can actually get to them. Ensure that all your students have working IDs. Check your ID Summary - the date in the file name indicates when it was last updated. If your attendance list has changed, let us know. Also, if you have a full building or district license, make sure your teachers all have accounts. Stories are a great way to enjoy a snow day!

Make Video Calls More Engaging

One tried and true trick of teaching is to engage your students with something that feels like fun, but actually encourages them to stay attentive. For this, we have two ideas.

Brunette woman drinking out of a mug with her pinky up - there's a neon yellow sticky note on the bottom of the mug that says Hello!Mug Messages

Raise your hand if you always have a mug of something to drink on your desk. ::Raises hand:: Start sticking a secret message to the bottom of your mug. So when you go to take a sip, your students see it. It can be as simple as a drawing, emoji, or a secret code. Ask students to share the secret code later for extra credit or something special. 

Student sitting in front of a computer monitor showing a virtual lesson with a teacher in a big square at the middle, surrounded by 8 smaller squares showing other studentsWho's Next

For those of you encouraging student participation, create a physical set of name cards - one for each student. Get your students started with show and tell, presenting, or reading passages and hold up the name of the next student so they have time to prepare. This will give students a heads up to check their microphone is set up properly, and can alleviate anxiety over being on camera.

Looking for more distance and hybrid learning ideas? 

Friendship is a beautiful thing and if we pay attention, we can see actual, tangible evidence of that beauty. Here in the DC area, we are experiencing peak bloom of the famous cherry blossom trees -…

Middle schoolers love a good adventure story. Actually, so do we all, amirite? The adventure, science fiction, and fantasy genres are all becoming more entwined, yielding some truly enthralling…

The Olympic games give us all a time to celebrate the sportsmanship, camaraderie, and perseverance of elite athletes around the world. As we prepare to witness impressive athleticism, this is also a…

Subscribe to our blog