I have a feeling we’ll be doing a lot of virtual learning this year. Our special education students need structure and routine more than ever, and it’s our job to help make virtual learning successful with our small groups.
Here are five simple ways to make your small groups a success as you dive in to virtual learning.
When will you meet with your virtual small groups? Set a daily or weekly schedule where your students KNOW that they’ll be meeting with you using a platform like Google Meet or Zoom.
Let your parents know when you’ll be meeting and what their child will need to do. It’s important to let them know how critical these small group times are. Although it can be hard sometimes, communication with parents is so important.
There will be things that arise and prevent students from joining my groups, but I try to be in constant communication with my parents. I want them to be comfortable sending me a text or email to let me know what’s up!
Now, there are 101 rules around recording meetings, so do some checking to see what you’re allowed to do. If a child cannot attend your meeting, many platforms offer the ability to record the session. If they can’t attend live, they can watch the recording of all or part of the meeting at a later time.
What can you record YOURSELF doing to help them continue to grow and progress at home? It doesn’t need to be student faces and the silly things that are said and done in the small group. Think about how you can let your students make up missed “classwork”.
Learn how to share your screen. This will allow you to share PowerPoint files, PDFs, and other lessons with your students. I love to be able to model and walk through activities that we would have typically completed in class. Is it different? Sure. But it is a great way to share REAL lessons with your students.
If you know students are going to need specific items for your virtual small groups, bag them up and do your best to get them to your students. I know that this step isn’t possible in all scenarios. For me, I want to send home highlighters, markers, pencils, hundreds charts, and several weeks of our printable booklets.