It is not a unique nor profound reflection to say that what the world is experiencing with COVID-19 is unimaginable, unprecedented, and something of a horror movie mixed with a nightmare. Every day, we see stories of dire new statistics but we also see the resiliency and strength of the human spirit emerging throughout. Alongside the rest of the world, I remain ever-grateful for those who put their lives on the line and are truly leading the fight: the first responders, health professionals, the hospital admimistrators, the engineers doubling down and changing course to make rapidly depleting medical supplies, the supply chain directors and workers pivoting and doing all they can to help, the grocery store cashiers and stockers, the pharmacists, the nurses, the doctors, the researchers, the food delivery personnel, the garbage and waste removal personnel, governance across the world and their staff, journalists, and everyone else who is doing what they can to help, inform, and generally add to the good in the world.
Amongst all of this are our brave, resilient, maybe scared, and always precious students. This is a potentially scary and unsettling time for our kids and one that inevitably seems to not have a clear deadline nor course of action.
I find myself asking: “What can I do?”
Besides STAY HOME (which I happily can do), I know I can offer parents support who might be called to homeschool their children as schools scramble to figure out how to make distance learning possible, despite limiting resources available to all students. There are likely going to be som gaps and lags and one thing I can lessen the load for parents is the feelings of helplessness, while also providing students with some learning opportunities, building off of things they already know.
It’s worth noting that perhaps the best thing you can do for your child or students is first to take a deep breath. Smile. Be honest with your student or child but also be strong. They need us right now!
The wonderful thing about teaching in the digital age is the ample and ready access to heaps of free online learning resources and tools. To simplify, here are 10 elementary to middle years resources that are easily adaptable to a wide range of students. Do they neatly fit within specific province and/or state curricula? Not exactly, but I’d say it’s a pretty darn close fit!
1) AT-HOME SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
From rainbows in a glass to slime and everything in between!
2) FREE ART, LITERACY, & MATH PRINTABLES
3) FREE NATURE WALK SCAVENGER HUNT PRINTABLE
4) FREE 1-MONTH TRIAL OF VOOKS
5) FOR OLDER SIBLINGS HELPING WITH YOUNGER SIBLINGS
6) MIDDLE YEARS STEM/STEAM WITH MUSIC VIDEOS
7) ART & ART HISTORY AT THE MET (INCLUDES FREE LESSON PLANS)
Did your spring break travel plans get cancelled? I feel for you! If part of your break involved art viewing, fear not! The MET has got you covered with interactive exhibits, lessons, and stories. This resource is great for middle years to secondary.
8) MATH PLAYGROUND
9) GAME-BASED PHYSICAL EDUCATION WITH LIMITED EQUIPMENT
10) MINUTE-TO-WIN-IT CHALLENGES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
- How is COVID-19 impacting your family?
- How have you adapted?