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Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Teaching through the Coronavirus


The world has gone a little crazy at the moment with the outbreak of Coronavirus.

I can understand why everyone is worried and panicking a little; this is a new virus and the rate that it is spreading is incredible.

At the moment of writing this the current status from the government is to “stay calm", to self isolate if you have symptoms of a new and persistent cough or if you have a fever at 38° or above. They have advised that all mass gatherings be cancelled so there isn’t a grouped spread of the virus and that adults above 70 and people who are medically vulnerable should isolate from now on (up to 12 weeks)

I’m sure at some point over the next 2 weeks schools will close. This will probably happen when the country or the most severe areas are approaching the peak affected number.

This then would leave a lot of parents “stuck" in a difficult position.

As an ex-teacher and a Home Ed parent I still think children should carry on with some education even if they are at home.


I've already helped a couple of parents who have contacted me on what they can do educationally with their children but thought I should write something that lays it all out just in case for others.

For many schools they've either sent work home, have a "pack" and work available or are posting online/through their App what each child is learning.

But, there are some schools that haven't.

Therefore it is down to many of us to educate and I would like to make the point that it’s easy to do and it doesn't need to cost anything!

To start with you should make a list of subjects and then ask your children what they've been learning at school.

Literacy

You can use Google for Literacy work and it is incredibly simple. For example:

SEARCH: KS1 Literacy worksheet
SEARCH: KS2 Literacy worksheet

In doing this you will find a list of links to search. Or, which many commonly do, search the images. The images will usually have a range of worksheets to do.

All you would need to do is save the image and send it to print.

If you are looking for something specific then search the above and add what you are looking for i.e. “KS1 Literacy Worksheets Verbs" and again get the information that you need.

Numeracy

Numeracy is exactly the same as Literacy. All you need to do is change the parameters in your search.

Extra Curricular Subjects

This is very similar. In these cases you search by subject and topic. I.e. Geography Rivers Year 3 worksheets.

In these above scenarios the work is usually laid out incredibly easily. All the parents would need to do is read over the work before setting it.

If, however, you’re not finding the right resources that you’re needing I would then consider you trying some of the sites below:

http://www.primaryresources.co.uk

https://ichild.co.uk

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach

https://www.planbee.com

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

YouTube has many videos available too. Like Google just put your search criteria in and find something relevant.

On top of that Twinkl are offering One Month Ultimate for free on this link
https://www.twinkl.co.uk/offer/UKTWINKLHELPS?utm_source=promo&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=England_coronavirus_schools_email&utm_content=offer_link

To access it just use this code UKTWINKLHELPS

Whilst on Facebook I also came across Helen who has a great post which features 20 free online resources which covers the KS1, KS2 and KS3 pupils.
There was also a recent post by MotherhoodTheRealDeal that had a great list of different resources from sites to books over a various selection of subjects.

If you are planning on doing craft or art work alongside a particular theme then try not to worry. It is easy outside of this to panic where to get ideas from where realistically all you would need to do is check out Pinterest!

Lessons and Time Scale

Teaching from home ISN’T the same as it is in school. In fact, the time scale is a lot shorter.

In class most lesson last around 50 minutes. So let me break this down.

15 minute warm up activity, 5 minute introduction, 20 minute activity (like completing a sheet/s) and then 10 minutes doing an activity to round up what they have learnt.

Children doing work 1:1 at home do not need to follow this schedule. The 15 minute “warm up" activity is usually designed to fit all the levels of the children in the class. They will cover questions for the children at the lower ability as well as the ones at the top. The introduction is usually covering the different work set for the different groups. The last activity is usually the same.

For children at home you will usually spend on average 20 minutes per lesson.

A couple of minutes talking about the work with them and then doing an introduction with maybe one or two questions as an example is ideal. Then you would allow that child 15 minutes to complete it; something they should do as they won’t have a class around them distracting them.

The sheets don’t actually take that long to do so I would suggest doing 3 per core lessons.

As for a layout I would suggest this:

20 to 30 minutes per activity.

I would do Literacy and Numeracy first in the morning. If you start the work for 9.30am you should be able to finish by 10.30am. At this point let your children have a 30 minute break to do whatever they want.

Then I would start a subject at 11am. Depending on what you have found and what you plan to do I would aim to see if you can spread the activity out between 45 minutes to 1 hour with the aim to stop around 12pm.

Remember the activities do not take too long so make sure you spend a good amount of the time discussing the different aspects of the work. This could be the method, the topic or what they have previously learnt on this. Children are more likely to remember and achieve if they can retell what they’re doing or what they’ve learnt.

At which point let your children have 1 hour for lunch and their own activities.

Then starting back at 1pm I would do the same for the next subject/lesson.

Finally, you should be finishing the school at home day around 2pm. This should give you and your child enough time to either relax or if you’re that way inclined to do something physical.

Projects

Crafts are always good to fill in gaps and to take up time if needed. Making something that fits into the topic can be covered over a couple of lessons. For example, making a papier mache river bed or volcano and then painting it. This is particularly good to do if you want to do art! Big pictures and crafts can have a continued theme throughout and take a good portion of your school day up.

Having a project theme run through the week is often quite handy. You can adjust all subjects to match up. You could look at a subject like Roman's and make the topic fit most subjects. For example, Roman's could be a History project that stretches into other subjects.

Your child could do a diary in Literacy about a day as a Roman soldier, for Geography you could investigate and research Roman settlements locally to you or over the UK and write different facts about the places, investigate Roman inventions in science and make a variety of Roman tools, equipment, uniform, crafts and art work for Art.

Ultimately having one project touching all areas. This can be used as a "Roman day" or a "Roman week"; something that can be done with many different topics and ideas.

Finally, if things get really desperate and you're looking for ideas feel free to look through my Home Ed section on this blog. 

Home Ed is great but the one thing I have learnt is that child/ren need something physical to counter the reaction of sitting around doing work at home. We like to watch different physical videos on YouTube and join in or do something like baking and cooking together.

If you're looking for something different also consider educational board games. The benefits are more than just learning. 

So what do you think? Is this something you could try?

If anyone wants any help or advice feel free to drop me a message via Twitter @mr_kitney or via Facebook @Martyn Kitney or @insidemartynsthoughts


EDIT:  

FOLLOWING PEOPLE MESSAGING AND ASKING FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON TIMINGS, ROUTINE AND ASPECTS OF FREE LEARNING I HAVE WRITTEN A FOLLOW UP POST      CLICK HERE.

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