5 Helpful tips for teaching at home or online
Here at Daliland World, we have learnt that whether you are trying to facilitate lessons at home or online, it is challenging to continually come up with new and fun educational activities for the kiddos. One thing is for sure though and that is, we love it. So, we have decided to share some of the things that we have learnt which may be useful to others. Also let us not forget that with the ongoing pandemic we have all had to overcome different hurdles and obstacles.
Even though it may be challenging coming up with new and fun activities to keep the kiddos busy at home. We have discovered some survival techniques. Our goal is to try to provide support during this uncertain time and so we have been putting together different activity packs to do at home with the kids. Most of these packs are tailored to the child's interest and needs. This makes it more fun and engaging for the child.
If his/her interests are used within the activities presented, then this helps with motivation and engagement.
The idea is for them to have so much fun that they don't realize that they are actually working. If you are interested in these activities packs please contact us here. So we have put together some tips/ideas for parents or other tutors who may be working from home and needed some inspiration just like us here at Daliland World did.
1. Use their interests:
This is the golden rule here at Daliland, if you use what interests a child then half the work is already done, it makes things slightly easier in terms of motivation and engagement. Use their interests in the actual activities, for example, I had a student who did not like cutting but loved Paw Patrol, so I made and found Paw Patrol cutting activities that my student loved. These kinds of activities are easy to make yourself but if you don't have time, Google Images is your best friend, see below of an example I found on Google images. The only issue is there are only so many free worksheets out there that contain your child’s special interests, that is why making your own is also very helpful and easy:
2. Turning activities into games:
Using games to turn learning into a fun experience is a great trick, this can be done online and in person. Research helps here and imagination. There are a few ways to do this for example, using educational “board games'' is a great way to facilitate learning. Please see below an example of a board game I made about seasons. The one I made below is short and simple but you can be as creative and elaborate as you like with these kinds of activities.
In the online sphere there are also a number of options: doing research, inventing or re-inventing games are some of the ways to keep on top of your “game”, such as “find something”: ask your student to go find something a certain color or that starts with a certain letter of the alphabet. Kids love this game.
Another example I recently used is “where is it”, here’s how to play:
- hide an item (a toy animal or anything really)
- take two cups and label them 1 or 2/a or b depending on what you want the child to say/learn (numbers, colors, letters and so on)
- Hide the item in one of the cups (ask students to close their eyes,
- count to five then open) then ask them “where is the….?”.
This one is always a winner and kids love it. So getting exploratory and experimental is key. You can come up with so many different educational games.
3. Frequent action breaks:
This is also an important one, the more you get your child to get up, move around and have a break the better they and you are going to feel. Action games, songs or videos are great for these intermittent frequent breaks in between activities. Patty Shukla is a favorite among the kiddos and she has an array of action songs to follow along to. These are great as they get the blood flowing and we all know that this type of activity is imperative for the little ones.
Here being inventive also comes in handy, playing games like indoor scavenger hunts, or “hide something”:(hide something and direct the child incorporating prepositions into the game) for example: “look under something green”, then when they find the item they can have a turn to hide something. You could also do an array of different gross motor activities such as "animal walks", aerobics for kids, kids yoga and of course our favorite, dance party:)
The possibilities here are endless for online as well. Nice examples of online breaks are action videos that can be shown in the virtual classroom or a game of “Simon Says”. Asking your student to perform an action like “go turn off the light” or “put on an item of blue clothing” can be very effective. Kids love these types of games as it will make the lesson that much more fun and engaging:)
4. Use reward charts:
Reward charts are very useful and can help with motivation. Especially if you use something your kiddo really loves as an end of working time treat, then it can really help with negotiating. For example if you get 5 stars (a star per completion of activity) you will get 10 minutes of screen time. I’ve created one below as an example for you to use.
Online is a bit different but I am constantly coming up with different reward systems for online classes. Most of the time my students like it. For example, when you think you've exhausted every last option, ask your child or student about something they like whether its food, animals and so on.
Currently, I have a student who loves butterflies. I drew a flower on a reward chart and I made some colorful butterflies and every time she does well in class I put a butterfly on her flower and she loves it. Even if your class is online, you can still find creative and interactive rewards that the kids will love.
5. Finding effective resources:
This has helped me a lot. Whether it is making my own resources or finding others online, it is imperative to keep your inventory well stocked. Canva is a great resource that you can use to make your own worksheets. Please see below an example of a worksheet I have made. Google is also your bestie in this area whenever you are out of ideas, searching for inspiration online always proves effective. Basically doing your fair share of research really makes a difference and can be fun at the same time!
Blogs, Instagram and Pinterest are other wonderful sources of endless inspiration. YouTube videos have also helped us out a lot whether its for ideas or to see what others are doing, you can really get lost in a wormhole of creativity. So there you have it 5 tips on how to keep those home or online lessons interesting and fresh. We hope you have found something useful and please do not hesitate to get in contact with us for any questions or guidance in this arena, if we can, we would love to help out.