Love or hate it, virtual learning has become our new reality. As a reading interventionist and kindergarten teacher, this has been a difficult and daunting shift for us as we wholeheartedly believe in multi-modal, hands-on instruction.

One of our biggest challenges has been keeping young children engaged and motivated during virtual learning. It is important for us to find balance between screen time and authentic, hands-on learning. Here are our top 4 ways we’ve enhanced virtual learning for our students:

  • Make virtual learning concepts concrete: We anchor abstract virtual concepts, such as reading strategies, with animal characters. Each animal character has a “creature feature” that teaches the a specific strategy along with a rhymed poem, song, and accompanying tools. These adorable Astute Hoot plushies can be purchased at JoyLand Crochet.
  • Incorporate play: It is important for children to take a break for screen time throughout the day. Play is a critical part of early childhood brain development. Play promotes creativity, communication, fine and gross motor skills, and social-emotional development.
  • Embed music and movement: Concepts are often easily remembered and retained when paired with music and movement. Interactive songs, such as those by Dr. Jean, activate both hemispheres of the brain and motivate students to practice new skills.

We hope these strategies help you find balance during your virtual learning experience. For more information and activities, check out our Astute Hoot TPT store.


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