In the era of our digital, technology savvy world, elearning days are becoming more popular. This post walks you through elearning day activities, ideas, and other things to consider. Plus there are even some FREE downloads you may want to check out. 😉
While an online learning day may occur because of health concerns, it could also happen due to the weather or any other event taking place. Some schools have been holding e-learning days for years, while others have never given these days much thought. At least until now, which is why I assume you are here.
As a teacher – or anyone working in the school – it can be helpful to start holding these elearning day conversations before you actually need to implement them. Here are some points to consider –
- How will you ensure lessons are well planned?
- How will work be sent home? Digitally, before the actual day, emailed out, or…?
- Do all students have access to the internet?
- Will students be engaged in the learning?
- Are the assignments going home relevant to the learning that would be taking place at school?
- How can teachers be best prepared for these days? (No one wants a last minute panic!)
- How will communication look – from admin to teachers, teachers to families, etc?
How Could eLearning Days Look?
There are a wide variety of ways elearning day activities can take place without too much extra stress or hassle. Consider the following –
- Record yourself teaching a lesson. Even posting it to a free place like YouTube is an option. There are free programs out there to do the recording (like Screentastify, Google Hangouts, or Zoom) if your computer doesn’t have a built in program.
- Call students on the phone to check in with each one.
- Any other method that works for your students. I could create a list a mile long, but ultimately you need to think about your students and their families. What will work best for e-learning days?
eLearning Day Activities & Ideas
Meaningful activities can take place on digital learning days without actually seeing the students. Think about what type of activities you are doing in the classroom and get creative. Plan out lessons for all the necessary subjects and potentially even the specials classes. Here are some options –
- Assign students to read. Have them keep going on a story you were doing in class or invite them to read a book of their own.
- Let students visit YouTube or SchoolTube to find a book to listen to.
- Ask parents to read with their child – even the newspaper, magazines, or other materials they have at home provide real-world experiences!
- Tracking reading can be as easy as a journal like this one.
- Give each student a specific link for 2-3 games on Math Playground. This way they can review the materials necessary for them. You can even request screenshots of how long each activity takes and the number of games they play. (A Google doc could be a great way to have ongoing documentation between you and each student.)
- Magic Square Puzzles are a great math activity if students have access to a printer or you’re able to send home activities before the digital learning day.
- If you’re working on or reviewing basic math facts, I have some FREE puzzles specifically for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Click on the shape that would most interest your students –
- Asking upper elementary and older students to write their own math problems to “stump” their classmates is another option. These can all be emailed or uploaded to the teacher for future math lessons on the next elearning day.
- When we talk about engaging learning, silly pictures can be the perfect answer! This blog post walks you through how to make it work and free options to use.
- Providing a basic word writing prompt is another relatively painless option.
- If students are working on their typing, sending their finished work back to the teacher should be relatively easy – assuming your students have internet access.
Language or Grammar
- Once again you can use my Magic Square Puzzles to give grammar review work on skills you’ve already taught.
- You may be able to scan in worksheets or activities you already intended to use. (Remember the TOU for posting on public sites here!)
- Find free online grammar games like these.
- Don’t forget about the specials classes – PE, library, music, and others. Those teachers may be able to send you over ideas, but even something as simple as asking kids to use a timer to jog for 30 seconds, do 10 sit ups, 10 pushups, and repeat five times can be great. Or maybe they need to listen to their favorite song two times. Bonus points if you ask them to write a reflective journal on how the music makes them feel.
- And if you need a variety of editable activities you can use across grade levels, I have some free puzzles that may help you out. Click on the one/s below that interest you –
FREE eLearning Day Download
With the various activities you may be planning, it will be helpful to have one sheet that organizes all of your expectations. Here is an editable PowerPoint file. You can type out exactly what you want students to do and upload it onto the site all students will access. Or print it out and send it home. Either way, this FREE download can be really helpful. Plus there are options for 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 subjects – so choose the one that makes the most sense for you and run with it.
Keep in mind you need to be age-appropriate with the tasks you assign. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for Kindergarten students who have never used technology at school. Plus we never know what adults will be home with children, if they are home alone, what chores they may be given while home (cooking, watching siblings, etc), and so many other factors.
And let’s not forget to remember the modifications, accommodations, and various needs of the students in our rooms. It’s in our best interest to chat with other parents who work with these students – as well as potentially the parents – to ensure we are helping these students be as successful as possible.
The way I do elearning in my classroom may look very differently from the way a remote learning day looks for you. But, regardless, try not to stress it too much. Teaching is largely a game of figuring out what works best for the students in front of us right now. And a virtual learning day is another way to stretch and grow as a professional.
You’ve got this!
If you want even more ideas for your elementary classroom, check out this Pinterest board. It’s devoted to FREE downloads that work at any time of year.
Thank you for all you do for the kids! 💖