Can Home Based Learning be FUN?
At Astor, we say YES it can! ;)
COVID-19 has changed the world in so many ways one of which is education and teaching. Schools all around the world have been thrown into Home Based Learning (HBL), sometimes with no warning and limited time for preparation. Teachers were all of a sudden take from having a classroom full of resources and the ability to change their lessons as and when required to having to teach not knowing what was happening on the other side of the screen.
Astor has done HBL 3 times now and like everything - the more you do it the better you get.
We found that mixture of zoom and prerecorded videos give the best result. It allows students to stay focused and engaged, while still allows families to control their schedule and choose best time to study. Constant support and feedback from the teacher allow students to be independent and complete most of the tasks without parental help.
Every morning we have a class meeting to discuss goals for the day and support each other. Than students are off to do independent work with prerecorded videos from the teacher. Before lunch students come back to zoom to do a lesson together.
We use a platform called Class DoJo to send out all our information to parents via the Class Story and to the children by their Portfolio. The portfolio allows teachers to upload a To-Do list each day and allows the children to reply to the task with a video, picture, text or completed worksheet. The reply from the child with their work can then be commented on by the teacher and approved or sent back to the child as a draft for corrections.
Each day the classroom teacher posts Morning Fitness, English, Math and IPC tasks for the children to complete. For one of those lessons, we go live via Zoom. We use a range of whole class and small group Zoom sessions depending on the children’s age. These sessions last from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the children’s age.
Live Zoom lessons allow teachers to share their screens to show children PowerPoints, videos, activities. It even has a virtual whiteboard that teachers can write and draw on and then save at the end of the session so it can be sent to children if they need it for their activity.
Zoom also allows breakout rooms where we can break the class up into small groups or we can send students who may require additional help to a room with a support teacher to give them more 1 to 1 guidance.
Where possible we have tried to continue our Extracurricular Activities (ECAs) either by pre-recordings or live Zoom sessions.
HBL also means that teachers have to deliver the learning process as paperless as possible. At Astor, we endeavor to be as environmentally conscious as possible, and HBL has certainly proven that this can be done.