Virtual learning has always been available to students, but COVID has had a shocking impact on students, teachers, families, and education overall. As a Kindergarten teacher, I had to ask myself in 2020, how can I keep 5- and 6-year-olds engaged on a laptop and provide quality instruction? I think this was a problem many primary teachers faced. Inside the classroom, we engage our students with hands-on activities, movement, and music to keep them motivated to learn! Even now, with schools fully opened, primary teachers are required to implement technology into their daily lessons and activities.
As a current virtual Kindergarten teacher, let me help you step into the future! Learn about some awesome and out-of-this-world resources to add to your teacher kit. We’ll explore how to keep students learning and growing with the help of engaging technology resources. In addition, online resources and platforms can be utilized for quick checks, summative assessments, exit tickets, homework, and individual and differentiated class assignments. Each resource has an assortment of formats to assess students, including but not limited to multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and sorting. Explore making your lessons even more fun and exciting, whether you’re teaching in a physical or virtual classroom.
- WordWall: A free website that allows educators to access and create interactive and printable activities. Teachers have the option to select a fun theme for the games, add timers, and select from a variety of game options. Options include but are not limited to match-up, group sort, game show quiz, airplane, and whack-a-mole. To make lesson planning easier, there are already pre-made templates and games for various subjects and grade levels. Teachers also can review student progress and understanding with readily available reports. Games and activities can be assigned, shared, and embedded in different platforms, including Google Classroom, Canvas, QR Code, and direct links to student devices.
- Quizziz: This is a free interactive learning platform where teachers can easily navigate, create, and find engaging content and activities. Students will enjoy the exciting themes, funny memes, and music while allowing teachers the flexibility of evaluating each student’s mastery of a skill or concept. Teachers can enable read-aloud, add a timer for each question, add images or text, and have students work at their own pace while the teacher observes live results. A favorite feature I love to use is the instructor-paced option, as it allows the host to control the pace of the game and students can advance through each question together. This helps me note which questions or concepts individual students struggle with and need more practice and support. Quizziz activities can be assigned to students for additional practice, homework, or a pre-test. A bonus for educators is that it can be embedded with Google Classroom, and Canvas, via a shared link or as a printable.
- Blooket: A fun learning platform that allows students to play games and earn rewards for answering questions. Students can create and select an avatar with each game and there is even a fun mini-game for students to play while waiting for their peers to join the game. There are a variety of question sets or teachers can create their own set of questions and pick different game modes to play. My Kindergarten students love to play Cafe’, Fishing Frenzy, Gold Quest, and Deceptive Dinosaur. Teachers can observe students answering questions and observe their level of understanding of a specific concept or skill. Another great feature is the market where students can purchase fun avatars to use in the game. The more students participate, the more tokens students earn to shop in the market. The graphics on this site are vivid and animated. Students of all ages will love this game!
- Additional free resources to explore for the primary grades: eMediaVA, ABCya, SplashLearn, and eSpark. Happy exploring! Let us know in the eMediaVA Facebook group how you’re using virtual learning tools in your classroom.
Toymeka Raymond is a virtual kindergarten teacher in Newport News Public Schools and an eMediaVA Ambassador.