How to Make the Most of the Time You have with Students During Hybrid Learning

How to Make the Most of the Time You have with Students During Hybrid Learning

By now we have heard all the buzz words, remote learning, hybrid learning, and blended learning. No matter what you call it, they all mean the same thing. Students spend some of their time learning in a classroom and some of their time learning at home through activities or digital lessons.

But what we may not have heard all about is the best way to meet the curriculum demands, teach social-emotional lessons, and help our students grow during the limited time we have together face to face.

Here are four ways to help you make the most of the time that you have with students in the classroom.

Be Consistent

As teachers, we strive for consistency and routine every year, and this year should be no different. Set your expectations for behavior, participation, and work completion in the classroom. Be sure to use those same expectations for work completed at home or through remote lessons you teach. If you expect students to respond to a reading response question in paragraph form, the expectation should be no different when they are home or responding digitally. By setting the expectation, reinforcing it in the classroom, and expecting it through all forms of learning, the rigor you set for your students will continue all year long.

Try these ideas:
  • Communication - Use the same language when communicating with students about their work, their understanding of a concept. and grading. No matter what system you use, students will appreciate the consistency. Stick to the same rubric, scoring system, and grades.
  • Do you use stickers to motivate your students in the classroom and correct work, too? You can use digital stickers to correct work in Google Classroom!

Build Classroom Community 

Building a positive community while you are with your students in the classroom is so important. We want students to feel a sense of community in our classroom so that it can carry into other forms of learning too. This will help students to actively participate and engage in the digital learning atmosphere.

Try these ideas:
  • Read a book to unite your class - Read the book Here and There by Kim Gregory and discuss how your class can be a community and support system for each other whether they are at school or apart.
  • Celebrate each other as individuals - Spend a little extra time to help students get to know each other. The quicker they get to know each other well, the better your virtual learning lessons and classroom will be!
  • Celebrate each other as classmates - Help your students build relationships with one other through kindness writing activities and projects. Have students focus on writing about why each classmate is an important part of the class.

picture book for social distancing

Review and Build to Make Connections in Learning

Since the last school year ended so abruptly there will be many gaps in students' learning and mastery of skills. This is to be expected. Plan lessons that divide your time in half. Half that reviews/reteaches a concept or skill from the previous year and then immediately build upon it in the second half of the lesson. This will help students make connections and better understand the grade level objective you are teaching as well as help them to strengthen skills that they may have missed out on last year. 

Try this idea:
  • Have students complete a review activity during morning work time and then use that activity as a starting off point during your lesson. This will allow time to review and build upon it immediately. For example, if last year your students were expected to be able to find the main idea and supporting details of a nonfiction passage and this year they are expected to find the main idea to help summarize a nonfiction passage, provide students with practice activities to find the main idea during morning time. Then during the lesson, have students take out those completed activities and use those to review finding the main idea, before teaching the new concept of summarizing. Since time is limited this tip will save time and help you immediately correct student work and build upon previously taught concepts.

hybrid learning model quote

Focus on Double Duty Activities

Since time is at a premium with the hybrid learning model, use your time wisely. One way to do this is to connect multiple standards into one lesson. Make your lessons work double duty instead of assigning double the work!

Try these ideas:
  • Morning Time - Use your morning time for community building and social-emotional lessons. You can use weekly themes to help students discuss important concepts and share their feelings.
  • Read a Good Book - Use the same read aloud over and over for different lessons and objectives. This not only saves time but will allow students to understand each new objective taught with the same book more deeply as they have already comprehended the story.
  • One Lesson, Two Objectives - Combine content area lessons and practice into one activity. My favorite way to do this is to combine nonfiction topics with reading strategies. Students learn science concepts, develop critical thinking skills, AND practice close reading with these passages. Other easy to implement combination activities include:

hybrid learning activities for kids

No matter what your hybrid learning model looks like these easy to implement ideas will help you get started and create a positive learning environment in person and during remote learning, too. 

Have a great school year teacher friends!

LOVE these ideas? Pin to save!

Hybrid learning teacher tips and ideas

*affiliate links: “Think Grow Giggle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” (source: Section 5)

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