Photos: Courtesy of Katie Risolo Radovich
While virtual learning poses many questions for teachers, one of the critical questions I had as a first-grade teacher was: how can I teach my students to read virtually?
For context: This school year, I’ve been working in a hybrid learning model, with 14 students in my classroom and seven at home. However, there have been times when the whole class became virtual due to COVID-19 exposure. So, just as I have done since remote learning began in March 2020, I have had to sit down and figure out how to do what I normally do in person but through a computer screen.
Typically, I split students into small reading groups and sometimes one-on-one intervention groups in person. I normally send students home with physical copies of books to be read and practiced before students receive a new book. Many of my usual resources are items I bought or created to enhance my student’s learning.
Tips for Teaching Reading Online
As I reflect on the first two-thirds of this school year, here’s a list of tips I created for teaching reading online. I thought about what has been working for me, along with what I’ve been doing to help my students succeed in reading.
1. Use two devices when reading aloud with students virtually.
Before we dive into the actual teaching component, it’s important that you’re set up and prepared with the right technology. Whether you’re using Google Meet, Zoom, or another digital platform, I recommend having one device where you share your screen with students so they can view the digital resources you’re using, or using a Doc Cam or other webcam to share physical resources. Then, you would use the other device to engage with your students! A plus is also being able to see what your students see so you can adjust accordingly.
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