As teachers and students return to school, things will look very different from pre-COVID. Whether school takes place in person, through distance learning, or a hybrid solution, one important focus is on tools and resources to help ensure everyone can be safe, feel secure, and learn effectively.
New needs give rise to new solutions, so we’ve compiled a list of tips and ideas to help you navigate the return and move forward successfully.
Keep Handwashing Handy
Handwashing and practicing personal hygiene are an important part of staying healthy and safe. Portable sinks and/or hand sanitizer stations are a unique way to provide access to handwashing facilities in unconventional places. They can be set up throughout the school building, classrooms, or outdoor spaces. Adding a poster or visual cues nearby can be a helpful reminder of proper handwashing procedures.
Get Two Uses from One Product
Using floor stickers or markers is a great method to give visual cues for social distancing in a classroom, hallway, or school. It’s even better when they can do double duty by adding a learning component like the reinforcement of alphabet letter names and sounds as part of daily learning activities.
Offer One Kit Per Kid
Avoid sharing high-touch classroom supplies by offering pre-made personal kits or creating bundles for each student. Separate hands-on materials into plastic storage containers or zippered pouches. Kits can be numbered or labeled by student name to be used at school or home. Don’t forget to build in a cleaning routine to make sure materials are sanitized as well.
Make SEL Child’s Play
Social emotional learning (SEL) is as important as ever in helping students feel secure in their environment and ready to succeed. Educational games can be the perfect tool to introduce and teach SEL skills to learners of all ages. Games at home or in school are a perfect resource to help build and apply social emotional learning competencies.
Focus on Comfort For Distance Learning
With many schools incorporating distance learning in their back to school plans, teachers and students will need to use headsets for long periods of time. If you are providing headsets for students to use at home, help keep students focused on learning and not distracted by discomfort by looking for options that are lightweight, adjustable, and provide comfort.
Fidgets: 1 Tool, 3 Uses
Fidgets play a valuable role for educators and parents to help support students with special needs. A fidget can be a multi-use tool valuable to help with the following:
- Provide tactile and deep touch pressure input, which may help with the calming/organizing response
- Offer repetitive movement input, which may help with focus and attention
- Strengthen wrist and hand muscles to support fine motor skills
No matter how the educational landscape is changing, we all look forward to going back to school. Though the new school year may look different, we know the need to be ready won’t change. For more ideas, products, and resources to help with COVID-19 guidelines, visit our website.