As kindergarten teachers, we do our best to plan lessons, activities, and tasks that help our students learn.
While doing this over the internet definitely looks different for distance learning or remote learning - the nature of what we are doing is really still the same.
So here is a list of things kindergartners can do almost independently online.
I hope this list can save you time lesson planning or give you inspiration when you feel like you've hit a wall.
General activities kinders can do
Here is a list of things students can do from afar:
- Count, read or show their work to someone in their household
- Take photos of their work (works for both paper and non-paper stuff)
- Record a video project, response or answer
- Complete a google slide activity
- Play a single online game or activity
- Complete a Seesaw activity
- Work for a set amount of time on a web-based curriculum like freckle.com
- Watch a teacher-made video
- Watch an educational video
- Do a familiar chart or chant (alphabet, sight words, etc.)
- Read along with a story online
- Teach flashcards to a family member, stuffed animal or toy (letter sounds, sight words, etc.)
- Create a collection of things/objects
- Do a guided drawing
- Find things in their environment (I-spy, scavenger hunt, etc.)
- Write a simple story with illustrations
- Rainbow write sight words
- Add a sentence to their work
- Do a drawing challenge
- Move, dance or sing along with an educational video
Now, I'm sure that I missed something from this list - so be sure to share your ideas in the comments too.
Tips for planning distance learning lessons
Let's look at a couple of ideas that can help you plan your long-term distance lessons.
Parents will need some tech support upfront
In the beginning, as everyone is getting used to learning online - for a snow day or for extended remote learning circumstances - parents will most likely need some technical support.
So, start simple. Don't jump right into a full day of lessons - simply focus on a tutorial or two - or even a "how-to" video to help everyone settle into the new routine.
Teach parents and kinders how to login to any external websites or apps you may be using (Freckle.com, Seesaw, etc.). Keep those tutorials handy so that you can share them again as needed.
Build a routine
Whatever tasks you choose for your distance learning - it might be wise and helpful if you try to build a simple routine.
It will make lesson planning easier - you can just plug in what makes sense for your students to do next. And if you have a routine it will also help students and parents know what to expect.
Remember, this is a huge undertaking for parents. I mean - so huge.
Pick a themed day
Even if you set a routine, you can easily pump in a little fun sporadically or even once a week. Simply pick one day of the week that you change up what you do.
Here are a few, fun ideas. Pick one of these from this list to get started.
- Take a day off from eLearning day
This is exactly what it is. Assign no work and give everyone the much-needed pressure release of filling the gap while away from school.
- Guided drawing day
Choose an online video or PDF tutorial to teach students how to draw something. Then students write to a prompt in connection with their picture.
- Pick-a-theme day
Go for a theme! Choose online games, videos, and stories all around a theme. We do this naturally in the classroom, so why not extend it into a set of eLearning lesson plans too?
- Memories day
Ask students to share a special memory they have of school. What is something they really enjoyed this year? Share in the memories and reconnect even though everyone is far apart.
- Yoga/PE day
- Practical life day
Assign your students to help with a chore around the house and document it.
- Teach us Tuesday
Our students all have unique interests and being at home is a perfect time for them to dig deep into those interests. Have students share something they've been doing, learning about, or reading about - that they think others might like too.
Maybe they've helped cook this week, made a playdough sculpture, learned about dinosaurs, watched a Bug Wars video and learned about the raspy-bulldog cricket's mandibles, or helped do a family puzzle.
Embrace the unique nature of what learning at home can be and reinforce that they are learning all the time.
Create your own videos
Your students want to see you! So, host a Google Hangout Meet or Zoom conference time so everyone can check in via video chat every once in a while.
But don't forget that you can create your own videos and share them with your class if you can't quite find the right content online.
Here are some video ideas you can record:
- read aloud
- word work lesson on a whiteboard or with manipulative letters
- class alphabet or sight word chart
- daily calendar time (modified)
- guided drawing
- writing mini-lesson
- writing prompt question + hook
Use your phone, sit near a window for natural light and hit the record button. Use Google Drive to upload your videos and share them with students.
Let's wrap it up
When you combine this list of things kindergartners can do online with a routine and one fun day each week - you can hopefully save time lesson planning - or find the inspiration to keep going.
Are you looking for specific games and activities online?
Start with this list of my 40+ favorite sites and free, online games for kindergarten.
And if you need a kindergarten-friendly way to share lesson plans, then check out my free, easy-to-navigate eLearning template for kindergarten.
If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.