We have heard from many of you that part- or full-time distance learning is your current teaching reality. And you have requested advice on adapting the daily schedule in light of this new reality. Nell Duke, EdD, with input from the other Connect4Learning authors, compiled the following suggestions for adapting a full-day schedule with distance learning. Feel free to adapt the schedule to your own circumstances and preferences.
C4L Full-Day Sample Schedule
Arrival and Choice (15-minute) Skip this opportunity for free play.
Welcome and Read-Aloud (20-minute, whole group) Try to do this lesson by video-conference. If that’s not possible, do it asynchronously; however, the read-aloud should not be read straight through. The teacher should pause and prompt thinking, child verbalizations, or other actions. A new video from WestEd demonstrates how to do this: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/west/Publications/Details/281
Learning Centers (60-minute, with teachers circulating to support children’s learning) Provide families with materials and/or ideas at the start of each week or unit. If possible, leave on a video-conference call, and place each child in a different “breakout room,” so the teacher can circulate from one child to the next to talk about each child’s play or learning center activity.
Connect (20-minute) Teach by video-conference, if possible. This lesson may be more successful in distance education if it is carried out in small groups (for example, 11:00–11:20, one-third of the class; 11:25–11:45, one third of the class; 11:50–12:10, one-third of the class). If dividing the group into smaller groups is not possible, do these lessons asynchronously, but provide pauses and prompt thinking, child verbalizations or other actions in the recordings. Distribute materials at the start of the week or unit, if possible.
Small Group, Select Centers, and Small-Group Rotations (60-minute) — Set up a video-conference call in which children who are supposed to be in a small group with the teacher are placed in a virtual breakout room, and the other children are in individual breakout rooms. One teacher then carries out the small-group lesson with the children in the small-group breakout room, while the other teacher circulates among the breakout rooms with individual children for discussion about their play or other center activity.
During both the first part of the hour and the last part of the hour, have two small groups running at the same time, one taught by the teacher and one taught by the assistant. Two small groups will run during each time period for a total of four small groups, all taught the same content during this time (for example, 10:35–10:50, Small Group 1, teacher; Small Group 2, assistant; other children in select centers; 11:05–11:20: Small Group 3, teacher; Small Group 4, assistant; other children in select centers).
On Friday (or for the Day 5 Review and Enrichment Small Group), teachers may or may not teach the same content during this time. The curriculum offers suggestions for teachers to use for each content area. On Friday or Day 5, some children may not need to participate in small group. Provide families with materials and/or ideas at the start of each week or unit if possible.
Outdoor Exploration (35-minute) Encourage families to provide this opportunity for free play.
Lunch (30-minute) Encourage families to provide lunch at this time.
Nap/Rest (60-minute) Encourage families to provide an opportunity for nap/rest.
Reread of a Story (20-minute) Please see Welcome and Read-Aloud above.
Fast Focus (20-minute) The Fast Focus lesson(s) should be done by video-conference if possible. Even a telephone conference call would be better than doing this asynchronously. These lessons may be more successful in distance education if it is carried out in small groups (for example, 1:00–1:20, one-third of the class; 1:25–1:45, one-third of the class; 1:50–2:10, one-third of the class). If done asynchronously, we suggest providing pauses and prompting thinking and child verbalizations or other actions in the recordings. Distribute materials at the start of the week or unit if possible.
Indoor or Outdoor Free-Choice Time (40-minute) Encourage families to provide this opportunity for free-choice.
Project Time and Wrap-Up (40-minute) Opportunities to work on the projects could be increased during Learning Centers, so the day could be shortened and this component dropped. If this component is carried out, it would have to be shortened considerably from 40 minutes.