Many teachers will be engaged in some form of online teaching this fall. Online teaching may not be what we as teachers envisioned for our classroom, but in 2020 it is probably a reality for many of us. Having the right supplies for online teaching can ease the stress of distance teaching.
The following supplies are some of my favorites to have on hand when you are interacting with your students through a video conferencing platform or recorded videos. Whether you are in your classroom providing video instruction, or in your home these tools may be useful to you.
Having a document camera for me was a game changer for virtual learning with kindergarteners. We were still working on correct letter formation. Having a document camera enabled me to show my students via zoom, the correct way to form letters from a bird’s eye view. I used this Hue Portable USB Camera. It small, and perfect for my needs.
If you don’t have a document camera, there is a way to do this with your phone or tablet. Just search on Youtube and there are many tutorials out there for the type of device you will be using.
Tabletop Pocket Chart
When I was on Zoom with my students I was always setting words cards or sentence strips down, and then they would get buried in a pile. I bought this tabletop pocket chart and my life changed! I was able to keep my sight words and letter cards in the chart and reference them often. It is small enough to sit on a table and fit into my Zoom screen.
Another handy tabletop item that is nice to have is an easel. I have one similar to this that I use with my small reading groups. It was one of the supplies I brought home from my classroom to use for online teaching.
Visual Cue Cards
Another item I found handy was focus cue cards that I had on hand to display for specific things. I printed them out onto cardstock, glued them to large craft sticks and had them nearby for my live video sessions.
If your student has their microphone off, you may not be able to hear the background noise at their house (vacuum, sibling noise, etc.). These visual cards were helpful to display. My kindergarteners had learned what the visuals meant and knew what to do.
The last thing is not really a supply item, but more of a tip.
Be sure you have everything you need within your reach radius. Whether you are sitting or standing be sure to have your supplies for making words, phonological awareness, or whatever it may be within your reach. You really don’t want to leave the screen when you are online with your students. That would be like leaving your students in your classroom to go grab something from the staff room quickly. You will lose their focus.
Are there any items you would add to your online teaching supply list?