The Learning Accelerator Blog/Share strategies (not germs!) in 2021

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Share strategies (not germs!) in 2021

by Juliana Finegan on January 5 2021

Before the end of last year, I was given the amazing opportunity to meet with K-12 educators from all over the country and hear about what was making them and their students happy and engaged during these strange times. I wanted to capture specific ways teachers were building strong cultures and structures for students to engage in learning across a variety of physical and virtual spaces — and to share these practices with other educators in an easily translatable manner.

The result is The Learning Accelerator’s newest Problem of Practice guide, built by and for educators just like you, which joins earlier work TLA has shared around best practices for remote instruction. We will continue to add to this series over the next several weeks.

Top ways to engage students in remote/hybrid settings

Throughout my conversations with educators, we used an expansive concept of engagement, defined as students being present, active, and connected to the learning experience. Educators shared key strategies on:

  • Setting clear and consistent communications
  • Offering opportunities for ownership and choice
  • Creating structures that allow students to engage non-verbally
  • Ensuring students are able to engage effectively with their peers in small groups
  • Building movement throughout the day

In the guide, you will find specific and replicable examples from educators at Highline PS (WA), Intrinsic Schools (IL), Uxbridge PS (MA), Norwood PS (MA), Denver PS (CO), Santa Barbara PS (CA) , Renton Schools (WA), Milford PS (MA), and Dallas ISD (TX). (A big thank you to these schools for their time and participation. Without them, this guide would not have been possible!) Now is the time, as many classrooms face similar challenges (and even somewhat in the same virtual space), that we need to work together to share best practices and innovative instruction to provide an equitable education for all.

Calling all educators to share YOUR best remote/hybrid strategies, practices, and ideas!

To continue this work and support more sharing across the ecosystem, TLA is launching a #ScreencastStrategies competition on Twitter! To participate, all you need to do is:

  • Be a current educator (K-12)
  • Build an under five-minute screencast around one of your favorite strategies or practices within remote/hybrid instruction
  • Tag @LearningAccel in a post on Twitter with a link to your screencast

Example screencasts include: Wait Questions, Active Activity, or Virtual Notebooks (not a screencast, but a strategy that you can explain). We will be choosing three educators to showcase in our next guide and as a thank you, each educator will receive an Amazon gift card. Find more information about participating in the competition here.

2021 is finally here, and with a new year comes new opportunities to engage our students even more meaningfully in whichever learning experience they enter: remote, hybrid, in-person, or somewhere in between. So let’s kick off this new year with some new strategies to prepare educators and students for success in 2021!

About the Author

Juilana Finegan is a Managing Partner at The Learning Accelerator, leading their practitioner learning work. As an expert in blended and personalized learning and Title 1 educator for almost a decade, Juliana specializes in adult learning, designing tangible resources for practitioners, and engaging partnerships and networks to build strategic support throughout the ecosystem.