Shelter-in-Place Superheroes: BGL’s New FREE INTERACTIVE LIVESTREAM Weekly Event!

superheroes flier.png

 Shelter-in-Place Superheroes

Thursdays in April at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific! 

Shelter-in-Place Superheroes: it’s a short variety show that YOU can be a part of (if you choose)!

Right now, we’re all superheroes! We’re protecting the community by staying at home and keeping the coronavirus from spreading around! Thank you, superhero!

Would you like to meet some other superheroes who are doing the same thing? Then join us for Shelter-in-Place Superheroes where we’ll meet some new friends and talk about how we’re all Feeling Fun!

Vida tells jokes!
Jackie dances!
Lucas plays music!
Courtney trains her dog!
Jimmy and Bella do flips!
Travis, Teddy and Ava do science, and notice things!
Lance and Kris play puppets!
Arielle gardens!
Tutu is mindful!

At the end, you can choose to share your quarantine superpower – art, singing, dancing, and more – with Teacher Seth and other Shelter-in-Place Superheroes!

Then, we’ll see you there on Thursdays in April at 10am Pacific!

*Recommended age groups: 3 to 10 years old. Requires Zoom (free download) and parent supervision.

Want more fun stuff like this? Give us your email and we’ll put you on our email list.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Also check out CILC’s Community of Learning – live virtual field trips throughout the learning day via sign ups.

This 4-Year Old Loves the ZooAmerica Livestream

The following is from BGL’s founder, Seth.

Many thanks to awesome educator Kirstin Edwards for this extremely thorough list of virtual field trips and livestreams that are available during school closures.

It was there that I discovered my four year old’s new favorite livestream: ZooAmerica.

Here I ask him what he’s watching and he says, “The zoo, and it’s happening right now!” Even at 4 years old the concept of the stream being live added an extra level of excitement.

The zoo caretakers are extremely knowledgeable and answer live questions (submitted via the FaceBook page) using language that is accessible for young learners. Plus, the 15-minute running time provides a much-needed break for this tired parent in Week 2 of school closures.

Afterwards we looked up some more otter videos on YouTube and “played otter” for a while in the living room. I will follow up tomorrow with more otter related activities (drawing! Playing with the letters o, t, e and r! More playing otter!) to reinforce the learning.

So, check it out! ZooAmerica livestreams every day from their FaceBook page at 11am Eastern.

For more educational content like this, give us your email! We’ll send you updates.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Video Conference Storytime: Another Way to Connect

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling

What was your favorite book as a child?

Mine was Are You My Mother?. Not only did I love it as a child, I read it over and over again to my toddler brothers when I was a teenager. Now, I love reading this story to my students as Teacher Jackie. Here I share Are You My Mother? with students at Xing Kong, a progressive kindergarten in Kunshan, China:

 

I marvel at how something so simple – a story – can engage students so thoroughly across the world and through a computer screen. The sense of excitement, the cadence of the voice, the movement, the suspense – when I read to children, especially online, I share that same wonder and passion for storytelling that I admired as a child. Even across the language barrier, the students hang on my words – for the love of story. 

Stories are incredibly powerful. Stories connect us. Stories comfort us. Stories transport us. Stories are the legacy we leave of our time. Whether you weave your own tale or read a classic, sharing stories with children is a net positive for our collective whole.

Do you have a story you want to share? Write it in the comments? Or share a link to your own YouTube video. 

For more stories and read alouds, check out our YouTube Playlist: Storytime: Read with a Teacher.

And, for a little more support reading aloud over video conferencing check out the Caribu app which does much of the work for you. Especially good for young learners!

Want more tips for teachers and parents who suddenly find themselves doubling as teachers? Give us your email and we’ll email you our best blog posts.

 

 

Americastle: A Sensible 30-Minute Break from Homeschooling Your Young Child

For parents of young children it is particularly difficult to find time to complete work-from-home tasks while being responsible for their little one. BGL is emptying its vault of content for the larger population during school closures and one piece that is particularly well-suited for young learners is our television program, Americastle.

King Jonathan goes on an adventure to find his missing friend. Along the way he sings songs, learns phonics, meets some colorful new friends and has a whole lot of fun!

Wand power!!!

How to Create Your Child’s Flexible Learn-From-Home Schedule

Kids crave routine. They get it at school and (for most kids) it works. Adults, on the other hand, suddenly find themselves working from home with their kids as their sometimes-bubbly, sometimes-bored office mates. These parents need flexibility.

How to merge these needs into a daily schedule that works for everyone?

shutterstock_502980568

Below is a strategy that worked for Seth, BGL’s founder, as he joined millions of people this week by unexpectedly doubling up on his day job to become a barely-there homeschool teacher. He followed this strategy with his first-grade daughter and it’s worked really well so far.

All of these steps should be completed with (or by) your child.

Step 1: Brainstorm all the things your child might want to do during the “school day.” We suggest listing things within categories: social calls, family contact, meals, projects, physical activity, written work, art and music, reading, math, virtual field trips, unstructured playtime, direct instruction from an adult, and, inevitably, screen time. It’s ok if some things are listed in more than one category.

Step 2: Create a bank of all your brainstormed activities. It should live in the same place you will write the schedule. Keep it organized by category. Tag activities for which they can be independent versus ones for which they might need help.

Step 3: Choose your medium. Will this be virtual schedule? Piece of paper? We suggest a white board for easy erasing with the activities bank printed out on paper and attached to the board.

Step 4: Choose your time increments. For younger kids try shorter time increments; for older kids try longer ones. Limit it to “school time” (really, your work time) – the rest of the day can be open. Let’s not get too crazy here!

Step 5: Begin to make the schedule: cross-reference your work schedule and identify times when you will be less available to support them. Drop items tagged as “independent” into those time slots.

Step 6:  Next, drop in fixed appointments such as lunch, their daily call with grandma and their (now virtual) piano lesson.

Step 6a: If you have more than one kid, drop in activities that will be done in tandem leaving the rest of the remaining time slots open.

Step 7: Finally, give them full control over the rest of the schedule. Teach them how to consult the bank of activities and drop them into the schedule at logical times. Encourage choosing at least one item from each category and adding items to the bank. Consider double blocks for activities that might require more sustained attention. Revisit the parameters often, feel free to switch things around day-of and solicit their feedback. To reduce stress, do this on the weekend for the whole week or the night before each day. Be flexible!

We hope you find this helpful! Check out our other recent blog posts aimed at supporting this brand new crop of teachers formerly known as parents.

And, sign up for our email list! We’ll send you emails with free stuff, helpful tips and learning success stories

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Connect Students Socially During School Closures Using Video Conferencing

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, just above safety and security is a feeling of belonging. For many students that is the most important thing that was suddenly ripped away from them as they were abruptly isolated from their peers and classmates. While your child may be in contact with a few friends here and there, maintaining a sense of belonging to a group is harder to achieve. Your little kiddo especially needs your help maintaining these social ties.

Luckily we still have video conferencing. Although it requires high bandwidth and can sometimes be finicky, video conferencing is the next-best thing to IRL. It’s an invaluable tool we can use to provide opportunities for group socialization during self-quarantine.

Here’s a (fairly) simple way to do it: regular group Zoom* calls run by you, the parent/teacher.

*Zoom allows you, as host, to mute other participant’s microphones. This is critical with young children.

Step 1: Contact the parents of your young child’s friends and classmates. Maybe post on a school Facebook group or message board. Set a time for a regular call (at most daily, at least weekly) for kids to drop in when they can. Explain that you will be using Zoom and will send out links that people can click to join.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with Zoom by watching a tutorial like this one. Make sure you know how to mute participants and use breakout rooms.

Step 3: At the time of the meeting, launch a Zoom call. Click on “Invite” and “Copy URL”. Paste the URL into a message to the other parents. And, you’re in!

Structure of the Call – One Success Story

Seth at BGL has been running these all week with his first grade daughter and her classmates. Here’s his recipe for success:

1. Allow students to slowly roll in and chit chat.

2. Inevitably with young kids the call will devolve into loud noises and general silliness. That’s fine for a minute or two. Once it’s no longer fine, mute all participants.

3. Now, you take charge. Start with a general feelings check in. How are you feeling today? What other emotions would you like to share? Do a share around the circle by unmuting each kid one by one to let them answer before muting them again. Don’t forget to let your kid respond, too!

4. Next, do another share around the circle. This one can be a variable topic, different every day. So far Seth has done:

– choose an artifact from your home to share (show and tell)

– what is your daily schedule like now that you’re learning from home?

– tell us a joke!

– choose a picture from your home. Tell us about it.

5. Then, do breakout rooms. Create enough for 2-3 students per room and let them run for 3-5 minutes. Check in if you can, but they basically run themselves when they are this small. If you have time, mix up the rooms and do another round.

6. Finally, come back for a quick dance party. Play a song through your computer and just be silly for a few minutes. Thank everyone for coming and tell them you’ll see them tomorrow.


We hope this strategy helps connect kids to each other during this weird and challenging time.

At BGL we used to just work with schools and teachers. Now that parents have suddenly become homeschool teachers, we think you might be interested in some of our free content, too. If so, give us your email and we’ll include you in our announcements. No pressure!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

March 20 UPDATE – New Kids

Seth managed a call today that extended beyond his daughter’s friend group (it was advertised on the school’s FaceBook page as the first of a recurring Friday event). The call spanned 5 grade levels and included students who did not know each other. The following adjustments were made:

  1. The first few minutes were spent on introductions – just grade level, name and a general how ya doin? As the host of the meeting, Seth used the dropdown menu in their video feed to rename their account from their parents’ name to the students’ name so he’d be able to call on them later.
  2. Time was spent sharing general knowledge about the nature of this pandemic. Why are we here and not at school? Why can’t we be near people right now even if we won’t necessarily get that sick? What is scary and sad about this? What is hopeful and good? This took about 10 minutes.
  3. With older kids who were more willing to share and actual subject matter (the pandemic) the dynamic was more call-and-response than circle-share. Seth tried to make sure he was calling on different people each time.
  4. In breakout rooms, Seth created groups of kids that were on similar grade levels and seemed to at least be familiar with each other.
  5. The dance party was a fail. We’ll need to try a different closing next time. One of Seth’s favorites from his days in the NYC DOE was having everyone whisper their wishes into their hands and then hold on to them with their hands closed. On the count of three everyone releases their wishes into the air. It sounds corny but it’s pretty powerful when a whole room does it. Next time!

While Learning from Home Participate in Big Dayta’s Interactive STEM Global Data Collaboration Project

Families around the world are finding themselves at home with their children and are looking for ways to #keeplearning.

Almost 1,000 students have participated in BGL’s Big Dayta project with their classes. But did you know that it’s also open to kids who are learning at home? The project is free and does not require a log in. 

What do I do?

Kids, keep track of one weekday in your life and complete the form so you can add your day to our Big Dayta tracker! 

Then you can explore the data. Check out the spreadsheet with all the data, and explore it however you wish. Or if you would like some guidance (especially parents who are looking for grade-level ideas!), check out our idea guide

We even have some worksheets that automatically update as more kids add their data. Due to COVID-19 keeping so many people at home right now, we are creating worksheets as fast as we can. Check out the list below (and please send a request for a specific grade level so we know where gaps need to be filled! :

  • Second grade investigates only second grade, 2- and 1-digit numbers with comparisons
  • Second grade investigates all data, 3-digit numbers
  • Fourth grade investigates all data, comparisons of 2- and 3-digit numbers
  • Third and Fourth grade investigates all data, estimating, rounding, and subtracting with 2- and 3-digit numbers
  • Fourth grade more estimating and rounding

Resources:

We look forward to seeing what you investigate!

***

This project was created by Banyan Global Learning and is provided free by BGL. If you are a teacher or school leader who is transitioning to online learning, check out their free resources for getting your class online quickly

For more educational content like this, sign up for our mailing list.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Working from Home? Resources for Young Children Home from School

Online teaching resources for teachers – click here.
School closures are keeping the nation’s children away from school while parents are being asked to work from home. Even the biggest critics of screen time will need to rely on some virtual babysitting just to stay afloat during this crazy time. Rather than turning on Netflix, why not edu-tain them?

 

With fun characters and catchy hooks, BGL has a library of media content for young kids. Please feel free to share these YouTube playlists:
Themes: TransportationAnimals and more!
There’s even an educational show that encourages active participation from children. With sing-alongs, read-alouds and fun activities, there’s sure to be some content on the BGL YouTube channel that will bring joy to your child’s online home-based learning.

 

By working together and sharing our resources, we can ensure that students receive the best education no matter what the classroom looks like.

School Closures: Best Practices for Online Teaching Using Interactive Video Conferencing

Online Contingency Plan for Educators

This guide is a crash course for how to transfer learning magic from your classroom to an online environment.

  • You’ve probably never done this before. That’s ok. We’re here to help.

BGL’s TITAC training method has effectively transitioned classroom teachers to online environments for over a decade.

  • We recently presented this method at the NCCE conference in Seattle. Here are the slides from that presentation which can support overview training.

This training video is an overview of BGL’s TITAC method for how to teach over interactive video.

  • Due to our decade-long experience in the field we find ourselves in a unique position to support educators so that learning can continue during school closures.

(Updated 3.19.20)

Other Tips for Teachers Quickly Transitioning Online

  1. Even though you know your students already, treat it like the first day of school. Spend time first building community and your routines for this new virtual classroom.
  2. If possible split your class into small groups. Large groups will be harder to manage especially at first. If large groups are inevitable, Zoom’s breakout rooms are a good way make things more manageable.
  3. Make sure your students or an adult in the room are prepped on how to use the technology you plan to use. Especially important will be the ability to mute people; they will be in their homes and random noises can disrupt the lesson. In Zoom, you yourself as the host of the meeting can mute participants.
  4. Many teachers will not connect with their students daily over video conferencing. To stay connected to your students record a short video greeting every day. This is an uncertain time for your students and you are a grounding force in your students’ lives. Little efforts toward human connection can go a long way toward keeping them feeling safe and engaged.

We’d like to send you more of our free training and resources. Give us your email?

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Here’s a Summary of TITAC (Also Covered in the Video Above):

This resource is intended to help quickly transition teachers to an online teaching environment using interactive video conferencing (IVC).

Overview

Distance learning and teaching vary widely in methodology, with some online classrooms having equivalent (Bernard, Abrami, Lou, Borokhovski, Wade, Wozney, Wallet, Fiset, & Huang, 2004; Cavanaugh,  Gillan, Kromrey, Hess, & Blomeyer, 2004; Bertsch, Callas, Rubin, Caputo, & Ricci, 2007) or even greater success than traditional classrooms (Harris-Packer, J. D., & Ségol, G. , 2015) . Given that online teaching and IVC are not monolithic, constant forces with consistent elements, BGL has developed the TITAC method to create a powerful education environment.

TITAC Method Overview:

  1. Teacher – The IVC teacher is effective and highly engaging.
  2. Interaction – Meaningful interaction is central to lesson design.
  3. Technology – The technology used is driven by learning goals and enhances the learning experience.
  4. Aesthetics – The aesthetics of the lesson engage the learners.
  5. Collaboration – Open communication facilitates collaboration between all stakeholders.

TITAC Best Practices for Online Teaching Using IVC:

  1. Teacher: The teacher is effective and extra engaging.
    1. The lesson design, pedagogy, teaching methods and tools are founded in best practices, meticulously planned and optimized for the student population and delivered effectively.
    2. The IVC teacher brings excitement and passion that extend beyond the 2-dimensionality of the medium.
    3. The IVC teacher’s word choice, pace of speech and intonation are appropriate for the medium and audience.
  2. Interaction – Meaningful interaction is central to the experience.
    1. The students have frequent opportunities to lead and to share their ideas.
    2. A sense of global citizenship – including cultural respect and empathy – is developed while connecting with otherwise unattainable people and places.
    3. The interaction introduces students to and/or reinforces 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
  3. Technology – The technology used enhances and is driven by the learning experience.
    1. Operation of supplementary technology is internalized and back-up plans are on the ready.
    2. All stakeholders are invested in the capacity of technology to redefine education and prepare students for the future.
    3. In 1:1 environments, blended learning tools redefine student work and teacher assessment.
  4. Aesthetics – The presentation looks and sounds good.
    1. The IVC setting and all people in it are camera-ready and professional.
    2. The IVC feed is well-framed, well-lit, has good acoustics and good use of color.
    3. The IVC visual and aural experience is multi-dimensional and dynamic.
    4. Any digital resources are pithy, visible and well-designed.
  5. Collaboration – The relationship of stakeholders to each other is communicative and collaborative.
    1. Teacher roles – both on-site and IVC – are well-defined beforehand including classroom management and assessment.
    2. The teachers have an open back channel with which to communicate during class.
    3. All teachers know the lesson plan, design and contingency plans and discuss these beforehand.
    4. The classroom teacher handles individual behavior management.
    5. The IVC teacher has an accurate class roster.

In addition to the free resources that will be available soon on our YouTube channel and our website. Follow up training sessions are available by writing to info@banyangloballearning.com or by clicking here.

Background

Teaching with IVC removes limitations of physical location and therefore dramatically expands possibilities for human connection. Mastering these connections is critical in a world where unanticipated school closures can restrict access to education and where demand for flexible school environments is increasing. IVC prepares students for a future where essential human skills are prioritized and technological advances create unprecedented opportunity for widespread collaboration. Therefore, more than ever, a model for delivering high-quality educational experiences over IVC is essential.

This model is based on 10+ years experience teaching over IVC trans-nationally to whole groups of students in Asia. The benefits of this type of IVC education also include 1) the steep reduction of cost and carbon footprints 2) the ability to drastically expand the audience for any given educational content and 3) the real-life human impact of communicating directly with people from different backgrounds. The added challenges of IVC include logistical complications and the need to develop cultural understanding.

As more providers use IVC to teach, this paper provides a guide map for factors to consider. It is a supplement to established resources such as Ben Newsome’s account of successful STEM experiences over IVC and Cole, Ray and Zanetis’s trailblazing book Videoconferencing for K12 Classrooms. Critically important aspects of the IVC experience – including curricular goals, classroom setup and definition of stakeholders – are described in those resources.