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34 Best Kept Teaching Hacks for Parents

March 22, 2020 by Emily

Okay parents, we’ve been working on this distance learning thing for awhile now.  How about we share a few hacks from teachers to help you get through the rest of this virtual learning thing?!  We polled our group of fellow educators to comment with their best loved secrets that make teaching easier.

34 Best Kept Teaching Hacks for Parents

Teaching Hacks: Take Your Time…

1.”Give them breaks, put a timer on. Because 5 minutes can turn into 30 min real fast 😬😂” -Rosie B.

2.  “When you get frustrated take a break. Celebrate small goals along the way!” -Laurie B.

3. “Be flexible….all teachers have a plan but there are times when you must deviate from the plan. This is unchartered water for all. Grace… -Nicole M.

4. “Have a designated place to learn. Know that the kids don’t have to sit down and do all of the day’s lessons in one sitting. They can have academic time in the morning and again in the afternoon.” -Cristal F.

5. “Go slow and give the kids time to think! I have slowed my teaching down quite a bit! I don’t overwhelm kids with tasks!” -Mari L.

6. “Be patient! Their attention span is between 5-7 minutes.” -Jessica F.

7. “Don’t try to cram everything into one day. You’ll just get frustrated and so will they.” -Michelle A.

8. “Show them their learning schedule ahead of time so they know the plan for the day. Have them check or flip things over as you complete them. ✅” Beth G.

9. “Have your child help create a daily schedule. Try to do most of the academics earlier in the day. Be sure to include brain breaks in between the academic times.” -Sharon T.

Take a Break and Go with Hands-On Learning

Resource Idea: Math and Literacy Activities for Primary

Teaching Hacks: Rewards Do Work!

10. “Bribery… 🤣 jk Frowned upon but it works sometimes!” -Kristen S.

11. “Movement breaks! Frequently.” -Kara W.

12. “Offer incentives! Start a sticker chart and reward positives to get them on track and used to a new daily routine.” -Lexi W.

13. “Coming in from recess early will get you silent lunch! 😂” -Katie C. 

14. “First, Then language when a child gets overwhelmed or defiant. “First spelling, then snack” “First book, then blocks.” Be clear about exactly how much they should get done, set mini milestones, and give check marks or stars after each mini task is completed.” -Renee N.

15. “Let them call their friends. They are getting little to no socializing. They need to talk to their friends! Plus, phone etiquette is being practiced.” -Emily R.

16. “Celebrate successes, read a book and be creative.” -Sonia R.

17. “My kiddos always love to be a “mini teacher”. Let them play teacher and explain how they did their math or reading. Also turn spelling and sight words into games like go fish or memory.” -Lisa D.

Make Learning Fun!

Resource Idea: Sight Word Activities

Teaching Hacks: Mix Up the Media

18. “It’s not always paper and pencil!” -Georgana E.

19. “The best app for reading is your lap.” -Bonnie B.

20. “Read a book, (or) color with markers. -Kay T.

21. “Find inspiration outside!” -Kayla P.

22. “Make reading fun! Flashlight reading, under a table, in a fort made from sheets, in the tub.” -Izetta C.

23. “Take a printable and make it interactive by doing something creative in a notebook! They get to do something more hands on, and they can refer back to their learning!” -Emily Garcia

24. “Find ways to bring s.t.e.m. in…spelling words with play-doh, popsicle sticks, or legos. Retell a story using toys.” -Kaitlin E.

25. “Math needs to be hands-on. Get the beans, pasta shells, pretzels, marshmallows, ect. out and get them learning with concrete objects first!” -Genevieve Z.

26. “Turn any playtime activity into a learning experience. If bike riding with family happens, they can estimate how far or long it will take to ride around the block; have the child design a plan for an outdoor or indoor camping adventure (backyard or bedroom), then gather the materials to build the tent or fort; design and build an obstacle course for the family to enjoy (indoors or outdoors). These are just some of the ideas I shared with my family so they don’t need to be in front of a screen or at a desk for many minutes at a time.” -Clare M.

Playtime with a Learning Purpose

Resource Idea: Try some STEM Activities

Teaching Hacks: Be POSITIVE!

27. “Focus on the positive, when you are stressed or frustrated you can’t help them, and when they’re feeling that way they can’t learn.” -Beth R.

28. “There’s always something going right!” (That’s the title of a book) Find what your child is already doing right or well and celebrate! Then (and only then) think of the ONE small challenge that you could add to their success. If they’re not into it or don’t get it right away, let them sleep on it— young brains are growing and changing all the time and mostly over night 🙂 -Siobhan B. 

29. “Always find a compliment to give your child while they are working. It could be the simplest compliment but you’d be surprised how much a simple compliment can make them feel. Shower them with positivity. Provide them with movement breaks. They cannot sit still for a significant amount of time. Set a timer, once it goes off, let them get the wiggles out. Also, they do not have to work at the table, and they don’t have to stay in the same place the whole time. Provide options of places they can work. They do not always have to use a pencil. Kids LOVE getting to use something other than a pencil to complete their work… Examples: pen, colored pencil, marker, chalk, expo marker.” -Alexandria J.

30. “Remember to enjoy this time with your child. Take time to have them read to you but you should also read to them and then ask some comprehension questions. Make math fun with pieces of fruit or candy. They can practice addition and subtraction facts.” Michelle F.

Sit Down and Read Together

Resource Idea: Practice Reading and Comprehension with Fun Passages!  

Teaching Hacks: Ask Teachers for Guidance

31. “Go Noodle is willing to be your best friend!” -Michelle M.

32. “First and foremost, let the parents know that you are here for them. If you are doing distance learning, assure them that this is not to add stress, but a way for the kiddos to have some normalcy and provide engaging activities to break the boredom. Anything, truly anything can be a learning opportunity, embrace the journey and enjoy their time together.” -Joy W.

33. “GoNoodle is a life saver sometimes and is more than just dancing and singing. They have brain breaks, social emotional activities, exercises, and how to videos too! -Jenn S.

34. “A directed draw like Art Hub is great practice for following directions.” -Tami S.

Practice Writing and Grammar

Resource Idea: Try our Daily Editing Mats!  

-Written by Janessa Fletcher

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