Just like in traditional classrooms, online teaching can be successful for preschoolers. However, the teacher must know how to pull it off and ‘ENGAGE THE YOUNG LEARNERS SUCCESSFULLY’.
This article aims to help parents and preschool teachers to understand some effective online teaching tips for preschool age groups. So, if you are also stuck with online classes for these young learners, this information will certainly help you!
Below are some tips that can help you with online teaching for preschoolers:
1. Make your presence appealing
As a teacher, you must understand that preschoolers need a lot of exploration and movement. Hence, to engage them while teaching online, it is essential to have a very strong presence. Use clear and attractive words, and introduce yourself with some interesting things that can describe you well for the preschooler.
You must also make use of more non-verbal communication. Because even this is likely to appeal to these age groups. Try to use more voice modulation. And never hesitate in experimenting with your abilities to stress, pause, play with tones, intonation, etc.
For preschoolers, it is also important to feel a sense of comfort with the teacher. Hence, break the ice as soon as possible and build a rapport with your students. Try to incorporate elements like the welcome songs, poems, and jingles about the theme of the lessons for these age groups. Because students will catch these easily. And they will stay attentive during their online classes.
2. Manage the ‘brain breaks’ well
As per sources, 40% of the children face problems with attention by the age of 4 years. And this lack of attention is one of the greatest challenges for teaching preschoolers online. We all know that frequent breaks are essential for preschoolers. Because they cannot face the screen for a long time. And tend to get inattentive quite easily. Plan your lesson in a manner that has enough breaks for your young learners. And this will help you to strike the right balance between fun and relaxation. During online teaching, the fun element is utterly important. So go about creating this for your students and see how they fall in love with your teaching.
3. Create opportunities for movement and interaction
Like any other teacher, try to discover more about the likings and personalities of your young students. In each of your virtual classes, give them enough opportunities to interact and help them to interact with their peers. Simple activities like revealing their favorite colors, food items, and names of their friends can be good to start conversations. And especially for these age groups, these are ideal to trigger meaningful conversations. One can also help children remain interested in online classes through extracurricular activities, like the drama programme at Brighton.
Let your little learners watch educational videos together. And help them with all the explanations that they need. Always keep your activities short (maximum 10 minutes only). And ensure that your class has enough opportunities to move around the room. There are several benefits of online learning that we have witnessed so far. However, the only drawback that we can find would be a lack of dedicated attention and engagement for the students.
Simple dance patterns, activities with toys, pillows, pictures, and blocks are enjoyable in a virtual classroom. So make sure you incorporate all this as and when you can.
This is also the stage for their social and emotional development. Hence, allow them to do this in a number of interesting ways. Give them tasks that involve speaking. And let them know about their peers through these online interactions. In your planning phase, keep the challenges and advantages of this age group in mind. And give them a simple and genuine topic to discuss. Simple conversations about their pets, favorite seasons, or games can be super engaging for these little online learners. So make sure to create such opportunities through an online learning environment.
Appreciation is another aspect that can work wonders for these students. So make sure you use enough reinforcement techniques. And introduce them with new and interesting appreciations such as a thumbs up or a high five.
4. Pay attention to minute details
In an online class, several things can make a lot of difference. For example, your background location, face make-up, the color of your dress, and level of enthusiasm will help to eliminate distractions. Simple experiments with your background can be appealing for preschoolers. Hence, you must always remember to look your best (and cheerful) while presenting yourself in online classes.
Particularly for these age groups, make sure your slides, presentations, etc. are not loaded with text. Because these kids need, smaller chunks of information to keep them focused. Lengthy explanations and too much talking are a complete ‘No-No’ for them. So make sure you do not overdo things just to maintain your pace. Break your lessons carefully and pay attention to their concept building. Besides, keep interacting and motivating them to keep them engaged throughout your class.
Mix and match things in your online class. And try new and attractive pointers, tools, editors, and online games with these age groups.
5. Practice patience
Preschoolers can be inattentive and restless at times. And it’s perfectly normal this way. Stay patient with them throughout and do not plan to rush during their class. Giving them short breaks can help you to rejuvenate them better. So practice patience and understand that it’s fine to go slow with them. Your virtual classroom should be engaging for them. So make it a point that the kids are on their toes and active throughout the class.
Figure out things that can go well with your students. And try variations to conclude all that can work well for them. Use the questioning technique effectively. Because it will make the kids more active and interested in your online class.
We must believe in the power of online schooling for Indian students in this age of digitalization and innovation. As teachers, we must focus on the inculcation of basic skills and values in our students. And utilize all the necessary strategies and online teaching pedagogies to engage our learners in online classrooms.
Happy Teaching to You!