PrintWorks – Virtual Learning Take-Home Kits
By Arora Maravich
The 2020-2021 school year is certainly not starting as expected, and many teachers have expressed that they feel as though they are starting from square one, no matter their level of experience. A lot of schools have decided to adopt a hybrid or fully virtual learning model until more is known about how to return to school safely. However, ready or not, the school year is coming, and teachers must adapt to make sure students are equipped and prepared for their new learning environments.
The first step is making sure students feel both prepared to learn and welcomed as a member of a new class and cohort. In a virtual setting, this can take place in a thoughtful preparation of a take home kit that includes more than just the academic materials students will need. Here are four helpful ideas for creating virtual and hybrid learning take-home kits for the beginning of the year:
1. Make students feel welcomed and cared about
Send home welcome cards, words of inspiration, and creative ways to say, “I’m excited to have you in my class!”
2. Make sure students have website and login information easily accessible
Make sure there is no room for misunderstanding or confusion about how to access virtual learning. Consider printing student login information on mailing label stickers so that you can easily stick them to the outside of their folders or binders. PrintWorks Labels and templates make it easy! Consider using Neon Labels to make it a bit more colorful and fun!
3. Minimize distractions
Let’s face it, there are a lot of distractions at home. Minimize the level of student distraction by providing cardboard dividers to create a personalized learning space (check out the post below to see how Angelina Harper, a mom of three, organized her kids’ at home learning space).
These dividers can act as micro-classroom walls, and can be pre-decorated with student names, schedules, zoom/virtual learning rules, login info, and decorations like the positive quote printables linked above. You can also include academic reference materials, like multiplication charts or the alphabet. These materials can easily be personalized or adapted to address student accommodations indicated in IEPs and 504s.
4. Send home a “meet the teacher” letter for parents
Having a good relationship and a solid line of communication with families is even more important in a virtual setting because parents have a more direct role in their child’s education when their learning setting is their home. Consider sending home a printed copy or email a digital copy of a family survey to be filled out.
Try this family survey printable (available on our Teacher Resources Page)!
About Arora Maravich
A love for working with kids and a gap year between undergraduate and graduate school was all it took to inspire Arora Maravich to pursue a career in education.
While completing her undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, Arora began volunteering at a local children’s center and working as a nanny. It was there that her passion for education and helping kids started to develop. Arora knew she wanted to give back to the community and decided to use the time between undergraduate and graduate school to serve a year as a Reading Corps Member in New Castle, DE. During that year, Arora was trained by the Reading Assist Institute as a Reading Interventionist in a title I elementary school in Delaware, and completely fell in love with working in education.
Looking back over her experiences in education from volunteer work, acting as a tier 3 reading interventionist,teaching Adult English as a Second Language, working at the Y Learning Afterschool Education program, becoming a private literacy tutor to most recently teaching 7thand 8thgrade special education and second grade through an alternative path to teaching program, Arora is most proud of the individual impact she has had on her students. From a purely statistical level, Arora has seen many of her students advance from well below grade level in reading to at or even above grade level within an academic year of working with her. On a more personal and impactful level, Arora loves seeing the confidence and joy of learning grow in the students that she has worked with. To this day, many of her student’s families still keep in touch to update her on their child’s achievements.
“I value the humility of being a constant learner in every aspect of life. In teaching, one must always toe the line between consistency and adaptability in order to provide a stable learning environment for students that at the same time effectively meets their ever-changing needs. The field of education is always evolving and as a teacher today personal growth is essential for the development of your students.”- Arora Maravich
Arora received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and studied at Duke University Graduate School in NC. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Teaching – Special Education from Relay Graduate School of Education in Wilmington, DE. Arora is certified as a structured literacy/dyslexia interventionist through the Center for Effective Reading and certified at the teaching level through the Reading Assist Intervention Program. Arora has Emergency Certifications as a Middle Level English Language Arts Teacher (Grades 6-8) and an Elementary Teacher (Grades K-6), as well as a Certificate of Eligibility in Special Education Teacher of Students with Disabilities (Grades K-12). Arora currently teaches second grade in Wilmington, DE.