Yes, preschoolers can stay engaged in a virtual classroom if the teaching has lots of opportunities for interaction and movement. If you follow this online preschool class schedule, you’ll keep your preschoolers engaged on Zoom! And they will be learning a lot, too!
How Long Should Your Online Preschool Be?
An online preschool class needs two parts. The first part is the Teaching Time part and the second part is the Preschool Pals session. Teaching Time is the academic part (letters, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.) The Preschool Pals session is a live class with 6-10 students on either Zoom or Google Meets where the students have the opportunity to interact with the teacher and the other students, and practice the skills they learned in the Teaching Time session.
Each of these sections should be 30 minutes long. The Teaching Time section can be pre-recorded and delivered to the preschool family the night before their scheduled Preschool Pals class.
3 Components To Include In Every Teach Time Session
In person preschool classes usually last 2 ½ to 3 hours, but with an online class you have less time to teach the children. For this reason, you need to incorporate some form of educational instruction into everything you do during both sessions of your preschool classes. The three main components that need to be in your Teaching Time session are:
1 – Music and Movement
This is a vital time. It allows the children to get up, stretch, and move around to get all that energy out. If you start your class off with Music and Movement, it will be easier for children to settle down and focus during the teaching parts of the class.
2 – Story Time
Learning is built into this activity! Be sure to choose books that have some educational component and aren’t just for fun.
3 – School Time
This is the part of class where you teach new skills and review older skills. Focus on developmentally appropriate practice. Teach skills that develop the child’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and linguistic goals.
What Do You Do During Preschool Pals?
During the Preschool Pals class time, start with all the students muted, then the teacher can unmute them when it is their turn to share.
1 – Sharing Time
Start the class with a sharing time. Each student gets a minute or two to talk about a certain topic, for example:
- What did you do during the weekend?
- What did you get for Christmas?
- What did you do this morning?
2 – Show & Tell
This is a great way to practice the skills they are learning as well as strengthen their vocabulary skills, their confidence, and their critical thinking skills.
- Tell the students to go into their living room (kitchen, bedroom…) and find a certain number of things they can wear (use to cook with, have wheels…) Then allow each student a minute or two to describe the things they found.
3 – Q & A
Use this time for review. This is a great way to end the class. Unmute everyone and let them all call out the answers at the same time. Hold up flashcards or objects and ask:
- What sound does this letter make or does this object start with?
- What color is this?
- Which one is bigger?
There are a lot of things you could teach during your online preschool class, follow this simple schedule to include everything your students need.