The focus for back to school 2020 is keeping students safe and separated to prevent the spread of COVID-19 … so how do you keep students apart while still fostering a sense of community and togetherness in your classroom?
There are ways for students to stay separated, but feel together in the classroom. Whether you have all your students or a split schedule with some students remote learning on certain days, shared school supplies will likely be a thing of the past for the 2020-2021 school year! We at Really Good Stuff® have some ideas, thoughts, and products that will help students keep an appropriate social distance within the classroom – without making them feel alienated.
You can apply these ideas directly to your own classroom or use them as inspiration to come up with something new and creative that fits your students’ exact needs.
Individual Student Supplies
Classrooms will most likely have a higher need for individual student supplies as we avoid the spread of germs caused by community school supplies. You likely won’t be able to have a class library, communal supply bins, etc.
This means not only having plenty of supplies on hand, but also clearly separating and identifying which supplies belong to which students. Here are a few things to consider when planning individual student supplies.
- Supply Caddies: Students will need a place to keep all their individual supplies like pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, paper and scissors. Really Good Stuff®’s Group Colors For Six – Four-Compartment Caddies are a great way to organize a student’s supplies without taking up too much desk space. Use a marker, label maker or masking tape to put each student’s name on their caddies so they know whose supplies are whose.
- Book collections – Provide students with a way to store multiple books. Students can go “book shopping” in your classroom library every week or so and then those books are their books for the week. Use Really Good Stuff®’s Durable Book and Binder Holders or Book Collection Chair Pockets to keep books at students’ fingertips!
- Privacy Shields – Really Good Stuff® has privacy shields that are made from plastic and easily cleaned.
- Table Trash Cans – Really Good Stuff®’s Table Trash Cans are wipe-clean plastic and can be used by individual students to avoid trips to a communal garbage.
- Other ideas – Individual packs of tissues, individual pencil sharpeners, etc.
Individual Student Activities
To keep students separated, we unfortunately have to temporarily say goodbye to group activities in the traditional sense.
When it comes to activities that students can do independently, Really Good Stuff® has you covered. In the search menu, type in activity. We consider games to have two or more players with a winner and a loser, and activities for one player where the goal is to complete the activity.
Here are a few examples of products you can purchase that can be used by several students separately but at the same time! These allow students to have an individual activity while still feeling like part of a group as everyone else works on the same activity. You can buy multiple sets of the same activity for the whole class to use or have your students break into socially distanced groups that each have one of the following activities.
- Secret Sight Words – with 50 cards and over 180 chips, this activity can be split for at least 10 different students!
- Build-a-Word Family Activity – with 20 puzzles in five color-coded vowel sets, this activity can be split for five students to use!
- Find-a-Spot Addition and Subtraction Through 20 – this activity comes with six color-coded boards and six color-coded sets of planes, so you can easily set it up for six students to play separately. (We have several versions of Find-a-Spot with the same format!)
- Math Twists® – Multiplication – this activity comes with 10 different twists and a recording sheet, so 10 students can use it at one time. (We have several versions of Twists with the same format!)
No matter what, school in 2020 will definitely look and feel different! With at-home learning and socially distanced classrooms, you, as educators, will be stretched in ways that you didn’t know were possible!
Just know that we here are at Really Good Stuff® are teachers, too – we hear you, we feel you, and we love that you are here to help shape the future of our world, even if that world looks a little different right now!
By Angela French
Angela French is the Senior Product Development and Content Manager at Really Good Stuff. She has worked for the company for nearly seven years and has created hundreds of resources for the classroom. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Her classroom experiences include teaching grade levels K–5 and inclusion, special education, literacy intervention, and gifted and talented programs in three different states.