Parent Well-Being and Student Learning During School Closures
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on education, I’ve started a new podcast grouping called Parent Well-Being and Student Learning During School Closures. The hope is that these podcasts can be forwarded on to parents by teachers, schools, and districts to help support them and in their new role with their children during this time. Feel free to send me your questions or suggestions that I can share with others. You can contact me at sbarkley@PLS3rdLearning.com. Thank you for listening.
Learn how this new podcast series can help support parents that have stepped into a larger guiding learning role. Gain insight on how a shift in the environment can help children learn best, and hear how using ‘think-alouds’ at home can help find concessions between the work parents are doing and the work children are doing.
Subscribe to the Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud podcast on iTunes or visit BarkleyPD.com to find new episodes.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTSteve [Intro]: 00:01 Hello and welcome to the Parent Well-Being and Student Learning During School Closures edition of the Steve Barkley Ponders Out Loud podcast. With the extended closing of schools, we as parents have entered into a new territory regarding what we have known as “school learning.” With this and future podcasts, I’ll look to share my experiences as a teacher, educator, parent, grandparent, and continuous learner.
Steve: 00:34 In this podcast, I’m looking to explore three different areas for you as a parent to consider as you engage in this new learning opportunity with your children. All three are centered on your focus on learning rather than on teaching. Looking at this opportunity to explore learning and think less of a need to step into the role of being a teacher. This is a great time for you to learn about how your youngster learns best. Is it seated at a desk? Is it lying on the floor? Is it studying in the kitchen, standing at the counter? Is it reading a book while pedaling on the exercise bike? Is it in the house or sitting out in the lawn? Is it with music playing in the background or quiet? I just received a picture of my grandson learning at home in a science lesson on his computer.
Steve: 01:47 As he sat there, his pet bunny was on his lap and he was stroking the bunny as he focused on his computer. What I know about learners is that some can focus better petting that bunny on their lap than sitting at their desk. As I sat down to write out some notes for this blog, I placed music on my computer to play in the background. There are many other people who would have chosen quiet as the best way to think through writing out a plan. Big caution here. Often as parents, our style interferes with our acceptance of our children’s style. As a parent, we often think that our students, our children will do best if we put them into an environment where we would do best. Now is a great time to experiment. What environment seems increase your child’s ability to focus and maintain stamina?
Steve: 03:06 In the future, you may want to share your findings with your child’s teacher. We know that voice and choice can increase student interest and engagement in their learning. This learning at home should be a good time to explore choices that often aren’t available in schools and classrooms. How can your child participate in planning the day around their choices when to complete which activity sleep late or start early to finish early. When do they want to plan their breaks? Hopefully teachers are building more choices into the tasks that they are signing. If they have, encourage your learner to consider personalizing to maintain their interest rather than finding the easiest way to complete the task. My middle school granddaughter just received an assignment to take some pictures of nature and post them online. What options might pique her interest? The spring flowers looking through the ground? Moving some leaves in the woods and capturing a picture of ants scampering off. The new bird’s nest in the eve of the roof or that single dandelion managing to grow through the crack in the sidewalk.
Steve: 04:43 Where might her conversations with mom, dad, or a little brother extend the learning beyond the task that had been assigned? The third element that I’d offer up for you to explore is what teachers call a think aloud. When teachers use a think aloud, they’re modeling a task for the students. And as they model the task, such as solving a math problem or identifying the main idea in a passage, the teacher shares out loud with the students, the thinking that he or she goes through in solving that problem. If your children are spending more time with you, consider extending their learning by practicing your thinking out loud. If you’re out getting groceries, what purposeful choices are you making to decrease your health risk? How you open the door or where you stood in line to wait your turn. Talk out loud when you make the decision. Are you making decisions inside the store to purchase one product over another?
Steve: 06:06 Are you comparing ingredients or weight or price? If you’re working at home alongside your children, considered taking time to share some of the tasks that you are tackling. This gives new meaning to take your child to work day. Can you find connections between thinking and problem solving that you’re doing and the work that your children are tackling for school? Your examples can increase your child’s understanding of the “why” behind task that they are doing and the learning that they are exploring in school. I hope you found some of the elements in this podcast to explore and expand your child’s learning and your own. I’ll look to continue with future podcasts. Feel free to send me your questions or suggestions that I can share with others. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s S B A R K L E Y @ PLS, the number three, RD, learning.com. We are in unchartered waters. That can be an opportunity to grow and learn, look to make it happen. Thanks for listening.
Steve [Outro]: 07:48 Thanks again for listening. You can subscribe to Steve Barkley ponders out loud on iTunes and Podbean and please remember to rate and review us on iTunes. I also want to hear what you’re pondering. You can find me on twitter @stevebarkley or send me your questions and find my videos and blogs at barkleypd.com.