Welcome to summer vacation 2020… well almost, kind of but not really LOL. Covid 19 had thrown a monkey wrench in most of our plans, finding ways to still enjoy the summer will take some creativity. The same level of creativity will apply as it relates to planning for the fall. Remote learning is looking more and more like the world we will be living in for the foreseeable future, so planning and creativity will be 100 percent necessary. With school closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers who use Exhibitions of Learning (EOL) are finding ways to keep that going with students learning remotely. They’re conducting projects via Zoom meetings, email, Google Docs, and a lot more if their students have the technology and internet access. But even when they don’t, it’s still possible for students to complete EOLs at home. In either situation, teachers are thinking of ways to help complete projects from home. LaShandra and I have been speaking to teachers across our network and have come up with several ideas that are shared in this post.  

First, assure parents, aunts, uncles, big cousins, community members etc.  that they are not expected to be teachers. Most of them are not suddenly going to be able to homeschool, whether they still have to go to work, have been laid off, or are trying to work from home. So let family and community members know what you’ll be doing to support students’ work on projects, make sure they know how to communicate with you, and let them off the hook for as much as you can. If applicable, tell them what kind of technology you’ll be using and what tech tools their children might be using. For families that do not have access to technology or the internet, reassure them that all their children might need is a smartphone, or some basic art supplies or materials for making things, or just a pen and paper. I have ideas below for low- or no-tech projects that can be done at home

As an alternative to worksheets and online learning, it’s likely that parents will welcome anything that gets their kids away from a screen and keeps them active—as PBL can do. Projects are a great way to keep students engaged in authentic learning and building useful skills. You could also point out that projects are a good opportunity for families to do things together. Projects can be a good opportunity for kids to do things independently, if that’s what the family sometimes needs during long confinement in the same living space.  

In the end, the summertime is a great time to plan! So take some time to think through how your EOLs will look in the fall. Planning doesn’t take much effort, especially when you are brainstorming ideas. Talk with friends, read a couple articles (YCCSPD.ORG) Shameless plug. Simply keeping plans for EOLs in your brain will make September be a smooth as possible!