Congratulations! You did it. You created a learning pod! Exhale. But now that you have the “who” and “where,” it’s time to start focusing on the “how.” And we’re here to help! Here are three high-impact materials you can easily incorporate into your pod.
Your dining room is a much different environment than a classroom, so the goal is to decrease stimuli and promote children’s ability to focus. One of our favorite tricks is to create a flexible personal “office” for each student in the pod by having trifold partitions or study carrels available to use when needed. These provide a clearly defined space for each child to use their computer and/or complete independent practice.
Pro Tip: Invite children to decorate their personal office (on the outside or minimally on the inside; remember, the goal is to limit distractions). This can be a fun activity to complete together prior to the first day of school or a great activity for your pod facilitator to lead during the first week.
Aside from the organizational benefit, kiddos love seeing their name on things and knowing where materials live! We suggest labels for individual student materials as well as for communal materials.In addition to placing student names on the outside of folders, consider also labeling the inside pockets, with one side as “completed” and one side “in progress.” Provide each student with a labeled pencil pouch or cup. If using communal materials, create a jar for sharpened pencils and one for dull. Simple labels are best: black print on a plain-colored background.
Pod Host Bin
Many pods plan to rotate to each family’s home, perhaps for a week at a time. It is crucial that you have a system that organizes communal materials for easy transport so your pod host bin (a plastic tub with a lid works well) can be packed each Friday and delivered to the next pod in preparation for Monday. Your communal materials will likely include: student folders, devices, chargers, “offices,” and password sheets; communal signage like pod expectations, anchor charts, resources, manipulatives; and communal materials like a great electric pencil sharpener, as well as art materials like markers and colored pencils, etc.
Incorporating these essential items materials into your pod can help maximize learning time and minimize stress. And we all know we’ve already passed the stress quota for 2020 …
If you need extra support setting up your at-home learning space, check out our offerings and set up a time to talk! You’ve got this.