Connectedness refers to having relationships with others who can provide understanding and support. As we practice social distancing, and realize that most public places have closed, educators need to get creative to help students feel connected.
To foster a sense of connectedness, educators can:
- Make time to ask students about something fun they are doing right now.
- Greet students by name and create a touch-free or virtual routine (similar to a handshake, a hug or a high five) to invite connection, either online or at meal pick-up.
- Consider putting students together in small groups to work on projects or activities and encouraging students to work together online or by phone. These activities may include virtual puzzles or scavenger hunts. The key is to help the student feel connected to others in the class by sharing an important part of themselves that helps the class get to know them better. Foster a sense of community by highlighting each student’s contribution to the group activity.
- Plan activities through the use of web-conferencing sites that allow students to see, hear and interact with each other and their teacher.
- Talk directly about the importance of connecting with others.
- Incorporate space for play and fun activities into online lesson plans or take-home packets.
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