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How to Help Kids Understand Coronavirus During Distance Learning

KQED News Mind/Shift – Kara Newhouse

“Before schools actually shut their doors in response to coronavirus, Naomi O’Brien was anticipating how to help teachers discuss the growing global health crisis with students. A teacher with a decade of experience in kindergarten through second grade, O’Brien took this year off to have her second child but has continued to create educational materials that she sells through Teachers Pay Teachers. When the school where her friend and frequent collaborator LaNesha Tabb closed, the pair “dropped everything” to produce a free, child-friendly e-book on pandemics and COVID-19. “We wanted to put something out there to give kids information, so they didn’t feel left in the dark,” O’Brien said.” (more)

For Kids That Struggle With Vocabulary, There Is An Ideal Time To Learn New Words

Moms – Simon Books

“According to research conducted by the Royal Society Open Science magazine, kids who struggle with vocabulary stand a better chance of recalling new words if they are taught in the evening. With the current self-quarantine and lockdown that has been enforced to curb the spread of the coronavirus, parents and guardians have been forced to homeschool their kids. Parents and guardians who are not teachers by profession could be having a hard time, especially when teaching vocabulary to young kids who have a poor vocabulary.” (more)

How To Teach Children Independence Without Throwing Them To The Wolves

Moms – Ashley Wehrli

“A lot of people who are now becoming parents remember a simpler time. They remember when their parents left the doors unlocked, and they could come and go as they pleased. They just had to make sure that they were home before it got dark. They remember drinking out of the garden house, eating bugs and just being reckless. Sadly, the world is a different place and parenting has evolved with it. Parents are now more vigilant when it comes to watching their children; never really letting them out of their sight.” (more)

How Parents Can Talk to Students About Coronavirus Anxiety

Ed Sure – Wade Tyler Millward

“Crisis Text Line, which provides free, text messaging-based counseling services for the U.S., U.K. and Canada, has seen 49 times the number of mentions of “virus,” “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” as of mid-March than in February. The nonprofit usually sees more than 3,000 conversations a day, but in recent weeks that number has been as high as 6,000, according to spokeswoman Ashley Womble.” (more)

10 Ways to Assist Children With Language Disorders During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“With social distancing, or more accurately physical distancing, a new way of life as COVID-19 cases grow by the day, people of all ages are challenged to find different ways to connect socially. However, for children with language disorders the physical distance mandated to prevent the pandemic’s spread can be especially challenging, says the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).” (more)

Helping kids who are feeling isolated and anxious after schools shut down

The Hechinger Report – Javeria Salman

“Experts say it’s important for parents and caregivers to provide children with social interactions, even when they may not be able to interact in person with their peers. Jacqueline Ancess, co-director of the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools & Teaching said one of the ways to help kids manage social isolation may be through online activities being provided by some schools, or through informal means like CSGW’s online weekly group meetings. Just because “we’re supposed to say six feet away from each other,” Ancess said, “doesn’t mean that we need to be socially isolated from each other.” (NCREST is based at Teachers College, Columbia University; The Hechinger Report is an independent unit at the college.)” (more)

What Is Geocaching & How Is It A Useful Tool For Teaching Kids?

The Conversation – Simon Books

“Kids love treasure hunting activities, especially when they actually have to get out of the house to participate in them. These days, it is possible to engage in treasure hunting activities using Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. According to, geocaching is an outdoor fun activity where participants use GPS tracking devices and other route-finding techniques to hide and find objects (geocaches) at precise locations marked by coordinates in every direction. Geocaches differ in size and appearance, but the sizes of caches are usually displayed on each cache page.” (more)

Kids shouldn’t have to repeat a year of school because of coronavirus. There are much better options

The Conversation – Julie Sonnemann

“To be clear, this is not an argument against online learning. Digital learning offers much potential for schools and students. Several online programs, including digital games, simulations, and computer-aided tutoring show positive results when used to support to learning. But the success of online initiatives relies on preparation and good implementation. A rapid-fire response to shift teaching online to large populations during a pandemic is unlikely to produce above-average results. So what should the government do post-COVID-19 when school re-opens to help students bounce back?” (more)

How AI Can Realize the Promise of Adaptive Education

Forbes – Derek Haoyang Li

“Making education more effective, equitable and available to every child in the world has long been the holy grail for education technologists and entrepreneurs, who have developed countless solutions, like massive open online courses. Now, with advances in artificial intelligence (AI), we can take this a step further and pursue adaptive education.” (more)