Are you struggling with creating a Virtual Classroom Setup for your Special Education K-2 classroom? You are not alone! Current COVID-19 conditions around the world have forced many teachers to move their in-person teaching to remote teaching. If you are like me, your special education class must now be taught completely virtually. That’s right, VIRTUALLY! You may be feeling like you are back to square one and like a new teacher again. It might seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do this! I am here to help take the burden off and make remote teaching easier for you. Let’s talk about special education virtual classroom setup that is appropriate for grades K-2nd.
As special education teachers, we know that our classroom must be organized, structured, and consistent. How can we create a Virtual Classroom Setup Special Education K-2 classroom? One answer: a class website. By creating a website for your classroom, you are giving your students and the adults helping them a “one-stop shop” of everything they will need to successfully navigate distance learning.
How Do I Create My Own Website?!
I created my FREE Virtual Classroom Setup Special Education K-2 website using Google Sites. It is VERY user friendly and images were easily found through the Google search engine as well as using the Special Ed Classroom Setup, Print + Digital bundle. There are a lot of video tutorials on YouTube that teach you how to build a website. You can check out Google Sites here.
When working on your Virtual Classroom Setup Special Education K-2, there are some important things to include: a home page, a student page, a family page, and a behavior page.
The Home Page
The home page is the first impression of your K-2 virtual classroom. This page will be what the students and the families who are helping the students first see. There should be clear information on where to find the essentials for navigating your K-2 Special Education Virtual Classroom. Include the school information and website, description of your classroom, contact information, and a student spotlight area. Make sure you make images clickable for ease of use!
The Student Page
The student page is where the real magic happens in your K-2 Special Education Virtual Classroom! This is where you should post links to virtual meetings, visual schedules (individual to each student), and a link to your online assignments.
First the students click on their image to find their schedule.
Next, their own interactive schedule pops up. They can now click on the images, which take them to their work activity. When they have completed a task, they can move the check mark or icon over to show they have finished.
The Simply Special Ed Simple Visual Schedules are amazing for creating individual and interactive visual schedules for your students. By adding the correct icons and links, your students now have what they need to easily navigate their schedules for the day.
What you see above are the Simple Schedule Boards. These are the perfect schedules to use for remote learning as they are digital. They can also be interactive for your students.
The Family Page
You should design your family page to keep non-student information away from the students. Keep any information the adults might need on this page. Ideas for your family page include: grading information, parent conferences information, content links, and about the teacher information. I created my “Meet the Teacher” page using Google Slides.
What I love about using Google Slides with Google Sites is when you need to change something, you edit the slide and it automatically updates in Google Sites!
The Behavior Page
A HUGE part of your classroom management relies on behavior and compliance. Your students will need behavioral support and motivation immediately once the school year begins. It is possible that the families helping your students with distance learning will need support as well. The behavior page can help everyone – yes, even you! Students select an individual token board like you see on the page above….
For motivation and reinforcement, I suggest using a simple token board for each student. If you are not able to get these physically into the hands of your students, you can easily make a digital one and put it in your K-2nd Special Education Virtual Classroom. I created these interactive token boards the same way I created my schedules. They are interactive and personalized for each student. Make sure you let the students’ families know that these token boards can be used at any time!
I also suggest including a relevant behavior article for the families to read. Consider changing the behavior articles over time to cover other aspects of behavior. Take the time to work with them because when you do, your students will grow and learn successfully because of the time and focus you spent. Check out the article I suggest here.
Your virtual classroom will need a master schedule. When structuring your virtual classroom you should prepare a master schedule for you and your paraprofessionals. This allows paraprofessionals to know their expectations for distance learning. Your master schedule does not need to be posted on your website but make sure you share it with your paraprofessionals in a way that they can have daily access.
You need to update your website weekly/as needed. If you have used Google Slides and inserted these on your website, you can update the slide and it will automatically update on your website! Super simple! If you have Weekly News, make sure you are changing that Google Slides template weekly.
Success is Possible
The initial setup of your virtual classroom may take some time and effort on your behalf – but I promise you, it is worth it! I am on week 8 of distance learning with my students. With the time and effort I took to set up of my K-2nd special education virtual classroom, my class is running smoothly! I am serious!
Everything I used to set up my virtual classroom can be found in the Special Ed Classroom Setup, Print + Digital bundle! You can download the bundle here!
Best of luck to you and your students!