Returning to the classroom environment after four months definitely made me rethink how the classroom life was going to run due to COVID-19. As an educator, I wanted to implement the ideas of social distancing and safe hygiene in the classroom as well as making the classroom environment comfortable for students so that they are able to still succeed in class. Here are six things that all teachers should implement in their classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Box off areas for students to sit six feet away in the classroom
Grab some colorful tape and assign every student to a spot where they can sit every day by boxing off areas for that specific student.
2. Customize masks for your students
This is not only a good way to get students to understand the importance of mask-wearing, but it's also a great way of bonding your class together as one by having similar customized masks!
3. Have a sanitization center
It's obviously very important to practice good hygiene and handwashing during this pandemic and in normal time. Implementing a sanitization center in your classroom will show students how important it is to wash hands and you can even hang posters by that station that shows how to properly wash hands.
4. Encourage visual representation
This is mostly for younger grades but really any grade could benefit from this. Being able to visualize what six feet apart is and what social distancing looks like can be hard for younger children to comprehend. If you hang visuals of what social distancing looks like it may be easier for students to understand the concept and practice it in the classroom setting.
5. Provide alternate seating
Since we have to have students sit six feet apart, why not try some alternate seating implemented with that? Some students sit on stools, some can sit on therapy balls, and some at actual desks.
6. Label and separate materials
Unfortunately, we have to put the concept of sharing to bed for a while. Separating each students' materials into individual buckets or bins will not only help teachers and students stay organized but it'll also help the cross-contamination problem. This will help your classroom stay COVID free.