COVID-19

Make Virtual Classrooms Productive with These 10 Tips

Teaching in virtual classrooms can be much like the widely circulated YouTube video you may have seen called “A Conference Call in Real Life.” If you watch it, you’ll recognize the familiar awkwardness of online meetings, where the rhythm of conversational interaction is thrown wildly askew by technological hiccups and the absence of visual cues. Virtual space is not always easy, so how do you teach in it? While virtual classrooms are not without challenges,…

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Update on Massachusetts Schools Reopening

It’s time for an update on Massachusetts schools reopening in the time of COVID-19. Here’s what’s happening in schools across the state. ABINGTON 9/28/2020: Someone at Beaver Brook Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Abington Superintendent Peter Schafer, though he would not say whether the individual is a student, teacher, or other staff member. ANDOVER 9/30/2020: West Middle School students quarantined after positive test. 10/3/2020: A community member associated with Andover High…

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Fun and Safe Autumn Activities We Can Still Enjoy This Fall

I don’t know about you, but autumn is my absolute favorite season. The air gets crisper, leaves put on a colorful display, and I breathe easier knowing all the heat and humidity is behind us (and as an asthmatic, I mean that both figuratively and literally). Even though we need to take certain precautions right now, that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy our favorite autumn activities. Here is a list of 15 safe autumn…

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Update on Massachusetts Schools Reopening

It’s time for an update on Massachusetts schools reopening in the time of COVID-19. Here’s what’s happening in schools across the state. ARLINGTON Sept 2020: A staff member at Pierce Elementary School tested positive. The school delayed the start of in-person learning and began classes remotely instead. ATTLEBORO Sept 2020: About 30 students and staffers at Attleboro High School were told to quarantine after a student who had COVID-19 entered the school. DEDHAM Sept 2020:…

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Dealing with Student Stress in the Time of COVID-19

Your classes may now be virtual. You’re probably stuck at home, where you’re missing friends and finding studying difficult. Your family might have lost funding or jobs. Whether you’re in grade school or college, you’re probably feeling anxious, sad, and uncertain. These feelings are normal, and there are ways to lessen student stress. 1. Practice self-care. Basic self-care will keep your immune system strong and your emotional reserves full. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and…

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Pods Provide a Safer Option for Children than Returning to School

In recent weeks, many parents have realized the truth about school this fall: if it happens in person, it might not feel safe; if it happens remotely, it will be inadequate, isolating, and won’t provide the child care working parents need. Desperate for a better solution, parents around the country have started organizing homeschooling pods for the fall, in which groups of three to ten students would learn together in homes under the tutelage of…

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Schools Reopening: An Update from NBC Boston

With September fast approaching, we thought it was a good time for an update on the plan for schools reopening in Massachusetts. After a push from teachers unions, Massachusetts is allowing schools to start 10 days later so districts can have more time to prepare for the school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers unions and state officials signed a memorandum of understanding Monday that shortens the upcoming school year by 10 days, from 180…

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Are Homeschooling Pods a Viable Alternative to Online Education?

As school districts in Massachusetts submit their fall proposals to the state, many parents are coming up with their own contingency plans. Normally, students would be wrapping up their summers and preparing to return to school at the end of the month. But these aren’t normal times, and we’ve never seen a back-to-school season like this. Homeschooling pods are being discussed as a viable alternative to returning to schools or enrolling in online education. This…

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These At-Home Activities for Kids are Both Safe and Fun

We’re used to summers filled with barbecues with friends, pool parties, and sightseeing vacations, but the coronavirus pandemic changes things. Despite the disappointment of canceled concerts, events, cruises, and camps,  it is still possible to have a fun summer as a family–and more importantly, stay safe while doing so. Here are some at-home activities to replace those that might be taking a hiatus this summer. Swimming Alternatives 1. Use a lawn sprinkler. Provided you have yard…

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Encouraging Online Students is More Important Now Than Ever

Perhaps the most essential part of learning online is connecting with and encouraging online students. Merely copying and pasting the course content into a learning management system cannot be the extent of online course development. Encouragement can come in many forms, including positive feedback on assignments, emails, phone calls, and video messages. To encourage online learners, teachers can create short video messages that can be used to help students persevere through academic and personal challenges.…

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