In March, school closures across the country abruptly moved classrooms to the kitchen table …living room, bedroom, and really anywhere with internet access. Teachers quickly reshaped their curriculum for distnace learning so that students could be active in this new environment.
While last year we saw the necessary transition to remote learning, this year, we can be more prepared. Here are ideas for supplies and gifts that can be sent to students to start the school year.
Non-medical cloth face coverings help to slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC suggests wearing them to prevent transmission to others. Gifting these Braddock Masks to students is also an opportunity to teach them how covering their nose and mouth is the simplest and easiest act of kindness that they can show others and help prepare them for any return to school that will require mask wearing.
Safety will be top of mind for most this coming fall. Providing a hand sanitizer that your student can use and take with them can help them take precautions. This 1oz hand sanitizer option is petite and practical.. It also comes with a carabiner clip in a variety of colors. It is 68% alcohol so killing germs will be easy to do and it can easily be attached to a child’s backpack.
Now that students are learning remotely, they might not have a dedicated and quiet space for themselves. Gifting headphones can help them block out sound to study, complete homework, or listening to the lesson. These Rebel Earbuds are a great option.
Desk supplies and organizer
While a new year often comes with a new list of school supplies, virtual learning doesn’t guarantee a stable desk anymore. Gift students a desk set and organizer as a sturdy place to put their supplies for when learning at home. This will help them keep a clutter-free space, and they can always grab the materials when they need them.
Virtual PE class
Distance learning curriculums should remember to highlight the importance of physical health. Gifting some items that can help a student stay active and promote movement can be a big help. Especially if they can be paired with activities or contests to engage the students.
A jump rope or frisbee can be a great way to showcase the joys of stay active and bring their special education classes home to them. Additionally, this reduces screen time, can involve family members and teach teamwork.
Fidget Spinners and Stress balls
2020 has been an uncertain time for most, and this doesn’t exempt children. The stress and worry of having their routines disrupted can be hard on children. This may make it even harder than usual for them to concentrate, especially during online lessons or video meetings. A fidget spinner or stress ball can be a great gift. Having something spin, hold or squeeze during virtual learning can improve concentration and make it easier to sit still.
While virtual is remote, teachers can still create lesson plans that encourage students to be creative and artistic. One way to create a sense of community is through weekly writing/drawing prompts. Each week, teachers can assign something new to draw. At the end of the semester, their creations are compiled in the completed journal. A set of colored pencils and a bound journal would be a good companion to this type of project.
There are so many online book resources, but gifting an actual physical book will never go out of style. Books can be specific to the student as a welcome to the school year, for their birthday, or as a prize for class participation. Or can help get everyone on the same page for a group reading assignment. Swag.com can order and personalize almost any book and include it with a back to school swag box. Just let us know if there is a particular book you are looking for.
As you take your teaching to the digital age, the value providing students with important lessons is critical. We hope you’ve gathered some helpful ideas for supplies to send to students as you start the virtual school year. Feel free to share what works for you!