Teaching and Learning Online during COVID-19

Mary Ellen RileyBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Personalize Student Learning Better, Tech Better


  • Resources for students (and teachers!) learning online.
  • Using the Grid Method online during distance learning.
  • Resources for teaching online.

The lights were out, the halls were empty, and disinfectant stung my nose as I walked through the empty elementary school I call home.  I know this situation is precarious and surreal to some.  I also know that the amazing world of technology will allow us to get through this global event!

Some of us are trying to teach our own children at home – myself included.  I teach 6th grade math and gifted, and I am now moving into 7th grade and 3rd grade territory with my own children. Below is a list of all the things I have gathered together to help support my own children and my students.

I hope this list helps each one of those “kids” and if you need any help navigating it, please feel free to contact me at maryellenriley@wsdr4.org

Resources for Learning Online

  1. IXL – They are now offering Free 90-day trials for classrooms!  I added all my kids since they were already in Google Classroom and it synced.
  2. Kahn Academy Schedule and Suggestions – Kahn Academy is great for teaching those new skills that IXL practices.  It isn’t just for math anymore!  There is grammar and reading, too.
  3. 150+ Enrichment Activities – Many of us our also on Spring Break, but we will not be traveling.  This is a giant list of activities to make with your child.
  4. Mrs. Van’s English Class –  I just love following Lisa Van Gemert on Twitter!  She is holding an English Class online. It is interactive and teaches Koi Fish Drawingsusing Short Stories.
  5. Enrichment Activities for all grade levels – Some teachers have been told we can only review right now.  However, our bright and/or gifted students usually do not need the review and need something else to learn that will still give them a sense of purpose and feeling of capability.

  6. Scholastic
    – Many of us were talking about this great resource!  20 days of activities ready to go.
  7. NewsELA – I know teachers have been using this for a long time, but it is a great reminder.  Up-to-date news is really important to many of us right now.
  8. Studies Weekly – This resource just went free as well.
  9. National Geographic – Who doesn’t love learning about animals and places around the world?
  10. BrainPop – This resource has videos, quizzes and the kids love it!  Plus it is now free to families for 30 days and schools impacted by closures.
  11. 1000 Free Sight Words – This TpT resource has 1000 sight words in Powerpoint format.
  12. STEM Everyday – A frequent teacher on Twitter, STEM Everyday posts videos of STEM in every day life.  He has a host of videos!
  13. Generation Genius (paid) – I love this science resource.  It comes with everything! Exciting videos, handouts, and hands-on activities. It is not very expensive, and covers K-8 Science standards.
  14. Art for Kids Hub – My daughter loves to pick something to draw from this extensive Youtube list.  The porg and koi fish are some of my favorites!
  15. Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems – Yes, THE Mo Willems!  All fans will love seeing his office and where the magic happens!
Most importantly, do not let the technology get in the way of the #1 tool that we have: the relationships with our students. Click To Tweet

Using The Grid Method Online

I set up my lesson plans in a grid.  At the top is my Learning Goal. Above or below that, you can see the learning targets.

I list the Learning Target and title, as well as the chapter of the book where more examples can be found.  There is a video link they need to watch and follow along.  I post a hyperlink to the work that the students need to do for independent practice.

Each target has some kind of independent practice with a quiz every 2-3 lessons (depending on the length of the unit).

Example of Grid Lesson

[scroll down to keep reading]

Other Resources for Teaching Online

  1.  Zoom –  It has now lifted the 40 minute limit.  You can meet and chat with your students. It is very similar to teleconferencing.
  2. Edpuzzle  – Sign up and you may get free access for your school as well.  There are many lessons already created here, or post your own!  This resource is a teacher favorite because it stops the video and checks for student learning.
  3. Hovercam – I brought my good ol’ Hovercam home with me because I travel between two schools.  It will videotape as well – and I have no restrictions on time.  If you don’t have one, then your library may have one to lend you.
  4. Screencastify – I love this recording resource, but it has a time limit of 5 minutes per video.  You can record your screen, yourself, and both at the same time.  I was hoping they would change their pricing by now… no such luck at the time of writing.
  5. Once you make a Video – if you put that video in Youtube, you can add the video to a Google Slide.  Then the students will not get those “suggested videos” which are mostly click-bait. If not adding videos to Youtube, put them in your Google Drive!  It is ad free.  Students will not have an ad to watch before your lesson.
  6. Host a Gimkit review and play along with your students!
  7. Play a Quizziz that doesn’t have to do with content – but it is just for fun.

Most importantly, do not let the technology get in the way of the #1 tool that we have: the relationships with our students.

Disney once said, “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.”

I think many of our kids and “kids” are naturally curious. We should follow that curiosity, as long as we are 6 feet away from it, of course.  Some students need to review and need to take this time to keep their skills fresh.  Some students need new and different lessons outside of the box. This list can help with both!

About Mary Ellen Riley

Hello! I am Mary Ellen, a wife, mother of two, certified K-12 teacher, and crafts and coffee lover. As a mother and teacher of gifted students, I provide practical support throughout my schools for all students who need more depth and enrichment.

Visit Mary Ellen’s Websites: