Opinion Blog

Classroom Q&A

With Larry Ferlazzo

In this EdWeek blog, an experiment in knowledge-gathering, Ferlazzo will address readers’ questions on classroom management, ELL instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers. Send your questions to lferlazzo@epe.org. Read more from this blog.

Teaching Opinion

Q&A Collections: School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis

By Larry Ferlazzo — July 12, 2021 10 min read
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During the summer, I will be sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past 10 years. You can see all those collections from the first nine years here.

Here are the ones I’ve published so far:

The 11 Most Popular Classroom Q&A Posts of the Year

Race & Racism in Schools

Today’s theme is on school closures and the coronavirus crisis. You can see the list following this excerpt from one of them:


* How Students Want to Reimagine Education Next Year

The main features students are looking for are relevancy and supportive relationships.

* Ten Ways I’ll Be Teaching Differently Next Year

I share 10 instructional practices I’ve developed during the pandemic that I will be continuing into the next school year.

* Alternatives to Standardized Tests During a Pandemic Year

Three educators suggest alternatives to federally mandated standardized testing during this year undercut by COVID-19.

* ‘There Is No Playbook’ for How to Do Hybrid Teaching

Four educators wrap up a nine-part series offering advice on hybrid/concurrent teaching.

* We ‘Can Lower Expectations and Still Have High Standards’ in Hybrid Teaching

Four educators make recommendations for effective hybrid teaching, including how to use “stations.”

* ‘Virtual, Hybrid, & Concurrent Are Three Words I Never Expected to Use’

Four educators write what they’ve learned about hybrid teaching, such as not being afraid to quickly change a lesson when it isn’t working.

* ‘Give Yourself Grace’ as You Teach Concurrently

Three teachers continue a special series supporting educators moving from full-time distance learning to a hybrid model.

* It’s Like ‘Teaching Two Classes at Once’

Four educators provide technical advice and instructional strategies to use when teaching the same class simultaneously online and in person.

* ‘Hybrid Teaching Is Multitasking to the Umpteenth Degree’

Four educators offer advice to those of us who are just beginning “concurrent” teaching as we return to the physical classroom.

* Strategies for Teaching Students Online and Face to Face at the Same Time

Four educators share how they are teaching students simultaneously online and in the physical classroom.

* Six Strategies I Apply to Make My Distance Learning Classes Not Terrible

Larry Ferlazzo shares the six key strategies he’s using in his distance learning classes, including developing student-leadership teams.

* The Idea of ‘Learning Loss’ Begs Us to Ask, ‘Loss From What?’

A Georgia educator challenges the present thinking about “learning loss” and asks, “What if the loss is a loss in inflicting harm?”

* Students Respond to Adults’ Fixation on ‘Learning Loss’

A Boston educator shares three guidelines for responding to “learning loss” she developed based on conversations with her students.

* Pandemic Lessons for a Post-COVID-19 Classroom

Five educators share ideas for lessons learned this year that will carry over when they return to “normal” classrooms.

* ‘My Online Learning Experience as a Student This Fall Has Been Great’

Three students share a relatively positive picture of their full-time virtual learning experiences this year.

* ‘Online Learning as a Student Has Been ... Hell on Earth’

Four students write about their online learning experiences, and it’s not a pretty picture....

* Distance Learning ‘Has Been OK, I Guess': Students Share About This Year’s Experiences

Four high school students write about their distance learning experiences this year, sharing mixed feelings, including liking not having to wake up early but also suffering from eye strain.

* Teachers Share This Year’s Best Classroom Moments So Far

Many educators, including me, share their best classroom moments so far this year, including a Halloween costume unveiling and virtual visits from poets.

* Teacher-Recommended Tools for Online Learning

Four teachers offer several suggestions for online tools to promote interactive learning, and many others offer readers’ comments about their favorites.

* 10 Favorite Online Teaching Tools Used by Educators This Year

Three other teachers and I share our favorite online tools to use during this unusual year.

* Effective Strategies for Using Online Student-Discussion Boards

Two educators share tips on how to incorporate online discussion boards in virtual or hybrid teaching environments, including going for fewer and deeper ones rather than many shallow conversations.

* What Is & Isn’t Working for Teachers & Students This Year

Three teachers and I share what has been working—and what hasn’t—during the first few weeks of the school year, including the value of student “leadership teams” and giving “fresh starts.”

* Making Hybrid Teaching Work for Educators & Students

Three educators offer do’s and don’ts of successful hybrid teaching, including setting boundaries and practicing self-care.

* The Do’s & Don’ts of Hybrid Teaching

Three educators offer lessons from their hybrid teaching experience, including emphasizing differentiation and “flipping” the classroom.

* Nine Ways to Implement Culturally Responsive Teaching During Distance Learning

Four educators offer ways teachers can implement culturally responsive teaching during remote learning, including incorporating students’ lives into lessons.

* Strategies for Implementing Online Culturally Responsive Teaching

Four educators offer suggestions on how to provide online culturally responsive teaching, including by providing choice and opportunities for self-reflection.

* Strategies for Promoting Student Collaboration in a Distance Learning Environment

Another teacher and I share strategies to encourage student collaboration in a remote or hybrid learning environment, including through group presentations and class-created “norms.”

*What Does Blended Learning Look Like in a Distance Learning Environment?

Four educators share their experiences of blended learning. They suggest elements needed to make it work in remote teaching such as emphasizing relationship-building and minimizing the number of online tools.

* Blended Learning in the Age of COVID-19

Three educators share how they are adapting the principles of “blended learning” to the COVID-19 environment, including through involving community members and using a “flipped” classroom.

* Strategies for Online Instruction

Six educators share tips for teaching virtually, including making time to connect personally with each student and emphasizing collaborative work.

* Twenty Tips for Online Instruction

Three educators offer tips for online instruction, ranging from keeping videos short (3-5 minutes) to laying out an agenda at the beginning of each class.

* Strategies for Engaging Students in ‘Meaningful’ Online Learning Experiences

Four educators share instructional strategies for online instruction, including adapting face-to-face techniques like “think-pair-share” and “learning stations.”

*'Teachers Need to Focus on What We Can Control This Year’

Two teacher guest contributors and I highlight lessons that we learned in the spring, including emphasizing what we can control and not worrying (much) about what is outside of it.

*'Making Personal Connections’ Will Be Key This School Year

Four educators share how they are going to apply lessons they learned in the spring to this new school year, including by reaching out to students as well as to parents.

*Lessons Learned From ‘Quaranteaching’

Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey (co-authors of The Distance Learning Playbook), Isabel Morales, and Kiera Beddes share lessons they have learned from the spring, including the need for “empathetic feedback” and community-building.

*'Don’t Forget to Breathe’ During Distance Learning

Five educators share recommendations for effective distance learning, including limiting the number of online tools teachers use with students and not assuming that caregivers will be around to help with schoolwork.

*Collaborate With Colleagues to Make It Through This School Year

Wrapping up this series on the dos and don’ts of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, three educators suggest such strategies as creating online and offline content and embracing uncertainty.

*Now Is the Time to Address Education’s ‘Most Pressing Equity Issues’

Two educators call for schools to use this time of crisis to focus on equity issues like desegregation and community involvement.

*Teachers Should ‘Give Everyone Some Grace’ This Fall

Three teachers offer colleagues suggestions for this fall, including showing “grace” to students, parents, and themselves and emphasizing flexibility.

*Do’s & Don’ts of Teaching in a COVID-19 Environment

Four educators share instructional recommendations for the pandemic-influenced fall, including setting boundaries and showing patience.

*Start the Year With a ‘Primary Focus’ on Relationship-Building

Four educators share ideas on how to start a pandemic-effect school year, including by organizing scavenger hunts and having students share and write captions for their favorite photos.

*Steps to Make Your Students Feel Welcome This Fall

Three teachers explain how they are going to start the COVID-19-affected new school year, including by sending videos or letters to students before classes begin.

*Classroom Activities to Start Your Online or Hybrid New Year Strong

Katie Hull Synieski and I share a book excerpt offering ideas on building relationships as our online or hybrid school year begins, including question starters and “show-and-tell” activities.

Video: Tips For New Teachers This Fall

A Superintendent Explains Why Having to Decide About Fall Reopening Is the ‘Absolute Worst’

Visions for the Next School Year

Schools Should Be ‘Community Connecters’ When They Reopen

Schools Can ‘Reinvent Themselves in the Fall’

Fall Is a ‘Tremendous Opportunity to Reimagine School’

Videos: Student-Motivation Tips for Remote Learning

A Superintendent’s Thoughts on Reopening Schools in the Fall

Nine Ways to End This Crazy School Year Strong

Adapting Social Studies for Remote Teaching

We Might Have Gotten Remote Learning Wrong. We Can Still Fix This School Year

Social Studies Instruction in the Age of the Coronavirus

What Students Are Really Thinking About Online Learning

Science Instruction in the Age of the Coronavirus

‘Challenges, Curiosity, Creativity, & Community’ in the Online Science Classroom

‘Less Is More’ in Math Distance Learning

How to Assess Students’ Math Skills Remotely

Student: Online Learning Is ‘Stressful and Irritating’

Math Instruction in the Age of the Coronavirus

‘I Am Doing My Best’ - Teaching Math During the School Closure Crisis

‘My Online Learning Experience as a Student Is Not so Good’

Students Reflect on Their Distance Learning Experiences

What We’ve Learned From 30 Days of Distance Learning

Five Ways to Differentiate Instruction in an Online Environment

Seven Ways to Support ELLs in Online Content Classes

Black Students Need Love Shown Through Action Right Now

Assessing the Needs of Black Students During the Coronavirus Crisis

Six Weeks Into Remote Teaching & Still Learning ...

Teacher Reflections After a Month of Distance Learning

‘We Do the Best We Can’ - Lessons From Six Weeks of Remote Teaching

Four Ways to Support African American Students Through the COVID-19 Emergency

Visualization of ‘Tips for Remote Teaching With ELL Students’

Encouraging Student Engagement in Remote Learning

Supporting African American Students During the School Closure Crisis

Video: ‘Tips for Remote Teaching With ELL Students’

Six Ways Educators Can Support LGBTQ Students During COVID-19

Reading & Writing Instruction in the Age of the Coronavirus

Spanish-Language Infographic: ‘7 Tips for Parents Supporting Remote Learning’

Visualization of ‘7 Tips for Parents Supporting Remote Learning’

Infographic: ‘7 Tips for Parents Supporting Remote Learning’

Ways to Handle Student Absences in Remote Teaching & When We’re Back in School

Helping ELLs Succeed in Distance Learning

Infographic: ‘7 Tips for Remote Teaching’

Four Ways to Help Students Feel Intrinsically Motivated to Do Distance Learning

Responding to Absenteeism During the Coronavirus Pandemic & Beyond

Strategies to Support Some of Our Most Vulnerable Students Through Distance Learning

Video: ‘7 Tips for Parents Supporting Remote Learning

Five Ways to Boost Student Participation in Remote Learning

Overcoming Apathy in Remote Teaching

Three Podcasts Supporting Teachers During the Coronavirus

Video: ‘7 Tips for Remote Teaching

Teacher Reflections on the School Closure Emergency

Building a ‘Sense of Community’ Online Among Teachers & Students

Instructional Coaching During the Coronavirus Crisis

Assisting Students With Unique Needs as Schools Close Down

The Do’s & Don’ts of a Quick Switch to Remote Learning

Supporting Multilingual Learners ‘Through the Storm’ of COVID-19

What Is and Is Not Working as Educators Transition to Online Learning

Ten Strategies for Teaching English-Language Learners Online

Ways Educators Are Responding to School Closures

Teachers Share Their Online-Teaching Plans

Strategies for Teaching Online in the Age of the Coronavirus

The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


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