Keeping kids learning while not at school

For teacher well-being it is important the setting of tasks does not create a mountain of marking. It will be difficult to assess any work completed at home due as some students will receive no assistance to start or complete work and others may have parents who do it for them. So the work needs to ensure there is an opportunity to keep learning with or without help.

You also need to consider that not all students will have access to wifi, and devices at home to use online learning systems so there needs to be a paper based option to ensure equal access to learning. I see this time as a great opportunity for revision as some will not have access to assistance to help with concepts if they need it.

I have put together a list of ideas for primary age students that could be adjusted according to the age of your students. 

Any items you send home may need to be cleaned if they are returned to school, particularly if there has been sick people in the home.
Items you could include in a school pack if student require it:

  • Exercise book or folder and A4 paper
  • counters (home alternatives could be: lego pieces, beads, garden bark, rocks, seeds)
  • Printout of MAB blocks
  • Printout of 10 frames
  • Printout of a hundreds chart
  • Personal dictionary (if they have one)
  • Library books - maybe increase loans
  • Lead pencil, eraser, sharpener, pens (some students may not have access to stationary)
  • 30 cm ruler
  • Graph paper
  • Glue stick


  • Journal WritingAsk students to write each day. Provide various writing prompts
    • writing prompts, 
    • free writing opportunities, 
    • picture prompts
  • Reading diary - 20mins per dayAll children regardless of reading level benefit from reading outloud or alone, students also need to have a tracking sheet to ensure their reading time is recorded with an option for parents to sign off on work

    Be sure to take your class to the school library and borrow an adequate number of age appropriate books for the period of time they are home this will ensure students without reading material in their home are not discriminated against.
  • Novel study
    Provide a copy of the novel and novel study activities.
  • CookingCook a batch a cake or biscuits, help cook dinner. For older students they may be asked to make a double or triple batch of biscuits this will reinforce fractions and measurement, multiplication.
  • Collecting data - provide a data sheet for recording resultsTime and record on the worksheet how long it takes you to have a bath or a shower.
    How long do you spend in the shower in a week?
    How long was the longest shower?
    How long was the shortest shower?
  • Spelling words
    Review lists or new lists, alphabetical order, sentences
  • Handwriting
  • Unplugged codingPrepare some of the ideas from CSUnplugged for students to practise unplugged coding at home

    Even more here
  • Construct a diorama or poster
  • Draw a plan of your house, bedroom or back yard.
  • Measurement
    • Use cooking cups to measure, count and record the volume of different empty containers. 
    • Use a 30 cm ruler (provided in school pack) to measure the length or height of bed, door, chair, table, lounge, and record results on a sheet.
  • Independent research task
    base a research contract on Blooms or ask open ended questions.
    For students with no access to wifi at home or limited devices organise topics now in preparation and ensure books have been borrowed from the school library and put them in the home pack.

Online ideas