Teachers already spend an incredible amount of time on prep and planning for their classrooms, and with everything going on now, this number is higher than ever. Reports show 82% of teachers say this is their busiest year. If the current pace continues, teachers estimate they’ll put in more than 200 extra hours in this school year alone. How can hard-working educators catch a break? Learning kits can help.
First, what are learning kits? They’re essentially all-in-one resources that include all the supplies students need for in-school or at-home learning. From science and art kits to STEAM and math-specific, they can really cover any subject or age. They can also be incredible for saving teachers critical time and helping give parents a roadmap for success. So what’s the best way to get access to high-quality learning kits? Take a look.
Buy learning kits to save valuable time.
The easiest and fastest way to benefit from learning kits is to just buy them. It’s comforting to know others have put a lot of thought into what’s inside, making sure to include materials for optimal student engagement. Here are dozens of learning kits to choose from in every subject imaginable.
The science kit have great hands-on learning opportunities. The math kits will keep students on track. And then there’s STEM and STEAM kits that have a little bit of everything. (By the way, there’s also kits for SEL, health, art, and more.) Keep these in the classroom or send them home with students. These kits really are one of the easiest ways for educators to gain a little time back.
Make your own learning kits with free online resources.
Trying to fill a specific need or niche? Make your own curriculum-specific kits using free resources you find online. By starting with free resources, activities, and printables, you’ll already have the foundation for the lesson. Then you can add what works for you. Take a look at this robust set of free resources here, offering lesson plans in subjects of mat, art, STEAM, AFNR, FCS, health, and more. (You can easily search by subject area.) The trick here in putting together your own kits is to keep your time spent in check. It can be easy to let a quick project take over half a day. So use those free resources as much as possible, and keep it moving. You want these to save you time, not add to your workload.
The good thing about kits, though, is that once you have them set, you can use them time and time again. Another tip is to collaborate with other teachers to come up with several kits—everyone tackles one or two—and then you all share resources. Think of it like a cookie exchange but with learning kits instead.
Tap into parent and family resources.
Finally, if you just don’t have time to put together your own kits, it’s time to use those room parents and families that offer up their help. If it makes sense, you could just do a collection to help fun pre-created learning kits, like the ones mentioned above. If not, ask who can help put a few kits together.
Parents are often untapped resources. Plus with this year, many parents are doing a lot of at-home learning and prep on their own. Look to use their research and planning for your own classroom. You could send an email out, asking if any parent would like to put together a craft project and kit for an upcoming classroom celebration. Or you could ask if anyone would like to put together a math project or hands-on science experiment for everyone to do. This would be a great way to involve parents, whether you’re in traditional school, virtual, or doing a hybrid model. Hint: Buy in bulk, or even team up with other classrooms to get the most savings for supplies.