Jennifer Serravallo’s strategies for connecting with students online

Typically, authors write books with the hope that their words will live in perpetuity. Texts that will be read and analyzed for decades to come. But in July of 2020, best-selling author Jennifer Serravallo began writing a book that she hoped would have a short shelf life. Her new book would be packed full of strategies for learning virtually.

In one intense month, Serravallo and a small team at Heinemann wrote and published “Connecting Students Online.” The objective was to create a tool for teachers working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

If all goes according to plan, Serravallo’s book will act as a bridge to get educators through this school year. Scientists will then deliver a vaccine, and we all return to the classroom sooner rather than later.

Serravallo is no stranger to teachers. She’s guided thousands of educators with “The Reading Strategies Book,” “The Writing Strategies Book,” and “Understanding Texts and Readers.”

“Connecting Students Online” was sparked by Serravallo churning out ideas on her Facebook Group in the Spring of 2020.

“Here’s an idea for scheduling, here’s an idea for keeping your lessons brief, here’s an idea for conferring with kids,” Serravallo would post in the group. “I was also getting a lot of feedback from teachers in that group.”

At the time, it didn’t occur to her to put all these ideas in a book, but in late July, she polled her Facebook group about how she could help. In just a few hours, thousands of educators responded. They needed more strategies for teaching remotely — “Connecting Students Online, Strategies for Remote Teaching and Learning” was born.

In Episode 174 of Class Dismissed, Serravallo shares with us some of her favorite strategies for remote learning and opens up about how we’re doing as a society of educators.

Listen to episode 174 of the Class Dismissed Podcast episodes on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

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