SIOP in the Virtual Classroom
We are a year into virtual teaching and learning and in many cases, still struggling. Most of us continue to hold out hope that teaching virtually is a temporary situation and that soon we can return to what we fondly remember as “normal.” And yet, virtual instruction is undoubtedly here to stay. There will be parents, for a myriad of reasons, who will continue to opt into virtual schooling after this prolonged break from brick-and-mortar. Which then leads us to the question, “How do we best serve ELs through virtual instruction.” This is still a burgeoning field with a lot of room for additional research and growth. When we look at traditional classroom models for ELs, like the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (or SIOP as it is better known), many of the component’s limits to in-person instruction are evident. We cannot apply a research-based model while drastically changing variables and anticipate the same expected outcomes. We can however, extrapolate from the SIOP model equivalencies that might have similar outcomes in the virtual classroom. Does flipgrid have the same impact as traditional face-to-face cooperative learning? Can Google add-ons like Read Aloud act as a scaffold for the student who struggles to read? Is using a platform with instant grading an effective form of student feedback? We know there is likely some benefit to these ideas, but the fact of the matter is we are still learning. What we do know is that teachers have always been and continue to be creative and persistent in their pursuit of effective teaching methods, and these ideas hold possibilities for improving student learning. In the meantime, we will continue to explore what works and wait for the research to catch up.
Below you will find some of my ideas for what virtual SIOP MIGHT look like.
Here’s another perspective on using SIOP in the Virtual Classroom How To SIOP® During a Pandemic.