September saw the launch of our eagerly anticipated suite of elementary courses across grades 1 to 8. We’re so excited to finally be able to share a sneak peek of all of the work that has gone into these courses over the last year. Let’s dive into our primary division first!
In grades 1 to 3 at VES, students participate in captivating storylines alongside intriguing characters. Through a balance of online and offline activities, students develop fundamental knowledge and skills. There’s no shortage of fun in learning at VES!
The primary mathematics courses develop students’ skills at counting, addition, subtraction, and the basics of multiplication and division. Students taking the language courses explore literary texts, such as fables, plays, poems, and novels. They embark on their science and technology journeys by learning about the characteristics of living things, structures, energy, and the environment. The social studies courses focus on Canadian communities, big and small, and different traditions.
What is unique about our approach to teaching at the primary level?
At Virtual Elementary School, our approach to primary teaching is simple: we make learning for our students as clear and engaging as possible. Since primary students are relatively new to structured learning, we find that making lessons that feel familiar and consistent allows students to focus on learning. Virtual Elementary School lessons have a clear, repetitive structure so our students know what to expect as they progress through the course.
We include a variety of media elements that keep our young students engaged in their courses. Each unit has creative storylines that motivate students to get to the next page of learning. This includes our unique teacher and student characters who guide students through each lesson. These characters talk to each other, solve problems, and ask prompting questions.
In addition to text, videos, and images, our courses utilize a series of over 40 interactive elements. These interactives include many different question formats, such as matching and fill in the blanks. There are games where students have to move things on the screen and sketchbooks where students can draw and show their work. There are also engaging ways to present teaching concepts like mind maps and timelines that students can explore. Our primary courses provide many digital storybooks which are effective teaching tools for young students. These are picture books that have been written to teach specific concepts to students using both pictures and words.
What are the benefits of using online courses to teach primary students?
Primary students often need additional time when learning. In a VES course, students can go through the content at their own pace. They can take their time and revisit lessons and pages that they find challenging as often as they need to. It also allows them to take as many breaks as they need or ask their learning coach questions after covering new concepts.
The variety of images and videos in our lessons provide a rich learning experience. Videos explain concepts and demonstrate skills to students in a way that captures their attention and models teaching. Our lessons also have various hands-on activities that get students working off-screen.
What do we do to set up primary learners for success?
Primary students need repetition and practice. Each of our lessons contains a warm-up activity at the beginning which reinforces fundamental knowledge and skills. These include review exercises that get students using prior knowledge to help them learn new concepts and skills.
We ensure each lesson provides plenty of examples to deepen understanding in a way that makes sense to your individual learners. Our teaching examples model how to solve problems in different ways. All learning in our courses is related to real-world situations and applicable in age-appropriate and understandable ways.