Ramadan is a month when Muslims observe fasting from sunrise to sunset. And it can be a difficult month for many to get through, especially students who have to go through a normal school day — and now a very abnormal school day online — without eating or drinking.
For parents and children who will be fasting, it is even more important to make the most out of online learning and structure the day to maximise retention and avoid fatigue. To help you navigate the Holy Month, and understand what it will be like for Muslims, here is our handy guide on top tips.
Throughout the Holy Month, those fasting can face tough days where it is difficult to concentrate and can feel easily frustrated. Teachers can engage their students by setting expectations and rewards at the beginning of each session. Teachers can also present a digital badge on Google Classroom for students that show up early before the start of the class, or participate in forum discussion or group activity.
With reduced hours for schools and virtual learning, teachers need to be even more aware of how best to engage with their students. Short and highly interactive sessions will help to hold their attention and maximise their understanding of the materials being presented. Teachers should look at how they can really bring their lessons to life online. Children thrive in environments that fuel their interest and an immersive project could be fantastic for focusing their attention.Teachers can also blend their teaching with different methods such as project-based learning, experiential learning, educational games or competition and case studies, among others. For example, educators can integrate the use of a digital whiteboard such as Jamboard for demonstrating concepts to students. Also, integrating the use of Google workspace, a collaborative platform such as Google Classroom, along other Google apps such as Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Forms and Google Sheets among others for students’ group work.
In our diverse schools, you will have children of different faiths and cultures in your classroom. Whether any of them are fasting or not, it might be a good time to connect them to what Ramadan is all about. Consider ways to discuss the history behind it, similar practices in other religions and the importance of it to Islam. Maybe you could engage your students in ways they can help those in need during these difficult times. Moreover students might miss having communal gatherings, which is why you might invite your students to a Google Meet “Iftar” if you so desire.
When students have the right tools and support from their teachers and peers, it can turn a challenging month into the most rewarding.