These are children with unusual abilities, but they have practically no chance to prove themselves.

Remember: we do not assess the child himself, we do not formulate our attitude towards him – such as “lazy”, “brake” or even “clever”. We evaluate only specific actions: how the task was done, the test was completed, a creative product was created (quality, pace, amount of effort, degree of interest). We rely on facts, avoid interpretations. In the group communication mode, we organize mutual support, counseling, conduct surveys, create additional reasons for communication between different children – in pairs, groups, project teams. We remind you that they are a class, we set common goals and come up with indicators that take into account the total pace of work, the results of work in groups, etc. 

6. Take short breaks “for a cookie” (children will still drag sweets to the monitor – it is better not to let the process go by itself, but allocate 3-5 minutes for a snack, by the way, at this time you can continue communication in the genre of free discussion), for dynamic pause – warm-up or dance at the screen. We advise you to entrust the preparation of these pauses to the students themselves: let them select music, compose a set of useful exercises or prepare a short “news release”. Here is the solution to the problem of classroom duty: the attendants call roll-call, choose the topic of the day, are responsible for good news and dynamic pauses.  

7. In addition to filling in the pauses, students can be given some of the reins of control of the digital environment, especially if the teacher is not very confident in it. Assign an administrator and assistants to send mailings, provide recordings, create clips, explain to the whole class how to attach videos to an assignment, or insert backgrounds in Zoom. Let your students feel digital superiority over you – in the end, your authority will only grow! In addition, you will see how some “tough nuts” will open from a new side and will soon become your indispensable helpers. 

8. Be sure to use resources that are of real interest to the children. Let them look for examples of English dialogues in Netflix series, write scripts for themed games, go through project quests and creative marathons, post memes on Instagram … You can start small: organize a relay race of publications with the hashtag # ringedworm or #socratforever. Start a flash mob “7” B “at a distance” in the classroom, compose a song together so that the children make a viral video on it (with the condition that there is a shot with everyone in it!). Organize a school-wide competition of such videos (and in different languages), launch them on the Web – let them know yours!  

9. Practice “behavioral interventions” (KM Ushakov’s term): invade the lives of students and their families with interesting initiatives, hinder, entertain and engage! For example, gather those interested for an evening “candle” at Zoom, arrange a family recitation competition, a culinary benefit show, and a joint film screening with discussion. Invite your parents to a lecture with a psychologist or just an interesting person. Submit helpful tips, wise quotes, and family reading lists. 

10. End any meeting or activity by discussing its importance / value to the participants. Start on your own if the children are shy at first: “Today I gave my first lesson in Zoom, in general I did it. And this is a completely new experience for me! I saw your faces, heard words of support. Thanks everyone! ” Gratitude is another indispensable final note. Make a tradition of writing in a general chat or expressing aloud words of gratitude to each other, life, parents, even the coronavirus for putting all of us in a situation of forced development and forcing us to move forward.

The All-Russian competition “Big Change”, which started at the end of March, has already gathered 90 thousand schoolchildren. An obvious incentive to participate is an impressive prize fund: vouchers to the Artek ICC, grants for training, additional points in the portfolio. According to Natalia Mandrova, the coordinator of the Big Change project, there is another important advantage: the competition allows each child, regardless of school grades, to reveal their talents and strengths.

Natalia Aleksandrovna, dozens of subject Olympiads and various competitions to test knowledge are held hero essay annually for schoolchildren. How is the Big Change competition different from them?

The fact that our competition does not assess academic knowledge at all. Statistics show that about 100-150 thousand children from all over the country take part in the Olympiads – a small percentage of the total number of schoolchildren. And there are many children who do not get into the Olympiad process, but they are fond of creativity, are interested in “adult” topics – architecture, new urbanism – or they have a highly developed social intelligence. These are children with unusual abilities, but they have practically no chance to prove themselves.

In order not to lose such interesting guys, to help them realize themselves, we created the “Big Change” competition. The task of the competition is not to create barriers, gradually reducing the number of participants, but to give everyone the opportunity to become the best, to get the maximum number of chances for success.

So how does Big Change lead participants to success?

First, we help the children choose their individual track in the competition and for this we offer them three test tests.

The first is on personality traits. This test makes it possible to better understand yourself and realize that among the variety of interests, abilities and personal qualities, there is nothing better or worse. All these qualities are equal, and their combination can lead any person to success.

The second test is for the type of intelligence. It is known that there are different ways of perception and self-expression. Some do it through the word, others think in images, there are people who have music in their heads, and someone relies on logical thinking. In the Big Change competition, people with different types of intelligence have equal rights to success, they just will strive for it in different areas.

And the last test, vocational guidance, provides an opportunity to more clearly formulate which areas of activity the child is most interested in.

The combination of answers based on the results of three tests gives the participant a hint in which direction he should develop himself. This applies not only to participation in the competition, perhaps the test result will help you understand what you need to stake on in your life and educational strategy.

But if the participant thinks that he will show himself better in another competitive direction? Can you change the trajectory suggested by the test?

Of course. The Big Change competition does not impose anything on the participant, does not tell him: we have tested you and we believe that you can realize yourself only in these areas. The test results are available to the child – he can analyze them and make an independent decision. If the “inner magnet” pulls in the other direction, you have to try.

As soon as the participant himself or on our recommendation chooses a field of activity, he will instantly receive at his disposal a large number of resources that will give him the opportunity to “look around” in this area. Books, podcasts, manuals, reference materials – anything that will help you become familiar with your chosen field. There are nine such areas in total: art and creativity, ecology, habitat, healthy lifestyle, science and technology, new media, good, travel and tourism, historical memory.

An important nuance: although the competition is aimed at pupils of 8-10 grades, access to its knowledge base and resources is open to all students. You can register at, take all tests and connect to our educational environment.

What awaits participants at the end of the tests?

The next stage, also remote, is called “Tell about yourself”. We are moving away from the traditional form of self-presentation: the participant can introduce himself in the format that is closest to himself. Shoot a movie, record a dialogue with a friend, make a podcast, even draw a self-portrait and add a little annotation to it. You can ask for help from friends, parents, homeroom teacher, senior mentor – anyone. This creative task is maximally adapted to the child’s worldview model.

After that, the participants will have to pass a general erudition test.

But you said the Big Change competition doesn’t measure academic knowledge.

Indeed, this test is not about the school curriculum. We are talking about general erudition and outlook. After all, not all knowledge is taken from school. It is very important to be curious, to understand how modern life works, what events take place in it.

It will be difficult for the participants without a full-fledged picture of the world in their heads at the next stage: it provides for the remote solution of problematic tasks, case-calls.