Teaching from Home - How to Make It Happen?
I have been helping my children do their schoolwork from home since the middle of March 2020. This is when the state governor called for all K12 schools to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has since been stated that they will not be reopening this school year. However, our children still have to do their assignments through distance learning. What does this mean? Well, for us, it means that our children must log into Google Classroom every weekday, find their assignments, and complete their assignments.
This has been a huge transition for our family. With that being said, I was curious to know, how it was affecting the teachers in their day-to-day plans. What were they doing differently to make sure our children could still learn? So, I reached out to my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher and talked with her about this.
Thrown Off Course
The first thing I got from my daughter’s teacher was that things were completely thrown off course. The teachers now had to figure out how to continue their lesson plans and teach the children what the state requires. This was going to be a challenge since the children were no longer in the classrooms to teach them face-to-face.
My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher decided that she would stick to the same way that she teaches in class - except without the students physically being there. When I spoke with her she said she would be making daily videos of the morning meeting, reading workshop, daily reading time, writing workshop, and the math workshop. She would submit these to the Google Classroom every day for the students and their parents to go over.
It was important that the children still got to do their schoolwork and assignments. After speaking to my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher, I found out her plan. She was going to give out directions during the videos and then give out the assignments. She would also make a list to send out each day of things the children needed to practice. This included the sight word for the day, letters they needed to practice writing, a daily math problem, writing their first and last name, and writing the date.
In addition to regular class assignments, my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher wanted to give her students alternative options to practice their reading and math. She gave each student the resources they need to practice on Getepic.com (a book reading site), Happy Numbers (a math practice site), and ST Math (another math practice site). She was not going to require the students to work on these websites. However, she did state that she is able to track each student’s progress through these sites, so she can see how they are progressing throughout the rest of the school year.
Communicating with the Students
My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher also believes that it is still very important that she is able to communicate with her students. She wanted a way to connect with and even see her students. At first, she was using scheduled Zoom meetings for the students to join once a week. However, the school decided that Zoom wasn’t as secure as other platforms. She decided to switch to using Google Meets for her scheduled meetings with the children. While she is not requiring the students to join, it does give them a chance to see their teacher, ask questions, and just keep connecting throughout the rest of the school year.
Finishing Out the School Year
During my conversation with my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher, I was wondering how the rest of the school year was going to happen. She sounded quite optimistic saying that she would keep in contact with the students. If she noticed that a student wasn’t logging in to do their assignments, she would reach out to the parents to see how she could help. She would also be mostly looking for her students to at least participate, even if they couldn’t do every assignment. She knows that online learning is new to everyone and wants to make sure everyone is just doing their best.
Schooling from home is a big transition and I am sure that teaching from home has got to be a big transition, as well. However, it seems as if my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher is making the best of a unique situation.