In March 2020, Early Childhood Educators across the country had to face the challenge that their School buildings and many childcare centers abruptly closed for the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers were expected to quickly ramp up distance learning and family supports for the young children in their classes, using their school's existing technology tools.
Through a Mini-grant funded project through the NAEYC Technology and Young Children Interest Forum, Bonnie Blagojevic, Kelly Dalsemer. Diane Bales, and I supported four educators - Kelsey, Juana, Noelle, and Katie (PreK, K, ESL, Migrant Education) in culturally diverse programs to share their experiences through webinars and a Wakelet * They focused their intentional teaching focused their intentional teaching with guidance from the NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media (2012).
While hands on learning is the way children learn, the switch to digital communications required teachers to rely on the supports from families. Through interactive technologies, teachers provided direct instructional support and continued rich conversations with children. These digital resources encouraged children to think-aloud to clarify, extend, and explain how they utilized hands-on home resources.
*Links to webinars, additional mini-grant activities and related resources can be found in the "Children and Families as Digital Creators and Storytellers" Wakelet Collection. https://wke.lt/w/s/7ELzSR
*Noelle Chung, Title I Pre-K teacher from Knollwood Elementary, Salisbury, NC
*Katie Gardner, Kindergarten ESL teacher, from Knollwood Elementary, Salisbury, NC
*Kelsey MacLeod, Kindergarten teacher at Whispering Oak Elementary, Winter Garden, FL
*Juana Rodriguez-Vazquez, Migrant Education Regional Coordinator, Mano en Mano, Milbridge, ME
My husband is 55 and was in the first group of children to enter kindergarten that had watched Sesame Street. The teachers didn't know what to do with all of these children who had already learned their alphabet and numbers. :DOur director is modifying our classrooms only if we have a quarantine again. It will look like this:
15-20 video from one teacher everyday. The lessons will be a sort of field trip, showing the students a cooking lesson, art lesson, walk around a butterfly garden, singing our preschool songs, perhaps a silly dance, etc., an art/craft box- distributed with two weeks worth of materials. We would reduce our monthly fee as well, but the children have the option of watching everyday, where as our classes are two or three days per week.