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Going virtual for older toddler classroom

  • 1.  Going virtual for older toddler classroom

    Posted 29 days ago
    As of today on nov 16th our classrooms will be all virtual at least till Jan 11th. I was wondering if anyone has any tips for a newbie teacher for toddler classroom for virtual.
    Thank you

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    Joy McVicker
    Battle Creek MI
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  • 2.  RE: Going virtual for older toddler classroom

    Posted 28 days ago
    Just curious as to why you're going virtual. Are other child care centers closing because of COVID? I'm in PA and I can't imagine going virtual in my toddler room. Looking forward to reading the responses. Good luck to you and the rest of the staff at your center.

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    Judith Crowder
    Little JEMS Children's Center
    Croydon PA
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  • 3.  RE: Going virtual for older toddler classroom

    Posted 26 days ago
    Cases are on the up rise. With the time that are families are going to be home with the holidays. We thought it would be in their best interest to close rather then have potential spread of Covid.

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    Joy McVicker
    Battle Creek MI
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  • 4.  RE: Going virtual for older toddler classroom

    Posted 27 days ago
    HI Joy,
    I've been teaching early childhood family education virtually for a lot of the fall.  The thing that's worked best is to spend my on-line time building connections with children.  I ask parents to help their child find something that they want to bring to class to show me and we spend our first few minutes talking about that.  Most of the rest of the time we spend together is parallel play.  I ask parents to bring a particular category of thing to class - it might be something to build with, something to draw with or something to roll.  We then do parallel play for a while.  I narrate what they are doing and model other ways they could play with the materials.
     Towards the end of our time together we do a short group time.  I try to incorporate movement and lots of singing.  If I want a story I often record it and post it for kids to watch later, as I've found that toddlers don't stay with a virtual group for longer than 30-45 minutes.
    Good luck.  it really is possible to build strong connections with kids virtually.  When we moved to hybrid lots of my kids were very excited to see me- even though I had never met some of them face to face.  And because I was seeing them in their own homes - I saw some children more verbal and confident than they had ever been in my classroom- because they were in the place they felt most comfortable in.

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    [Meg] [Thomas]
    she/her
    [Early childhood consultant
    Co-facilitator for Diversity and Equity Interest Forum
    [St Paul ] [MN]
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  • 5.  RE: Going virtual for older toddler classroom

    Posted 26 days ago

    Thanks for this description Meg, it mirrors many of the discoveries I have made doing a mixed age remote family program. I really like how you have outlined the key components of remote engagement. I hope you don't mind me paraphrasing your work. I was consolidating your response for my own notes and then I thought, why not share?

    1. Maintain rituals (often in the form of singing.)
    2. "Parallel play" where all mics are on, with similar or identical materials, modeling play, including participant suggestions and extending play. (I loved your idea for creating categories of found materials to play together with!)
    3. Recorded story (in my case I do a prerecorded "picture walk" or another kind of book experience, speaking directly to the child, Fred Roger's style)
    4. Most important of all: find opportunities to make personal, by name, contact with each child as often as possible: both during go rounds and during the parallel play period.
    5. Keep sessions short and active, involve caregivers in repeating experiences offline and using videos provided.
    6. Enjoy and observe the families in their own spaces.



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    Karen Lefkovitz
    Independent Consultant
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 6.  RE: Going virtual for older toddler classroom

    Posted 26 days ago
    All of our classrooms have been virtual since March! My toddler teachers teach one activity a day over Zoom. They might read a story, or blow bubbles, or explore something, or dance and sing songs. Zoom meetings are about 15 minutes. They often tell parents ahead of time what the children will need such as space to move or crayons and paper as they may color together. The most important thing is to keep it as interactive and developmenatlly appropriate as possible!

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    Robin Meinicke
    Starfish Family Services
    Pinckney MI
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