Like millions of other students and families across the world, the coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted my students and their learning. Some of my students have daily access to technology for interactive learning websites; many of them do not. I communicate with my families daily, sending videos of me reading a book on the screen, as well as math, literacy, and social-emotional activities that families can do at home to support their child's learning.
During this time of learning together while apart, my student's energy, excitement, and passion for learning shine through the screen.
All families have their own personal and economic stressors that can make learning from home extra challenging. Many parents still send me photos or videos of learning activities their child has completed at home - pictures of journal entries, creating graphs with blocks, sorting their Legos by shape, adding with popcorn, and so much more. Each student has expressed how much they miss their friends and want to be in school. While it is far from the same, the online learning community that we have formed has been an undeniable tool of support in connecting with students and their families.
Like thousands of others, when we said goodbye to our students on March 16, we thought it would be for a short-term basis. We quickly created and printed off "learning packets" meant to last two weeks, and said cautious goodbyes. Many of my students do not have at-home access to materials that would help them to continue their learning, such as scissors, pencils, glue, and more. With schools physically shut down for the rest of this year, many of my students are without or running low on, basic materials to help them continue learning at home.
Although I make daily videos and record read-aloud for my students, developmentally appropriate best practice for preschoolers does not have them sitting in front of a screen all day!
This is why I am asking for additional learning materials that will keep them engaged and busy learning with hands-on manipulatives, such as Play-Doh, connecting blocks, dice, and more. All of these materials are familiar to my students, as we have used them in our classroom throughout the school year. I am seeking these materials, in particular, to provide my students and their parents' resources to continue learning together, through both paper-based and play-based approaches.
Finding a way to stay connected with my students has admittedly been a challenge. I communicate with their parents, record daily videos, and a handful share pictures of their children's work with me. Together, we are a classroom community, whether we meet in person or online, and I want to provide as many resources as I can to help my students continue growing, during our online school year and into the summer. I am grateful for the opportunity to advocate for them, and appreciate your interest and support!
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