Crazy days. Plain and simple. Covid-19 upended best-laid plans across the globe, taking lives and livelihoods, while redefining our expectations and understandings of 'normal'.
By the end of Term 1, our school was moving to online education and teachers spent the Easter holidays upskilling and preparing for a different learning environment.
I have found the following tools invaluable, and hope to integrate into my teaching practice even as restrictions ease and we return to familiar face-to-face experiences.
Talk about a learning curve! The photo above is of my first encounter with zoom - and it was with a Kindergarten class!! (No wonder I look stressed...) After a couple of lessons, I learnt that library lessons need a predictable format with younger children - story, discussion, activity. The trick with zooming - less is more. When all lessons moved online, and I no longer had access to my library collection, I sourced stories online.
This Australian subscription-based website is a gem filled with imple reading of stories by authors, illustrators, actors, librarians and children's book lovers. There are a wide variety of Australian books here, along with teaching notes and student activities. Stories can be sorted by author, illustrator or theme, and there is an impressive collection of Indigenous stories as well.
I am a Flipgrid convert. Simple and intuitive in design, this website/app can be used for a wide range of purposes including formative and summative assessment. I tend to use it as a quick reflection tool. Students record themselves and can share and comment on each other's work. It is great training ground for ethical and beneficial use of social media, and is a worthwhile tool when considering the importance of digital footprints.
This is another simple and effective tool for collaboration and structuring of ideas. I have used it for Recommended Reads, with girls sharing their recommendations, picture of the book and a brief sentence or two about why they enjoyed it. We add to it weekly, and when we can return to the library, we will have a wall of book recommendations to kick off some enthusiastic borrowing.