As of today, my county has been on quarantine for five days which means we have not had school this week. As a teacher, I have been exploring new resources to continue to educate my students from home.
Personally, I have begun using the Zoom website. The website offers the opportunity for the children to see each other and me. Currently, I am doing simple things such as, reading stories, creating projects using items I know they have at home, and reviewing skills we have learned throughout the year. Zoom is a website that can be used on their computers, tablets, or phones. When using Zoom, I think one of the biggest benefits is that the students can talk to each other. My students are young, so they need the social interaction with their peers. I spend the first fifteen minutes of our call for the students to talk to everyone and explain what they have been doing since we have been out of school. The students seem to enjoy being in contact with one another since they no longer see them every day at school.
Also. I use a website called SeeSaw. The website also has a user friendly app for tablets or phones. SeeSaw is set up like an Instagram feed, the parents are able to scroll through everything the teacher has posted to the students. Each parent is given a login, and they are able to access their child’s feed. As the teacher, I can post different items to different children’s accounts, or I can post something that is sent to all of the children.
Depending on the day, I use a website called Vooks. Vooks.com is an interactive reading site. The children can choose a book, and it reads it to them. A benefit of Vooks is that as the story is being read, the words are highlighted on the screen for the children to follow along. I teach five year olds, so we are working on learning to read. Vooks has been a helpful tool for my students as they continue working on their reading skills. The only downside to Vooks is that the full website does cost money.
Since the break from school, I have noticed many of my coworkers are using Facebook Live for keeping in touch with their students and parents. I had one teacher friend that created her own page for her classroom on Facebook and periodically posts to it with ideas of things to do throughout the day, or new live streams. I have not used the Facebook Live option yet, but after talking to my coworkers it seems to be beneficial for their class.
The new resources I have found have been a huge help. A big bonus for Zoom and SeeSaw is that they are both free. Zoom is a new resource for me that I will continue using even when we are back at school. I believe it could be a great resource for tutoring sessions for some of the older students. As we continue learning about new resources I am curious to hear from others. What resources are you using for online learning? Do they cost, and if they do how much? Have you used any of the resources I mentioned? How have you been teaching since we are not in the classroom?