This school year our children are learning in person in the classrooms, and virtually in online class meetings. Each classroom has developed its own approach, but they all follow routines, which are so important for young children. Here we focus on Classroom #5, a 3s classroom as they explore sea life and learn about habitats, first using a picture book showing sea creatures, then looking at toy sea animals, and then drawing their own jellyfish and octopuses. The video covers three sessions on one recent day, attended by 6 children total. The meeting starts with a review of the message board, the same one that is used in the classroom. What is the weather today? Next, the children’s symbols are discussed and then the activity of the day is introduced. The teachers engage the children with the activity, sometimes with the collaboration of family members. Sometimes children are following their own track, and the teachers work together to respect where the child is, and to continue with the session. Then it is time to say goodbye.
Here is what Brenda Soriano of Classroom #5 had to say about virtual learning this year: Almost a year ago, when I thought about teaching a virtual group of three years old, I told myself this is going to be a challenge, and it was at first. But, once you connect yourself with the children and their family, everything flows, better than expected. Without doubt, in virtual classes, the children learn, the family learns and the teachers learn together. Her colleague Dianela Sanchez said, “I thought that virtual teaching a group of children, three and four years old will be impossible but after trying one of the activities with them and being in small group I realized that this allows me to see their capacity of learning more deeply. “