Teaching in the time of COVID-19 is uncharted territory for almost everyone, and that includes our student-teachers.
Sofia Porrovecchio, a Special Education major from Lake in the Hills, is student-teaching this spring at Jefferson Elementary School in DeKalb Community Unit School District 428.
Under the guidance of her cooperating teacher, and with the intent of providing students with a schedule and routine as normal as possible, Porrovecchio is truly receiving an experience like no other.
“My cooperating teacher created the foundation of what areas we will continue to teach remotely and sent home physical packets,” Porrovecchio says. “In the second week of eLearning, my CT passed over the reins to me, and now I am fully in charge of creating and assigning activities to our students.”
With their Chromebooks, “all of the students have access to Unique Learning System, just like they normally would in the classroom,” she adds. “We assigned each student a set of online math activities and reading activities based on their individual levels. We also assigned a set of life skills games to each student, again based on their level.”
Children and parents were mailed visual, printed versions of the daily “station” schedule along with other visuals that could help families adapt to this new way of learning.
Those stations include writing (letters of the alphabet, their names and phone numbers, etc.), leisure (puzzles, coloring, etc.), jobs (chores to help their parents), play (using toys that nurture their imaginations), reading and math.
Porrovecchio provided us with one of those math lessons, hosted in an interactive PowerPoint, that challenges students to count Legos. Children see pictures of the colorful building blocks and numeric choices of how many are shown. Clicking the right answer results in a smiley face; the wrong answer yields a “Try again!” slide.