Teachers and Staff At Arlington ISD Taking Advantage Of Long Distance Learning
There’s nothing normal about what’s going on in the Arlington ISD in the wake of the district closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But throughout the district, teachers and schools are doing what they can to bring a little normalcy to the 60,000 students in the district.
Its Story Time
That’s why if you go to the Hale Elementary Facebook page you’ll see first-grade teacher Lacy Gregory, with guest appearances from her dog Molly, reading stories for students complete with optional lesson plans.
“I was thinking about it last Friday when I found out we’d be out for a while,” said Gregory, who is in her second year teaching at Hale. “I hate it for my kids to be without instruction. It has to be a little confusing and a little scary. One of my favorite parts of our day is when we share a story. I wanted to give them something that maybe felt normal.”
Arts And Crafts At Home
Fortunately for her students and many others, she’s not alone in her thinking. If you visit the Swift Elementary Facebook page, you’ll notice that art teacher Roxanne McKee posted an Art with McKee Facebook Live. Students did an art project from home and knew that McKee was right there with them. She even let them know what supplies they needed for the project beforehand.
The Morning Announcements Continue
Looking for a little more school structure? Tune in to the Adams Elementary Facebook page in the morning. You’ll find principal Lesley Rhodes reading the morning announcements just like she always does. The only difference now is that instead of wishing students a happy birthday from the Adams office, she’s doing it from her home.
School Spirit Is Alive
Did you know it’s Spirit Month at Duff Elementary? A quick glance at the school’s Facebook page is all you need to know that today is Spirit Day and you’re supposed to show some Mustang pride and post a picture of you in your Mustang gear. Plenty of people got creative Wednesday as they socked it to COVID-19 by posting pictures of their crazy socks. While all of these ideas and the new At-Home Learning Hub won’t replace regular instruction, it helps students stay up with their studies and their school. It also helps the teachers and staff, too.
“We want to do something, and we want them to be able to do something,” said McKee, who plans to do another art exercise next week. “We don’t want to make it feel like the kids have to do these activities. We’re not teaching right now. We just want them engaged.”
McKee admits there’s a learning curve. The camera work for the first one wasn’t as good as she hoped. She also had to make sure the project was one that kids would likely have the supplies for.
Despite the less than Oscar-worthy cinematography, it’s an idea that will continue at Swift as there will also be lessons from the music teacher and the school counselor, among others.
Gregory has learned as she goes, too. She reached out to author Adam Rubin before starting reading “Dragons Love Tacos” because she didn’t want to violate any copyright laws. She’s not alone, either, as Rubin has granted blanket permission to anyone who wants to share his stories on any medium during the uncertain times.
Gregory is also now working ahead so she has a video ready to go daily.
For Gregory the lessons come down to basic needs for everyone.
“For me it’s about giving them an opportunity by giving me a chance to read to them,” she said. “Libraries are closing, and they just can’t go check out books. I want to bring stories to
home. I plan to continue to do this for a while. I’m trying to make it where they have things to do that are fun. If they learn something, great!”