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story.lead_photo.caption Photograph submitted Mrs. Jamie Rogers who teaches first and second grade math at Pea Ridge Primary School used Zoom, a platform for video conferencing, to connect with Primary School students, during the first week of the school using the Alternative Method of Instruction.

Primary School students were invited to a "celebration at home -- a dance party" as a reward by teacher Michelle Kimble on Friday, March 20, the last day of Alternative Method of Instruction prior to Spring Break.

"I'm so proud of how hard you all have worked this week," Kimble said, adding that if they were at school, she would send all of the students to the office for a positive behavior referral for how hard they've worked. Using a Google drive platform, Kimble sent a video of herself dancing to music and invited her students, by name, to join her to celebrate the end of the first week of AMI.

The week of March 23-27 was Spring Break.

Kimble, in her 16th year teaching at Pea Ridge, said: "The children are adapting quite well. They're used to technology."

Kimble, who teaches first-and second grade literacy at Pea Ridge Primary School, said the biggest adjustment for the Primary School students is not seeing their teachers.

"They're my babies," she said.

The young students and their parents use "Seesaw," a learning platform with which they're familiar to stay in touch. She said the schools were already using that platform.

"It seems more scary for the adults," she said.

"The biggest challenge is we still have parents working and they can't help child get on computer, or they might go to their grandma's where they don't have internet," she said, adding that some students are not able to access the internet.

"I can't imagine having to do this without the capability of sending assignments," she said. "I'd never been on Zoom before now."

She said she scheduled her first Zoom meeting Friday and didn't do it for a lesson, but just to greet the children and connect with them.

"Just wanted to say 'Hey, how are you doing. I miss you,'" Kimble said. "I'm gong to do Zoom everyday."

She said she'll be available for the students and their parents to answer questions.

Zoom is for schools, she said, adding that educators have lifted free version for schools, so there is no time limit. She said zoom sessions can be recorded to viewed at a more convenient time.

"I'm going to record myself doing the lesson," she said.

Jamie Rogers, who teaches first and second grade personalized learning math at Pea Ridge Primary School, said: "It definitely is a learning experience."

She said she's always tried to have lesson plans prepared for 10 days "just in case we were snowed out, but I didn't think I'd ever have to use it."

"We're trying to figure out how to deliver the instruction and have the kids interact -- figure out how to get kids online so it's not just read the story and write a summary," Rogers said.

Both Rogers and Kimble said assignments are uploaded on Seesaw and students and their parents can send videos of them reading, photographs of their work. "That's how they're using the technology," Rogers said.

Rogers said there are a few students who don't have internet and paper packets have been prepared for families who request them.

Rogers said she's sent video messages to students using You Tube and messages are private so they're not available to anyone except the family and teacher.

In her 11th year of teaching, Rogers said she, too, is learning every day.

"We don't have all the answers yet. We're getting feedback from parents," she said.

"The most challenging thing was what I thought would work, didn't," she said, explaining that some things may not come across as intended.

"The blessing is to have students upload videos and I can send to them," Kimble said. "I'm trying to send out positive office behavior referrals -- keep those connections. So they know you still care about them. Make it fun."

General News on 03/25/2020

Print Headline: Teachers take advantage of technology to connect

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