Face-to-face to virtual classes in preschool
The year 2020 brought many unexpected surprises for everyone, especially the one in which we were forced to work from home due to the largest pandemic of this century. Despite the mandatory social distancing in which we were involved, our institution did not stop, we created different strategies so as not to lose contact with our students, parents and colleagues. For this, the entire Andean community was trained in the use of ICT, more specifically, the use of the Microsoft Teams platform. Similarly, teachers have been invited to participate in different forums and discussions related to this new way of life.
Initially, the students were a little apathetic towards this new form of study and their parents, seeing the frustration of these children, chose to raise a series of concerns. Faced with this situation, a new academic schedule was organized taking into account the needs of parents, we managed academic flexibility with classes in the morning online, support in the afternoon for the student who requires it, recorded classes to strengthen learning and continuous accompaniment.
In the different online meetings, classes with a diversity of activities were developed for the students and parents who accompanied them where they exercise, take active breaks, dance, relax and learn while having fun. Each period we send the material and guides to develop with our students.
In this way, 100% use was made of the tools that information technologies offer us. For this, the teachers focused more on the different tastes and interests of each student, from here, it was discovered that the students really enjoy interacting with their favorite video games, a great advantage of this was taken to use different educational virtual games taken from digital educational platforms such as: the abc tree, British Council and Education.com, which have given us countless opportunities to help our students develop their critical thinking, their creativity and enter this new virtual reality, while we overcome the obstacles that distance and time presented to us at the beginning of this pandemic.
Of the strategies employed, there are some that have left a very significant mark on our children, highlighting:
- “LITTLE GENIUS PROJECT”, which consists that our students from an early age learn to analyze, interpret and argue about the why of things, goes towards experiments according to them where ingenuity, surprise, joy and creativity are the fundamental axis in the curiosity of each one. Once a week we interact and develop skills with our children with the support of their parents at home.
Every eight days, a student is named: “ Today’s scientist ” or the scientist today, this student comes to class with his special suit, with his decorated workspace and shows us the step by step of the assigned experiment. This is how we learn different scientific terms and the reaction that certain elements cause when they are mixed. Later, these experiments are taken to our daily life, where we explain in what moments of our life we can witness these chemical reactions, the reason for certain natural phenomena and in what way we can react to these chemical reactions.
Finally, the scientist takes the role of “teacher”, asks each of his classmates questions about the experiment to make sure that everyone has paid attention, giving each one a qualitative rating with encouraging phrases: Good job !, nice try! , very good !, well done !, congrats! At the same time, the teacher uses visual cards to motivate students to continue participating.
- Exercise “ BRAIN GAME ”or“ MENTAL GAMES”Is developed in the cognitive dimension that has a special approach where each student takes a challenge to class, this activity tests the concentration of their classmates, their ability to solve different problems, while stimulating their brain plasticity and creating expectations to wonder why different situations that arise in our daily life and look for the most correct answer.
- “ CHEFCOS”. Every 15 days, the students go to their aesthetic dimension class and make use of different foods such as fruits and vegetables to create animals, at the end of the class, the students enjoy this delicious and nutritious dish.
- CLASS WITH PUPPETS: It takes place on Thursdays, the students improvise and carry out in the company of the tutor some situation that may be affecting healthy coexistence and assertive communication within the development of the classes. Values are taken into account and this is a space where, through play and imagination, students and parents express themselves, feel that their emotions, feelings and thoughts are being taken into account and work as a team to find a solution to every situation.
This pandemic has given us the opportunity to make better use of technology with our preschool students, as emphasis has been placed on meaningful learning and productive use of such devices in the teaching of our children.
Made by: Gheiner Sharlott Carreño Dulcey – Preschool Teacher