What are we to do? Are we safe to send our children to school? It certainly doesn’t appear so; why can’t we make an effort to bring down the spike of cases, flatten the curve and slowly re-open?
We tried to open – it didn’t work. It’s not rocket science, shut it down again!
It’s not worth it to take a chance with the lives of our precious children.
I was flabbergasted when I drove down A1A on July 4th weekend and the beach and sidewalks were full of people. Only a few were wearing masks and I didn’t see a lot of social distancing going on.. All parking spaces were taken. And now the hospitals are filling up..
I’ll say it again – We tried to open – it didn’t work. It’s not rocket science, shut it down again!
My friend, Tasse Knapp, is the most gifted educator of small children I have ever met. Her pre-school opened 5 weeks ago. A lot of thought and preparation went into re-designing classrooms and procedures.
Before Covid, Tasse enjoyed seeing the parents each morning and afternoon when they would drop off and pick up their kids. Now, “runners” walk the children from car to classroom in the morning, from classroom to car in the afternoon as parents are not allowed to go in and out of the building anymore.
She can have 9 children in her class now compared to 21 pre-Covid. Activity centers need to be spaced apart, either one child per center or two children at opposite ends of the table. Children learn to keep a safe 6-foot distance from each other with aids like a 6 foot-long alligator, drawn on 2 3-foot poster boards, taped together on the back and painted by the children. Tasse also used the same supplies to make a frog and a fly, with the tongue of the frog reaching 6 feet to the fly. So now the children know they have to be “an alligator” or a “frog and a fly” apart. Good way to teach safe distancing.
I wonder what the children think about what’s going on – how can they deal with this?
Especially hearing parents talking about it; it has to be terrifying. Tasse says to ask them what they think the virus is. She teaches them how germs don’t stick to something in soapy water, explaining and extending the idea of safety in cleanliness. Here’s a pdf to help us help our young children deal with our intense times: https://highscope.org/wp content/uploads/2020/05/Highscope_COVID_Parents_Final.pdf The pdf is a from program called High Scope. What an awesome resource!
Tasse teaches “Plan, Do, Review” from this program in contrast to “rote” learning, where children memorize and copy and color in outlines of shapes. Tasse says research has shown children who have taught to learn with the Plan, Do, Review strategy excel in school, usually by third grade if not before. Plan, Do , Review goes something like this:
In her classroom, Tasse has a planning board with activity centers. The children have painted their own fish on the first day and each day they place their fish on the activity where they plan to begin their day.
The child goes to the selected activity center.. When finished.. if they’ve used toys that now need to be cleaned because of Covid, they place them in a large bin to be picked up by staffdesignated to clean toys. They all have their own art supplies (except paint) and those go back in a compartment just for them.
Tasse calls this “recall.” They talk about what they did. and Tasse helps them extend their activities.The longterm effect is the skills the children develop will stand them in good stead throughout school and really, their lives! Tasse and I are providing age-appropriate strategies and activities for pre-school children at home. More than that, Tasse can teach parents to guide their children to “Plan, Do, Review.”Please share your name and email with us if you’d like to receive our newsletter and be invited to our online beta group where Tasse will be teaching “Plan, Do, Review.” We’d love to have you and your pre-schoolers along! We’re starting soon, please reply at your earliest and share your email in Messenger or send to StephanieShorr@me.com