When a global pandemic shuts down our educational system it is critical to mobilize quickly and effectively to support children and families. This article explores one educator's experience of setting up free online classes to support students during the COVID-19 shutdown. Participants ranged in age from 3 to 12 and were from Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Ohio. The author outlines how she designed classes, engaged with children and families, and provided instruction that was grounded in literacy research and Michigan's Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy while guided by developmentally appropriate pedagogy. Specific practices that foster motivation and engagement and contribute to connecting with families are outlined. Insights from the experience reveal that a classroom community can be forged remotely across states and ages, internet access affects educational experiences, and that teaching requires hard work, innovation, and dedication regardless of the setting. Limitations and insights for the future are also discussed.
Spear, Annie P.
"Creating an Online Community of Learners During the COVID-19 Shutdown Using Michigan’s Literacy Essentials,"
Michigan Reading Journal: Vol. 53:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/mrj/vol53/iss1/11