Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

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COVID-19 Changed the Way We Teach

March 12, 2021

Covid Lauren Sepulveda quote 1000w

Lauren Sepulveda (CT '19)
Social studies, Clinton Avenue School | New Haven, CT

There are so many applications, extensions, and experiences I have enjoyed taking advantage of during this time. Here are a few:

First, there are fun daily SEL check-ins using GIFs, Peardeck, and draggables. Sometimes a student will come in looking sad or exhausted, but then will see the funny GIFs and begin laughing as they choose how they are feeling. It allows them to recalibrate before class.

The Immersive Reader extension for the Chrome web browser gives my students the option to have any website read to them, in any language, and they can click on all the words for definitions, which most times are accompanied by pictures. Immersive Reader can translate selected words or the whole page into almost any language, which has truly helped my ELL students. I can also switch up the difficulty of the text to better support the reader.

I used to ask kids who were finished early to read or begin other work. Now, I can offer those students a section in my Google classroom for fun interactive activities they can do while they wait. I am a middle school social studies teacher, so the section includes Radio Garden, Free Rice, City Guesser, GeoGuessr, Google Earth, MackinVIA, our class digital subscription to Junior Scholastic magazine, Google Arts and Culture, iCivics, Wonderopolis, and virtual field trips.

And I have loved being able to think outside the box for guest speakers. Having the technology and access to Google Meet and Zoom means I have so many more options for bringing guests into our classroom.

I cannot wait to continue to use these tools, mixed in with all the elements that made traditional school so special, when we can all be together safely.

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