Local preschool teacher gets creative with distance learning

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SELKIRK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When Bridget Engelhardt found out she would be teaching her students remotely, she brought all her classroom supplies home. She wants the kids to have a consistent sense of normalcy, as the structure of their school day has mostly changed.

Engelhardt reads a picture book to her students in a video.

“She usually reads a book, and then she’ll go over the monthly calendar, and what day of the week it is,” Kelly Arnold, parent of students in Engelhardt’s class at A.W. Becker Elementary told News10, “so she allows them to have an interaction with her, not just me sitting there with work pages trying to figure something out.”

Engelhardt says making these videos for the kids to watch and follow along with is not only more engaging for the students than sending home worksheets, but better for parents too. She says it’s not the parent’s job to be the teacher right now, even under these circumstances.

Arnold’s kids look forward to watching the videos daily.

Arnold’s kids watching Engelhardt’s video lesson.

“I get home at 8:15 every morning from work and they’re asking me, ‘can we watch Miss Engelhardt’s video?’ That’s all they want to do,” Arnold said.

Right now, Engelhardt has a Facebook group where the parents of her students can access the videos, but she’s soon moving over to YouTube so kids across the country can tune into her lessons.

Engelhardt says the key to keeping 3-year-olds engaged in virtual learning is being silly, animated, and fun.

“When I’m doing a read aloud of a book, I don’t just read every page, I ask them questions,” Engelhardt said, “I make funny faces.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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