After receiving chromebooks for each student, teachers in the Ballard Road Elementary School BEARS program decided it was important to teach students how to properly use the chromebook as independently as possible. They felt this was important because in the event we need to pivot to all remote instruction, they want their students to feel comfortable using the device. Prior to COVID-19 BEARs students would do a daily circle time. This is a time for students to get together and talk about their day, and work on social skills. Since COVID-19 the students were not able to truly interact with their peers during circle time as each student has their own socially distanced “office space”.
BEARs Teacher Ashley Torda-Ecuyer said, “I decided that it would be important to use a GoogleMeet link to allow our students to participate in circle time.” Students use their headphones and log into a GoogleMeet. They are working on skills such as utilizing the chat bar, muting, unmuting, turning the camera on, turning it off, and how to end a google meet call. She runs the normal circle time and includes time for students to remotely interact one on one with each other. Recently, the class started interacting with the grade 2-5 BEARS classroom at Ballard Road Elementary School.
“Our students used to be able to interact with each other daily. With COVID-19 this has not been able to happen. Now with our students learning to use GoogleMeet, both classrooms are engaged in circle time together. Our students are responding very well to this and seem to enjoy doing our circle this way,” said Torda-Ecuyer.