It happened quickly. Schools closed for two weeks. Teachers went in on Friday to do a deep cleaning, from surfaces to toys, even markers and the cover of every book. Over the weekend the closings of public places skyrocketed. On Monday schools were mandated to close for three weeks.
As a teacher, I need to reach out to children and teach. But how? There is little for them to do outside of home. And then it struck me.
I can read to them online!
Surely there was a way to do that. I had read aloud the book The Poet’s Dog on my blog. Maybe YouTube would work for the children? I watched a tutorial on how to set this up. On one hand my heart was pounding with excitement, and on the other hand I was filled with terror. This non-techy person was on the end of the 10 meter diving platform staring at the deep water below.
I did it. I persevered. The idea of being able to read aloud to the children was the driving force to make me jump off that 10 meter platform. I set up a YouTube account. Children (and anybody) can go to YouTube, click on ‘channel’, then go to Aqua Room. Voila!
Every day I will post reading aloud one picture book, and reading aloud the next episode in our chapter reading book, Little House in the Big Woods. Last week, barely five days ago, we left off on page 53. I picked up where we left off.
Thank goodness I did! Children were thrilled, and parents sent me photos of their children watching me read aloud. I was flooded with emails. Apparently many children told their parents they had to go to school and watch Jennie read.
There I am, on the screen. It seems surreal. Yet, it is a good way to be with the children and bring books and stories to them. Here are the picture books I am reading aloud over the next two weeks, with more to come:
Here I am reading The Seven Chinese Sisters, by Kathy Tucker:
Here I am reading a great episode of our chapter reading book:
Three weeks is a long time, especially for children. Of course we will be bringing more to them online, yet the constant will be reading aloud. As the weeks go by, you are welcome to hop over to YouTube and hear a good story. That might be a ray of sunshine.