Like every other school in the state, Elk Point-Jefferson will have no classes for the rest of this school year, due to concerns with COVID-19. But that doesn’t stop teachers from working with their students, using a wide variety of tools.

One teacher, Maria Love, uses email, Zoom and a special online platform to keep in touch with her first-grade students.

Love uses email to communicate on a variety of topics. She has assigned each student a penpal and they write each other emails. It’s a good way for them to write about what they’re doing and keep in touch. She also writes each student and family once a week.

“I want to know that my students are okay, mentally and physically, but also keep families notified on lessons and different things that families can do at home if they have time,” Love said. “The lessons provided are driven by the content standards, so materials sent home each week provide extra practice, so students don’t regress.”

Love also tries to hold a Zoom meeting every week, if possible. Seven to 10 students are able to meet online.

“It [Zoom] also provides a way for them to talk about how things are going, if they have any questions on work or about anything else,” Love said. “It also provides a great time for us to read out loud to each other.”

Another communication tool Love uses is a Padlet online platform. She updates that once a week as well, and students can use it to see pictures of classmates. There is a directed drawing, helpful links, live webcams at different zoos and virtual field trips. The Padlet also allows students to read a book that other students can listen and respond to.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.