On Friday, March 13th I said goodbye to my 23 second graders, sending them home with lots of books, lots of love and encouraging words. Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week that all public and private K-12 schools in Washington state would close for the next six weeks. This means I won’t see their smiling faces until April 27th (as long as it is safe to come back).
We are living in crazy times right now due to the Coronavirus that’s rapidly spreading in the Seattle area. It truly makes me sad thinking about how much of an impact this virus is having on our community, our kids and our families.
On our last day in the classroom, I tried to make sure the kids had as much fun as possible. We celebrated all the birthdays we would miss during the closure by writing messages and making birthday books (families also brought in birthday treats during lunch). We played many math games. We did a St. Patrick’s Day craft, Who is Worth More Than Gold? We finished reading Charlotte’s Web and watched the movie (one of my favorite books to read aloud to 7 and 8 year old, a couple of kids had tears in their eyes at the end of the film). Then we ended the day with Fun Friday and choice time.
It was such a bitter sweet day. I completely understand and agree with the decision that was made to close the schools but it doesn’t make it easy knowing I won’t be able to see the kids each day.
This is all uncharted territory and we are learning as we go. My school district is providing free meals (breakfast + lunch) to families who have kids 1-18 years old which I think is amazing. Teachers are now going to provide online access to learning through weekly schedules, emails and learning apps. My teammate came across this editable schedule from TeachinginRoom6 which I plan on tweaking a bit and using.
Below is a list of websites I use with my students in the classroom and ones I plan to share with my families.
Scholastic is also offering free online lessons during this time.
I purchased these Animal Postcards on Amazon. I plan on surprising each student with a little message, telling them how much I miss them and mailing around 2 weeks into the closure.
My principal explained everything that is happening like this, “We are building the ship as we’re sailing.” I plan on doing my best to keep my parents and families informed each week with ongoing communication. But really the most important thing is to stay safe and to stay healthy. So for now, my classroom will remain empty as we all try to navigate what is to come in these next few days, weeks and months ahead. Stay calm and stay safe!