Take a peek at Tonja Armstrong-MacInnis’s Zoom classes for early learners and you will instantly realize that you are in the presence of someone who has mastered the art of engaging students in her virtual classroom. Shifting to online learning, often at a moment's notice due to government regulations, has been a challenge for all teachers, but especially for Kindergarten teachers like Tonja. "Even though they may be considered "digital natives," asking early learners to participate in Zoom lessons is making them take a huge leap in their learning journey," says Tonja.
Knowing that in-person classes provide the perfect setting for fostering student engagement and social-emotional development during play- and inquiry-based interactions with peers and teachers, how do you continue teaching towards these goals within a virtual setting? According to Tonja, the answer lies in taking full advantage of online tools to get to know one’s students even better.