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An inside look at online teaching for a CCSD kindergarten teacher

Posted at 5:20 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 00:36:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The living room has replaced the classroom for many children in the valley, with all schools shut down during the pandemic.

“Give me a G! Give me an O! What does that spell? GO!”

Kristan Nigro is going through vocabulary lessons with her kindergarteners on Google Hangout. She would normally be in a classroom at Schorr Elementary School but is now teaching online with CCSD schools shut down.

“The biggest adjustment right now is trying to be able to shift my mentality of being hands-on with them,” she said.

She’s been teaching three times a week with the other two days dedicated for students to work on their assignments. She also has to manage her students’ short attention spans remotely.

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“It’s difficult, and you’re spending time trying to do crowd control with the program,” Nigro said.

With her classes shortened from seven-hour days to sessions lasting from 45 minutes to an hour. She’s had to condense lessons.

“Where can I get the biggest bang for my buck, and that’s going to be writing, phonemic awareness, and I still send math lessons with video of how I’m solving,’ Nigro said.

Nigro says despite the challenges, she’s been able to provide some sense of normalcy for her students.

“I try to take pieces of the classroom of what they’re used to, so during the lesson; you could see I still used an anchor chart. I still used our big book of phonemic awareness, which they love so much,” she said.

She says parents have sent messages appreciating her efforts, in providing an outlet for their children to learn.

“Just having that ability to see and get back to some type of normal activity which they’re used to, was so important for their mental health,” she said.

Nigro says for educators like her they’re committed to making sure their students can still succeed.

“We’re here for you, and I want that to be something that the parents are aware of,” she said.