Little Lancers learn from a distance

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Brian Bolger

Leah Bolger reviews the Little Lancers Google Slideshow at home

by Emily McNally, Managing Editor

Instead of watching Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer, Little Lancers will gather around a computer at home and watch the Child Development classes teach them though a computer or television.

With the announcement that school would be virtual, Child Development instructor Kate Lane was in contact with new Principal, Cindy Hanlon over the summer. They discussed the Little Lancer Preschool and decided that the child development students would create a Google Slide show that would work like circle time with songs, a picture book, and other lessons they would normally have. Right now the Child Development classes are learning how to plan and write lessons using an online format. 

“It is my personal philosophy and that of many other educators that hands-on learning is the best way for our littlest learners to examine and learn from the world around them. This is no different from our teaching practice in our Lab Preschool at Linganore High School,” said Lane.

The Little Lancers are not engaging in Google Meets. Lane believes that learning should be hands-on with physical human interaction. The children should be up and moving and not just staring at a computer screen, but they cannot do face to face circle time in a classroom.

Lane had a different idea.

“My vision for our slide show is to have families cast it to their TV or computer in a big room so the Little Lancers can sing and dance with their traditional songs, and sit down for story time. Then parents would ask the questions. It is a family event,” Lane said.

Currently, all Child Development students are learning to write lesson plans. They are focusing on math skills and objectives such as sorting, rational counting, classification and simple addition and subtraction. Each week they focus on reading theme picture book for the concepts and vocabulary that they could teach preschoolers.

“The class isn’t really harder this year. I would say it’s just a little more time consuming with all the papers,” said Ashley Baker, Child Development student.

The weekly Google Slideshow has songs and a story with parent questions. At the end of the slide show, there are ideas that go with the weekly theme for parents and a Google Document for parents to give related cooking lessons and creative activities along with a supply box of favorite games and activities. The supply box includes: a box of tissues, a package of baby wipes, a box of Ziploc baggies, and a drink.

Sadly, the spring classes never got to teach in the preschool.

“Honestly, it’s definitely a bummer that we can’t see the kids because they’ve always made my days better at Linganore. I would say my biggest struggle is being able to stay motivated throughout the course without the kids,” said Leah Bolger, a student in Child Development. 

“I miss the big and the littles. I often tell my friends I teach ‘Double Dutch.’ I have my high school teachers and their curriculum daily, and I have our Little Lancers. I miss Friday football games. I miss talking with other teachers about life and school related events. And I miss the high school students,” said Lane. 

“I feel I never said a proper goodbye to our seniors of 2020, some of which I taught at New Market Elementary when they were in kindergarten. I hope we can be back together in some way soon.” said Lane. 

The Google Slideshows are available now via email for the Little Lancer families to view.