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Santa Maria Bonita School District teachers using creative outlets to keep students engaged

Posted at 9:47 AM, Apr 24, 2020

With schools returning from Spring Break and Summer vacation right around the corner, it's time to finish the school year strong. Although distance learning is new for so many, teachers in the Santa Maria Bonita School District are keeping their students on track with a little creativity.

Amy Krumpholz knows her 397 students at Taylor Elementary School in Santa Maria have been faced with obstacles in the recent weeks.

"Everyday I check in with the students," Krumpholz, a P.E. Specialist, said.

Even though she can't be there physically, she's connecting with her students and providing a virtual P.E. class through YouTube and Google Classroom.

"The interaction has been really positive and the students are really engaged, i get like 100 comments everyday," Krumpholz said.

Creativity is taking its course in Victoria Schaefer's pre-algebra class at Fesler Junior High School. Her students are taking to TikTok to explain mathematical concepts, like Standard Form.

"They were explaining concepts we were practicing before we left for the closure," Schaefer said.

She's also implementing Zoom conderences to stay connected with her students and keep their schoolwork on track.

"I'll do a bunch of videos that have questions implemented in them so the kids are getting instant feedback when they're going through a video and I'm trying to teach them something, they'll see if it's correct or incorrect," Schaefer said. "Even though I'm not there and I can't say, yes, no, or answer any questions they have, it still allows me to give them a little bit of that instant feedback that I know they're probably craving."

For Fe Demition, reading to her Miller (Isaac) Elementary School TK students doesn't have to be put on hold just because they aren't in the classroom.

"We are meeting those state standards, district standards with the learning that we are integrating in our Google Clasrrom," Demition said.

For her five-year-old students, learning doesn't stop.

"I post the assignments in my Google Classroom," Demition said. "I recorded myself reading those vocab words and we're learning about seasons and weather and how it's affecting our lives."

Even though these dedicated educators can't see their students face-to-face right now, they're using technology to bring some normalcy back to learning.

"I'm going to be there to answer as many questions as I can for them," Schaefer said.

The implementation of Google Classroom is new for some teachers, like Krumpholz, but it's helping her students feel more connected to their peers and what's left of the school year.

"If students can be a little bit more engaged and closer to their teachers then that's what we gotta do."