PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- With this unconventional school year now underway, families and teachers are getting creative to keep students engaged online.

That’s no easy feat, especially when it comes to Oregon’s youngest scholars.

"I'm running back and forth from one kid to the other," Tigard mom Julie Fulks said. She has a third grader named Ella and a Kindergartener named Charleston.

She used to be a teacher, she's now taking time off from her current job to be home with the girls, and since they're not going to their school in person, they have an entire classroom setup at home.

Fulks realized 5-year-old Charleston needed something else to keep her focused during online lessons.

"I decided OK, let's put her training wheels on, shove those training wheels into some sneakers and get her peddling," Fulks said.

Fulks says it's worked, and she posted the idea on Facebook which now has more than 9 million views.

"She's able to sit through a lesson she’s not getting up and running from the table," she said. "I had people from other countries comment, it's crazy, it feels good because hopefully it's helping their kiddos."

Oregon parents, teachers get creative to keep little ones engaged in online learning

Portland kindergarten teacher Ali Herron said she’s noticed with the youngsters, movement is key, and she’s found herself having to keep students on track during their half-hour stints of live instruction.

"Lots of songs, lots of finger plays, lots of opportunities to move to show their learning so standing up sitting down type games, scavenger hunt type games," Herron said.

Herron said it’s not just engagement that’s proven tricky, sometimes it’s hard for students to even get logged on with families balancing so much right now.

"Getting to work, getting kids to nannies to babysitters, with big brother or big sister, so that’s been the biggest challenge just having children in front of me when they are able to get here," Herron said.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(2) comments


It is irresponsible and cruel to do this to children, parents and teachers. A much better idea would be to reopen the schools. The facts show that those under 75 and those without serious health issues are not at serious risk from contracting the virus. As our society treats all other viruses and sicknesses, only those individuals who are most vulnerable need take special precautions. Given this time proven approach, how is it that we cannot all go on with our lives? No, it is irresponsible and cruel to punish more than 98% of the population thinking it is protecting the 0.4% who might die if they contract the virus. The government's job is to protect our freedoms. It is each individual's job to protect their own health.



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