Back to School - September 2020 - Vizzler of the Month

Back to School - September 2020 - Vizzler of the Month

We’d like to introduce you to our first Vizzler of the Month for the 2020-21 school year. Obviously, this year is going to look different for everyone and we look forward to learning how all of you are creatively managing the challenge. 

Maryclare is a special education teacher with P.S. Q811 in Queens, NY. She was a classroom teacher for 29 years, a life skills/health teacher for 4 years, this past summer was an SEL teacher, and is now headed back as a 6:1:1 classroom teacher.

What is the start of the school year looking like for you and your students?

The start of the school year will be hybrid; I will be teaching in the building and have ½ my class one week and ½ my class the next week.  During their off week, students will be working remotely. It should be a very interesting year. Positive energy!

What is the most challenging part of teaching for you this year?

The most challenging part of this school year will be readjusting the students to school and helping them follow the new rules regarding school life during the coronavirus.  Also, making sure their remote learning connects to in-class learning.

What silver linings have you experienced in teaching this year?

A silver lining I experienced teaching remotely this year was getting to know the students’ families.  Their parents and grandparents were so committed to their kids’ education.  It was very beautiful to see and be a part of it.

What tools have you found to be most effective as you had to switch to remote learning and plan for returning back to your classroom?

I found Google Classroom, Google Slides, Vizzle, and Class Dojo were very helpful during remote learning and I will continue to use them during my return back to the classroom. 

How has Vizzle been helpful?

Vizzle has been very helpful.  I created several books during remote learning and a book, “Let’s Stay Safe in School”, to help adjust my students to new school rules during the coronavirus. 

(You can find “Let’s Stay Safe in School” by searching the Vizzle library for ID 2421314.)

What is your favorite Vizzle feature and why is that so important for you?

My favorite feature of Vizzle is the authoring tool. I can make a book related to whatever topic that I am working on and assign it to my students.  It’s important to me because I want my students to engage in specific topics and they like the reinforcers when they get when matching or sorting correct.  Also, Vizzle keeps data which is wonderful.

How have your students responded to using Vizzle?

Students really enjoy Vizzle assignments! They like the reinforcers and when I do classroom specific books. They love to see themselves and their friends in them!

As we know, student engagement can be a challenge with remote learning, what have you found to be successful?

I found making a good morning video for my students on Class Dojo to be a successful way to interact and connect with families.  Also, creating slideshows and Vizzle assignments were helpful.  Being patient and listening carefully was also very helpful.  I taught SEL this summer and I found encouraging students to be kind to themselves, each other, and to remember that the most important thing about being a human being is to be humane.  We can make the world a better place through kindness and the world is a better place because we are here.  I think that is what I strived to teach my students every day.

Thank you, Maryclare, for taking some time to let us get to know you a bit during what is a very busy time for all teachers and school personnel. We wish you and all teachers a safe and wonderful school year!

Since we see by your picture that you’re a Mister Rogers fan…who isn’t?!…and hearing how you’re teaching the importance of kindness to your students, I thought we’d close with one of his quotes. “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” – Fred Rogers

You can sign up for complimentary 30-day access to Vizzle at home.govizzle.com.

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