Community Helpers - A Look into Waterford's Remote Preschool
When PreK-4 students return to campus for their Spring semester, they are typically greeted with a two week unit studying community helpers. And in this unprecedented time, a time where the world is leaning heavily on community helpers, what better subject for Waterford preschool students to learn more about?
The PreK-4 teachers, upon needing to pivot to remote learning, began planning a unit that would be engaging for each of the 4 and 5 year-old students learning remotely at home. They wanted to share the wonderful and necessary work of many helpers in our own local communities. Building out a list, the teachers began putting videos together featuring local community helpers.
Featured helpers were shared with students in videos and included:
- Mr Hamideh, a retired police officer and Waterford's Director of Safety and Security, who has connected and visited the classroom often sharing appreciation and respect for police officers with students.
- Two Alumnae Andrew Hercules, a police officer, and Whitney Dahl, a nurse.
- Nicole Brady, a parent of Miles in PreK-4, a harpist and music teacher
- Parker Rudd, a singer/songwriter
- James Knight, a local architect
- Robert Reedy, a fireman from the West Jordan fire department
See this video edited with clips and highlights from the community helper unit:
The PreK-4 teachers—Erin Knight, Suzanne Dahl, Julie Mower and Jennifer Rudd—shifted many of the unit's lessons into interactive and engaging remote learning projects. These include sharing a variety of jobs and the tools people use in their jobs, and then asking students to take this further by interviewing their parents about their jobs (which are now, more than ever before, happening in the home in front of their children), making community helper puppets and vehicles out of recycled items for a puppet show performance, and asking students to write and draw in their journals about, "What I want to be when I grow up...". There were several firefighters, police officers, race car drivers, and even a unicorn that showed up in these journal entries!
As a fun science experiment to try at home, students and parents created a pretend "fire" with baking soda and vinegar, and student firefighters stood at the ready to put out the "flames" with a spray bottle.
And finally, in small group zoom visits with students, teachers played a guessing game where students were given clues about a job, and students had to guess whose job it was.
While this time at home can feel uncertain and different than our normal routine, the preschool students have found ways to connect through important community helpers, at a time when we need them the most!
Please also enjoy this fun video the PreK-4 teachers put together to introduce students to this new age of "Zoom Webinars":