We’ve had students back in our building for about 3 weeks now, and even with all of our new procedures and safety routines, it’s been going really well!!! We’re all getting used to staying 6 feet away from each other and making sure we’re not working one on one with a student for longer than a 15 minute period….just in case.
Another thing that we’ve all gotten used to are the multiple mask breaks that we need to take throughout the day. Our students are 8, 9, and 10 years old so our incredible principal has built in time to everyone’s schedules so teachers can bring their class outside multiple times a day to take their mask off. Even as adults, we need these breaks, especially after teaching all day with a mask!
With our playground equipment currently closed, there’s only so many things teachers can do to pass the time and entertain our students, while maintaining distance from each other. After watching everyone just walk up and down our sidewalks day after day, I started to think about opportunities that would engage our students and give our teachers a break from planning something else.
And with that….our Storywalk was created!
I found blank yard signs from Amazon, borrowed lots of packing tape from co-workers, and was ready to begin! I took a couple of my very favorite picture books and shrunk down the pages so I could get 4 on to one sign. Rather than taping each page separately, I put two copies in a sheet protector, and just taped the outsides.
After I had all the pages taped onto my signs, I walked down the sidewalk while evenly spacing them out. I quickly sent out an email to my building to let them know that the story was out and they could begin using it as a mask break.
Within a couple of hours, I saw teachers and students outside on their mask break while incorporating a picture book. Students maintained social distance and traveled from sign to sign reading the story. I also was able to put another story on the other side of the building in order to maximize the number of students that could be enjoying our storywalk!
At the end of each story, I also put a few discussion questions up for students to engage in as they made their way back into the building.
I’ve only done three stories so far, and I hope to continue switching them out before the weather gets too cold to enjoy them! The stories that I have used so far are:
Click on any of the books above to purchase them for yourself!
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