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  • DepEd Shows What Distance Learning Can Look Like For Kindergarten This August

    The Department of Education presented a simulation of distance learning in Navotas.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
DepEd Shows What Distance Learning Can Look Like For Kindergarten This August
PHOTO BY iStock
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    What will learning at the basic education level in the time of COVID look like? A preschool in Navotas finally gives us a picture of how learning can possibly be carried out while the country is still under quarantine and face-to-face interaction in schools is not allowed.

    An online press conference initiated by the Department of Education presented the newly launched "NavoSchool-in-a-Box" program of the Navotas City government. It provided a learning model that combines the provision of learning packets placed in a box, online teacher support, and home-school collaboration.

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    Distance learning in our public schools: What it can look like  

    Teacher Fatie Robles of Bagumbayan Elementary school under the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Navotas provided a step-by-step simulation of how she carried out distance learning in her kindergarten class of 25-30 pupils. 

    Step 1: Organize the class list

    This step involved Robles gathering her students' basic information such as their birthdays and addresses. She also wanted to check the capacity for connectivity in each of her students’ homes.

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    Robles discovered that one student did not have access to the internet nor a smartphone. To solve the problem, she coordinated with the Barangay SK chairwoman who agreed to assist and be a "parrot" teacher (or teacher assistant) of the child.

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    Step 2: Prepare self-learning packets

    Under Project Kislap, Robles's school collected and provided students the learning materials to carry out the kindergarten curriculum. These packets were labeled with a schedule to indicate when parents should use them for their child’s lessons for the day. The packets were all placed inside a box that will be picked up from the school by the parents weekly.

    Project Kislap’s aim is to systematically “harvest the learning activities” and from there, develop learning materials for Home Learning activity (HLA) and Home Learning Enrichment Activity (HLEA). Its key features are the following:

    Kinder Teacher Weekly Plan was created based on the Most Essential Learning Competencies and the kindergarten curriculum. It contains the schedule for Literacy and Numeracy. The packets are organized from Monday to Friday.

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    Kindergarten Learning Packets contained play-based learning materials that were used for lessons and periods like playtime.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from DepEd June 1 online press conference
    Kinder Parent’s Guide showed a sample flow of activities to guide parents as they teach their children.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from DepEd June 1 online press conference
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    Kinder Parent’s Checklist guided parents on the tasks accomplished for the week. The checklist is to be accomplished per day and according to the topic that falls either on Literacy or Numeracy.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from DepEd June 1 online press conference
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    Part of the box are donated toys from Project LARO (Learning Activities and Reflection Opportunities Through Play) and is created in partnership with the Philippine Toy Library. Project LARO aims to maximize the benefits of play in children’s learning, especially in distance learning.

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    PHOTO BY screenshot from DepEd June 1 online press conference

    NavoSchool-in-a-Box contains:

    1. Activity packets
    2. Parents guide
    3. Checklist
    4. One storybook
    5. Pencil, crayons
    6. Glue
    7. Scissors
    8. Hygiene kit
    9. Expandable Envelope
    10. Materials like yarns, colored paper, etc., needed for Week 1

    The items in the box, as well as the box itself, are disinfected before distribution, according to Robles.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from DepEd June 1 online press conference
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    Step 3: Parents’ orientation and ‘Box’ pickup 

    Parents were asked to go online (often through Facebook Messenger), so Robles could brief them about the weekly expectations as parents assist their children in their learning. The orientation also includes instructions on how and when parents can come to the school to ‘safely’ pick up the boxes for their children.

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    Step 4: Preparing for Home-based learning

    Parents were asked to prepare a space for learning in the home that will be conducive for everyday lessons and for activities.

    Next, they were asked to pick a ‘class’ schedule. These schedules were flexible to fit the "uniqueness of each family," Robles said. 

    Lessons were done for two hours every day, and parents chose from 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.; 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.; 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., or 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

    Robles sent parents instructional videos beforehand to guide them on how to facilitate the ‘mensahe’ or theme for the week or how they can provide other activities for their children. A video, called Virtual Show & Tell, was provided to complement the lessons for the day as well.

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    The teacher’s role in a distance education setup is usually supplementary, and it was the case in the DepEd simulation. Here was the schedule they gave parents.
    PHOTO BY screenshot from DepEd June 1 online press conference
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    Distance learning class schedule 

    Robles shared the distance learning schedule she recommended to parents for a typical two-hour class. 

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    9-9:15 a.m.
    Greetings/prayers. Songs/checking weather, date, exercise

    9-9:25 a.m.
    Free Play

    9:25-9:55 a.m.
    Literacy Activities like reading

    9:55-10:10 a.m.
    Snack Time

    10-10-10:40 a.m.
    Numeracy Activities

    10:40-10:55 a.m.
    Story Time

    10:55-11:00 a.m. 
    Clean-up time

    Step 5: Submission of activity packets

    Part of the content of the Box was an expandable envelope that parents used to place all accomplished task sheets for the week including the storybook and Home Reading Card for the teacher to check. These folders will be dropped off at the school at the end of each week.
    Once accomplished tasks are dropped off, parents again picked up a new Box that will contain the lessons for the next week. 

    Step 6: Teacher assessment

    The last and final step of the distance learning process was the teachers’ assessment. Robles used the Philippine Early Childhood Development (ECD) Checklist endorsed by the DepEd.
    The ECD contained the Portfolio, an assessment tool that measures the competencies of a student. After this is done, the teacher gave her feedback to the parents, so they can guide them accordingly.

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    Robles says that during the simulation, the parents, as well as the children, expressed excitement over the program. The kids, in particular, were very eager to open the boxes and play with the toys. 

    Initially, the city government of Navotas allotted Php11 million for the purchase of 49,000 NavoSchool-in-a-box. They hope to distribute the boxes before classes start on August 24.

    It remains to be seen if the NavoSchool-in-a-Box will be a successful model for other schools to implement, but it certainly is a good start if we want to see our children continue their education under this new normal.

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