VIDEO Interview with Lisa Luceno: Distance Learning for Young Children and Their Families

Blog Post
May 4, 2020

As part of our Child Care and Early Learning Stories and Lessons During COVID-19 project, Kristina Ishmael interviews Lisa Luceno, Senior Director of Early Childhood Strategy for Briya Public Charter School in Washington, DC. In the interview, Luceno highlights strategies for supporting early learning despite school closure. Watch for strategies to engage families and support infants, toddlers, pre-kindergarteners, dual language learners, and those living in under-resourced communities.

For more information on the strategies mentioned in the video, please read this blog.

A selection of the key practices shared in the interview include:

  • The relationship between the family and the school matters. Listen to families and meet them where they are. Make sure that anything you provide virtually takes into account their new reality.
  • Recognize home language. Learning virtually in a second language is difficult and the content may not hold the student’s attention the same way it would in person.
  • Young children construct knowledge through materials and social interactions. With a move to at-home learning, devise plans to purchase and deliver materials to children’s and teachers’ homes.
  • Intentionally design activities to follow virtual lessons so children can involve themselves in the concept they just learned virtually. Now that children cannot interact with their teacher all day, extension activities need to be high impact, exciting, relevant, and doable. Children are more likely to participate if they are sharing something or doing something they are excited about.
  • Visuals, visuals, visuals. To engage virtually with toddlers and two-year-olds, visuals and bi-directional communication with families is important. Really value the funds of knowledge families bring.
  • Provide space and time for teachers to iterate and share their learning with each other. Adapt planning forms to match the new reality, including which teacher will lead the lesson and which will lead technical support.
  • Offer differentiated technical support for children, parents, and teachers. Recognize the digital literacy levels of the families you are serving and use technology platforms that families are already familiar with.

For more stories about overcoming the challenges of COVID-19, check out New America’s Strengthening Child Care and Early Education: Learning from COVID-19 page.

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