We, at Education to the Core, see you, we hear you, we understand you. Guess what? So does the President of the United States! President Biden and Vice President Harris proved that in their recent inauguration celebration praising a viral TikTok teacher. On January 20, 2021, Biden and Harris’s “Celebrating America” included dedications to Essential Workers that keep us going, Frontline Workers in healthcare that keep us safe, and Educators who teach us.
“We continue to recognize everyday heroes and focus on our nation’s educators. We have asked so much of them over the last year and they’ve overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. So let’s do them honor…all of them.” Tom Hanks spoke before introducing viral sensation Mackenzie Adams, a Kindergarten teacher from Seattle, Washington for her enthusiastic remote lessons.
Mackenzie Adams recently went viral for her TikTok videos teaching her Kindergarten class remotely. She showed her enthusiasm for teaching to the world and incorporated tons of engaging moments and opportunities for her students to respond. On her TikTok page, she has several videos that include cross-curricular activities including reading stories, phonics, and math games. You can check out her videos below from her TikTok user: @kenziiewenz.
thanks for all the kind words about teachers 💛 in case anyone wanted to stay on kindergarten TikTok here’s a lesson from today #onlineschool
NowThis News also showcased this viral teacher’s TikTok posts on YouTube! They included some of Mackenzie’s videos as well as quotes from celebrity Chrissy Teigen. Other educators’ posts on social media were also highlighted. Information from Ms. Adams’s interview with BuzzFeed News discusses her reasoning for her TikTok videos as well as why it is important to keep her 5 and 6-year-olds engaged!
“Celebrating America” Concert
If you would like to check out President Biden and Vice President Harris’s Celebrating America Concert here it is. Follows are the time(s) that directly involves teachers and educators.
37:00 – Tom Hanks recognizes educators
37:41 – 39:23 President Biden addresses and celebrates Americans who teach including a viral TikTok Kindergarten teacher. Concluded with Foo Fighters dedication to teachers “Times Like These”.
Education to the Core
Check out some of these AMAZING ETTC products that are already virtual for you! No prep, ready to go activities that will align directly to your standards. Feel free to check out educationtothecore.com for more digital possibilities!
- Reading Comprehension Activities
- Phonemic Awareness: Alphabet Activities
- Sight Word Passages
- Character Education Task Cards
- Digital Phonics Poems
- Reading Passages
- 1st Grade Reading Comprehension
- 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension
- 3rd Grade Reading Comprehension
Opportunities to Respond
Another fun way to engage your students is to incorporate opportunities to respond (OTRs). Research shows that increasing your use of OTRs during instruction not only increases academic engagement but also decreases the likelihood of off-task or disruptive behaviors. The following are a few various ways to incorporate the use of OTRs, some you may have observed in Mackenzie’s viral TikTok video!
- Students may hold up cards to answer a teacher’s question. These cards could have various images, numbers of words based upon age. Younger students may have yes/no cards or thumbs up/thumbs down on the front and back of their card, whereas older students could have multiple cards with various answers or letters A, B, C, D on the front and back to respond. After the teacher asks a question, students may hold up the appropriate card to answer. This allows the teacher to quickly scan the whole group/small group for a quick check on understanding.
Whiteboards or Chalkboards
- Similar to the response cards, whiteboards or small chalkboards could be utilized in your classrooms. Having students write their answers on the board to hold up allows a bit more freedom and uniqueness compared to the response cards’ limited answer options. Feel free to include spelling activities, writing phonics and words, comprehension, math facts, and other activities throughout the day.
- Choral responding is where the entire class (whole group/small group) all answer simultaneously. Students are taught whenever you either countdown “3…2…1” or perhaps a visual or sound cue (e.g., hand up, hand clap, bell ring) everyone should answer aloud.
- You can be extremely creative with these options. Similar to a true or false question or an answer with two possibilities can be incorporated with movement.
- Thumbs Up/DownStudents use their own thumbs to answer.
- Stand Up/Sit Down or Crouch down
- I like to use this with my students because they think it is funny and it gets them moving online. Starting with all of my students sitting in their chairs. I ask my question and say “if you think it is ____ then stand up. If you think it is _____ then crouch down and hide”. This way I can do a quick scan of my screen and see who is standing in their cube or who crouched down.
- Other movement activities or ideas
- As I stated before, you can be as creative as you wish with these! I’ve seen and heard teachers using hand movements. Stretch arms upwards, downwards, and incorporating gym exercises into their daily routine (i.e., arm circles, jumping jacks, squats).
Education to the Core celebrates not only Mackenzie’s story but all of yours. We continue to stand beside you, guiding you in your classrooms so you can not only be there for your students but can have a better work/life balance. ETTC will always continue to celebrate teachers by providing them with top-notch resources created by master teachers that will always guarantee a focus on the student. We would love to hear your stories and how you are engaging students below in the comments. As always, we see you, we hear you, we understand you.
Written by: Christopher Olson
At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.
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