The past few years have had an enormous impact on the academic, social and emotional learning of all young children. Covid quarantining has caused pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students to begin their school careers at a much lower level than previous students. These children were two years old when quarantine began, therefore they weren’t exposed to daycare, play dates or any other social gatherings or academic services.
The 2021-2022 school year looked very different in Mona Litterell’s class compared to previous years. Before she could start regular academic teaching, she had to teach these children how to talk each other, talk to adults, answer when others are speaking to them, socialize, work together, share and generally be together. They were scared to death when other adults (teachers) asked them questions or tried to talk to them, and they didn't know how to respond. She had to provide many more hands-on experiences, manipulative centers, differentiated play times and partner learning opportunities for these students to become comfortable in the classroom and able to retain and recall the information she was teaching. She also had to provide a larger number of fine motor activities, because some of these children had never held a pencil, crayon or a pair of scissors.