Deborah Rosenthal starts her virtual kindergarten class on Zoom every morning with a song — today, it’s the Spanish version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Her students clap along. There’s a greeting from the class mascot (a dragon), yoga, meditation and then some practice with letter sounds: “Oso, oso, O, O, O.”
Rosenthal teaches Spanish immersion in a public school in San Francisco’s Mission District. Most of the families are low-income, and many are now affected by job losses related to COVID-19. She has taught kindergarten for 15 years, and she loves how “hands-on,” “tactile” and “cozy” it is to work with 5-year-olds.
But this year, she’s spending 10 or 12 hours a day on, basically, her own home production of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood en Español. “It’s a very two-dimensional experience,” she says.
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