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Elementary teacher takes gifted students on Zooms around the world

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In her work with students at Doña Ana and Fairacres elementary schools, teacher of the gifted Barb Ericson, along with other LCPS teachers, is using a learning-management system called Canvas that she calls “a one-stop shop for teachers, students and parents.”

“We Zoom through it, organize our lessons and put assignments on it,” Ericson said.

Students can turn in their completed assignments on Canvas, and lessons are recorded on it in case students can’t make it to a Zoom session, she said.

Ericson bought a green screen, a standing desk, a ring light and an additional monitor to teach classes via Zoom.

“All of those things really help me out,” she said. 

One of Ericson’s recent projects with gifted students at the school has been to teach about different cultures and countries around the world. For a recent study of Germany, many students made German cakes, she said, while one made an entire meal and other students made miniature castles.

Ericson’s students also have learned recently about Australia.

Toward the end of 2020, her students “requested a study a little closer to home, so we learned about our state of New Mexico,” Ericson said. In January, she and her students will resume their international curriculum, and will begin with Canada.

 “Teaching about different cultures and foreign countries is a passion of mine,” Ericson said. “I think it is important to broaden our students’ horizon and get them excited to learn about the world and hopefully travel themselves when they are older. When we are in brick-and-mortar school, the students collect postcards from all over the USA and the world.”