This month we are giving away a copy of Me and You and the Universe to three lucky readers. This calming and colorful picture book illustrates how we are all connected and teaches children about universality and connectedness and fosters an appreciation for nature and our world’s ecology.
To Enter: Leave a comment below describing how you are helping kids stay connected to others during a time of necessary physical isolation.
For additional entries, leave a separate comment below for each of the following tasks you complete:
Each comment counts as a separate entry. Entries must be received by midnight, April 24, 2020.
The winners will be contacted via email on or around April 27, 2020, and will need to respond within 72 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Winners must be US residents, 18 years of age or older.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.
© 2020 by Free Spirit Publishing. All rights reserved. The view expressed in this post represent the opinion of the author and not necessarily Free Spirit Publishing.
I stay connected with the children and their families in many ways. Several of my children from the classroom will FaceTime me. I enjoy hearing from them and hearing about what they’ve been doing during this time. We talk about why we can’t be at school right now and the importance of it. I keep in touch with the families to make sure they have everything they need during this difficult time. It is very important to me to keep in touch with my children and families.
I feel it is important to show our children (through example) that “physical” distancing, does NOT have to be “social” distancing. We can still enable our children to have social interactions safely by allowing them to FaceTime, Google Hangout, Zoom, etc.
It is also a perfect time for us to show our children that those who are really living alone in our neighbourhoods can be made to feel less isolated by simple phone calls and/or just sending them little notes or cards in the mailbox.
Everyone needs to understand that we all need each other to get through this stressful and isolated time.
I am a high school teacher. One of my classes is Environmental Science! They have had assignments like, talk to a parent about your water bill & take a photo of your water meter. They worked in virtual groups to present information on alternative energy sources. Some of my anatomy students have used “virtual lab partners” to complete their work. I hold twice weekly office hours on Zoom so the kids can come on and talk to each other and ask questions! It has been hilarious!
As a parent, I am making sure my kids can FaceTime and use apps like MarcoPolo to send messages to their friends. One of my kids is enjoying becoming pen pals with her best friend from school.
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I have “liked you” forever on Facebook 🙂
Just started following you on Instagram!
My district is using Google Meet and Google Classroom as well as weekly phone calls to families and students. Our Student Support Services Department also compiled resources for families and posted them in one place on our district website.
My library is offering interactive story read alouds, story times, crafts, book chats, and game nights using Zoom. The children are able to communicate and interact with the librarians – which is what they need – interacting and connecting with someone outside their home.
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Our family is spending more undistracted quality time together!
I am encouraging my son to use Facetime to visit with his cousins on the East Coast.
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Facebook, classroom, e-mail, duo and zoom.ml
And Marco Polo has been a great app
We are using lots of FaceTime and sending snail mail
I am connecting with my students through virtual meeting platforms.
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I am hosting virtual lunch bunches for the younger students and virtual “hallway hangs” for the middle school!
I keep connected with the kids by having a Zoom meeting once a week. We are doing a Virtual Spirit Week. The kids love it! We talk about their learning at home, activities, and encourage each other. Miss and love them!
I am staying InTouch with Families through, weekly phone calls and text messages 3 times a week. We also started a weekly Zoom Meeting so the kids can see other kids.
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I am currently student teaching and I host zoom video meetings, so my students are able to stay connected! They love just spending time talking and catching up with their classmates. It’s so wonderful seeing all their smiling faces!
I speak to students and their parents weekly and offer them assistance with academics or their emotional needs
I have been reaching out to families through email with videos, links, online resources, and attached printables to support my Firsties at home. We have recently started face-to-face meetings which allow us to interact and learn together. Read loud books are at the center of our reading instruction, and this book looks like a valuable resource to help children understand their connection to the world.
I have been reaching out to families through email with videos, links, online resources, and attached documents to support my Firsties at home. We have started face-to-face meetings where we can inter act and learn together. Read aloud books are the center of our first grade reading instruction! This book, Me, You, & the Universe looks like another valuable teaching tool to show students their connections to the world! Thank you!
We’ve been working in the garden, reading bible stories, cleaning, cooking, and laughing.
We are still open providing education services to essential workers. We are communicating with our other families via email and phone. The children have been talking about their “missing” classmates so we plan to let them make pictures/cards for them.
In our district and at our school, we are making sure to reach out and connect with students directly at least once per week. That may happen in Zoom instructional and meeting times, via phone, some students prefer email contact, and other available forms. In my case, I have the most success with Zoom, because the students really seem to enjoy the chance to see and talk with one another and socialize in the most face to face way we can at this moment.
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I followed you on Instagram 👍
I followed you on Pinterest 👍
I followed you on Twitter 👍
I liked you on Facebook 👍
During this time of separation, I’m holding zoom class meetings and sending videos to my kindergarteners while sharing their work on twitter. I’m also in constant contact with them through google classroom and remind. It’s been difficult not seeing them in person, but photos and zoom video chats have been joyful.
I am using Google Meets and Zoom to connect with kids for lessons and general checking in. Emails and phone calls remain a staple for us. Weekly Smore newsletters with links to teacher created videos have also been appreciated by our families.
We have used multiple platforms to foster connections with friends and family members: daily Zoom classes and meetings with peers (and teachers), WhatsApp video calls with grandma, Skype calls with other relatives, FaceTime with friends, and gaming extravaganza’s with friends via tablet and Nintendo Switch (after virtual school weekdays and on the weekends). And, to connect at home and keep our spirits hopeful, bird watching in the backyard, games of catch, and impromptu dance parties.
I am an elementary school counselor. I have started creating videos of short lessons, read-alouds, and kindness challenges that teachers are including on their private grade level Facebook page or Google Classroom. I don’t know who loves it more… me or the kids!
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We are meeting via Zoom, Facetime and phone calls. I miss being with them and the our impromptu conversations.
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I am sending activities and goals to my parents as something they can do at home and not have to travel or be in the public. I ask my parents often if they or the kids need help with anything. Tell them to stay home wesr mask if they need to go out.
We are all connected. A message I try to exemplify in stories shared in the library. Stories about cultures, family, our planet, our universe… And how stories have traveled around the world since the beginning of time.
Thank you for this opportunity. I am not the most techy person in the room, and this online education deal has my brain stretching in new directions. But I can’t lose contact with my students, that just would break my heart. Our school is using Microsoft Teams and I “visit” their classes. I’ve called some at home, and just recently I recorded a You Tube video of me reading a book for an SEL lesson and posted it in Canvas. They are already responding, so I am excited about that connection. I would love to add this one to our Counseling library!
I am video chatting and sending emails daily.
Every single day my child calls her grandparents to tell them about her day (school homework, pets, amusing activities, meals, helping mom with the garden, etc.) and then they share their own with her. We stay connected emotionally in that way, and I´m teaching my parents to use some apps via cellphone.
We share with family members different kinds of games and gamelike activities by means of videocalls, video/audio recordings, pictures to challenge our kids (and adults, too). We also exchange different links to websites with films, plays, reading and/or picture books for children and the like.
My son’s school is conducting zoom classes which includes student collaboration.
I am reaching out to children in my social skills group through Marco Polo. The parent can play my recording of the story when they have time and they can respond back at some point.
My library is offering Zoom story times and craft alongs for children! Not easy!
By sending my students messages of hope and using mindfulness to get us all to connect not just with the universe at large, but with our inner worlds so we can remain fully present!
I’m using Class Dojo to keep in touch with students and parents. I am also using Google Classroom for my students to interact with each other by posting Flipgrid videos and responding to fun questions.
HI, here from California. Our school district (LAUSD) closed down physically. I am a teacher of the early education division with 2-4 year olds. Since closing, I have talked with all parents and started a weekly zoom meeting. There I have a whole group experience with the little ones. and educate the parents on how to teach their children and get them ready for kindergarten. I provide various resources available to them at this time in crisis.
As a high school teacher of English Language Development Newcomers, We have started online learning since our schools officially closed for the year in Pennsylvania. I have a teacher web page through School Pointe on the school district website. I’m also using Google classroom and communicate with my students through their school email accounts. I love using Usborne books as teaching tools since the information is presented with colors, graphics, and large fonts. I hope to be chosen as a winner of Me, You, & the Universe! Thank you for the opportunity!
I am a preschool teacher. I try to connect with the children by sending some worksheets based on the theme for the week (that my co-teacher and I have set). I have been sending arts & crafts suggestions too, and links to educational websites/activities. The parents have been replying positively and show finished printed worksheets and the other activities the children have been busy with!
I was already your follower on Pinterest:)
I just followed you on Instagram and am excited to see daily posts!
I liked on faecbook and follow you.
I am a school counselor for a K-8 private school and have been creating a google form feelings check in for all students and posting weekly mindulness videos and ither tips. I also want to share some stories online to my students & love your resources!
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I follow on Instagram.
I follow on Twitter.
I follow on Facebook.
We are using Google classroom and Google meet.
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I am following you on pinterest under my firstname.lastname@example.org account!
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As a counselor, I created a google classroom and invited my whole 6th grade students to join and those that joined have access to resources to help them destress, stay calm, mindful and I have set up google hangout meets with them to check up on them and just talk about what they are doing. I asked them what kinds of things they want from the classroom set up and we will be doing fun things like a scavenger hunt right from the meet up so they are looking forward to that! I really miss my kiddos!
I am sending fun, simple activities weekly to all students at my school. (I am the principal). Helping staff stay connected and calm as well.
We, as an agency, are staying as connected as possible through this time of physical isolation by trying to provide some normalcy to the chaos around us. We are providing lesson bags left at specified locations, providing supplies as needed, staying connected with families and children by means of technology when possible. While connected to children, being sure to speak about the abrupt changes as much as possible and providing encouragement towards a different, but positive, future. We are trying to help children and families understand the change and support each other as we go through this together.
We have created Google classrooms to share what is happening at “school” with those who are at home. Our early childhood center is still open for the children or essential workers. We are also helping the children stay connected with each other and with the staff by having short zoom meetings twice a week, just to say hello and share a story and song.
We are using google classroom and google meet to engaged with students. We also use flipgrid, have surprise guest speakers/visitors and have virtual field trips to keep everyone connect.
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This book would complete my office theme for this year, which was a galaxy. My office was called the affirmation station.
My kids are doing all of the Zoom and Facetime, but they are also participating in the library’s story time at 10am everyday.
We are doing google classroom chat. I also tutor the kids from 7-9 at night and on the weekends over classroom chat individuality. Sent out good morning chatsa and have a nice weekend chats.
I am connecting with my students and their caregivers daily through class Dojo, and one on with students through Google meet. Additionally, I have called and emailed all of my families multiple times and gone to ever students house ,dropping off supplies and a non educational surprise for each of my students to play with outside. With a colleague, I have made a mindful, stress release video and sent this to all of the families in our building.
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We are utilizing zoom mtg platform, google classroom and I created an interactive webpage with lessons and opportunities to participate in contests and live kids yoga activities.
Since I work at an small, independent therapeutic school in a rural state, our first goal was to get every household hooked up with a reliable internet source (thank goodness for free offers during this time!). I make sure to check in with students on a regular scheduled basis and have connected them with peers through parent “open houses” (which is not a regular thing for our families). I am also hosting staff “drop ins” during sessions for students to see their support staff while learning from home. We are working as a team to make sure that all our families have access to the things they need and support with the academics.
We are using weekly Zoom meetings with the class just to be social and keep in touch. I also do phone calls and emails and use Loom to help my students with learning at home.
We are using Zoom. Facetime, Google classroom, whatever is availabe and works for parents. Some teachers are doing storytime for their classrooms, teaching a lesson, some are doing “Going on a Bear Hunt” around the community. The neighborhood is placing bears in their windows to participate. Teachers are driving through the neighborhood blowing the horn and waving to their students. Teachers are making weekly phone calls. We check on their needs and try to help in any way we can to get those needs met.
I teach Japanese at the secondary level. We are staying connected through Google Class and weekly Google Meets. We are using our Japanese vocabulary to talk about our feelings and staying healthy!
In addition to Zoom meetings for check ins, story time, and sing alongs, we use padlet to post photos of activities children have been doing at home and also ideas for parents from teachers.
I am a Kindergarten teacher and we are working to keep our classes connected every day. We post our plans for all of our regular lessons on Google Classroom and that’s fine but what they miss most is definitely seeing each other. We try to meet in small groups of about 6 at least once a week so kids can see me and their classmates. I ask them to prepare by bringing something to share: a favorite book of the week, a piece of writing they did, a pet… And we have been posting schoolwide “spirit days” so kids can post photos of themselves and their families on our google classroom – hat day, school t shirt, kindness message signs, chalk messages of care and hope…. And I try to make a video for them of me doing each (How to make a paper hat… my chalk design video… me doing our ABC yoga in school shirt, etc.) so we stay in the know about each others’ days. For April – National Poetry month- I started sending a fun poem a day and we are all practicing to recite our favorite and record to share with all. Anything that makes them know I am thinking about them and they can share with each other. The social connection is what is most essential right now for all of our emotional health!
We are utilizing Google Meets with our students to allow them to connect with classmates, their teacher and school community!
Google Classroom, my blog on my website and FlipGrid videos.
I am connected to students through Schoology, SeeSaw, Google Meets, and email. As a library media specialist, I have been doing lots of problem solving. I have been jumping into Google Meet sessions with classrooms to say hello and this week I am reading stories with some of the classes. It is nice to see those that are present, but miss the friends who are not able to join.
I have been encouraging parents to help their children learn at home through websites, blogs and ideas for a while. Articles are arranged by age-groups on my website. I often refer parents and caregivers to websites such as yours to guide their children’s learning.
We are working together as a school to communicate with our students as much as possible, providing them with fun and engaging family activities.
We are staying connected through zoom, phone calls, and I am driving by to wave hi to my students
I have been doing bi-weekly Zoom Calls with my 2 & 3 year olds, so that they can see me and each other! I have also been recording myself reading books, to share with them.
I’m a psychologist in a special education preschool. I am conducting online social skills groups, making interactive videos (that is, co-hosted Zoom videos) with our music therapist, and consulting with parents on family interaction and keeping their kids connected.
I am staying connected with my students/families through the google apps (voice/hangouts/mail). I am also utilizing Zoom to do video conferences and screen share. I have my own kids connected to their friends with Messenger Kids.
We are having weekly Google Meets with students to allow them to connect with classmates and their teacher. At secondary school level, students are doing them with their advisory teacher.
I am having children draw pictures to show how they feel and send to their families. I also encourage the parent to video child to express their selves and allow child to see themselves by watching the video. I also encourage them to do an activity by using music and going for a walk and talking about what the child and parent see and I also send parents web site information to help stimulate their child’s interest.
We’re teaching through Google Classroom
At my school, we are using Seesaw as the learning platform. I make guided relaxation and Mindful Movement videos or read stories related to feelings.
I have pinned the book and am now following you on Twitter!
I am a middle school teacher, and trying to connect daily with my students. It’s not easy to get in touch with them. I much prefer seeing their faces in school!
I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher. I have left most the technology to the general education teachers and have sent home packets that are more hands on for my students. I do once a week google hangout with my students. We have done show and tell one week, next we drew a picture of a frog together, and this week we will do a social story with Tom Cat and Tabby Cat. I have been able to work on most of their goals this way and have gotten some good data.
I work for Head Start as a preschool teacher. Every day, 3 times a day, I send out activities for the families to do with their children, requesting pictures so that I can also complete my observations on each child. I am also doing Virtual visits- where I am meeting with the families through Google Duo. The families love it, and so do the kiddos!
I work with primary students. Teachers are connecting with Zoom meetings. Lessons are sent out through Google slides/Google Classroom. Kinder and 1st grade teachers communicate via See Saw, and everyone also uses Flipgrid. The “Specials Teachers” and I (a counselor) have a slide with multiple activities/lessons embedded in each grade level’s slides.
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As the school psychologist for the building, I have been working with teachers on ways to incorporate social-emotional learning and social connections into their “virtual classrooms.” Sometimes it is an activity they post for the children to do at home and then share in either Google Classroom or the SeeSaw app, so their classmates can see it. Currently, we are working on helping the children videoing themselves singing a song their music teacher taught them while they were still in school; then we are going to make a video of the children singing it together.
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I follow you on Twitter and often share your resources with others! Thank you for all that you do to support educators and families!
As a Early headstart teacher I continue providing families home activities. I do weekly check in to see children interact with their teacher or friends through zoom. Also I provide resource for families needs from other communities working together with educators. We provide meals for the families as well weekly from the children school meals.
I like you on Facebook and often share your resources with others!
We are keeping families engaged with distance learning activities and then sharing ideas and fun stories on our webpages. This is a fabulous book and I’d love to add it to our library.
I have been calling parents and students at least twice weekly and using video conferencing to meet with parents and students to support them in this time. I also email students and parents and use google classroom to post resources for coping in these stressful times. Students love using video conferencing to connect to me and their classmates. What they miss the most seems to be the connections with others.
I am teacher for a school within a school for highly gifted children. I am helping kids stay connected to others during a time of necessary physical isolation by giving my students a venue to interact with each other. I am also designing lessons that help them cope with their feelings and gather strength and comfort from those around them. I would love to be able to share this book with my students! Thank you for doing this contest!
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Staying connected via FaceTime
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I use ClassTag to stay connected with my students and families; I post read alouds, science experiment, scavenger hunts, and encourage students to share back with me and friends. We did a zoom Go Noodle dance party to celebrate March & April student birthdays. I also mailed out postcards to all my students.
I am the Practice-Base Coach in our Early Head Start for the Classroom Teachers, so my help as been more in sharing resources with the teachers on webinars and other helpful tools to assist them in staying connected with their families and students. In my personal life, during this time, I have been caring for my daughter’s children while she works at the hospital. Together with my 9 yr. old granddaughter, we have figured out how to go on the virtual tours with her cousin who is at her own home, then we can talk about what we’ve seen and share with each other.
We’ve been doing virtual sharing on facebook and class zoom meetings.
I am staying connected through my Hornepayne EarlyON Child and Family Centre face book page. I provide suggestions for activities and have posted a book reading video. I also check up on them through private messaging. It is so important to stay connected, especially at a time like this 🙂
I am following you on Facebook.
As a retired teacher or 32 years, I stay in contact with my former students through Facebook. Since my students have children of their own, I am able to read to them some of my environmental books I have authored. I especially love to read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Since Earth Day is coming up, I share with them through the portal, different pieces of sea glass and shells, as well as forest plants like jack in the pulpit! So proud of my former students, all of them, but especially those who are now educators!
I made a yoga video with a Wake and Stretch routine & I also read a story, Pete the Cat & The Missing Cupcakes, for the are children to watch. They are posting on my works Facebook page so we are able to stay in contact families during this time. We as rea team are also making them birthday messages, other fun activities & notes to let them know they are missed & we are looking forward to our return to school!
I am posting weekly videos and lessons to help stay connected.
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Thank you for this!
I’m helping my students connect with each other through Google Meetings and by giving them space in my Google Classroom comments for them to leave messages for each other.
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As an early education teacher in a facility owned by a hospital, I am facing a strange challenge: we remain open for the care of children between ages 2 and 12 whose parents work at our hospital, while the families we normally serve stay home. So, while I may still be working, I am not connecting with my usual class. While the opportunity to work with older children is presenting a fun challenge, I miss my littles. So, we have been staying in touch with kids and parents through email, phone calls, and a video chat platform called “Zoom”. Though it is especially difficult to maintain a relationship with infants, it is nice to contact their parents; it is also nice to forge new relationships with the school-aged children we have now.
At my school we are using google meet to connect with the students . We have also started some flipguard assignments so the students can share things with one another. We are also sharing projects on our class Facebook page.
I am a preschool teacher. We have been communicating daily with our families through Teaching Strategies Gold and through email. We send resources, worksheets, recipes, and activities. I have also mailed my students a note card letting them know I love them and miss them.
I am emailing kids through Schoology and joining classroom Zoom meetings. I have made some phone calls and will be starting to send out postcards to the kids. If teachers need to check in on some kids I make those phone calls for them. We have made a video about a Second Step lesson and will be making a few more hopefully.
Sorry, I forgot, I also liked you on Facebook. I will be sure to share with others.
As an outpatient music therapist I have connected with my clients on a variety of platforms. We have created homemade musical instruments, used virtual instruments and engaged in online musical games. I have connected them to free online classes from a local music school. We started an online music therapy group, allowing my clients to see and interact with their peers.
Thank you for the lovely contest. I have followed you on Pinterest.
We currently hold virtual circle times with our Early Childhood students so we are able to interact with them. We are also sending daily tips and sharing lesson plans with our parents via Brightwheel. With my own children, they use various platforms to speak to their classmates and we are getting ready to start letter writing (it’s the return of pen pals!)
Sharing photos of things children have made, and asking parents for their comments on the process and product of what the kids have created, is a great way of keeping everyone connected!
For me, as the school librarian, I have added a page with Teacher resources and Student resources so they refer back to a tutorial posted.
As a parent, I am encouraging ‘3 connections’ to people each day. We make this part of our school day and reach out to friends, teachers, neighbors and family in different ways. It helps to keep our spirits up and gives us a sense of helping others.
The book looks so good! We are keeping children and families connected by weekly calls and zoom meetings. The children get really excited seeing teachers, staff, and their classmates during the Zoom.
We are creating online games and projects to share with classmates.
How am I helping kids stay connected to others during this time of physical isolation? I am a pre-k teacher. I have created a ClassDojo account. It took me about a week and a half to get all parents to respond. At this time, all students are able to see daily my video message and leave comments to me or their classmates. I know it is not the same, but they can see pictures of their classmates and play a message from me and choose from a variety of activities posted every day.
I am calling them and sending them notes. They can also call me day or night.
I am a cog in a big wheel at our school. I work in the special education department; and since our remote learning time, I have been checking in on families by phone a couple times a week to assist students with their lessons, get them hooked up with free breakfast and lunch programs or internet services, and try to solve any issues they might have.
We need more books like this! We need books which connect us to everything around us and plant the seed of taking care of everything around us!