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4th grade teacher finds creative way to take class photo during pandemic

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At John Stockton Elementary in Ortega Forest, the traditional way to end the year is to take a class photo. But with distance learning in place, that’s not possible. That’s when fourth grade teacher Beth McElhone got an idea.

“My kids really enjoy looking at my other class photos,” McElhone said. “When they line up at the end of the day, they all stand and look at all the different kids that I’ve ever taught before. So I wanted to make sure that they had the same opportunity to be on my classroom wall. A lot of teachers have been doing these bitmoji classrooms and it’s just themselves in their classroom. So I was trying to find a way to put us all together.”

So she went to work. First, she had to learn how to do it. Then, she had to make each bitmoji as much like each student as possible. A task easier said than done.

“I found a tutorial online on how to do it and I was like, okay, it’s gonna take a while but it will be worth it,” McElhone said.

It took her nearly all day to complete, but in the end, she nailed it. Here’s an example of one of the children and the bitmoji McElhone made.

A student at John Stockton Elementary (right) and the bitmoji created by his 4th-grade teacher, Beth McElhone to take the place of the traditional classroom photo.
A student at John Stockton Elementary (right) and the bitmoji created by his 4th-grade teacher, Beth McElhone to take the place of the traditional classroom photo. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

“I’m just planning on doing some fun things,” McElhone said. “Next week, I’m trying to figure out ways to incorporate the things that we would naturally do at the end of the year. So one of the things that we always do is a board game day, so I’m trying to figure out how to play virtual board games together. Definitely, we’re going to be making a memory book online that they would obviously have to print out, but at least they’re going to have the ability to have those activities. They won’t be taken away from them.”

No doubt that when Ms. McElhone’s future classes look back on students of the past, they won’t be able to miss this year’s group, who have had an unforgettable finish to fourth grade.


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