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Valley teachers get creative with educating online during coronavirus outbreak

One Phoenix teacher uses motorcycles and the internet to engage students during the coronavirus pandemic.

PHOENIX — Several weeks have passed since Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the closure of all Arizona schools because of the coronavirus outbreak. And on Monday, he announced that they would be closed through the rest of the school year. 

Thousands of educators have since been feverishly working to get their students up to speed with online learning.

Even though the Creighton School District is closed, it's not stopping teachers like Mark Houlden from connecting with their students and doing what they do best: Fostering learning. 

As classrooms were forced to shut their doors, Houlden has stepped up with a different way to teach.

“I think being a teacher you always have to adapt," Houlden said. "Everything changes on the fly.”

Houlden teachers sixth grade science and social studies at Excelencia School Center. 

Using the internet, some creativity and his in-home setup, Houlden said he's finding ways to educate.

RELATED: Here’s how to help Arizona hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak

“I just want to make things as fun as I can, which is why I incorporated motorcycles into my science lesson," he said. 

Houlden is teaching lessons with Google Classroom in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Creating videos and our school has a YouTube channel for Excelencia School and teachers are posting up read-alouds," he added.

Supporting the creativity, Michelle Berg, Creighton School District’s director of curriculum, says they’re both supporting students and training teachers.

“Instruction on a daily basis, we’re having connections with our students that’s aligned to standards and that we’re just encouraging our students to stay connected to school and we’re providing them with the learning they deserve," Berg said.

Houlden says he doesn’t want his students to fall behind, and sent a special message just for them.

“Mr. Houlden misses you guys. I hope you’re working hard, I know you are, and we’ll see you soon.”

As for the students that may not have internet access or technology needed for learning, the district said they’re working with everyone to get them what they need, even if it’s hard copies of lessons right now.

RELATED: All Arizona schools ordered to close through rest of the school year

COVID-19 is believed to be primarily spread through coughs or sneezes. 

It may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread, the CDC says. 

You should consult your doctor if you traveled to an area currently affected by COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 

There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, so the best way to prevent COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is to:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

You can text FACTS to 602-444-1212 to receive more information on the coronavirus and to ask questions.

MORE: 12News.com/Coronavirus.