What’s up in Upper Elementary this week?
By Cedar/Birch teacher Matt Long (aka “Montana Matt”)
In Upper Elementary, children are still interested in storytelling. During history class, I have them circle around a candle and pretend we are sitting around a campfire long ago listening to the stories of our ancestors. In our current situation, that is no longer possible. Instead, I have taken storytelling to a modern, electronic version. By using technology, and a bit of help from a friend, I am able to continue using storytelling to engage the students during this time with a show I call, “History: Distance Learning Style.”
Below, Upper Elementary students are immersed in their studies at home.
The online gala is just two weeks away! How will the auction work?
Secondary level World Languages adjust to remote learning
Spanish—Alexa Boss—Virtual Greetings! Spanish lends itself well to being delivered online. It certainly isn’t my preference, I miss my students and would much rather be in the classroom, but we are finding our way around the digital world. We wrapped up the third quarter with some remaining work out of the textbooks, utilizing breakout rooms in Zoom to work in small groups, and continued reading our novels: “El Nuevo Houdini” in Spanish 1 and “Esperanza” in Spanish 2/3. Students presented their research and posters on Spanish-speaking countries and we’ve been able to sprinkle in videos and interesting articles to read just as we would in the classroom.
Japanese—Atsuko Seckinger—Since our remote activity learning started, it has been a little challenging to adapt to a new learning experience for students and teachers. How can we turn this challenging situation into an advantage of learning from home opportunity? It turned out there are a few “silver lining” aspects for the Japanese language class due to the remote learning.
For example, one thing that came to mind was a virtual “show and tell” by having students share an item with the class that they are comfortable with sharing. For example, “Share something related to Japanese Anime,” “Share a musical instrument,” “Share something scientific,” etc. Then the students explain their item in Japanese. The students often made personal comments regarding their items, and that made us feel a little more close to one another.
For the Japanese culture class, we did the same basic type of “show and tell” activity. The theme for them was to share something that represents another country’s culture. It turned out to be such a wonderful learning opportunity for everyone. The items that the students shared ranged from musical instruments to religion-related cultural items. What was so wonderful through this opportunity was to see the students learning something new from their peers, not from textbooks or the teacher. When the students saw their peer's items that were important to them, they listened to one another very intently and learned about them in such a respectful manner.
I thought this was it! The primary purpose of the Japanese Culture class is to introduce Japanese culture in general, but I also wanted this class to be a platform to share other countries' culture as well. The significance of learning about different cultures is not only understanding about it but also, and perhaps more importantly, to listen about something new with an open mind. Because of the remote learning, we were able to do it virtually “in person” online! While the remote learning has some challenges, it also has given us an opportunity to shift from “classroom to home” to “home to classroom”!
Below, High School students worked on Math Club together before the social distancing rules were in place.
Lower Elementary—music, continent studies and art
Lower Elementary students and families were introduced to their new music teacher on Tuesday. She is Virginia Navarro, owner of Seashell Music Together, the provider of our music program. Some students may remember that Virginia worked with Cece Leavitt on a LE music presentation a couple of years ago. Virginia created several short videos this week about drumming, rhythm patterns and movement, and the students could enjoy and follow along with them. Next week she will hold some short Zoom classes in which students can share and play music “together”.
A Hawthorn student wove an artwork from items found in nature, and a Spruce student created a Salish First Nation-inspired art project for Continent Study. He chose to study North America, and the eagle as his animal.
Toddlers loved to help this week
Toddlers showed their interest in practical life skills, helping out with vacuuming, baking and cooking. They had fun riding bicycles and celebrating a birthday.
Early Childhood—practical life, math and science
In the Dogwood class, a student engaged in a carrot-peeling work, and a classmate enjoyed her baking project. Another student worked on her math using items from home and engaged with her teacher via Zoom, while another conducted experiments in photosynthesis.