Learning Updates for Week of March 16-20

March 20th, 2020

With the switch to offsite learning due to the coronavirus outbreak, our faculty will be sharing various curriculum highlights from their "classrooms" over the coming weeks.

Kindergarten Learns About Measurements

Our students have been engaged in a variety of interactive and creative learning activities at home. In math, students have been learning about non-standard measurement by using cutouts of their feet and hands to measure the width and height of objects around their house. They have then traced cutouts from another family member and compared their data. In our literacy centers, students have been practicing the "popcorn" (sight) words they have learned thus far by writing cards to relatives which incorporate the words, and playing Popcorn Word Bingo. To reinforce letter formation, the students have built letters with household or natural items and their bodies. Finally, the room parents even hosted a virtual playdate via Zoom!

– Betty Pryor, kindergarten teacher

Seventh Grade Students Discuss Community

This week, students shifted to their third mod of the school year. Getting acclimated to a new cohort of students over Google Hangouts has been a journey and the work that students are sharing and commenting on through our Google Classroom site has been impressive. In English class, students began the week by reading a short story and wondering about the traits of a functioning, supportive community. This student's comment captures the consensus of the class: "I think an essential trait is trust. All of the people in the story trusted each other enough to accept food from a stranger. Another essential trait is caring. Without caring all communities would collapse." Well said! In addition to this work, students took a crash course in Iranian history with John Greene, author of The Fault in Our Stars, and have just begun pre-drafting persuasive essays. I'm looking forward to how this classroom community will continue to flourish as we connect, share, and commune with each other from our respective spaces.

– Jonathan Drummey, grades 6 & 7 English teacher

Third Grade Designs Animal Rescue Centers

It's been a busy week for third graders as they have been reading the novel Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillio in English and learning about notable women in history. The students are also designing animal rescue centers, a project that involves lessons in math and science. The math portion incorporates finding the perimeter and area of different spaces within their structure. We've connected online to talk about what we've been up to and the work we are doing and many students have been enjoying Doodles with Mo Willems at lunchtime!

– Larissa Rochford '93 and Leigh Twarog, grade 3 teachers

Shakespeare Just Made Up Those Words?

In theater arts, fourth and fifth graders discovered words and phrases that Shakespeare coined. Fourth graders were given a list of words and asked to research the words and share something interesting about them. Fifth graders were given a list of idioms such as "in a pickle." They chose two idioms to illustrate. Some of the words the fourth graders researched were rant, tranquil, majestic, cater, pendant, and radiant.

– Susan Dempsey, theater arts teacher

Capstone Project Phase Nears Completion

After an excellent inaugural Studio Week, our eighth graders gained great momentum and have maintained their spirit for getting their projects completed in the days ahead. Embracing the new challenges and bringing their usual good thinking to each task, a few students are revamping their plans. This week, students connected online for small group check-in meetings. Next week we'll be moving ahead to prepare for presentations and regular mentor meetings will be resuming. We are working with purpose and making good use of video conversations to nurture the Capstone community support.

– Jennifer Friborg, Capstone coordinator

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