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Learning Updates for Week of March 30 to April 3

April 6, 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.

Pre-k Launches Lunch Bunch!

Community building and social-emotional learning are the cornerstones of pre-kindergarten education, and we are doing our best to maintain these in our offsite learning. Last week, we provided more self-recorded read alouds, songs, and movement activities. Our “Peek of the Week” video has been a favorite touchpoint for children and families. We are continuing this tradition by sending out a new kind of “peek.” Instead of images and videos depicting our work at school, we invited families to share what pre-k at home looks like! It was such a treat to see everyone so happy and engaged. This and all of our previous “Peek of the Weeks” can be found on our Pre-k Offsite Learning Site.

This week we were thrilled to introduce Pre-k Lunch Bunch! Students had lunch virtually with a few of their friends and a teacher. Lunch is always an important social time and we were eager to find a way to replicate this remotely. It was a delicious success! We loved munching, laughing, and have a special time with friends. Next week, children will have the chance to eat with different classmates and teachers.

– Kate Oznick, pre-kindergarten teacher

Sixth Grade Studies Civil Rights in America

Students in sixth grade social studies have been exploring the philosophy and mechanics of non-violent direct action. Having studied about what segregation was like in the United States, they are now looking at how civil rights advocates went about challenging it, using documentary film resources such as Eyes on the Prize and Freedom Riders. Students wrestled with questions like: How did young people change the world? Why would some people respond to peaceful protests with violence? Why would some risk their lives to take action or choose to go to jail? Why would some people who were “outsiders” choose to get involved? Students will look more deeply at the events of Birmingham in 1963 before designing individual projects focused on civil rights and human rights issues anywhere in the world. After all, this is not just about what happened in the past, it is about all of us, every day.

– Dean Spencer, grade 6 social studies teacher

Making Music With Toys

In our pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade music classes, we learned that even a toy musical instrument can be used to make music. The instruments do not need to be fancy. Mr. Toppa showed students in Ebeneezer Sneezer just that when he played on his toy ‘Keyboard Xylophone.’ The students also sang along in solfege to the song. Whatever musical instrument a student has at home (or they can make one!), this is a good time to work on music-making skills. I am practicing my baritone horn (see photo) on a daily basis. Think about how your student can use this time to explore some of their musical interests.

– Frank Toppa, music teacher

A student in the air catching an ultimate disk

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