The Big Cat Courier
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The Friday Update
As our first week of Distance Learning on Microsoft Teams comes to a close, our students, their families, and the Barnard staff have all had the opportunity to experiment navigating the platform. Over the next several instructional days, you will notice an increase in the amount of daily academic work being posted. This "soft opening" is intentional and designed to help students adjust to the shift from paper and pencil learning tasks to a virtual classroom setting.
If you are still finding it challenging to help your child navigate Teams, please click the link to find the Teams resources that EPS has put together for families.
For Families Still Without Access to a Device
Please click the link to find resources on getting your loaner device up and running.
For Families With Only a Shared Device
For Families Struggling with WiFi
Advice from a Dad and Educator
Earlier in the closure I shared some of the strategies that were working at home for me. Now that we're approaching two months, here are some thoughts on making it all work:
-Sticking to as normal a schedule and routine as possible:
That's easier said than done, right? By scheduling your day so kids know more or less what to expect, I've found that my first grader is more receptive to getting into his academic work. We try to stick to bedtimes, a morning breakfast time, chore times, etc... It isn't perfect every day but it has helped to create a feeling of normality. Hey, at this point I can even get my first grader to wear clothes instead of pajamas...on most days!
-Flexibility with Distance Learning Work:
Being flexible about when and how daily work gets done. Kids at the primary level need to move, take breaks, eat a snack, etc... Trying to work through all of the day's material in one sitting isn't realistic for most students and will likely lead to work avoidance and task resistance.
-It doesn't need to be perfect:
Our goal for Distance Learning is to keep kids engaged and learning. Schools understand that student work is going to look different than it would during a more traditional school year. It's important for families to know that they have some leeway in how their child gets school work done. Most of my younger son's work is completed early in the morning before my workday starts and then gets finished late in the afternoon once my workday ends. We occasionally save some tasks for the weekend during weeks where our schedule has flown out the window. In short, make Distance Learning fit the needs of your child and your family.
I'll close by reiterating my opening thought that it's okay to feel unsettled by the changes we're all experiencing in our lives right now. It's normal to feel frustrated by trying to keep up with all of it. However, we are all experiencing it together, even if we feel like we're alone due to our current circumstances.
Stay safe, stay well, and remember that we're all Big Cats!
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This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week!
Teachers, thank you for all you do for our students and families! And thank you to our PTO for their thoughtful signs!