Weekly Update - Owl #16

Hybrid Learning Week 12 - Staying Remote

Sadly, we are staying remote for a bit...

Happy New Year! I'm sure the students are as disappointed as we are that we'll be fully remote this next week. Hopefully, our two communities will see a decline in positive tests and we can return to in-person learning sooner than later. We will revert to our fall remote learning schedule for this next week. The only point of difference is that the students will receive all of their academic instruction from me with the exception of their specialist classes. So, if those alarms are still programmed into your child's iPad, it's time to turn them back on.

As you likely remember, each day will offer whole-class instruction in mathematics, reading, writing, and science/social studies. Instructional blocks are scheduled for approximately thirty minutes. In addition, there are mandatory "house meetings" each day to offer small group instruction, check-ins, and support as needed. There is also a drop-in extra help session available on Wednesday. We feel this schedule, although the days are a bit long (9:00 - 3:30), will allow for all core instruction, small group instruction, and independent work time for the children. It will also allow for breaks from their screens. Please let me know if your child becomes stressed as we return to remote learning and the assigned work. We're hoping for a smooth transition and we promise to be responsive to individual needs.


Packing for Hogwarts this Week

  • A fully charged iPad
  • Chapter 2 - Go Math!
  • 3 Composition Notebooks (Dear Harry, Math, Reading)
  • Pencil box containing things like pencils, scissors, glue stick, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons, etc.
  • Whiteboard and marker

We bought a goat, a flock of chickens, and a hive of honeybees

Thank you for encouraging your child to work hard and to persevere. After reading "Beatrice's Goat" and "Three Cups" our class set our minds and hearts on being charitable during the holiday season. We asked the children to work hard toward a STMath Goal. If the class met the goal, I would buy a goat on their behalf for a family in need through Heifer International. Despite the welcome distraction of a snow day and the excitement of the holidays, the students remained focused on their work and their goal. I am happy to report, in the end, that I purchased the goat in their name. Additional donations from Prof. Griswold and individual students and their families allowed us to purchase a flock of chickens and a hive of honeybees as well. We are all so proud of the students and their commitment to this charitable endeavor.

A renewed emphasis on independent reading

As discussed after conferences, it was my full intention to launch literature circles after vacation to reignite students' passion for independent reading. While I am still determined to do so, even if we are remote next week too (fingers crossed that we won't be) it will be postponed for at least a week. Instead, we will begin reading "A Boy Called Bat" together this week. I chose this book for two reasons. The students have access to it digitally through an app on their iPads called Epic but more importantly because it is a beautiful story. Please ask your student about the book as we move through the next couple of weeks. My sincere hope is that it will inspire our students to become more empathetic and thoughtful.

I will launch some version of literature circles the following week. Ideally, we'll be back in school and I'll be able to place "real" good-fit books in the students' hands versus digital books read on an iPad. However, we'll be flexible. Is anyone else growing a tad bit tired of all this flexibility? I remain faithful that some of the lessons students are learning through this pandemic are precisely those lessons most critical for their development. At least that is my hope!

Staying Connected

Let's continue to stay connected. Please reach out should you have any questions or concerns. Also, always feel free to share triumphs you're noticing in your child. We love hearing stories of growth and increased independence. We are committed to helping your child overcome obstacles and to set and work toward meaningful goals. As a parent myself, I know how tricky navigating parenting during typical days is let alone during a pandemic. Let's continue to keep the dialogue open as we move through the school year. Don't ever hesitate to contact us.