Nixon Elementary Weekly Update

October 5, 2020

Instruction That Works!

At Nixon, we pride ourselves on the ability to meet children where they are to move them forward in their learning. We believe that giving children a voice and choice over how they learn, where they learn, and how they demonstrate their learning is paramount in growing them into lifelong learners. We believe that no two learners experience success in school in exactly the same ways, and we know that allowing them to self-pace their learning with facilitated support is key in teaching them to own their learning. This is why we so fervently believe in our personalized approach to learning.

With COVID dramatically impacting what onsite school looks like for our learners and staff this year, our focus on creating personalized learning experiences for children has taken a pause as we swing a bit more to a traditional teaching and learning school experience this year. While we may not be able to self-pace our learners or give them opportunities to collaborate in the ways we have in the past, we are still able to provide exceptional learning experiences in all content areas.

If you were to walk into Nixon on any given day this year, you would see children engaged in a variety of lessons and learning experiences. Even though we have slid back into specific grade level classrooms and we no longer share learners between teachers, each classroom has specific lesson and instructional components which learners are accustomed to.

For example, during both the reading and math block, children are engaged in whole group instruction with their classroom teacher. This could be a mini-lesson over a specific standard, or a review of content they had been taught in a previous lesson. These whole group lessons last anywhere from 15-30 minutes, and teachers are working to increase response rates and engagement through technology tools and engagement strategies to ensure every child is an active participant in the lessons.

In addition to whole group lessons, teachers spend an hour or more pulling small groups. These groups last 15-20 minutes and children rotate from independent work tasks to small group instructional times seamlessly. During these groups, teachers target a variety of skills and standards to directly teach what learners need to know to move forward in their mastery of the standards.

During independent work time is where you would see the power of our blended learning approach. For the past 5 years, we have focused on creating and finding resources, tools, games, activities, digital content, and software that supports the skills and strategies children participate in during their whole and small group instruction. These tasks vary in length and type, but every activity is meant to enhance the learning for each child while they are working on their own. Teachers use these tasks, alongside their small and whole group instruction, to determine and assess whether learners have mastered the targeted skills.

Even though teaching and learning feels and looks different this year, we are still very proud of all of the hard work our learners and staff are engaged in every day. We are eager to go back to our personalized learning approach next year, but for now, we will continue to do what we do best; instruct, support, engage, stretch, teach, and grow our learners.

Jeni Goebel, Principal

Nixon Elementary

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Updated District Calendar

Click to see the updated district calendar.

Emergency Drills for the 2020-2021 School Year

Each year we engage learners in specific emergency drills to ensure they know what to do, where to go, and what to expect in the event of a fire, tornado, or need for a partial or full lockdown in the building. These drills help us provide a safe environment, while also keep up in compliance of state law and expectations. This year's drills look slightly different due to COVID restrictions, but it is important that we practice these drills so our learners and staff are prepared.

Teachers prepare learners by discussing the drills during community circle time and class meetings. They explain the how and why behind the drills and answer any questions our learners might have prior to the drill taking place. Below you will find the dates of our Nixon Emergency Drills for this school year. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

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CRCSD COVID-19 Health and Safety Site

This site will be updated with new information by CRCSD.

CRCSD Parent Technology Support Website

Click to find helpful technology resources for Cedar Rapids Community School District Parents and Students whether on site or online.