Fall 2021 Curriculum Newsletter

From the Butler School District Curriculum Department

Back to tradition...with a modern twist

The 2021-2022 school year marks a return to tradition while at the same time continuing to leverage all of the strategies and tools we discovered as a result of virtual learning during the pandemic. For example, prior to the pandemic, teachers had begun discovering the benefits of blended and flipped learning, utilizing digital tools and learning platforms. The sudden shift to virtual learning and subsequently hybrid learning necessitated a reliance on blended and flipped learning as the main vehicles for instruction. We continue to hold on to these powerful methods of instruction as we welcome students back for fully in-person instruction this year.

What is Flipped Learning?

Flipped Learning is an approach to teaching in which direct instruction occurs at home the night before, and during class, students work to apply their learning in meaningful ways. For example, for homework one night, a teacher may assign a short video tutorial on solving equations. Then during class the following day, students will work in groups to solve real world problems by creating and solving equations. This allows the teacher to provide more one-on-one assistance, address any misconceptions, and challenge students in their thinking. In another example, a teacher may assign an intriguing video for students to watch the night before class. Then during class, students can engage in a discussion about the video and the teacher can connect it to the learning objective of the day. Flipped learning takes advantage of the time students have together in the classroom by allowing the content delivery to occur beforehand.
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Commemorating September 11, 2001

During their Social Studies classes in the first week of school, students and staff commemorated the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. At the upper grades, many students participated in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum's Anniversary in the Schools Webinar where they listened to interviews with survivors and their family members about the impact of that historical event. At the lower grades, teachers read books about the heroes of 9/11 and focused on helping the community. At BHS, Social Studies teacher Mrs. Neville-Greenwood hosted FDNY firefighter John Breen to speak to students about his experiences during 9/11.

EdCamp for our Teaching Staff October 11, 2021

Bulldog Teaching Staff spent a day in October learning from professionals and their own peers in our 4th annual EdCamp. In the morning, teachers spent time learning about blended and flipped learning, mindfulness, Genesis , creating WebQuest's, SAMR, Desmos, STMath and RtI Training. The afternoon sessions focused on team building. The staff-led afternoon activities included yoga, baking, weight training, volleyball, group track walks and neurographic artwork. Thank you to all the staff who offered to run a PD session!
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Family Math Night

The Richard Butler Math Teachers, along with RBS Student Council hosted a Family Math Night for students in grades 4-8 and their parents on October 21st. There were 10 stations of math activities such as building polygons, estimations, walking the number line, building ramps with Keva blocks and solving trivia problems. It was great to see parents working with their children to solve a math problem. Snacks were sold by the Butler High School DECA club. Thank you to all of the teachers and students that worked to make this night a success!
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New Jersey Mock Election

While the majority of our students are too young to vote in official elections, students in Grades 5-12 participated in this year's New Jersey Mock Election. Students enjoyed learning about the candidates, casting their votes, and receiving their "I voted" stickers!
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Teacher Spotlight

In this section, we will highlight some of the amazing work teachers have been doing in their classrooms.