Distance Learning Roundup

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

Despite a few technology hiccups, students successfully navigated their first full week of distance learning at Gaynor, and teachers found numerous ways to incorporate education and fun in their virtual classrooms.

In the Orange Cluster, Head Teacher Jackie Dobish incorporated the RULER Mood Meter during her reading group. 

Students had to respond to the statement, “If I were on the Sea Foam when it hit the rocks, I would have felt _____ because ______.” Students made emotional connections to the text by thinking about how they’d feel if they were on a boat that was pushed into rocks by a big wave. Ms. Dobish’s reading students replaced the first space with a feeling word, and the second space with their reason.

Some of the feeling words chosen were “scared,” “confused,” and “mad.” 

In the Yellow Cluster, students from Head Teacher Jensen Pincus’ class began an Acts of Kindness initiative. 

Ms. Pincus, Assistant Teacher Miriam Filer, and Speech and Language Pathologist Gabrielle Kawalick spoke with the students about the importance of performing acts of kindness during this challenging time, and how these acts can help make everyone’s life more positive. 

Ms. Filer said, “We brainstormed together and made up a list of different ways the students can be helpful around the house, and also supplied them with a sample calendar of acts.”

Each week the students will post their kind acts on a digital bulletin board called Padlet. The board already has numerous posts from students about the different acts they have performed.   

“As you can see, the students are very enthusiastic about helping out at home,” Ms. Filer said.

Silver Cluster students from room 601 brought their “Think Outside of the Box Thursday” activity to their virtual classroom this week.

During the activity, students received the beginning of a drawing and had to complete it by thinking creatively. 

Head Teacher Jane Moskowitz said, “We managed to do one this morning during our morning check-in, and it was such fun.”

She said the one parameter that students were given was that their drawing could not be a peace sign, because she felt that was the obvious drawing. 

“Results were great and so creative — one student drew a dog, another drew a rocket ship, someone else drew a tree, and so on,” Ms. Moskowitz said.

In Blue Cluster Head Teacher Amanda Shaw’s advisory class, students responded to a writing prompt that asked them to reflect on how they felt coming back to school through distance learning. 

They also had to discuss some of the positives and challenges they faced this week.

“To go along with this writing prompt, I had the students place themselves on the Mood Meter and come up with a visual representation for how they felt,” Ms. Shaw said.

The students then held up their visual representations for their classmates to see.

These are just a few of the examples of students and teachers finding educational and fun ways to connect with one another through distance learning.