Teaching and Learning Continue
In the event of the closure of campus due to a virus outbreak, natural disaster or other circumstance, in-person classes may be suspended, but Bright School will continue to provide instruction when possible. Our distance learning plan mirrors our current curriculum and student objectives used in the classroom. Though learning may take place remotely, our mission for meaningful teaching and learning still continues.
Below are examples of the instruction we provided during spring 2020.
Using the Zoom platform, each classroom for grades JPK-3 meets daily to connect and talk about the day's assignments. A teacher may read a book to the students. Students may share something they have been doing at home. There may be special days like wear pajamas or bring a pet to the morning meeting. Fourth and fifth grade students switch teachers for math, reading and writing blocks during regular school. That continues during a campus closure. Those grades have Zoom meetings by homeroom, blocks and entire grades during the week. This is a way for teachers and students to stay connected and continue their sense of community within the classroom.
During regular school, grades 1-5 meet every Friday for an assembly led by our fifth graders in the Centennial Theater called Bright Fest Friday. During distance learning, we turn to Zoom for an all-school Bright Fest Friday. Two or three fifth graders will lead the assembly by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, reading announcements and listing the recent birthdays for students and teachers. Head of School O.J. Morgan speaks to the students. The assembly concludes when music teacher Cindy Beirne leads the singing of The Bright School Song.
The daily schedule and instruction for our youngest students is created to be age-appropriate and manageable at home for busy parents. PK and JPK teachers provide daily instructional videos for parents to follow at home and offer ideas for activities to do. Kindergarten students have small group times with teachers as their age and maturity allows them to participate in live meetings with teachers and classmates. Activities students can do at home are hands-on and fun.
Within the distance learning framework for first, second, and third grade, students receive pre-recorded teacher mini-lessons and guided practice for reading, writing, math, and spelling. The structure of delivering meaningful pre-recorded lessons gives students and families opportunities for additional reinforcement and schedule flexibility throughout each day. Students have the opportunity to post and turn in assignments through Seesaw. During the day teachers may also hold help-class, small group sessions, and one-on-one conferences via Zoom to support students' understanding and new learning within each content area.
Daily schedules for fourth and fifth grades models the regular school day in which students are divided into three blocks of academic time for reading, writing and math. Social studies takes place in the homeroom and sometimes within the three main blocks. Students meet with teachers and classmates via Zoom during their blocks once a day. Assignments are posted online. Teachers have the flexibility to offer small book club meetings, writing conferences, help class and one-on-one conferencing as needed.
Classrooms meet with special area teachers in a six-day rotation during regular school. In distance learning, special areas also meet on a rotated basis every day. Assignments and videos are posted on SeeSaw, and students may choose to do those activities. Special areas include music, art, shop (woodworking), technology, library, P.E., Spanish and science (grades 1-5).
Bright Fit is an week-long all-school event held every other year in rotation with Bright World. Bright Fit encourages families to be active and healthy through good habits. During COVID-19 in spring 2020, we held Bright Fit virtually, and students participated at home. They recorded activities they did such as washing hands properly, making a healthy food choice, helping their parents do chores, and exercising. Students earned tickets by doing this activities, and then they turned in the tickets online for a chance to win prizes. After Bright Fit Week, the coaches held Bright Fit Fridays, and students could join in live exercise routines each Friday.
Lego Build Challenge
Ready. Set. Build! While students are at home during the school day, they may need some extra activities to keep them busy. Renee' Kropff, our assistant head of school and director of technology, leads a Lego Build Challenge for students. Several times a week, she sends out a video that includes the build challenge topic. Students have built things like a rollercoaster, invention, and tallest building. Families submit pictures of the builds, and Mrs. Kropff includes them in the next video.
We have beautiful gardens at school beside the Early Childhood building and across from the science classroom. Now that we're at home, we're encouraging families to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs at home. We asked them to send us pictures to share with everyone. We'll check in a few months from now to see how much the plants have grown and if they have harvested anything yet.