Here is the first in a series of a community reflection project, "5 Things We've Learned in Confinement." In the coming weeks, we will share the reflections, insights, and activities of our community members, from students and parents, to faculty and staff. Although confinement has certainly presented our community with challenges, we have also learned a great deal and shown our creativity, ingenuity, and resilience.
Presenting the first installment of "5 Things We've Learned in Confinement," a family edition from one of our wonderful Lower School families!
Ellie, K4: I've learned how to ride my bike. I've learned how to make my own lunch. My favorite lunch is a tuna sandwich. I can find my Seesaw App on my mommy's phone and can do the calendar, superstar song and beginning sound search all by myself.
Hazel, Grade 2: I have learned not to work so speedy. I am working on being more careful with my handwriting and spelling. I've learned how to use Stop Motion. Before school closed, I checked out a new book from the library, Merlin Missions. I really liked this book and found out it was a series. My mom and dad got me a Kindle, so now I can read all the Merlin Mission books. I am on number 13. I am reading chapter books now and am reading a lot.
Charlotte, Grade 5: I have learned how to use Zoom really well. I even help my mom and sisters. I have learned different ways to tell a story – I've used iMovie, Stop Motion, journalism and illustration, poetry and regular writing. One thing I like in distance learning is the flexibility. I like it when my teacher gives us a short assignment and we get to decide how we want to present our work.
Sometimes we get to decide which topics we want to research and write about. Right now in Math I am measuring different monuments. One that I chose was the Little Mermaid from Denmark where we used to live. I also found a mermaid statue that was discovered under the sea. I miss my friends and teachers a lot, but I like spending time with my family, too.
Jennifer, Mom: As their mother, I am a bit embarrassed to admit, but I have been learning that my kids are actually more capable than I had given them credit for. I feel like distance learning has given me an opportunity to see my kids in a new light, as independent, motivated learners. Particularly for the older two, I have been blown away by their levels of organization and responsibility for their schoolwork. They've never attended a school that assigned much in the way of homework, so I've never really had the chance to see firsthand that they know what they need to do and will get it done without too much of my oversight.
My husband and I have always been huge proponents of student-centered learning, which is why we have felt so at home at ASP. However, actually watching the benefits of this pedagogy play out right in front of our eyes has been incredible. I had not appreciated the amount of creativity and ingenuity that goes into this teaching process – both on the part of teachers and students. It truly is night and day from my childhood experience of listening to a teacher lecture at the front of the class and filling in worksheet after worksheet.
Our kids are given so much freedom to take ownership of their learning. Their teachers regularly offer a variety of options for ways in which they can engage in their lessons, whether it is having them choose from a number of possible strategies to solve a math problem or different writing techniques to express their thoughts about a given passage in a read-aloud. Their assignments tend to be relevant to them and connected to their world. For my kids, this has meant that they are nearly always motivated to dig into their work, often want to go beyond what is asked and feel such a tremendous sense of pride for what they have accomplished...because it truly is their own, unique work.