Day 5 Week 1: Learning from home – Intentional efforts to get us here

Exhausted, but proud and pleased describes how we feel at the close of Week 1 of learning from home. I want to share the intentional steps taken by the entire Trinity School community that got us here.

Joe Marshall, Head of Trinity School, challenged the Academic Leadership Team to lead the distance-learning planning, facilitation, and execution from our philosophy of learning. Here’s what we have done.

Develop, practice, and maintain foundational skills
in a multi-sensory way.

We commit to a whole-child approach to learning at Trinity.  We are taking a whole-family approach to distance learning.

To that end, we are going to use the tools and resources (Google, Seesaw, Dreambox, Keyboarding,  that we already use in learning and teaching. It is enough for our families to manage right now. We will not switch platforms or products at this time; we will not add new log-ins and new passwords any time soon.

We know that Trinity students are best served when with Trinty teachers. We did not prevent students from coming to school so that we could have a PD day to “get prepared.” We are prepared as far as communication tools go. Our students were with their teachers every day last week.  We chose to focus on student learning, and we know that we made the right decision.

We know that children learn best through intentional tasks and activities and that sitting in front of a screen for too long is unproductive.  At school, we follow a schedule to help everyone be together, and we limit the use of screen time.  While at home, our young learners will be with their families – our families – and the times will need to be scheduled by the family’s needs.

We will not have Morning Meetings in Week 1. Taking a whole-family approach, we know that families need time to adjust to their new normal. If both parents are working, they might need their child or children to sleep later in order to get work done before splitting their attention between work and learning.  Likewise, we know that our faculty members also need time – the same time  – to adjust to their new normal.  Remember, we have Trinity faculty members who are also Trinity parents.

So, in Week 1, we shared learning plans that provided multi-sensory learning experiences. A week’s worth of learning plans published to our families at 8:00 a.m. last Monday morning using our parent portal, MyTrinity. It is what we use whenever we need to send an announcement or post information.

Our teachers provided  daily math, reading, writing, and movement tasks/activities along with some Specials classes activities/tasks to emulate our current schedule.  We offered these tasks but did not schedule them. Families could choose when to learn to meet the needs and timing of home.

Over the course of the week, we saw and shared evidence of multi-sensory tasks being completed by active, engaged children. You can check it out at #TrinityLearns on Twitter and #TrinityLearns on Instagram. Some examples follow:

In Week 0, while still in the building teaching, learning with, and caring for our students, we asked teachers to embrace and enact the following goals.

  •  I can collaborate with my team to plan for age-appropriate distance learning.
  • I can plan, organize, and share age-appropriate activities that develop, practice,  and maintain foundational skills in a multi-sensory way.

Candidly, these two goals are the Trinity way of teaching and learning in or out of distance learning.

I grabbed one day’s worth of plans to share the level of planning for one day in a very short time while continuing teaching and learning together. Note: This is not any one day. It is a mock-up using actual activities/tasks from several different grade levels. I have asked teams for permission to share their full plans next week. As we move into Week 2, we will again adjust to a new “more” normal.  We know our teachers long to hear from and see their students.

We know the reverse is true too.

I hope you can see the deep, intentional, multi-sensory learning our teachers have provided. In Week 2, we will “see” each other more and more, asynchronously and synchronously.

I’ll keep you posted.

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