All posts by Jill Gough

Learner, Love Questions, Problem-finding, Math w/technology. Interests: Collaborating, PLC, Formative Assessment

Day 50 (Day 5 Week 10) Learning from home: #ThankYouTeachers: You are loved

Trinity School is a community of learners. I keep saying writing: we are teaching and they are learning. We are learning too.”

Multisensory, active, deep learning experiences are a cornerstone of our learning and teaching. Intentional, purpose-driven, and playful are cornerstones of our learning, too.

On this last day of the 2019-202 school year, I want to again say thank you to our teachers.  You are celebrated! Here is what professional learning has looked like over the course of our year.

We have so much fun together playing to learn!

On this last day of the 2019-2020 school year, we gathered in the parking lot of our school to celebrate our students and families and, in turn, they celebrated us. What an honor.

The children say it best! You are so loved.

#ThankYouTeachers

Together and apart… we are a community of learners.

We are Trinity School.

I love you, and I miss you.

Day 49 (Day 4 Week 10) Learning from home: ‘Get to’ vs ‘Have to’

Words really matter.  Think of the difference in these two sentences with only one word changed.

I have to go to school today.

I get to go to school today.

We might have been taking for granted the privilege of going to school.  Not anymore. We need each other and our students/children need and want to be together. We build and strengthen relationships. We learn from and with each other. 

While the days are long, the years go by so fast.  One minute you are (or have) an Early Learner grappling with sounds, letters, numbers, friendship, kindess and more, and then blink, you are (or have) a middleschooler ready for the next school and adventure.  

Today’s the day. Our last day of the 2019-2020 school year. Normally, the building would be buzzing with excitement, joy, and cleaning. Lots of cleaning: cubbies, papers, notebooks, tables, chairs. Oh, and love. Love is in the air.

This rite of passage brings a sense of accomplishment: Look at what I did! Students, parents, and teachers all experience this sense of accomplishment and pride.

Look at what I did! “I am now an X-Grader.” 

Look at what I did! “I now have an X-Grader.”

Look at what I did! “They are now ready for X-Grade.”

Teachers and parents: We have to be proud. We get to be proud.  We have been teaching, and they are learning.  It has not been easy.  The relationship between home and school is an important connection in the life of a child and family.  The distance between home and school is an important marker for our children. There are more people in the world to love. We need them, and they need us. Not everyone is like me and my family. There is more to learn and love. We must learn how to love one another.

Students: You have to be proud. You get to be proud. We have been teaching, and you are learning.  It has not been easy.  That wink, nod, and smile of encouragement from  your teachers and your friends is easily missed when on a screen. I promise it was there.  We are a community of learners, ready and able to support one another.

We have to and get to remember to expect the best of each other.  Teachers are working hard behind the scenes planning, assessing, developing videos and other resources. While they make it look easy, it is so time consuming. Students are working hard behind the scenes grappling with ideas, experiencing productive struggle, and learning. Parents are facilitating learning while working from home.  I don’t know about you, but I am not really sure how to teach topics like onomatopoeia, adding fractions with unlike denominators, similes, metaphors, homophones, homonyms, phonemes, and so many other foundations skills.  I know what they are (?!?), and I can use them, but teaching them … Yikes!

Time is a variable; learning is the constant.   

The building has been closed, but our school has been open. We will be ready in the fall. Our students will be ready in the fall. 

As for today, our last day of 2019-20,
there is still a buzz of excitement, joy, and love.
Love is in the air.

We have to clean up. We get to clean up. The cleaning will happen slowing over the next couple of weeks. Lots of cleaning: cubbies, papers, notebooks, tables, chairs. 

Words really matter.

#ThankYouTeachers 

We are teaching and they are learning.

We have to teach. We get to teach.
That’s who we are. It is what we do.

We have to learn. We get to learn.
That’s who we are. It is what we do.

We learn from and with each other. We need each other and our students/children need and want to be together.

We will be ready when we get to go to school.
We will take long days over fast years.

Together and apart… we are Trintiy School.

Once a Trinty child, always a Trinity child.

Once a Trinty teacher, always a Trinity teacher.
This year, parents, that means you too!

I love you, and I miss you.

Day 48 (Day 3 Week 10) Learning from home: We have each other

At Trinity, we celebrate the present as we prepare for the future.

Let’s hear Sixth Graders’ Wisdom as they offer advice to younger students. I know that I need and will use all of this advice.

  • Cherish every day. Stay cool.
  • Enjoy field trips and outdoor ed.
  • Take a risk. Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll learn from your mistakes.
  • Have a positive mindset. Never give up.
  • Don’t put others down; instead, bring them up.
  • Things might be hard right now, but everything will be okay.
  • Remember to do your work when you find out about it, and don’t procrastinate. Do your work at a table and not your bed.
  • Try your best on all the work.
  • Wear your seatbelt and stay in school.
  •  Don’t give up just because it seems hard.
  • Dreams remain dreams until action is taken.
  • Just remember that there is always a place where you will feel at home; you just have to find it.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and bathe every day.
  • Always come prepared to class. Go back and double-check your work.
  • Be positive. Life will throw you curve balls; be positive and kind.
  • Make sure to get enough sleep.
  • Keep working on your goals no matter what.
  • Always try new things. Be willing to work with other people.
  • Don’t be nervous. Be yourself.
  • If you have questions before the end of the day, talk to your teachers before you leave.
  • Don’t stay on electronics too long. Exercise. Take up new hobbies.

Our First Graders send love and advice to our graduating 6th Graders:

 

And, let’s also hear from our teachers, friends, and colleagues.

First Grade – Be a Light from Video Archive on Vimeo.

  • Choose happy.
  • Be grateful.
  • Have faith!
  • Laugh!
  • You are loved!
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Persevere!
  • Be kind!
  • Stay true to you!
  • Stay strong!

Again, from Andra Day’s Rise Up:

All we need, All we need is hope
And for that we have each other…

We have each other. We have hope.

Quoting Thomas Benefield again:

…it has been hard. Hard, but not impossible. Hard, but not without hope and joy and expectation. If we have to do this again, we can.

… we can because this is what we do; we teach our students.

Thomas Benefield

#TrinityLearns

#ThankYouTeachers

So… remember: Cherish every day. Bathe every day. Stay true to you. Persevere! Life will throw you curve balls; be positive and kind. Stay strong!

I love you, and I miss you.

Together and apart… we have each other.

 

Day 47 (Day 2 Week 10) Learning from home: It is different; I am grateful

You know you have something good going when families ask for access to learning plans after school ends. Ten weeks of learning plans for nine grade-levels will be available all summer.

For the past 9 weeks, our teachers have been co-laboring as grade-level teams and as vertical teams to forward learning for our students while we are safe at home. Facilitation of these multi-sensory learning experiences has been both synchronous and asynchronous. You are welcome to review some of our plans here (Fifth Grade), here (Third Grade), and here (First Grade).

Week 10 offers parents the opportunity to conference about their child and their child’s learning with their child’s base classroom teacher.  While base classroom teachers are with parents, our Specials Teachers are facilitating synchronous morning and mid-day meetings with our students and offering asynchronous learning experiences too.

At my own home, my freshman daughter is finishing up her second week of completely asychronous classes with some synchronous class and advisment meetings thrown in.

I appreciate the teamwork and planning from her school. It is as intentional as our planning at Trinity.  She has projects and tasks that offer her choice and voice in her learning.

Thank you, Jack Morgan: The reflections from the poetry unit reveal her emotion, her writing ability, and are deepening her love of words and reading. I am so grateful.

Thank you, Pamela Martinez: My garage is often an art studio. The work you had to tackle to get her needed supplies was difficult and so worth it. The joy and excitement she experienced while learning a new technique helped her through the distance. I am grateful.

Thank you, Lily Liu or Laoshi: I have loved watching my child plan, research, write, and speak in Chinese. The ‘choose three out of four’ gave her the opportunity to write, video, intentionally plan, and produce in her chosen next language.  I am grateful.

Thank you, Steve Stodghill: The targeted skill practice and reinforcement to prepare for the next level of mathematics gave her credit for her previous learning while adapting to lazer in on needed review and strengthening. I am grateful.

Thank you, L. B. Joel: Customizing feedback to develop, describe, and explain an exercise routine for her as a thrower is so energizing.  She is committed to developing both strength and stamina, and she now has a plan designed for her by her with your feedback. I am grateful. (And, I am proud to have been your teacher. I love that you are her teacher.)

Thank you, Evan Munger: Your customized feedback to spur her interest in exploring with a pinhole camera – well, cameras – highlighted how well you know our daughter.  Physics, photography, and art as a culminating project for Annie is perfect.  She has learned so much about time management, engineering, art, focal length, and light. Over and over, she exclaimed “wow, I am having so much fun!” I am grateful.

I know learning has been different over the past ten weeks. But, wow! I am so grateful to have a front-row seat to experience my child’s learning, work, and passion.

I know learning has been different over the past ten weeks. But, wow! I am so grateful to have a front-row seat to experience the commitment, learning, focus, and intentional planning of Trinity School’s faculty. Ten weeks of learning plans for nine grade-levels will be available all summer.

#ThankYouTeachers

I know learning has been different over the past year.  Our test scores are up.  Our teachers are teaching and our students are learning.

I know that learning has been different.  We are learning new, different, and very important content, skills, and connections.

We are teaching and they are learning.

It is different.

I am grateful.

 

Day 46 (Day 1 Week 10) Learning from home: We can, because this is what we do.

From Thomas Benefield’s Covid19 Shutdown – A Teacher’s Perspective post:

This school year is nothing at all like anyone thought it would be. It is one that I hope no one ever, ever has to go through again because it has been hard. Hard, but not impossible. Hard, but not without hope and joy and expectation. If we have to do this again, we can. We’ve learned new skills. We pivoted. We took this situation and did the best we could, and we can do it again if we have to. We don’t want to. At all. Ever again. But we can because this is what we do; we teach our students.

Thomas Benefield

Worth repeating, paraphrasing:

We can do this again if we have to because this is what we do. We teach our students.

Thomas’s post reminded me of Rise Up from Andra Day:

All we need, All we need is hope
And for that we have each other…

I want to recognize all that we are learning, teaching, and doing. Deep academic foundation is our focus as is the depth of character.

  • We have learned academic content, social skills, emotional coping strategies, lifelong habits, and more.
  • We have explored and practiced new academic content, new ways to develop and maintain friendships and connections, time-management skills, new ways to harness the power of technology, and some things to not do again.
  • We learned that the building brings us to the same place at the same time, but does not define our community. We define our community, belonging, and comfort.
  • We learned that we want to go to school: emotionally and physically.
  • We learned that we can be together even when we are apart.

Our students are flourishing.

We are teaching.

They are learning.

We are learning, too.

Together and apart… we are Trinity School.

Day 45 (Day 5 Week 9) Learning from home: New windows into learning

For the past nine weeks, our school has been different. We are learning to use technology differently to communicate, connect, facilitate, assess, and learn.  We are teaching, and they are learning.

We focus on learning. We know we have taught when we have evidence that they have learned.  It’s not about intent; it is about impact. When we focus on learning, we move to the sideline and watch. We know learn if students are independent or dependent. Our goals are independence, confidence, and competence.

On his own, a dependent learner is not able to do complex, school-oriented learning tasks such as synthesizing and analyzing informational text without continuous support. (Hammond, 11 pag.)

For the past nine weeks, we have been working to intentionally plan and facilitate learning experiences to help dependent students grow into independent learners.

See that window?

Jill-Shop

Over the last break, I wanted to learn to make something that I’d seen my smart, creative brother make back in the summer.  Jeff, my brother, believes in learning by doing. He prototypes and seeks feedback.  How often do our learners do that or get to do that?

So, when I asked to learn, we went to work.  I received a 5-minute mini-lesson on the Kreg jig and pocket screws where I watched and asked questions.  Then, I was handed the Ryobi drill.

Generally speaking, one of our family rules has been that Jill cannot use anything that has a blade and a power cord.  So I predicted that Jeff would help me. By that, I mean stand right there beside me to keep me from making a mistake.

Nope. He was busy; working.

He did come right back to explain that the drill was a variable speed drill and asked me to slow down.  And then, he was gone again. Who knew? Variable speed so I could work at a speed where I felt confident. Amazing! I experienced success and a few failures and one do-over.

Remember that window?

Consider that window…

For the past nine weeks, we’ve had to look through the window, that screen, and analyze the video to see learning.  Our students have grown in independence.

It reminds me of this question and the following chart from Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.

How do we make opportunities, time, and space for our learners to become independent learners?

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 5.29.59 AM
From Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

 

Here’s evidence from today. How do you think we are doing?

 


Hammond, Zaretta, and Yvette Jackson. Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin. 2015.

Day 44 (Day 4 Week 9) Learning from home: Making the days count

One of my former principal’s used to say

Make the days count; don’t count the days.

Trinity School is open: caring for, loving, and teaching our students. We are making the days count.

Together and apart, we work to serve our students and their families, staying true to who we are, fulfilling our mission, and enacting our philosophy of multi-sensory tasks and activities to build deep foundational understanding. We are a team: exhausted yet encouraged, stressed yet joyful, hopeful and heartened.

In case you are wondering if deep learning experiences are still happening check out our students working through these age-appropriate activities that develop and practice foundational skills in a multi-sensory way.

Our students are growing independence, designing solar ovens to cook smores and nachos, reading, mathematizing children’s literature, maintaining relationships with their buddies, producing their own Trinity TV Book Babble segments, exercising, researching, presenting, writing, and so much more.

Here are just a few glimpses of our students – our children – doing their part to learn and to honor our routines. #Amazing

We are dedicated to our students, our children. We continue to  care for, love, and teach so that they continue learning deeply.

We are making the days count.

We are teaching, and they are learning.

Know that we are with you; we love you, and we miss you.