Day 43 (Day 3 Week 9) Learning from home: Capstone tradition continues

One of the culminating experiences of a Trinity education is a capstone project. Each member of our Leadership Class takes up the challenge to research and present on a topic of their choosing. They write a research paper and give a “Ted”-like talk to their peers, teachers, administrators, and parents.

I love, Love, LOVE it.  We learn so much about our students, their interests, curiosity, and passion.

And, as a bright spot product of ‘learning from home,’ we are amazed at our students’ poise, grace, and presentations.

Kudos to the teaching team: Kailynn Boomer, Brooke Ovorus, Kristi Story, Ann Reid Young, and Sarah Barton Thomas. Your creative thinking, “we can do this” attitude, and differentiated teaching, feedback, and learning is outstanding. Our students will be forever grateful to you, as am I.

Our Leadership Class spent today listening to, applauding, and learning from their peers. And, this learning continues tomorrow.

Remember, these are 6th Graders (11-13 year-olds) sharing a question of their choosing.

Here’s what we learned about today:

Christopher: 9:45 – 10:00

What new power plant design can I create so that power plants have less carbon emissions?

Ben: 10:00 – 10:15

How can I prevent sports teams from using racist mascots in order to not offend any Native American people?

Davis: 10:15 – 10:30

How can I create a program to help make people in my community more aware of using less gasoline when operating their personal vehicles?

Break: 10:30-10:40

Connor: 10:45 – 11:00

How do I educate people about galaxies other than their own?

Vee: 11:00 – 11:15

What modifications to school supplies can I make to help left-handed students?

Robert: 11:15 – 11:30

How can I design a safer football helmet to protect players from concussions and neck injuries?

Lunch: 11:30 – 12:25

Mac: 12:30 – 12:45

How can I create an app to bring together those in need with those willing to help?

Maggie: 12:45 – 1:00

How can I create a business that would create original items from reusable plastic bags to keep them out of landfills?

Vikas: 1:00 – 1:15

How can I solve a way to make radio waves go a farther distance for engineers and software creators?

Remember, these are 6th Graders (11-13 year-olds) sharing a question of their choosing.

The future is bright!

Here’s what we will learn about tomorrow:

Hunter: 9:45 – 10:00

What is a way that I can make a smaller, lightweight, portable MRI machine?

Naomi: 10:00 – 10:15

What new quilt symbols can I create, design, and sew to make it easier for runaway slaves to understand what actions they should take while traveling on the Underground Railroad?

Mac: 10:15 – 10:30

How would martial arts during PE class be beneficial in schools?

Break 10:30-10:40

Banks: 10:45 – 11:00

How can I create a flying, solar-powered car that helps reduce traffic? 

Leighton: 11:00 – 11:15

How can I create a light bulb that sea turtles can’t see on the beach?

John Henry: 11:15 – 11:30

How can I create an awareness campaign so people near me can understand the facts about Parkinson’s?

Lunch: 11:30 – 12:25

Jude: 12:30 – 12:45

How I can educate sixth graders’ awareness of throwing trash into our ocean so they can pass their knowledge to others?

Lucy: 12:45 – 1:00

How can I show ways of kindness through photography to make an impact on the world?

Clark: 1:00 – 1:15

I can make a blueprint for a rocket ship that can hold a large number of people that also has a  reusable engine to go to the moon for NASA. 

Break 1:15-1:30

MacKenzie: 1:30 – 1:45

How can I create an online campaign to teach people how to protect themselves from hacking?

Tristan: 1:45 – 2:00

How can I create a Braille pen that will make it easier for companies to make signs for blind people?

Emerson: 2:00 – 2:15

How can I create a new food replacement to expand photo-proof options to food photographers?

Again, remember, these are 6th Graders (11-13 year-olds) sharing a question of their choosing.

The future is bright!

Kudos and congratulations to all members of Leadership Class, their parents, and the entire Trinity Faculty for fulfilling our mission and pillars.

Trinity School creates a community of learners in a diverse and distinctly elementary-only environment, in which each child develops the knowledge, skills, and character to achieve his or her unique potential as a responsible, productive, and compassionate member of the School and greater community.

Complementing this Mission Statement are the Program and Pedagogy Pillars.

Celebrating the present and preparing our students for the future within a nurturing and caring educational environment, we:

Cherish ChildhoodDeepen Students’ Educational Experience, and Empower Students in Their Learning
So that our students:
Build Academic FoundationDevelop Character Foundation, and Exhibit Continued Curiosity, Creativity, and Confidence.
I am proud of each of you.

I am proud of all of you.

I am proud of your accomplishments!

I love you, and I miss you.


Day 42 (Day 2 Week 9) Learning from home: Summer Learning for Faculty and Staff

How do we learn and grow when we are apart? Well, this is day 42, and we know we are doing it through distance learning with our students.  It is hard. It is rewarding. It is building strong teams and relationships.

On April 2, we launched the choices for summer professional learning: reading and watching. We make a commitment to read and learn every summer.

Ok…telling the truth: I was worried about sending this out to faculty and staff. We must look forward and plan for the beginning of the next school.  However, 2 minutes – literally – after I pressed send, we had a faculty member submitting their pick. And, in the first hour, we had a dozen picks. Whew! Now, a little more than a month later, all summer reading and learning choices have been made and books have been delivered to each teacher-learner.

Below is the 2020 Summer Learning flyer that announced the choices for this summer that was sent to our faculty and staff.

The results are in.

In case you are interested, links to reviews of each book are shared below as well as the two sets of TED Talks: Voices and Perspectives and Health and Wellness. #SoGood

Choral Counting and Counting Collection and Reading To Make a Difference have both been used in book study groups during this school year.  We hope to harness the power of the re-read and spread these ideas.

What are you reading/watching/doing to grow as a learner? What do you want to read/watch/do to grow over the summer? Please feel invited and encouraged to watch us (or join us) learn by following #TrinityLearns and #TrinityReads in June and July.

I cannot wait to hear what you learn!

I love you, and I miss you.

Day 41 (Day 1 Week 9) Learning from home: Drop, Add, Keep, Improve

On Day 1 of Week 9, Trinity School faculty teams are busy, busy, busy.  Team meetings are more frequent than normal as we work to plan for the final two weeks of distance learning.

We see more and more outcomes from our planning and work. I love seeing our students’ workspaces, recess activities, and experiments. I know the teachers appreciate seeing their plans in action. #Grateful

We are learning, and we are together, even though we are apart. We are making the best of our situation. We know that it is important to #FlattenTheCurve and keep ourselves and our communities safe. We are not stuck at home; we are safe at home.

Week after week, we hear our creative, motivated teachers talk about how much they are learning. It is a hallmark of being a Trinity teacher – we are lifelong learners. They fulfill this important part of our mission; we are a community of learners.

In case you are wondering if deep learning experiences are possible when we are forced to be apart, check out our students working through these age-appropriate activities that develop and practice foundational skills in a multi-sensory way. (Here are just a few glimpses of our students – our children – doing their part to learn and to honor our routines.) #Amazing

We are learning more about ourselves, our teammates, our students, and the important trajectories of learning. We are learning more about assessing learning and giving actionable feedback.  We are learning how technology can help us teach, assess, motivate, and differentiate for our young learners.

As we, the Academic Leadership Team, begin to think about Pre-Planning 2020 learning for our faculty and staff, we want to design intentional learning groups so that learning is shared, discussed, and celebrated.

Before time gets away from us, we hope that teaching teams will discuss our practices when we are together and when we are apart. We know there are things we need to add when we are together that we used when apart. We know there are things we need to drop and never do again because we have learned better ways.  Also, there are things to keep and to change so that together and apart, we learn, connect, and thrive.

I’m wondering… What is on your list?

What will you drop, add, keep, and strive to improve?

I love you, and I miss you.

Together and apart, we are Trinity School.


Day 40 (Day 5 Week 8) Learning from home: We carry on… in style, virtually, and at a distance

Our teachers and students are determined to finish strong even though we are not together inside our beautiful gate. While it is not the same, our teachers are working tirelessly together to continue our Trinity-family experiences.

Today, the first-ever Virtual Olympics of the Body was held.  As you can see, it was joyous, fun, and athletic.  Congratulations to all teachers, students, and parents. We are so proud of all of you.  Thank you!

In other grades, Mother’s Day was celebrated. While we could not have Muffins for Moms in our building, Moms were celebrated.

And, as happens every day, we are teaching and they are learning… with style!

And, it is still Teacher Appreciation Week.

We know the current change of venue is expanding our skillsets. It feels different, distant, and uncomfortable, yet, we are learning about our students’ learning in new and different ways. Remember, school is not closed, the building is.

School is open and learning is happening.

We are still in it for the long haul, ready-and-able to clean up, heal, take time, work together, spread encouragement, and extend extra care. We will finish strong. We carry on… with style!


Day 39 (Day 4 Week 8) Learning from home: Finishing strong; count it all joy

Day 39 (aka: Day 4 of Week 8) of working, schooling, and learning from home supports our claim that our teachers and students are determined to finish strong even though we are not together inside our beautiful gate.

Our teams are prepared, planned, and practiced. Metaphorically it continues to like this.

Although we prefer to be in the same room where we are near, we are strong, determined, and intentional about learning goals, tasks, and relationships.

Our teachers are meeting with and teaching students synchronously while, at the same time, teaming to prepare asynchronous lessons and joyful celebrations for next week.  While it is not the same, our teachers are working tirelessly together to continue our Trinity-family experience of deep, conceptual understanding through curiosity and creativity while developing a strong academic understanding as well as a solid character foundation.

Amazing outcomes of intentionally designed learning experiences!

As our Base Classroom Teachers take up the challenge of meeting with and counseling parents on their child’s progress, our Specials Teachers take over as synchronous meetings and teaching experiences at every grade level, all while continuing to provide joyful, deep asynchronous learning experiences.

We are teaching with intent and purpose, and they are learning. The Academic Leadership Team has had the privilege of meeting with, supporting, and celebrating with every team each week. While it is often hard to see and easy to overlook, ALT has seen, appreciates, and values the rich, deep, hard work of our teachers, students, and parents.



I have observed the planning. I’ve seen the plans. I know that our teachers and students are determined to make the days count, to finish strong.

I have nevery really experienced bittersweet in such a deep way. We are sad to end this school year safely, but still apart. We are proud of and joyfilled by the learning and teaching accomplished at Trinity School.



Day 38 (Day 3 Week 8) Learning from home: What brings you joy?

I am wondering what brings you joy?  How can you bring more joy into your space and time? What if you offer your joy to others?

One thing that brings me joy is teaching math, learning math, and sharing my thinking with others.  While we are safe at home, I have found a way to bring some math-joy into my space and time.

On April 8, April 15, and today – May 6 – I hosted Embolden Your Inner Mathematician sessions for any/other joy seeking math lovers.

As we gathered this evening, each participant shared virtually the same story.

It has been a tough week. I am so grateful to have this time to visit with y’all and to do some math, just for me. I look forward to it.

(Ok, there were New Yorkers and Californians who didn’t use “visit” or “y’all,” but it’s my story.)

I am grateful to work at a school. I am grateful to work at Trinity School. I am grateful to work with teacher-learners interested in growing their craft, pedagogy, and skills to deepen mathematical understanding for and with students.

In today’s session, we played with fractions visually, graphically, and numerically.  We started simply and grew to systems of equations or ratios and proportional reasoning.

The 1.5 hours flew by. It was joyful.

Next week, we will meet again to do more math.

Next week, I’m going to host a sketch note session, because that also brings me joy.

What brings. you joy?

How can you bring more joy into your space and time?

What if you offer your joy to others?

Will you join me?

Day 37 (Day 2 Week 8) Learning from home: An invitation to do some math together

If you teach math, please consider joining us for the following PD session on Wednesday. It is based on the in-house PD that we run, and we are happy to share tips of learning while apart.

As you see from the invitation below, we are talking about fractions: visually, numerically, graphically.

Free PD for math teachers:

You are invited to EmboldenYourInnerMathematician.
Wed, May 6, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT

Join us (even if you missed the previous sessions) to sketch and compute through several tasks to feel the impact of being both author and illustrator of understanding. This session will span the K-Algebra II content and tasks.

From the NCTM and NCSM conference programs:

How might we redirect the focus of teaching and learning to center on empowering each and every student as sense-makers and doers of mathematics as they develop their mathematical identities and become agents of their own learning?

We want every learner in our care to be BOTH author and illustrator of their mathematical understanding. Explore how to deepen understanding, promote productive struggle, and increase flexibility by using and connecting mathematical representations.

Providing multiple pathways to success invites diverse learners’ ideas to the conversation. We will sketch and compute to develop a visual, vertical understanding of numeracy and how to connect learning between grades and courses.

Seeking brightspots and dollups of feedback about learning and growth.

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