As we forge ahead with our eLearning plan for the remainder of the school year, it is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate. We hit the ground running with eLearning immediately. Our teachers diligently planned their lessons, collaborated with one another and set out to ensure we maximize our Montessori philosophy while staying connected to our parents and students.
We are proud to offer an interface with our teachers at all levels. One of our Special Education teachers, Susan Erickson, who also substitute teaches in School District 15 (our local district) was amazed to see what we are offering. Other schools, both private and public in our district as well as neighboring districts, offer much less in the way of eLearning and the personal student-to-teacher connection. Therefore, we would like to highlight the successful implementation at each age level.
Toddlers (Ages 0-3)
In addition, toddlers get to participate in a live line time where they can interact with their teachers, assistant teachers, and one another. For those who have shown interest, teachers have also had one-on-one Hangout meetings with their students. It has been lovely to see even our youngest children’s faces light up when they see their teachers and friends.
Thank you to our wonderful staff for working so hard to provide these important lessons at home. We would also like to thank our parents/grandparents for facilitating the learning with their children. This is no easy task!
Primary & Kindergarten (Ages 3-6)
Our PreK students need parent oversight to access all information, therefore lessons are pre-recorded. In this way, parents can work on eLearning with their children as they are available. The 3-6 teaching community is contributing a multitude of eLearning experiences that reflect the whole of the primary curriculum. Children have new, daily lessons which are age specific in the areas of: practical life, read alouds, cultural studies, language, math, art and sensorial.
In addition to the lesson library, all teachers are having weekly meetings with their students. The goal of this is two-fold: first, to check in on the social emotional development of our children as well as to individualize lessons for each child. Our teachers know their students and give “homework” for the children to work on. Additionally, our teachers serve as guides to our parents, helping them navigate the Google classroom as well as any other support needed. Also, thank you to our parents who are juggling their work schedules along with eLearning with their children at home. The effort is worth it, and we appreciate you!
In the afternoons, the kindergarteners also have two thirty-minute lessons with their afternoon teachers, four days a week. This is not only an opportunity for the lessons, but also provides a chance for students to see and talk with their friends.
Thank you to our amazing primary teachers, who are juggling so much to keep our kids engaged. I know it has been challenging to bring your Montessori environment to your students through a virtual world, and I’m so proud of what we are offering our kids. It is leaps and bounds more than what other schools are offering, even at the elementary level! Again, we are also so grateful to our parents/grandparents who are the liaisons between home and school. Your dedication to the successful implementation of eLearning is crucial to your child’s last year of the primary cycle. Way to go!
Elementary (Ages 6-12)
Our elementary children have more capacity for independence so each student was issued their own MANH email account Each classroom has a Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary Classroom (grades 4-6). Class begins with a morning line time, where children and their teachers gather together in a live hangout. They give virtue lessons and talk about the expectations of the day. Immediately following line time, some students stay in the hangout for math and language lessons, while others have these lessons later in the morning. All students receive 2 morning lessons with their teachers. In the afternoons, the students have their cultural lessons. Topics include: history, geography, science, and geometry. Teachers meet with their students for social emotional check-ins, as well as help them with their work. Upper elementary students practice their leadership by supporting their younger friends with some of their work. They help weekly with things like: spelling, reading circles and math facts.
Ms. Gomez offers pre-recorded Spanish lessons and activities for the Lower Elementary students, as well as live lessons for Upper Elementary students. Ms. Meeta offers 1 art lesson per week, and Mr. Michael gives 2 lessons per week for fitness.
In addition to all of the face to face interaction that our teachers offer our children, they also provide additional individual work for their students to accomplish during the day. In this way, they are practicing work based on the lessons they are given. A typical elementary student at our school is working from 8:30am-3:30pm each day. This is truly a remarkable experience for them and we are proud to offer a meaningful eLearning experience to our elementary students in light of this big change.
In between all of their lessons, our teachers are checking student work and offering suggestions. In this way, they can see what additional lessons need to be given or repeated. The love they have for their students is what fuels them. Thank you elementary teachers for all you do! Your hard work and dedication is much appreciated. Thank you to the parents who are supporting their children in the home and giving feedback to our teachers on how things are going. This helps us tremendously.
All elementary teachers will be having 15-minute parent check-ins on April 30th and May 1st. Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held in June.
Erdkinder (Ages 12-18)
Our Erdkinder students had already been using the Google Classroom for their work and assignments, so they have had a seamless transition. All skills classes are taught in the mornings from 9am-12pm on a rotating schedule. Mrs. Bahrainwala and Mr. Frolick teach all of their math groups, Ms. Nolan and Ms. Erika see their ELA groups and Ms. Gomez sees all of her Spanish groups. All lessons are given via Hangouts with subsequent work to follow. Children submit their assignments via Google Classroom for a grade.
In the afternoons, the students have their content classes: EME (Erdkinder Morals and Ethics), Humanities and Science. These are broken down into Lower Erdkinder (grades 7-9) and Upper Erdkinder (grades 10-12). Students are continuing with their syllabi from the school year and are actively engaged in learning. They are receiving lessons, work and projects, as well as participating in Socratic discussions. Afternoon classes end at 3:00pm each day. The Erdkinder fitness class offers 4 workouts per week equivalent to 45 minutes or an hour of fitness. Children often choose to do this work from 3:00-4:00pm which is the end of their typical work day at school. With how much time they are spending in front of screens, we take their physical and emotional health very seriously. Our Upper Erdkinder students are meeting with a Lower Erdkinder student each week as a peer check-in to see how they are adjusting to this “new normal.” Additionally, all students are meeting with their adult mentors for check-ins. On Fridays, we split the entire group into two groups and play games for an hour. In this way, we are doing our part to help our children cope with social distancing.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to our Erdkinder staff who very diligently teach our students, grade their assignments and check in on how each individual student is doing. I am so grateful for your dedication to our students’ total development. Thank you to the parents who have partnered with us during this time, checking in and giving feedback on how their children are doing. It is very helpful. Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held in June.