5 Things We Loved About Day 1 of Distance Learning
We did it, Rocketeers! We made it through Day 1 of distance learning and we couldn’t be more impressed and proud of everyone involved. From principals kicking off the day with fun-filled virtual launches to staff and families coming together at our Facebook live for lunch to virtually cuddling up for bedtime stories, we felt an overwhelming sense of connection despite being physically apart.
Here are some things we both loved and learned about Day 1 of Distance Learning:
1. Our Staff’s Speedy Preparation Went a Long Way
At the tail end of our final days together in school, teachers banded together to create printed home packets and distribute storybooks for students’ first week of distance learning.
We also lent Chromebooks to as many Grade 3-5 students as possible, so they can access virtual lessons through Google Classroom, as well as their typical STEM and Humanities online learning programs like Lexia, Freckle and Lightsail.
Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders have been hopping on private Facebook groups, where teachers recorded read-a-louds, phonics activities, and math problems, which they’ll be posting daily.
2. The Rocketeer Community Spirit is Strong
On Day 1, our Rocketeer staff and families woke up and took to their screens to kick off the day together. We even saw one Rocketeer sport his uniform. From there, Principal English helped us shake off our sleepy eyes with a fun dance session and Principal Mateos kept the Rocketeer spirit alive with the tried and true call and response cheers. And that’s just the beginning.
During our Facebook Live Lunch, we tuned in as one teacher showed Rocketeers how to make yams and others told jokes. In landing, we opened the floor for questions and discussions and at bedtime, Ms. Sanchez of Mateo Sheedy helped kids fall asleep with smiles on their faces as she dressed up and read a bedtime story about Mexican superheroes.
And judging by the stream of photos coming into each school’s Facebook group, we know our fellow Rocketeers felt the love, too!
3. Rocketship Teachers are Incredibly Innovative
We saw so many teachers innovate with virtual classrooms, and their fresh ideas and on-the-fly experimentations have been leading the way for the rest. Some Grade 3-5 teachers taught virtual classes via Zoom. Here, teachers created breakout sessions for students to virtually talk to one another in small groups and via chat, while special education teachers gathered a small group of students who needed more individualized teaching.
Zoom is proving to be incredibly helpful for distance learning so we’re excited to pilot this method with a few of our schools and continue rolling it out to others in the coming weeks. We’re also coming up with more virtual activities students can engage in like virtual field trips, movement breaks with P.E. teachers, art lessons, and science experiments using home materials. Stay tuned for more on that!
4. One to One Attention Continues on!
If you thought Rocketeers were no longer going to get personalized attention from their teachers, you thought wrong. Our educators have been working hard to ensure that every child will get a phone or video chat check-in from one of their teachers each week. This is a great time to hear how students are doing, work out any issues, build community and keep them motivated for the week ahead.
We’ll also be exploring opt-in tutoring sessions where students can get personal attention from their typical education specialist.
5. Rocketship Parents are Rockstars
Mothers and fathers, we know you’re managing a lot at home right now and you’ve been amazing at keeping your children engaged in their learning packets, online learning programs, and weaving in time for art and exercise. We’ve loved seeing the photos coming in and can’t wait to see more!
6. Let’s Keep the Community-Building & Positivity Going!
Parents, keep sharing photos and videos of your students enjoying their learning day. Tomorrow, share a photo of your favorite moment and tell us what you’re finding helpful about Rocketship’s new distance-learning curriculum!
We’re looking forward to staying connected and seeing all the great work we can continue to do! Have any questions? Post in your school’s Facebook group and a staff member will respond to you shortly.
Published on March 19, 2020