Our Junior Kindergarten classes just wrapped up their third day of distance learning! If our JK teachers learned anything from last year’s virtual learning, it’s that connection is so important with the students, both in-school and while at home. With that in mind, our very thoughtful JK teachers carefully began prepping for distance learning to include as many meaningful connection points as possible, while still bearing in mind their age and developmentally appropriate practice.
Each morning, JK distance learning begins with a morning meeting. Our morning meetings model what we do in our classroom: modei ani (morning song), meditation (Calm Classroom), share-out (often with an early literacy, social-emotional and/or early math element).
By sharing photos of students from their time at home, it shows them that their time and work at home is so honored and important. Small groups, storytime, pop-up play, Ivrit with Hagit, Mr. Todd and Shabbat celebrations are just a few of the other offerings throughout the morning. When planning this fall, the JK team thought about feedback from last year in combination with our own reflections of what worked and what was not successful. We tweaked what was necessary, added what we felt was missing and made sure to include parents in the process as we planned. Our partnership with parents is another important part of our connection with students and what makes distance learning possible! Without the help of parents to send in pictures or videos of students learning at home, muting/unmuting, assisting with gathering materials or just keeping their children on schedule, we would be missing so many opportunities for connection—not to mention that our Zoom meetings would simply be wild and loud without them!
We look forward to seeing their smiling faces each morning this week via Zoom and we can’t wait to reconnect in-person next week!