“The Pre-Kindergarten teachers did a phenomenal job of making the routines seem normal and fun, giving the kids choices of activities that were doable at their age level, and helping them to feel accountable for having something to share at the end of the day.”
"I believe it was smart to ease into this new environment instead of jumping in with both feet.”
“The specialist teachers have been a huge perk! Their creativity has been incredibly appreciated.”
In March 2020, Forsyth School's physical campus closed for the remainder of the acadmic year as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Distance Learning launched on Tuesday, March 30, following the school's scheduled Spring Break.
Forsyth teachers and administrators work together to decide how quickly to move onto each new phase depending on the age and grade of the students and how the group responds to remote instruction. Grades spend at least one week and up to two weeks in Phases 1 and 2 before moving onto Phases 2 and 3.
During the initial phase, teachers focus on meeting the social-emotional needs of students, reconnecting as a classroom community, and teaching the new programs and systems needed for distance learning. Teachers emphasize digital norms and expectations as students navigate these new tools. Students participate in "live" Morning Meetings and Closing Circles on a daily basis. Specialist teachers provide asynchronous work for students on a weekly basis.
During the next phase, teachers continue to focus on the components of Phase 1 and begin reviewing academic content from before Spring Break. Using their new digital tools to practice and demonstrate an understanding of previously taught content becomes an additional priority for the students. Periodic small-group learning and meetings with classroom and specialist teachers are added to the schedule of daily "live" Morning Meetings and Closing Cirles.
During the final phase, teachers focus on introducing new academic content within the distance learning framework. Daily and weekly student schedules include a balance of synchronous work (“live” learning and meetings with teachers and classmates) and asynchronous work (independent work assignments).
Sample Day Schedule
Good Morning Senior-Kindergarten!
Up in the air, see the kites fly. Like colorful birds, in the wind-whipped sky!
Today you will learn about some amazing kites and learn how to make your own. Let’s enjoy “Kite Day”!
Daily Synchronous Activities
- Morning Meeting: Sing Along to the "Good Morning Song"
Live on Zoom, Daily at 8:30am
- Closing Circle: Sing Along to the Forsyth "Honor Code Song"
Live on Zoom, Daily at 2:00pm
Daily Asynchronous Activities
- Reading: Log In, listen to and then read at least one book today!
- Writing: Draw a kite. Write about where your kite is flying. Share your writing with someone in your house or bring it to share at Closing Circle!
- Math: Design a Kite and make a list of words that describe your kite. Do a Word Problem: How Many Kites? Learn More about the difference between kites and rhombuses.
- Social Studies: What is a map key? A map key is an explanation of the symbols used on a map. Learn More about map keys. Label the Map using the key as your guide.
- Extras: Learn More about how to fly a kite. Learn More about Chinese Kites. Learn More about the world's biggest Kite Fliers Meeting.
Weekly Specialist Activities (Synchronous & Asynchronous)
- Music: Practice the "Mayim Mayim" dance for May Day with Mr. Thomas!
Live on Zoom, Mondays at 1:00pm
- Physical Education: Tackle the Trick Shot Challenge with Coach Harris!
Live on Zoom, Tuesdays at 1:00pm
- Art & Movement: Practice the "Mother Pig's Song" from 3 Piggy Opera with Mrs. Paradise!
Live on Zoom, Thursdays at 1:00pm
- Spanish: Sing Along to the Classroom Objects Song. Play a Game about Classroom Objects.
Live on Zoom, Fridays at 1:00pm
- Library: Enjoy read-alouds from Mrs. Pillot!
- Science: Celebrate Earth Day with Mrs. Torlina!
Lower School Week in Review
Children in Pre-Kindergarten were encouraged to Make Homemade Playdough with Mrs. Pomatto!
Children in Junior-Kindergarten were challenged to Take a Brain Break and combine exercise with counting!
Children in Senior-Kindergarten were invited to Take a Virtual Field Trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
Students in Grade 1 were encouraged to Create a Clock to use for a game about telling time during a "live" small-group meeting on Zoom.
Students in Grade 2 were challenged to Make a Replica Gateway Arch using any household, natural, or found items—keeping in mind that the Arch is just as wide as it is tall!