As we continue to navigate our path through the COVID 19 lockdown, your support with your child’s learning journey is much appreciated.
It is natural to feel overwhelmed, especially when we are moving quickly to adapt to change. The reality is that we are all figuring out what makes it work, but we need to treat it like a marathon and not a sprint, being prepared to learn from successes and misfires. We will all get better together - embracing a growth mindset
Responding to the feedback shared by you we are making some changes, but we do need to reiterate the need for continuity in learning. Summer learning loss is a well-documented fact and a worry for educators and parents around the world. A lowering of academic performance after a long break is apparent since students don’t practice academic skills during the break. The COVID19 lockdown just increases this risk. To ensure that our students do not face learning gaps, a holistic curriculum is developed, focused on cognitive, creative, physical, social and emotional development.
Teaching in-person and teaching online is vastly different. Unanticipated roadblocks students face while navigating this new territory need reflection and course correction. We are learning and making changes along the way without compromising on objectives. As children get familiar and accustomed to digital learning, with adequate discipline, they develop independence.
Grades 1 to 3
We will make instructions more explicit, supported by audio so students can follow them easily. Reading time, thinking time and work time will be considered in the allotted time for each task. Grades 1 - 3 will use Seesaw, an online platform that creates a powerful learning loop between students, teachers, and families, to turn-in work for correction and feedback from their teachers. Grade 1 started using Seesaw last week, and Grade 2 & 3 will do so next week. The students will work on the tasks assigned to them, in the daily schedule, and upload the required tasks only where a link is provided for Seesaw.
In a week, homeroom teachers will assign 2-3 tasks for turning-in and specialists teachers one task. Students are expected to complete and post the task before the submission day. This is a sample of student’s work posted on Seesaw, with the teacher’s feedback, with expectations for the task turn-in. Your children will need guidance initially, but would soon be able to do this independently. Seesaw is known for being child-centric and building independence, and strengthening the relationship between teachers and students (and parents) through the feedback process.
Grades 4 & 5
Our older students have transitioned smoothly into Learning-from-home. The synchronous classes on Zoom have worked well - with children adapting to the expectations, raising their hand when they want to speak, taking turns, and showing restraint and self-discipline, which we sometimes struggle with even in regular classrooms. Grade 4 & 5 will now have two zoom sessions daily, at 8:30 am and 2:30 pm ending the workday for them, setting expectations, taking feedback, building relationships :). The Zoom link will be in the daily class schedules. Both grades are using Google classroom to turn-in assignments for feedback from teachers. We are very proud of how these two cohorts have adapted, especially grade 4, who have picked up both, digital tasks and google classroom, completely from scratch at this time. They have shown that they are strong IB learners who are inquirers and open-minded, risk-takers. We all now need to support them to be principled IB learners, respecting expectations.
In online learning (as in all learning), the challenge is to have a structure and discipline to function smoothly. Please ensure a daily learning schedule for your child, including productive online and offline time, maintaining deadlines, as well as regular personal routines - sleep/wakeup, mealtimes, chores to support the family, and also having fun together.
Be learning, be safe and build relationships!
Shanthi Raghunath and Kalpita Jain
Head of PYP, Yemalur Campus and Head of PYP, North Campus