Return to School
Bringing Cohorts Together again
Students in Amanda Mangione’s third grade class at Increase Miller Elementary spilled in on Tuesday morning and got right to their morning routine.
While the class had doubled in size since the week before, students calmly took books out of backpacks or began a do-now handout while waiting their turn to wash their hands at the classroom sink.
It was the second day that both cohorts were all together in one classroom – the first of three waves in the district’s thoughtful and methodical Return to School. In a week’s time, by April 19, all grades would be back.
conversation at the classroom sink
Celebrating five days of in-person school
The whole school was at once taking the changes in stride and riding a wave of excitement.
“It’s like the first day of school all over again,” said Lisa Burroughs, a first-grade teacher. Her students, like many first and second-grade classes, have been Zooming across two rooms.
Down the hall, Donna Dooley’s kindergarten class was talking about the changes.
Her kindergarteners have been in person four days a week, both cohorts in one room, since November, but meeting via Zoom on Wednesdays. Dooley’s young students would be making No More Zoom crowns and having a party – on Zoom – during the last remote Wednesday. “Students are so excited to be together on Wednesdays, too,” said Dooley.
Student strides in adaptability and technology
Mangione’s third graders were adept at broadcasting the classroom screen to their iPads –a tech tip they were sharing around the school. “Students have learned how to be so flexible this year,” said Mangione. “They are very empowered to use technology.”
Keeping students safely spaced while eating is another challenge. The goal is to have students eat outside as often as possible. “They’ve been bringing in towels and blankets to use on the grass,” said Mangione.
“We might occasionally still use Zoom, ” she reminded her students. “It can be a great way to bring visitors into our classroom.”