Dear Parents, Friends and Families,
Welcome to Week 6 of distant learning.
This week will be a short week, no posting on Friday. Please take the time to enjoy a screen free day!
We had such good feedback from our recent VCC's that we will do them again next week. Your teacher will send you a sign up sheet on Thursday 30th April.
On May 22nd, we will organise ThreeWayConferences. These conferences will be an opportunity to talk more about your child's holistic learning during the past 8 weeks. Teachers will provide parents and students with a guide as to how to organise these conferences and what you, as parents, can bring to come prepared.
Primary StuCo, will be thinking of some fun things to wrap the year up and will continue to post their Take Care Tuesdays. Thank you StuCo for helping out with this engagement.
The Grade 5 students will be taking part in an online PYP Virtual on May 29th, please offer any support you can as a parent to the Grade 5 team. This will be a very different approach to how schools approach the Exhibition normally.
Don't forget the Ped. team have set up a readaloud channel, parents can have a break for a few minutes whilst the children listen to the stories. If you, or your child, have any stories you would like us to read, please let us know.
Lastly, don't forget to show appreciation to your teachers. A lot of families have sent in messages of thanks - it means so much to teachers to hear that, so thank you - if your child hasnt done this already, please encourage them to do so.
I have posted a testimonial from our art teacher, Ms Basilia, be sure to read this with your child. I found it very humbling.
I am currently in a place called Aarey colony. I come here sometimes to go hiking/trekking with my friends. It so happened that I came back from work and decided to go to my friend’s place in Aarey just before spring break. I had a few change of clothes, a packet of oil pastels and a few art sheets with me in my bag. I thought it would be a good idea to go hiking for a few days before school reopens after spring break. Suddenly, everything changed after the PM, Mr. Modi announced the lockdown. I actually live in Vasai which is really far from where I am right now. I can’t go home because they have locked down my area. They found a few positive cases nearby. My building society members and relatives advised me not to travel under any circumstances. Plus, local trains are not running for passengers. I have been living in my friend’s PG place for almost a month now. The phone and WiFi connection is a bit bad at times, but somehow manageable. There are hardly any people around here as the building is in the middle of the Aarey forest, so no COVID scare over here. Actually, I feel a lot safer over here than in the city area. For food and essential goods, I have to walk approximately 2 kilometers to reach the nearest store or ATM. It’s an uphill and then a downhill nature walk. This place is beautiful and scenic. I have a homemade mask made from an old bed sheet and I use a dupatta to cover my head as it gets really hot walking in the sun. I can buy only a week’s supply of food as I can’t carry too much weight in one go. There is a small village near the building where I am staying. Lots of people there but thought it’s best to maintain social distancing for now.
Even if trains start working after the 3rd of May and I try to go back to my place in Vasai, I will have to self quarantine myself for two weeks again. I am intentionally going to continue to stay here as it's safer this way for at least another couple of weeks. I am living one day at a time. I don’t know what my tomorrow is going to look like, whether I will have internet access, or be able to approve posts or check my mails or be able to contact my friends/family. This causes a lot of anxiety at times. But I try to gather myself and try to look on the bright side. I keep telling myself, “At least you are healthy, you have a roof over your head and have food to eat.”
This experience has made me realize about so many things I cannot even begin to fathom. I hope life will get back to normal soon. I still have my sanity intact and burning desire to teach and learn. Cheers!
Thank you and remember to be kind,
Dear Parents, Friends and Families,
Welcome to Week 5 of distant learning.
We hope you are keeping well and are staying indoors and staying safe.
My family and I enjoyed doing a variety of science experiments over the weekend; science always brings a smile to everyone's faces.
We constantly have to remind our children to wash their hands, here is a fantastic experiment (not trick) you can do at home to show the importance of washing your hands - try it with your family and send me the link of what you discovered - hint - don't show your children what will happen, let them discover it for themselves.
I hope you are managing to watch my weekly video on school announcements. I am hoping to give updates via this video link.
This week we will have Virtual Care Calls (VCCs). I can see that many students have signed up for times to meet their teacher already. This is an opportunity for the teacher to gain a better understanding of what your child's learning environment is like at home.
This week we will also see the celebration of Earth Day and on Wednesday 22nd April we will have a digital detox day; no screen time. The aim is to have a day of spending time with family, doing what we love, rejuvenating and taking a break from the screen. As we get hooked on to digital devices, our energy requirements keep increasing. We can help support the protection of our planet by keeping our devices off for a day. Instead we can read books, draw, paint, sing, play games, spend time to admire nature around us, have conversations with our family, cook something, etc. So, this Earth Day, it's time to log off!
Our Tech and Pedagogical Leadership Team have been diligently investigating the use of Google Hangouts and Google Meet with our Grade 4 and 5 students. You may see some changes in how these communications are happening.
We are learning that technology is a new way for most of our learners to learn and we want to keep them safe. Child-safeguarding is a priority for us and it is important that when children are on line they feel safe. For Grades 4 and 5 parents, please check the Essential Agreements that have been shared with you - you should discuss them with your child, make sure they understand the 'why' and then sign them and return them to the teachers. We take these agreements very seriously, so don't just sign, make sure you understand them too.
Please follow the link for stories from the admin team: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdLwM_sksrZjsCjWDtNYWhZNPAwfPNobq
Many thanks for your amazing support and feedback, these are testing times, but we will get through them together.
Finally, a note for Grade 4 Parents:
Hope you had a restful weekend. We have made two small changes in our distant learning program.
One is for the platform that we use for making class video calls
We are switching to Google Meet from Google Hangouts for our class video calls from tomorrow, Tuesday, 21st April. The time for the class video calls remain the same- 10 am up to 10:30 am. One needs a code to join a meeting on Google Meet. The code will be generated by the homeroom teacher and will be shared with the students on G Hangouts 10 minutes before the 10 am call. A new code will be generated for every meeting and will be shared with the students to join the meeting.
Parents only need to ensure that the students have Google Meet on their devices.
Students can also type meet.google.com on their browsers and attend the meeting if the app is not installed.
The code for meet is a 9 digit on the invitation link.
Our focus for the first few video calls will be to ensure a smooth transition from Hangouts to Google Meet. We will introduce the tools on Google Meets to the students during that time.
The other change that we are bringing in is in our interactions with our students to answer their queries.
We will be calling these our Check-in sessions. They will be conducted on Google Meet as well.
Check-in sessions begin from today, Monday, 20th April.
As our class video calls are focused on social-emotional development, the purpose of the check-in sessions is for the students to ask their queries, if any, in small groups. The purpose of the session is not to go through the activities for the students. Students are expected to read the activities on Seesaw and make a note of their queries, if any, before the session.
The class will be divided into 4 groups - each group will consist of around 4 students. Each group will get 15 minutes to ask questions and queries, if any, with a grade 4 teacher.
Student group lists with the allotted check-in time will be shared by the respective homeroom teachers today via email.
The check-in sessions will be conducted between 10:30 am and 11:30 am on Mondays and Thursdays.
Students can check- in for their queries at the allotted time only.
*Please note that students only need to join the check-in session if they have questions. It is not an expectation that they are in the call even if they don't have a query.
The check-in session will be a continuation of the Morning Meeting video call, therefore, no new code for the check-in session will be required. After the Morning Meeting, students in the first time-slot of the check-in session will continue being a part of the call, while others will exit the call and rejoin the video call using the same code at their allotted time.
Students are to make a note of their Check-in time slot and be mindful of adhering to the time- slot allocated to them.
** Please note: As we start with our Virtual Care Calls today from 10:40 am to 12:10 pm- Our check-in sessions begin from today, Monday, 20th April, and will be held from 2pm to 3pm for this week only. A new code will be shared with the students on Hangouts 10 minutes before the 2 pm call. The same code will be applicable to the whole class and to be used by students only when entering their allotted check-in time.
Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any queries.
Grade 4 teachers
Dear Parents, Friends and families,
Welcome to Week 4 of distant learning. We hope you are doing well and getting prepared for a full week of learning.
I am hoping to share working families perspectives of how they approach distant learning with their families. Ms Nik very kindly gave us a brief perspective of how her days rolled out with her family. She is very lucky to have access to outside space!
Some families may be experiencing 'cabin fever' and may be starting to experience both a positive and negative approach to distant learning.
I read an interesting article that may help you gain perspectives about this: www.huffpost.com/entry/covid-19-virtual-distance-remote-learning-kid-challenges_l_5e8735d4c5b6a94918354752.
Planning a field trip - thank you to the parent who shared ideas for virtual field trips, what a great idea!
As you can see in my Week 4 video, we are considering feedback on how to provide more opportunities for students to 'see' or interact with their students. For now, our approach is that Grade 4 and 5 students have virtual access to their HRT on a daily basis at set times.
Nursery to Grade 3 videos are mostly pre-recorded.
Next week, we shall embark on Virtual Care Calls (VCC). On Monday 20th April, HRTs or point of contact teachers will be sending out a sign up sheet for students to talk with their HRTs one-on-one. The calls are optional for parents and not mandatory and we won't be organising different times for parents who cannot make it.
Once a parent has signed up for a time, teachers of nursery to Grade 3 families will send out an invite via Google Meet (we will not be using Zoom). Grades 4 and 5 can use Google Hangouts. Each meeting will be with 1 parent and 1 student for 15 minutes.
The purpose of the meeting is to find out what the home environment is like, how the child is doing and for the child to say hello live to the HRT. It is a meeting between the HRT/POC and the child, but 1 parent must be present.
I will send out some guidelines to parents to help understand. It is not an opportunity for teachers to explain tasks or receive feedback from the parents. If the parents have feedback for you, they need to put it in writing, this is not for the VCC.
The sign up sheet will need to be shared with parents on Monday 20th, April at 8am.
What do parents need to do?
Dear Parents and Families,
Sadly we waved goodbye to Ms Kristen this weekend. Her and her family are going back to the States, it was such a sad way to leave and so abrupt, but she is fine and this is the best decision for her and her family. Kristen will still be checking emails and working from over the pond, so please send her your goodbyes, I am sure she would love to hear from you.
This coming week is a shorter week. We have posted learning engagements for three days as Friday will be a holiday, Not everything has to be completed in a hurry – children choosing their plan for work for the three days, with your guidance if required, would be a good goal to have for this week.
Don't forget Take Care Tuesdays, Primary Student council will post a learning engagement on Seesaw every Tuesday, this Tuesday will be making, painting, creating, dressing up as rainbows. Take a photo and upload it to Seesaw.
Please check out the remote learning testimonials tab on the right side of this screen.