School News

This was our first week trying a new motivational system for remote learning. During the course of the week, students earned 34 beans for participating in project-based/community activities (ie: doing and sharing creative writing), and 42 beans for completing assignments. In total, they earned 76 beans this week! Here’s what the Bean Jar looks like now:

The “Last Week’s Beans” jar actually contains all of the beans that students have earned since our last party, which was in December 2019.

Once the jar is full, we’ll have a virtual party on hangouts, before which we will mail some sort of baked good or other treat to everyone’s house! We’re hoping this might help motivate folks to do work, and that it will help keep our community spaces thriving. Students will have some opportunities to earn beans over April break as well.

April Break

During April Vacation this week (April 20th-April 24th), there will be no teacher office hours or correcting. Students should take a week off from completing new school work, as we don’t want them to get too far ahead without having any corrections or help, and us teachers don’t want to come back to a huge backlog of work to correct next Monday. Therefore, we won’t be awarding beans for completed work this week. However, there are still plenty of projects and activities that students can do this week, all of which will earn beans for the jar, and will hopefully keep your kids engaged during the week:
Year Books: 1 bean per completed page. Though it would normally be way to early in the year to start this, we thought it might make a good April Break activity. (For those who are new or don’t remember: students create two individualized pages for our yearbooks every May.) There’s no pressure to complete them now, and I’ll send out a reminder for when they’re actually do in a month, but students are welcome to work on and submit one or both of their pages this week. (More details about requirements and submission in the Weekly Update email sent on Friday.)
Catch up on past work: 1 bean per completed assignment. This week would be a great time to catch up on missed Humanities, Science, Mathtivity, and Skills Workshop lessons, finish that last required Essay if folks haven’t already, or finish up any outstanding corrections on Math and Latin. It’s possible that we won’t get around to doing corrections (and therefore counting these beans) until the week after April Break, however.
Baking: 1 bean per post in the baking stream. So far We’ve posted 3 recipes to try in the Optional Baking Activity section of the Humanities Google Classroom, as well as three others that I’ve tried in my own time in the Humanities/Baking Stream. Additionally, one more is scheduled to post on the Wednesday during break. Baking can be a fun way to practice math and fraction skills in real life, and yields yummy rewards!
Gardening: 1 bean per post in the baking stream. This week, we will be ordering gardening supplies for those who will be participating in the gardening project. We’d love to see pictures or read about what you’re working on in the Science/Gardening Stream in Google Classroom!
Humanities Project: 1 bean per completed assignment (after 4/27). By the end of this week, everyone should receive a humanities project from me in the mail. The instructions in the mailing explain that the first part of the project can be completed ahead of time if students so choose. The rest should not be completed until students learn more during the lesson next Monday the 27th, and it’s fine if students want to wait until the 27th before even starting it. Let me know if you or your student have any questions about the assignment once it arrives. (More details in the Weekly Update email sent on Friday.)
Projects: 1 bean per post in the Project Time Google Classroom. In addition to the humanities assignment, the package I’m sending home includes some optional project ideas for April break, such as a cool paper air planes, this week’s baking activity recipe (brownies!), and one of many coloring pages made by local artist, Kate Greenough. If students do these projects, or any other projects at home over break (or any time after that, too), we’d love to see pictures or read about it in the Project Time Stream in Google Classroom.

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