Teaching and Learning

School has never looked so different! Just because the building is closed, teaching and learning is still happening for our students and teachers. Below are highlights, success stories and anecdotes from our teachers.

'Reuniting' with students

We had our first AP Human Geography class last week and it was wonderful. Everyone was so happy and excited to see each other. The class would not have been the same if I had just sent out a lecture video as it is the student’s questions and interaction that make it such a dynamic class. We went over the one hour class as everyone was so excited to catch up with each other. We are doing weekly “theme” zoom classes:  P.J. Day, hat day, virtual snack day, etc. It was so heart-warming to see and interact with them all again.

Shiela Sievert - Social Studies

Student Reflections

It’s inspiring and comforting to read student responses to a few questions posed by their Theology teacher, Sr. Maria.

“We are in the midst of a crisis but we must remember that God is not the giver or cause of suffering but that He may permit suffering to happen but only because He can bring about a greater good. I want you to spend some time reflecting on what good can come from this unfortunate situation. What do you think? What good can come from this present struggle?”

Adjusting the lesson plans

Toilet paper is not only a hot commodity these days, but it’s also a useful classroom teaching tool, at least for Math teacher Anne Driewer.

Driewer said, “This lesson is how to find the volume of a solid that is created by rotating around an axis.  There are two methods to do this: discs and shells. I have always used toilet paper to teach the shell method, but this year… yea…toilet paper is very apropos!”

Anne Driewer - Math

I have adjusted in the sense that my quizzes are essay response. Discussion boards have become a useful tool for instruction and conversation. I do not do nearly the same amount of supplemental material that I usually do when we are in the classroom, it is the bare-bones-basic material that is covered.

Megan Seim - English

In Spanish 3 and 4, we are having students submit Flipgrids, which are short videos submitted to a private class page. They submit one on the current topic they’re learning about and one for participation points, usually telling us about their week. It has lifted my spirits SO much to see their faces and hear their voices.

We’ve also started using Duolingo so that they are getting daily practice online. It’s been a really nice addition. We set a goal for how many minutes per week we want them to practice and students can choose the topics they want to practice. We have found that many students are surpassing the weekly goal—some even on the first day!

We’ve made videos of us talking over our vocab and posted them on YouTube. We use PowerSchool Learning to post assignments. We still use Conjuguemos and Quia for online homework, just as we did during the school year.

Katie Hayes - Spanish

 I’m not just giving my students the information.  They have to do the “mining” themselves, looking at articles about historical figures for the important information.  I would be happy for them to have these articles open in front of them as they take a quiz or something.  They’re just going to have to do the mining all over again if they didn’t learn it the first time.

Fr. Evan Winter

The flip grids are my favorite part of the week.  This week in level 3 we are studying the mail system and they have to use 3 vocabulary words and show either mailing a letter, mailing a package, or what does a mail carrier do. I have enjoyed watching them act out everything while using their Spanish! It has definitely been a challenge switching to all online.

Tracy Chapelle - Spanish

Students in Spanish 4 with Maestra Hayes made Cascarones videos. Typically an in-class celebration, this year it was offered as an at-home activity. Students make a Cascarón, then say why the person was receiving the ‘good fortune’ or ‘graces’ as represented by the confetti.

Katie Hayes - Spanish

Aloha! As we await today’s apparent snowfall, we can join Science teacher Jim Bertrand … “Somewhere …” in a home educator’s office far, far away from the traditional classroom.

In this video, he also explains to his students the timing and value of his virtual classroom time via Zoom. Take a listen, and enjoy!

Jim Bertrand - Science

Students in a Woods class are making a nightstand. Here’s how to pick the best sides of the leg and where to place them.

Don McKee - Industrial Technology

Ketti Heim - Math

Jim Bertrand - Science

A new outlook for students

The students in Modern Lit are currently writing a literary analysis.  A big part of the process involves students reading each other’s work and helping each other improve their writing.  I’ve had several students offer to read multiple papers and help with the writing process. Their enthusiasm is encouraging and inspiring. 

Mark Hansen - English

Some students who never talked and acted like they didn’t know anything are making lots of intelligent comments now!

Fr. Evan Winter

It has been edifying to witness so many students embrace the challenge of learning online. In fact, you would be amazed how many students have reached out with gratitude and compliments. I see comments written on their homework papers wishing me well, that they have prayed for me, thanking me for the voiceover PowerPoints and how much my work means to them, and with all the craziness in their lives they take time to check to see how I am doing!  What beautiful selfless souls. If any generation can handle this situation, it’s this one. They are natural networkers.    

Ketti Heim - Math

What we're missing most

The kids themselves! I miss hearing their stories and the ridiculous things they say!

Megan Seim - English