At Saint Andrew’s School, our goal in the Lower School (Pre-K-5) is to open a new world of learning for our youngest Scots while contributing to each child's social and emotional growth. This academic year, safety protocols and social distancing procedures have certainly altered the classroom experience. However, Saint Andrew’s teachers have found creative and innovative ways to make new learning experiences leveraging technology in targeted ways.
In pre-kindergarten, students utilize iPads to create videos, practice their letter and number writing skills, and explore shapes & sorting on Seesaw’s digital portfolio platform.
In grade 1, students set up breakout rooms via Google Meet to read to kindergartners. Beyond celebrating writing, this is a great way to practice and share reading aloud and build community.
In grades 1 & 2, students are visiting countries through virtual field trips, and kindergartners are studying Space using virtual reality (VR) goggles to visit the moon, planets, and 3D models of shuttles, rockets, and rovers.
Adobe Spark Posters are simulating elections by transforming grade 3 students’ hand-drawn posters. Digital notebooks are replacing the daily composition books in grade 4. A website is created in grade 5, allowing students to mine each other's work for inspiration as they work on publishing their next articles in writing.
Lower School specialists’ classes also look a little different these days.
Performing Arts classes share ‘Gifts of Music’ to the community through recorded performances replacing seasonal concerts. Visual Arts classes inspire artists through observational drawings of insects. Other classes learn to code, use science investigation kits in lab settings, offer book tastings, and learn about Spanish and Mandarin cultures. Guidance and Virtues lessons present a culturally responsive curriculum that supports social and emotional learning.
“If you look around the Lower School, teachers are creating learning engagements asynchronously and synchronously that gives our youngest students exciting new ways to learn, celebrate, and collaborate,” stated Lower School Head Angela Kopels. “There has been a lot of creativity and excitement, which is great!”
Positively, teaching and learning at Saint Andrew’s have been enriched through technology in a whole different way.