Thursday, June 4, 2020 Volume 2
Welcome, readers, to our second and final edition of the Basswood Times for this school year. We hope you have enjoyed our student-written school newspaper. Our hope is to continue this project in the fall, so please check back after the new school year is underway for more stories about our Bulldogs and their activities. Have a fun and relaxing summer!
The Basswood Times staff
More thoughts on distance learning
An interview with Dr. SchwartzBy Hailey Grand and Olivia Williams
Dr. Schwartz has a very important job as a principal. It’s a hard time, but he is still committed to helping students succeed in school! “We are strong enough to do this. It’s not easy, it’s not something we like, but we have the power to get through this. We are gonna be okay. Going through hard things is not simple, but sometimes it’s good for us.” He believes that there are good things coming from distance learning. Families are spending more time together and good things are happening to the environment because not as many people are driving. Some other pros are that nobody in school has gotten sick from this virus and the teachers have learned a ton about technology. Some of the cons are that people are getting worried about things. They don’t get to see friends and in some cases that leads to worry. Dr. Schwartz has enjoyed his free time by baking bread, taking walks with his family, running and exploring the Elm Creek Park Reserve. He has been facing some challenges though, like having to cut his own hair and the new way of school. It’s a new way of doing things and it’s difficult for teachers and staff not to work together to get things done. Dr. Schwartz misses seeing everyone.
A Kindergarten teacher's viewBy Evan Novak, Myles Decker, and Vincent Iacono
As we all adjust to distance learning, instead of learning simple reading skills, kindergarten students are having to learn how to use electronics first. The Google Meet is something that has been very important to kindergarten students and teachers. Mrs. Johnson and her team have been consistent with their Google Meets. They focus a lot on the social emotional part in their meetings. Their Google Meets are usually something that everyone looks forward to and are a great way to interact with each other, doing things like reading stories, having lessons, or even just singing a song together. They are also using things like Seesaw and Class Dojo to help communicate with each other. Another thing that has been important is keeping in touch with parents.
Mrs. Johnson and her team like that the flex boards give students the opportunity to get involved. She thinks the flex boards are doing a good job of meeting the state standards. They like that the students know where to find activities to do and that they are always available to them. She loves that the flex boards give the kids a wide range of things to do.
Even through distance learning, the kindergarten team has continued teaching most of the same things. They have been teaching new skills on a daily basis like reading and phonics. Mrs. Johnson and her team have also been teaching math and using the Bridges math calendar. She has been using a lot of different apps and resources that her students can use during distance learning. They have also been doing a lot of teaching through videos. She and her students have been learning some computer skills and using technology, too.
The kindergarten team feels that it’s really hard for the students since this is usually the time where they make some of their best friends. She said, “They have traded in a classroom for a computer screen to interact with instead of their teacher and their classmates.” She later added, “Well that’s what’s really important in kindergarten, is developing relationships, so we like to find every kind of success we can find to celebrate.”
A 1st grade teacher's viewBy Zoe Frayman, Vince Iacono, and Morgan Turner-Gode
Some people think they have it hard. But boy, are they wrong. Distance learning is hardest for kindergarteners and first graders because they are in their early stages of school where they are developing relationships and learning to read, which all of the upper grades already know how to do. When asked if teaching would be different once we go back to school in person, Mrs. Van Drehle said that she definitely will do more one on one lessons with kids so that they really have reading mastered. Some new content that she has been working on with her kids is letter sounds and elapsed time. One of the interviewers said that she remembers learning about elapsed time. She said that she remembered thinking, “This makes no sense.” Mrs. Van Drehle agreed that some of her students didn't quite get it. So not only is reading important, but so are various math skills like counting money and elapsed time. Mrs. Van Drehle said that her students would probably do all of the music and phy. ed. activities on the flex board without doing some from the other areas, so she had to tell them to do two from each section. Along with flex board choices, Mrs. Van Drehle’s students have been using IXL and Seesaw to complete various learning activities.
A 2nd grade teacher's viewBy Vince Iacono, Evan Novak and Myles Decker
As we all are beginning to get used to this new normal, we have to learn how to use new supplies. We learned that Mrs. McWilliams is, just like her students, learning things like handling electronics. Mrs. McWilliams and her team have been keeping their students engaged during distance learning. She offers a daily Google meet with students, lunch bunch, and breakfast club. Her favorite activity with her students is the daily Google meet, she loves seeing her students’ faces every day. Another thing that is helping is that she and her team have been following their curriculum.
Mrs. McWilliams and her team have added extra things that they might not normally have time to do in the classroom like extra art projects, social studies, and science. For example, the students have really enjoyed mystery Doug videos and the connection to the real world.
A lot of her students had wished they didn’t have to go to school when they were in the classroom, but now they really wish they could go back. She too wishes they were in school. She also mentioned that the feedback the students get from Seesaw isn’t the same as the instant feedback that they get from the classroom. When asked about how her students are doing without being in school, she said “I think they’re doing the best that they can,” and she and her team are very proud of their students.
When she was asked about what she thought about flex boards, she said they were good. Mrs. McWilliams and her team like that the flex boards give students the opportunity to do all subjects. For example, they don’t just get to do math activities. She also said that they would have made a few changes to the flex boards if they could have.
Mrs. McWilliams and her team have been holding small group meetings, which are helping keep kids engaged during distance learning.They are also doing some fun things to try to keep students engaged like “A to Z” countdown and mystery guests.
Student views on distance learningBy Reece Decker, Cora McLeod, and Kristen Barnard
The students at Basswood have enjoyed time with their families during quarantine. Some of their favorite things that they enjoyed were games, swimming, watching YouTube, cooking, movie nights, bike riding, going for walks, playing sports, and reading. Distance learning was a unique experience for all students. Some of the things the students enjoyed during distance-learning were reading, the Flex board, Epic, Google Meet, math, the CSI math packets and Seesaw. There were some challenges, too, such as using new technology like Seesaw, families and little siblings interrupting their work time, missing their classmates, and homework. Students are looking forward to many things this summer like swimming, hanging out with grandma and grandpa, family trips, sleeping, no schoolwork, summer Kidstop, enjoying the cabin, and having fun!
Answers to last week's Jokes and Riddles
Riddle: When things go wrong what can you always count on?
Joke: Why did the computer go to the doctor?
it had a virus
Riddle: What is black, white and blue?
a sad zebra
Joke: Why did the picture go to jail?
it was framed
If today is Sunday, what is the day that follows the day that comes after the day that precedes the day before yesterday?
The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?
What has cities, but no houses; forests, but no trees; and water but no fish?
Figure out what number each symbol corresponds to in these addition problems. In the first problem, each flower corresponds to one of the numbers from 1-4. In the second problem, each shape represents one of the numbers from 1-5.