Continuous Learning: Checking in with East Antioch

Continuous Learning: Checking in with East Antioch
Shawnee Mission School District

What did Continuous Learning look like for East Antioch students? Here are a couple of examples from East Antioch teachers.

Krissondra Rydzel, Fifth Grade choice boards

Fifth-graders had numerous options for exploring, provided through choice boards created by teacher Krissondra Rydzel throughout Continuous Learning. One of Rydzel’s favorite lessons helped students learn more about plants. Through the choice board, students were encouraged to complete a variety of activities to help them learn.

“I really enjoyed seeing my students’ creativity and perseverance,” Rydzel said. “It wasn’t easy, but I am proud of my students who continued to learn with me.” 

The students shared what they had completed through videos. Here are a few examples of what they shared:

While reviewing state standards about plants, animals, and energy, some students wrote poems to demonstrate their knowledge. Others, as so inspired by the choice board, wrote songs about plants. While learning about matter and its interactions, some students opted to make an afternoon snack that included at least one mixture and solution and explain to Rydzel which one is the mixture and which one is the solution.

”I was amazed by their creativity!” Rydzel said. “I also loved when they created the afternoon snack. They were very creative (and I got some new snack ideas)!”

Christina Smith- Second Grade video journals, field trips, and “Flat Mrs. Smith”

Christi Smith’s second-graders started their Continuous Learning days with a chance to imagine and get their thoughts on paper.

The second-grade teacher started each day with a good morning email to each student household. The email provided suggestions for learning and journaling. With each prompt, she encouraged all of her students to take a video of themselves reading their journal entry and share it with her.

They shared their thoughts on what life would be like if dogs took over the world. Or, if they won an award, what would it be? One of her students shared they would like to win an award for eating pizzas, building the longest LEGO wall, and making the world’s biggest, longest donut. Smith responded to each journal entry with her own video as a way to provide feedback and keep in touch.

Smith also set twice-weekly meetings with her students.

The meetings included educational games, show and tell, scavenger hunts, and stuffed animal parties. Sometimes they needed time to talk and connect as a class. Other days she invited the students to eat lunch while she read a story. One of her classroom meeting highlights included a virtual video chat field trip to a goat farm in Oregon. The owner of the farm walked around and introduced the students to all of the animals.

“I think it was a nice change of pace for them and it held their attention,” Smith said. “While online learning has been difficult for some of my students, I do feel I’ve had the chance to get to know my students’ families on a more personal level, which I’ve enjoyed.”

Inspired by multiple educators on Twitter, she also mailed a letter and a “Flat Mrs. Smith” to her students. She encouraged her students to carry a miniature, animated image of her throughout the summer and send in pictures of their adventures.

“My second graders have struggled a lot with missing me, our school, and their classmates,” she noted. “I thought this might help a little, along with me continuing to read them a chapter book throughout the summer.”

When reflecting on the Continuous Learning experience for students and staff at East Antioch, Lisa Marino, innovation specialist added “Honestly, I feel like I could brag on all of the staff members at East Antioch.”