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4 Ways to Celebrate High School Graduation This Year

With coronavirus school closures extending into the fall, districts are coming up with clever alternatives to give seniors the graduation ceremony they deserve.

In high schools, the last few months of the school year are typically filled with a flurry of celebrations—prom, pep rallies, yearbook signing—culminating in the final rite of passage for seniors: graduation.

But coronavirus school closures this spring have upended the traditional pomp and circumstance, leaving students across the country, especially seniors, feeling untethered and a bit lost.

A Lesson Planning Framework That Leads to Productive Struggle

Dialogic learning is a form of collaborative inquiry that works like a gradual release of responsibility in reverse—beginning with “you do.”

For many teachers, the go-to structure for lesson planning is the “I do, we do, you do” format, also known as the gradual release of responsibility (GRR). In this model, the teacher first demonstrates a skill (“I do”) and then the teacher and students use the skill together (“we do”). Then students do the work themselves, either individually or in small groups (“you do”).

There’s a good reason that this format is so widely used: It works, efficiently helping students master a skill or find the correct answer.

Fostering a Strong Community in a Virtual Classroom

The shift to working online requires teachers to think a little differently about how to build the culture they want with their students.

One of my friends, a classroom physics teacher, was asked to teach an online physics course. Many of the students dropped the course midterm, and it was not offered again. When I asked what happened, my friend said the class failed because he began without establishing a strong class culture, diving right into physics. He assumed that the culture he had worked so hard to build in his classroom was already present.

‘The Show Must Go Online’: Arts Teachers Adapt to At-Home Instruction

From laundry art to 'name that tune,' arts enrichment teachers are finding creative ways to transition to remote teaching.

When art teacher Janis Henderson-Hunsucker learned that her school in Danbury, North Carolina, would close because of the coronavirus, she quickly crafted a survey to find out what art supplies her students had at home. It turned out, not many. 

Anxious to keep the learning going, she mailed boxes of basic art supplies like markers, crayons, coloured pencils, glue, and scissors to her students, many of whom live in the hills and hollers of Appalachia where internet access is limited. She included the foreshortening drawings that students had started in a class with instructions on how to finish them. 

At Playtime, Open Fields and Trees Beat Seesaws and Monkey Bars

New research suggests that natural elements like mud, sticks, and trees might unlock the imaginative power of play—beating out purpose-built spaces like the neighbourhood playground.

In the 1990s, a small team of researchers compiled and published an unusual list. It was an elaborate taxonomy of the imaginary friends of hundreds of three- and four-year-olds, with accompanying descriptions. Among the fantastical beings—filed into Linnaean categories like ‘Magical Child’ and ‘Ghost, Angel Presence’—were invisible, plaid-coloured fleas hunted by space aliens, a chatty green cyclops with a penchant for world travel, and a mercurial creature named Baintor who lived hidden in the lamplight.

That’s all perfectly strange, and perfectly natural.