The teachers at The Barn wanted to take a moment to reflect on the challenging and inspiring year we have just shared together. Last summer we, along with our board of directors, made the difficult decision not to open our school for in person learning. The state guidelines, economies of scale and the safety of our teachers and students all weighed into our decision. However, we felt strongly that we needed to provide a safe and enriching program for our families. We wanted to create a sense of community and provide Zoom classes for our students while still honoring our philosophy of hands-on learning through play. To meet this goal The Barn @ Home program was born. Becky, Amanda and I worked hard developing a curriculum we could teach over zoom. We augmented the Zoom classes with weekly curriculum kits and weekly in person playgroups at our school playground. You, our families became an integral part in each child’s learning experience throughout the y
ear. We couldn't have done this without you. Together we learned to use Zoom and SeeSaw. The children learned to mute and unmute themselves, to wait their turns and to communicate and play together over Zoom and in masks on the playground. They were amazing! We were impressed with your children’s adaptability, their patience. and their continued enthusiasm to learn and form a community. Our parents learned how to guide their children to fulfill their curriculum kit assignments. To us, this team effort really embodied and illustrated the strength of our cooperative model. Families and teachers working together to educate children.
Over the course of the year we shared stories about ourselves and our families. We noticed similarities among our classmates and differences as well. We drew self-portraits and shared our favorite recipes. We talked about “What a scientist does?”, we made play-dough and built volcanoes. We talked about how people communicate, through mail, the computer and in person. We created a Flat Turtle project. Each of our students spent time with our “flat turtle” each class named their turtle, decorated a turtle shell, and shared adventures with their turtle before mailing it to the next student. We examined different styles of art. Painting, sculpting, drawing and making collages at home and on our playground. We dove into the ecosystem of a garden. Learning about the lifecycle of a plant and the role insects and animals play in the health of our gardens and the world. We are ending the year talking about and anticipating the Summer Olympic games. Holding a variety of events during our playground meetings, earning stickers to put into our Olympic Passports. We are talking about practice and resilience. The importance of mistakes, what happens when you make a mistake and how to move forward.