Maine-Endwell Central School District News Article

Teachers and students take their classroom outside

Teachers have been taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather to bring their classes outside for learning opportunities. Being outside of their school building is optimal for social distancing, and provides time for a mask break and for getting fresh air as students are engaged in their lessons. Here are some examples of how learning is taking place beyond the walls of our schools:

MS students use their senses in this mindfulness experience

How does our outside environment influence our thoughts and feelings? Middle School students in Jill Kissick-Castro’s ELA classroom practiced mindfulness to explore how our surroundings effect us.
First, in their classroom, the students used their senses to become aware of their surroundings, and determine how they felt while sitting in class. Next they went outside. They did the same exercise while surrounded by nature. Then they compared the two experiences in relation to their thoughts and feelings, or their “inside weather.”
In addition to learning the practice of mindfulness, the students also used metaphors and analogies throughout the lesson when they described their feelings.

MM’s play area becomes the chorus room

Maine Memorial students discussed their feelings with some prompts from music. During chorus with Ms. Knecht, students listened to songs that are happy, sad and scary. After identifying the song, the students shared what made them feel happy, sad and scared since school buildings closed in March. The students learned that their feelings are OK and music is a way to make us feel better. The students also learned about tempo and dynamics (soft to loud sound), and they sang some songs. Outdoor music lessons allow for students to be social distanced the recommended 12 feet.

Getting to know you: Homer Brink fifth grade teachers interact in fun ways with students

Fifth grade teachers are getting to know the Homer Brink Class of 2021 hybrid learners during the first days of school. The teachers can only stay with their own class this year, so they have been meeting both Blue and Gold Team students during a series of fun activities.
The classes took time in the afternoons during the first week of school to participate in team building activities like kickball and soccer, focusing on their mental health with yoga, and playing getting to know you games, all led by their teachers.
The open field gives the students a chance to social distance while making a connection with the fifth grade instructional team.

Math fans in the stands for this sunny lesson

HS students in Mary Castaldo’s class had a recent algebra lesson on the bleachers at the athletic field. The students used technology outdoors to interact with their classmates during a lesson on equivalent expressions. They shared their responses with each other, and their classmates who are on the Gold Team and full remote learners.   

Mind, body, fresh air and yoga
Homer Brink students are finding balance in mind, body and brain by practicing yoga outdoors. The practice helps students find a way to be grounded and peaceful while enjoying the beautiful fall weather, said second grade teacher Mrs. Martinichio. The activity allows students to find balance in mind and body through movement. It also allows the students to move about and take a safe break from their masks.  

Homer Brink first graders practice reading and listening skills
Mrs. Buckley’s first grade class at Homer Brink recently practiced their reading and listening skills while taking a mask break. The sunny day allowed the class to spread out in a socially distanced outdoor classroom setting on their school’s front lawn. Mrs. Buckley read a book about listening, the students sang a song and then read a book together.

HS scientists observe their environment
High School students are using a spot on their school campus to learn about the five branches of earth science.
Ms. Fiori’s classes are observing the creek area that is located near the tennis courts. The students are observing and documenting information about the creek, the creek bed, the weather and fossils as they learn how geology, meteorology, climatology, oceanography, and the environment are used to understand the solar system, galaxy and universe.

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