Posted on May 28, 2021 by Scot Allen
Teachers, students, and families celebrated the middle school learning process together Tuesday, May 25, during the Middle School End-of-Year Celebration of Learning.
This was the first time this year that all three middle school grade levels participated in a celebration of learning. Through Zoom, sixth-grade parents and faculty watched as students spoke about what they learned, but more importantly, the students seized the opportunity to reflect on how pandemic-year learning affected them. Seventh and eighth-grade students presented their work via Padlet.
Celebrations of learning are more than displays of student work; the COL provides a platform to showcase and honor the work of students and empowers them to take the lead role in communicating about their learning. The COL provides students with the opportunity to reflect and assess themselves, which are both imperative in the learning process.
"Although COVID-19 impacted the way we learned and interacted with each other throughout this school year, it also provided us opportunities to share our learning in different ways," said Middle School Assistant Principal Lori Pereira.
The sixth-grade teachers and students invited families to join their child's homeroom class via Zoom in a parents vs. students TV-style game. In addition to the "Are You Smarter Than a 6th-Grader" mock game show, the students were asked to reflect on their journey during this year, which includes their overall school experience as well as thoughts on personal growth. Students were then provided several options to showcase their reflections: a letter to a future 6th grader, a reflection video, or a learning map. Student work was posted on a Padlet that was shared with families. The Celebration of Learning Padlet includes Class of 2027 videos, student reflections, and student work from their exploratory classes.
Seventh-graders reflected on what they learned about themselves during this unique year. School is more than academics. Students gathered evidence and artifacts from their school work but also their overall experience, according to Pereira. The students chose from a variety of themes such as study skills, social-emotional learning, communication skills, creativity, and character development. They were challenged to think about how they will use what they learned in seventh grade to support them in eighth grade. The student reflections are archived on Padlet.
The eighth-graders in the Class of 2025 chose to celebrate their learning through a showcase of thoughts and reflections in a class Padlet. Students chose two core academic classes and one elective or workshop to share their insights on self-growth, as well as the effect on their families and their community.
"Students did an outstanding job selecting meaningful pieces of work and thinking critically about their learning throughout the process," Pereira said. "The Celebrations of Learning gave them a platform to voice their thoughts to their peers, families, and the Mid-Pacific community. While COVID may have impacted how we learned this year, it was clearly evident through our Celebrations of Learning that students were actively engaged in meaningful and reflective work throughout the year."