Creative Ways Of Learning During COVID-19 

Teaching during a pandemic requires flexibility and innovation. Whether teaching takes place on-campus while strict COVID-19 precautions are enforced, or at home in our Virtual Learning Program, Crescent students and teachers have found creative ways to engage with their curriculum. Here are some highlights:
Where's There's A Will (Shakespeare), There's A Way
With Crescent's campus standing in for ancient Greece, the Grade 7 classes acted and filmed scenes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in late November and December. “All filming was done outside and with distance precautions in mind to ensure a low-risk activity,” says Mr. Tim Evans, Middle School drama teacher. The students supplied homemade togas and props (with some help from Crescent's costume supplies) and contributed additional video elements and sound cues. Now the videos are being edited and will be posted on the students’ PowerSchool Learning pages for them to watch with their families.
See photos from the students’ Julius Caesar film shoot here.

Playing Music Together While Apart
The Grade 11 and 12 music students are performing in ensembles while staying apart. The students follow a four-step process to create ensemble performance videos, says their teacher, Mr. Harry Timmermans. First, they write an arrangement of the composition using music notation software. Each student gets an instrumental part combined into one score. Next, they download the music to a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) like GarageBand, which allows them to act as recording engineers to balance the sound, add reverb effects etc. This creates the audio version that they then record over on their own instruments at home, taking video with their smartphones while they play. The final step involves using a video editor like iMovie to put all the parts together. “The boys are learning a combination of performance and technical skills,” says Timmermans. “They are collaborating creatively, even while we are learning separately at home.”
Watch the students perform the theme from La La Land here.

On A Mission For Math
The Grade 3 boys have been turning their kitchens into classrooms during the Virtual Learning Program. “We try to do something fun each Friday to celebrate the end of the week in our mathematics program,” says Lower School teacher Ms. Amy Joliat. For each Friday Math Mission, the boys share photos and videos showing how they use snacks and simple cooking projects to demonstrate math concepts such as whole numbers and fractions.
See a slide show of some Friday Math Mission projects here

A 21st Century Look At American History
For their American History course, Grade 11 students used 21st-century social media and communication tools to present their research on the life and times of different American presidents. "I'm so proud of the resilience and dedication the students have shown," says their teacher, Ms. Alicia Hawryluk. Among the students’ presentations were:
  • a Tiktok video of President Theodore Roosevelt addressing the nation
  • Instagram pages for President Dwight Eisenhower and President George H.W. Bush
  • a Zoom debate between the 1945 Interim Committee and scientists to help President Harry S. Truman decide if he should drop the atomic bomb
  • a documentary film about President John F. Kennedy, using primary source material
  • phone text messages between President Lyndon Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson, and between President Nixon and President Trump
  • propaganda posters for President Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech
See photos of some of the Grade 11 American History presentations here.