The last two weeks a snow storm hit Seattle ruthlessly. So naturally, Renton Prep had [many] snow days! With record breaking snowfall, the Pacific Northwest saw more than 7 inches of snow. The most snow the Seattle area has seen in February for over 70 years! However, one may think that a snow day may affect leaning. Not at Renton Prep. One of the many benefits of being a technology enabled school is that even if school is canceled, the learning does not have to stop. And that is exactly what happened.
This snow storm in Seattle presented an opportunity for teachers to assign work that required students to learn outside the classroom. So, teachers sought to create learning experiences that aligned with content. Some of the subjects explored in the assignments were fine arts and photography, current events, science, history, politics, literature (classic and science fiction).
Microsoft Tools for the Win
At Renton Prep, third graders use Microsoft tools for learning. Teams and OneNote are just an example of some of the tools students use for communicating and collecting artifacts. Prior to the snow storm, 3rd graders have been studying weather topics such as layers of the atmosphere, clouds, and severe weather. Thank you Mother Nature, the snow storm in Seattle came in handy! Thanks to the weather condition, students were able to learn about snow and how it forms. So, one of the assignments required students to use a digital tool to create an artifact that shows how snow forms. See examples here. And some of the tools used were:
- Paint 3D
- Minecraft Education
E-Learning Math and Science
Kindergarten Prep students took their Math and Science lessons outside. These lessons had a hands on learning component focusing on standards of measurement, analyzing data and weather. So, students had to measure the snowfall at their home using standard measurement, record, and document their findings through pictures and drawings. See student assignment samples here.
Snow Storm Photography Portfolio
Snowfall is magical during and after, so another assignment for the 9th and 10th graders was to create a snow photography portfolio. Our students were asked to develop a theme to capture snow in an artistic way. Some of the themes were snow tracks, beauty and memory, people in snow, juxtapositions and tradition, the contrast of color and snow, and emotion and color. Our students got very creative and submitted images that showed the beautiful side of the storm.
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Snow Day! Student photographer Emmy Sung captured these shots for a photography assignment on this learning day outside the classroom building. Because we have technology, students are able to work from home so we don’t need to lose a vacation day or add a day on to the end of the school year. Educators also have the option of giving creative assignments that align with content goals in a fun way. . . . #snowday #king5snow #showcaseschool #rentonprep #photography #rentonprep #sonorthwest #seattlesnow
Photography in the Snow
Ms. Reichel’s 5th grade students honed their photography, poetry, and film skills during the snow storm. After researching about Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the first photographer of snow, students went outside to capture their own photographs. Also, they wrote an original poem to go along with the images. Finally, to showcase their photos and poems, students created a short film. See their work here.
Renton Prep is a 1:1 microschool, which means that students work one on one with teachers. This is just one of the many perks our students have at our school. And with the inclusion of technology in our curriculum, students were able to continue learning despite the closures. Tools such as Microsoft’s OneNote, Teams, Sway, and Minecraft allowed for students to merge their at home learning experience with their teachers and even classmates during the snow days.
What Our Teachers Have to Say
This was quite an experience for all, students and teachers. Although this snow storm caused school and road closures, this was an opportunity to really put into practice what our school emphasizes, to use technology in a positive way. To that end, our Renton Prep instructors wrote blog posts about the lessons they prepared for their students and the learning that took place. To read each blog post, see the list below.
- Dr. Michelle Zimmerman Blog Post
- Kayla Vrudny Blog Post
- Marci Chang Blog Post
- Emily Chant Blog Post
- Deanna Wright Blog Post
- Lauri Nichols Blog Post
- Gwendolyn M. Foster Blog Post
- Renee Barr Blog Post
- Jessica Pilsner Sway Post
Choose Renton Prep
Renton Prep is proud to train the leaders of tomorrow through technology and Christian values. Our school is recognized for its multple awards and student and faculty presentations. And this effort has given our school the opportunity to be the first out of two US schools to be part of the Microsoft Flagship School Program. We want you to be part of the Renton Prep family by enrolling your child today! Open enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is now available, so don’t hesitate to visit our admissions page and get started.