During the COVID-19 pandemic, Landmark High School developed a hybrid model of remote learning that includes live Google Meet sessions, asynchronous assignments (online, teacher directed), check-ins with Academic Advisors and counselors, and electives. In this new model, Landmark’s Six Teaching Principles remain the cornerstone of our curriculum. Each student’s schedule is individualized to meet them where they are in the learning process.
Below are details about the High School remote learning program and a sampling of videos of remote classes from spring 2020, when Landmark shifted to a remote model. Read a general overview of Landmark's remote program that applies to both the High School and the Elementary•Middle School.
In the advisory block, students meet in a small group headed by an academic advisor, department head, campus coordinator, houseparent, or administrator. The block allows students to preview the upcoming day, complete homework, and develop a plan for the night. The block can also be used to meet with counselors, guidance counselors, and teachers.
Within the schedule, we have created breaks for students in an effort to minimize the demands of screen time. These open blocks in a student's schedule will allow them to complete homework, meet with peers, teachers, advisors, guidance counselors or counseling staff.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of daily teacher office hours. These live one-to-one interactions between students and faculty have been invaluable in our efforts to support each student’s needs, whether they relate to comprehending material, concepts, or skill development. Learning in a remote model has highlighted some students' executive function deficits, and consequently, this is an area where we have expanded our services to help support our students. Our students know that Landmark teachers are dedicated to helping them succeed.
Video Clips of Remote Classes
The daily one-to-one tutorial is the cornerstone of a Landmark education, and tutorial continues to be an essential and completely individualized part of our remote learning model. Tutorials use a digital daily agenda to move through collaborative activities and address areas of weakness in reading fluency, reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, written expression, and study skills. With the ability to share screens, incorporate web-based programs such as Quizlet, and work in a shared Google Doc in real-time, tutors and students focus on skill development while covering content that's relevant to the student's interests.
remote Tutorial 2.0
Due to COVID-19 health-and-safety guidelines, for the 2020–2021 academic year, Landmark High School is providing most tutorials remotely—even if both the teacher and the student are on campus. With the spring under our belts and a summer to research and innovate, teachers on both campuses have developed even more powerful, interactive content to bring Landmark’s daily tutorial to life.
Head of Early Literacy at the High School Christine Barrett said, “We’ve sent home kits with manipulatives for all of our remote and hybrid students so they have all of the materials that they need for an Early Literacy tutorial. Students are often able to conceptualize information but need to practice the individual parts, so the more we can make the lessons interactive, the better chance for retention.” We have developed our own tutorial activities using a variety of tools in the Google Suite and other platforms to make the content customized, dynamic, and impactful. Our students have benefited from lessons that we deliver using Jamboards, which are virtual white boards. One example of how we use Jamboards is to get students to interact with syllables by sorting them into one of the five vowel types located on the five-leaf clover. Teachers have found ways to gamify a lot of the content so that it’s entirely collaborative and impactful—but fun too. We’ve been using a program called Flippity that turns spreadsheet content into flash cards, and we can use these to work on reading and spelling syllables, phonemes, words, and phrases.
Here’s one of many sample games that illustrate how Landmark teachers are using this interface to develop engaging and meaningful learning activities for our students (see activity directions below). The faculty have an arsenal of lessons that gives students opportunities to take constructive breaks from their screens and engage in physical movements, brainstorming, discussion, and more.
Directions for Flippity Silent Consonant Memory Game
Students select and click on a card and then read the word aloud. Then they click on other cards and read those words as they try to find the matching silent consonant sounds. Once they find a match, those two cards are removed from the deck and play continues until all cards have been eliminated.
Content-driven classes continue to cover relevant material using Landmark teaching principles and methods in a remote setting. Students build their vocabulary through collaborative and independent practice and review, and teachers have modified worksheets to provide additional structure. During live Google Meets, teachers preview assignments and go over instructions for highly structured independent work. By providing models and explicitly explaining what students are expected to do, teachers ensure that students feel included in the learning process and are ready to independently initiate tasks. Finally, teachers offer weekly office hours for individual check-ins and regularly request feedback on the pace, volume, and complexity of their lessons.
film and literature
Teachers have found ways to incorporate new web-based programs and apps that replicate the key pieces of a successful Landmark classroom: active discussion with visual models and immediate teacher feedback. Jamboard allows students in this Film and Literature class to create a visual representation of their thoughts and engage in a discussion that's nuanced and productive. The small class size helps students to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and allows time to hear from everyone.
Landmark teachers focus on teaching the explicit and implicit rules of language so students can become more observant and analytical readers. Junior Writing uses discussion with direct questioning to review a new concept and embedded interactive technology to assess individual comprehension. The combination of live video instruction with prepared Google Slides presentations enables students to hear, see, and participate in all aspects of a lesson. By providing models and ensuring that all students are participating in the learning process, teachers can be sure that students are actively engaged and receiving the appropriate amount of support.