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The Gordon School

Lessons worth repeating

Some COVID adaptations are turning out to be keepers

Gordon students were on campus, in every grade, all year last year.

Teaching and learning on campus during COVID required a moon shot of sorts. Gordon's faculty made some dramatic leaps of imagination and technological fast-forwards. Some of the innovations they came up were temporary fixes. But some of them are turning out to be keepers.

Last year, music teachers needed to teach music without singing. Each child need their own, dedicated musical instrument they did not share. And the lessons needed to work over Zoom as well as in person.

One solution in third grade?

The kid-stick-kit: a personal, miniature percussion set made of simple recycled materials. Each kit has a hand-can, a beat-board and a tiny tambourine. In the hands of Gordon third graders, these kits can produce surprisingly complex rhythms. Students build listening skills by matching different beats to different sections of prerecorded music.

This week, they are practicing Strauss's Tritsch Tratsch Polka. They're hoping to perform it at Friday's winter assembly. Friday would be the first time the entire school - students, teachers and staff - will gather indoors since COVID began. Parents and family can't join the audience. Not yet.

But it will be nice to return to this pre-pandemic tradition. And students will have some post-COVID skills and lessons to show one another.

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