Philadelphia government has given a really interesting task to its archdiocesan schools. After the Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, announced physical classrooms being halted for 2019-2020 on April 9, faculty and staff shifted to virtual learning. The latest newsletter by Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office of Catholic Education makes the virtual learning interesting. It includes “gold star lessons”, which basically is to see which archdiocesan school gets more creative in terms of its tasks to engage their students.
The newsletter read, “Each week our secondary school teachers continue to amaze us as they perfect the art and science of teaching in a virtual world. With a sense of adventure, these teachers develop lessons which help to drive the curriculum while engaging their students in responding to their new reality of learning from home during a national pandemic.”
Hopping onto the creative wagon, Maria Rossi, a teacher from SS. Neumann Goretti High School created a “Shark Tank” assignment. The task is inspired by the television show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs present original products to a group of investors. Maria has challenged her students to invent a product that would solve an immediate problem in the school community.
Maria’s students absolutely loved the task and pitched their inventions, which btw, are super interesting. One of the students pitched her idea of a Bubble Suit that would allow students to safely attend prom. Another one talked about an app that is fluent with Italian so that students could continue gaining proficiency even when the teachers are unavailable. Students also created self-portraits that accompanied their autobiographies for the project, which were presented in their Italian class via Zoom meeting.
As this is a time for schools to embark on a field trip, the newsletter also highlighted the importance of taking a virtual field trip. Following the same, Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School, virtually toured its second graders at Wyoming State Museum, where they travelled almost 2000 miles and saw various artefacts and learned about wild animals.
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