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Bridging Remote and Live Learning

October 20, 2020 | Sam Martino

This year is unique compared to all others.

Students watch a worship video in their own classroom instead of going to the Community Room. Music, Spanish, and art are all taught remotely. Classes don’t gather at the park. And most curiously, not all students are present in classes.

This student is playing a math game with a remote learner.

Each 3rd grade class has several students who are remote learning. This means that they attend classes by logging into a zoom meeting instead of being physically present in the classroom.

Students have been quick to adjust to these changes. Remote students are learning to advocate for themselves and adapt their home resources to fit the lesson plan. Live students are adjusting to hearing and seeing classmates in a new way. This new approach to learning presents new challenges to the classroom, especially when you consider that this year’s theme is “connection.”

Despite the distance, teachers and students alike are finding ways to connect live and remote learning.

Remote learners are projected on the board so that live students can see them when they share.

Each day remote students log on to a zoom meeting for their class. Teachers let these students into the meeting right when the live morning meeting is happening. Remote students are able to see the morning message, greet and be greeted by classmates, and hear about the day.

This student is using a computer to join another teacher’s small group.

Beginning this week live students will start to use computers in the classroom. Each class is equipped with 3 extra student computers. They are learning how to log into Clever and Seesaw, as well as get into the class zoom meeting. Being in the class zoom meetings enables teachers to pair live and remote students in breakout rooms.

Breakout rooms allow remote students to make a one on one connection with a student in the classroom. Students are able to play games, work in small groups, and have lunch together this way.

As we go through the year we will look for new ways to build connection within the classrooms.


Sam Martino

Teacher, Grade 8

Sam Martino is the 8th Grade homeroom teacher and Middle School Social Studies teacher. He graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a bachelor of arts in history. Before joining the staff in 2015, Mr. Martino worked as a substitute teacher at Mustard Seed School. During his time as a substitute, he was able to work with every elementary and middle school class. Mr. Martino’s connection to Mustard Seed School goes back much further, however. He first connected with Mustard Seed in 1999 when he enrolled as a second-grade student. In 2006, Mr. Martino graduated from Mustard Seed School. His mother served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mr. Martino’s two brothers also graduated from Mustard Seed. A lifelong Hoboken resident, Mr. Martino is excited to continue working with students in a unique urban community. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, music, and movies. He can often be seen lugging instruments around town as he travels to and from practices and shows.

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